SO, LEEDS City Council are reportedly asking the chewing gum manufacturers for help with the clean up cost for the streets of Leeds (YEP, November 22).
A while ago the council hired a team of litter detectives who raised £44,000 in three months cleaning up the city centre, but it was said to not be about making money.
If this amount can be raised by catching people dropping litter, then why can’t it be raised by catching people leaving chewing gum everywhere? What has happened to this team of detectives?
The council claim to have a zero tolerance approach to these issues, so why aren’t offenders getting sizeable fines to reduce the clean up bill from £59,000 a year instead of asking the makers of the gum to pay a substantial amount towards the cost?
The council have also used the slogan that they are “firm but fair”. But is their request for the manufacturers of chewing gum to help clean up the streets of Leeds fair? I do not think so.
If someone’s pet was injured by a stray firework would the firework company be expected to help with the vet’s bill?
If the council abided by their slogans and if fairness overruled greed, anyone who was caught dropping litter or leaving chewing gum lying around would be asked to clean up first, not instantly fined.
If the culprits were made to help with cleaning up the gum for a while they would probably never drop chewing gum again and they might realise a lot of work could be avoided as well as saving taxpayers’ money.
Peter Haddington, Eccleshill
Farage’s unique achievement
I READ with interest Phil Cook’s response to Jayne Dawson’s recent column regarding the Ukip phenomenon and in particular Nigel Farage (Your Views, December 1).
I would agree with him that Mr Farage has a dubious taste in overcoats and I don’t entirely approve of his relationship with Europe. But this man has achieved something totally unique in British politics. He has moved a non-discussion point to centre stage.
Before Mr Farage came along, if you so much as mentioned immigration you were immediately pilloried and discredited and, in the case of Enoch Powell, you lost your career.
I am not suggesting Nigel Farage is to everyone’s taste but he has at least brought this topic centre stage and it is now the main talking point of the forthcoming election, along with the economy.
The probity of our politicians is to be questioned but at least we can now discuss this thorny, difficult subject of immigration without being accused of being a racist.
Brian Fleming, Adel
I DON’T really understand politics, but I do know that history repeats itself time and time again and it looks like it is going to happen again.
Where did this Ukip leader originate from?
He even has firm Conservatives and Labourites moving over to join him – all they are after is keeping their seat in Parliament.
In the early 1900s to 1940 most Germans were flocking to the new party and to follow Herr Hitler.
Then it was too late for them to realise they had been led by the nose up the garden path. Even many Germans realised they had paid a heavy price for listening to his promises.
Mr Farage hasn’t made the same pledges, but I did read in the YEP that he believes in the work and promises of Margaret Thatcher. Woe betide us if he does win and follows in her footsteps.
People seem to be following Mr Farage as if he was the new messiah, but in years to come they will realise he also has feet of clay. Most of our MPs suffer from that malady already.
I also wonder just who is pulling his strings.
Olga Twist, Whinmoor
What is now left to cut?
HOW NICE to read the letter from D Birch (YEP, November 28) about Clement Attlee.
I agree that Attlee was the best humanitarian PM we have ever had.
He wanted a land fit for heroes, with a welfare state, the NHS and convalescent hospitals, not “bed blockers” being sent home in carpet slippers.
Now that all the council services have been cut there must be councillors who are surplus to requirements. Is there anything left to cut?
We once had a near perfect welfare state that we worked so hard to pay for with pride and kindness.
Robert Holman, Headingley
Eyesores along our main roads
I am Leeds born and bred. I lived in Hunslet as a child and loved every minute of it.
I then travelled the world and on my return to the city of Leeds four years ago I got quite a shock. Who let Roundhay Road, Harehills Road and Chapeltown Road get into such a state? Gates on roads, gates on doors, shops that never close and goods put out into the roads from shops.
I wonder how much in terms of business rates these shops are paying. It shouldn’t be normal rates, they should be doubled.
These main roads into Leeds should be sending a message out to people coming into our city that this is a nice place, but this is not going to happen with all these eyesores.
Jeff Cains, Linton
Thanks for your kind assistance
I AM writing to ask you to publish my thanks to the people who came to my assistance when I was mugged at an ATM point in Kirkgate at 2pm on Sunday, November 23.
First, I would like to thank a young man who was displaying an advert board and who phoned the police, letting me use his phone to talk to them after he had given the police a description of the culprit.
I would also like to thank a street warden called Brian who came to me and stayed with me. He is a credit to Leeds City Council.
He took me into Fatso’s sandwich shop where the staff were very good to me.
Another thank you goes to a young lady called Sarah who was on her lunch hour from Debenhams and who advised me that the police would be able to have a look at the CCTV.
Finally, thank you to a lady dressed in a trouser suit who wanted to give me some money which I declined but thanked her for the offer.
I am 78 years old and the low life who mugged me is lucky he is not wanted for manslaughter, given all the ailments I have.
To make matters worse, when I reported the incident to the bank on Monday I was informed that these ATM machines are not on their CCTV, only the street CCTV.
M Illingworth, Burmantofts
Stop nuisance phone calls
I WOULD like to add to the recent letters regarding the Telephone Preference Service.
Quite some time ago I was being inundated with nuisance calls, so I registered with the service.
For quite a while my calls automatically stopped and I was very relieved.
However, some months ago they started again and were worse then ever, sometimes I received three nuisance calls in a row.
Thinking my registration had lapsed, I decided to ring again.
After an automated voice conversation, I was informed I had already registered.
So I am once again inundated with these calls and can do nothing about it.
It is time these nuisance calls were stopped.
B Merritt, Seacroft