YEP Letters: December 4

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Heartwarming help for little Toby

Edna Levi, Leeds 17

it is heartwarming that so many organisations (‘Police funds towards treatment of young cancer sufferer’, YEP, November 29) and individual people are helping raise money to fund the urgent treatment for little Toby Nye.

On the other side of the scale it is disgusting that the NHS says not enough funds are available.

It is reported that millions are going to be given to the Brexit farce; this is from British taxpayers’ money and yet this is denied to help this child.

Accidents on the increase due to ‘smart’ roads

Graham Donaldson, via email

An accident on the M1 between junctions 40 and 41 earlier this month was a prime example of why having no hard shoulder is extremely dangerous.

A broken down car was hit very hard from the rear by another bigger car closing two lanes.

Had the hard shoulder been there this would have been avoidable. How can the so-called experts say if you break down get to one of the refuge areas? If you breakdown, you breakdown, there is no ‘I think I’ll breakdown next to the refuge’.

The occupants were very lucky this time – next time it could be a young family with a mum trying to get children out of the broken down car to safety.

Every day there are accidents on the so-called smart motorways (M1/M62). The number of collisions has increased significantly since so-called smart technology was introduced.

It’s about time highways saw sense and maintained a hard shoulder whenever possible throughout the day and night.

Underspend on health in north

Christine Hyde, Dewsbury.

SO what is an NHS Accountable Care System (ACS)? It is not a National Health Service.

All areas are different, the biggest of all postcode lotteries. Money for health is going to the south. So, in the north, we already have the worst health outcomes in England with an underspend of around £800m per year per head of population, compared with the south.

Yet, over the last five years, we have seen further disinvestment at a time when we’re also being asked to make substantial £1bn savings. An ACS is a stepping stone to an accountant-led care organisation delivering what is known popularly as cuts.

The Sustainability and Transformation Plan looked at the dismantled NHS, assessed the number partners and NHS providers in an area, worked out what they do and called it an Accountable Care System.

The plan is to sew them all back together in the Accountant-led Care Organisation bag, where the companies will have the most power, due to their superior finances and letting them all fight it out together or ‘negotiate’, who does what for how much.

There are the rent extractors with hedge fund involvement, alongside hospital trusts, some of whom are making deals with US multi-nationals already, plus asset strippers, alongside charities which are run more like businesses than charities. Whose NHS is that?

Both sides right on HS2 scheme

D Angood, by email

Regarding HS2, as with any major scheme there are many people on either side of the argument all promoting their point of view. The dissenters’ main argument being the cost of something that will be years in coming saying the allocated monies would upscale and would be better spent on the needs of today.

The promoters would argue that you have to invest in the future to reap the rewards. Can both sides be right? In a word, yes, simply because of past history when it came to investing in the railways. The sad thing is that such investment should have been continuous from inception which would have dismissed the need for Dr Beeching and his axe. Where four tracks were the norm for main lines there are now only two, thankfully investment in technology has kept the trains moving safely, but a breakdown now has a significant effect upon following traffic.

Will HS2 bring benefits to Leeds and the surrounding areas? During the construction stages it will provide many advantages to local industry if they are successful bidders in the tendering for contracts. In the initial stages of running services it will prove to be a bit of a battle but up and running it will provide an attraction to many businesses.

One alteration would prove an advantage, that would be to provide an entry from the East into the station and integrate the future HS3 into the service by linking the top of the “Y”.

Services could then leave London to Birmingham to Leeds to Manchester to Birmingham to London or vice versa, this would create a circular service eliminating changes for travellers to intermediate stations on the proposed HS3.

Lagging behind on speed bumps

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

I HAVE previously pointed out that while Leeds continues to introduce speed bumps, other major cities are removing them because of the increased pollution they cause.

Now Leeds are planning to introduce yet more 20 mph zones in the Weetwood area despite the fact that other cities are removing these as national statistics have shown a 25 increase in accidents in 20mph zones.

I predicted this would happen.

This is yet another example of how Leeds is lagging behind the rest of the country and its European counterparts.

We need better public transport

Jaimes Lewis Moran, member of Leeds Green Party

In response to the recent article ‘Bus investment bidding to keep county on move’ (YEP, November 29) I’ve a few concerns. Are these 14,000 bus stop revamps going to be genuine attempts (new timetables, digital displays, and better bus stop seating) or just a fresh coat of grey paint like the recently revamped ones in Seacroft onwards?

Secondly, out of all 284 new eco-buses would they give a definitive answer that these will be either fully electric or hybrid variant, and that the many older ones will be replaced for these? Lastly, that £1m for congestion ‘hotspots,’ does it include tackling those who park vehicles on double yellow lines and cycle lanes? The citizens of Leeds deserve a better public transport system. I mean buses, trains and cycle lanes – not more failed attempts at outdated trams!

Proposed boundaries fair to electorate

Robert Millard, Normanton

I will not be joining MP Jon Trickett in opposing the proposed boundary changes.

These are not, as he states, to “save the Tories’ bacon” but rather he is opposing the changes to save his own bacon.

The changes are to make the voting constituencies fairer to the electorate.

Something the Labour Party does not recognise, as fairness is not in its dictionary.

When the new boundaries come into place with fewer MPs elected the country will be a lot better off, and represented much more fairly - Hemsworth included.

Downsizing is long overdue

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

I see a local MP is in the process of starting a petition to stop the new boundary changes taking place, changes that will result in 600 MPs instead of the current 650. I don’t think it goes far enough, the Boundary Commission should be told to look again and reduce MPs further. I think we only need 300 MPs for this little island of ours. All industries have suffered downsizing over the years - it’s long overdue in Westminster.

Give pets a fighting chance

Nicola Martin, PDSA Senior Vet

This Christmas, please spare a thought for the thousands of much-loved pets requiring life-saving vet treatment.

While most pets will enjoy spending extra time at home with their families, not all are so lucky. Every December, pet wellbeing charity PDSA cares for 50,000 pets in need. Without our dedicated vet teams, many of these pets would have nowhere else to go.

For 100 years, we’ve been helping provide critical care and emergency surgery for pets that urgently need us when tragedy strikes. Demand for our vital services never stops.

Every pet is a star in our eyes, and we want to give them all a fighting chance. When PDSA saves a pet, another family stays together. But we can only continue helping with your support.

Animal lovers can help our #SaveAStar campaign at or by texting STAR to 70020 to give a one-off donation of £5 (you’ll also be charged one standard rate message*). From all of the pets you’ll help to save this Christmas, thank you.

Reading can save lives

Penelope Wilton DBE, Actress and patron of Build Africa

Reading isn’t just for bedtime stories. It can save lives. Imagine it’s the middle of the night. Your child screams in pain. Desperate to calm them down, you reach for the medicine. But you panic. The instructions mean nothing and you. You don’t know how to read.

Literacy is a simple skill that we rely on every day, and, in our most desperate moments, is crucial for survival. However, for many young women in rural Uganda, life without literacy is devastating.

Almost half of women in Uganda are unable to read – robbed of an education by poverty, early pregnancy or child marriage. For vulnerable young women mothers, this means a struggle to understand health and childcare information, make important everyday decisions or earn enough for their family. Heartbreakingly, many won’t be able to support their children’s own education – so they will repeat the same vicious cycle as they grow-up.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. Why? Because when a mother can read, her child is 50% more likely to live past five years old. That’s the impact of reading. Build Africa, the education charity which I am proud to be a patron of, is working with over 2,000 young women – supporting them to learn life-changing literacy and numeracy skills and access valuable health and nutrition services, so they can help their children not just survive but succeed.

When we teach a mum to read, she has the power to re-write the story for her children. And, with the generous support of your readers, we can do something wonderful for young women in Uganda this Christmas. Those wishing to donate can visit or call 01892 519619. Every donation received before 27 December 2017 will be matched pound-for-pound with UK Aid from the UK Government.