YEP Letters: February 15

Have your say

I WAS interested to read about the lack of security in Pembroke Towers because of the doors failing to close properly.

This seems to be an ongoing problem not just in those flats, but here in Parkway Grange and Court too. and I would imagine a number of other high rise blocks in the city. These closing failures are partly due to certain elements in society who have no right of entry to the flats and who have at times, tried to ‘rag’ the doors open with brute force.

I have witnessed this myself on occasion. There has to be some alternative way of keeping our homes free from all kinds of unsavoury characters, drug users, dealers, drunks and general nuisances.

I guess it’s the same old story, stick all and sundry into high rise blocks and blow the rest of the decent people already having to put up with nasty, unpleasant behaviour.

As far as maintaining the blocks, this is a joke.

Now that the ALMOs have gone, I would urge Leeds City Council to put its hand in its pocket and spend some money on maintaining the blocks including new security doors and a better method of keeping the unwanted intruders out. After all those who are supposed to manage the blocks would not like it if they had drunks, drug addicts and the like living amongst them, would they?

Peter Thorpe, chairman, Parkway Grange & Court Tenants Association, former tenant board director, East North East Homes

Facts over 
pay dispute

REGARDING LEEDS College of Art’s pay dispute with the UCU union (YEP, February 10) we would like to state some facts.

The College is signed up to national pay bargaining, along with all higher education institutions, which the UCU has also signed up to.

The 1% pay increase is only a cost of living increase, total pay increases across the sector average 3%, including incremental and other pay increases.

UCU has openly stated that it is trying to maximise disruption to students, while attempting to minimise any financial losses to their members. We regard this as a cynical tactic and have a duty to protect our students from such disruption.

Leeds College of Art recently underwent job evaluation leading to average salary increases of over 12% for academic staff.

At a time of much upheaval and uncertainty in higher education funding it is only right that we responsibly manage our pay bill to ensure it is sustainable and is not detrimental to other costs such as infrastructure and facilities for students.

Simone Wonnacott, principal, Leeds College of Art

Cheaper to book First Class seat

I READ with interest Mr Maunder’s account of his trip to Taunton on the 08.11 train on January 29. He then proceeds to denigrate East Coast for the fact that people had to stand and there were empty seats in First Class.

I recently attended a course in London, and, looking on the East Coast website was able to book First Class return fares for less than the price of a standard class fare. This didn’t take long and was not complicated.

I am also interested to read that he caught the East Coast train from Leeds to Taunton, when East Coast doesn’t even run to Taunton. I think he may have been referring to Cross Country Trains, a different company entirely.

Mark Hall, Littlemoor Road, Pudsey

In need of flood disaster fund

WHEN A disaster occurs in any country, there is an immediate reaction and an appeal launched for help and money by the people in Britain.

I am therefore amazed that I am not aware of any appeal made on behalf of the flood disaster in our country. Surely everyone feels that we should not only help by sympathy but generous donations?

Lilly Waxman, by email

Demand for council homes

THANK YOU to J Shedlow for the letter regarding empty council properties (YEP, February 11).

I am pleased to confirm that void properties within the council are at a historically low level, with only 0.7% of properties empty. This usually occurs between one tenant moving out and another moving in and are usually very temporary.

Indeed, there are only a handful of long term empty council properties.

J Shedlow refers to the reduction in demand for properties. However, demand for all property types continues to outstrip supply, with 26,000 households on our waiting list, including homeless people looking for permanent accommodation.

This is why we are committed to the largest council house growth programme in Leeds in a generation.

I have asked officers to continue to closely monitor the effects of the welfare changes on our customers and communities as well as the impact on our stock.

Coun Peter Gruen, deputy leader and executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, Leeds City Council, Civic Hall, Leeds

Cost of change in match time

AS I go to Leeds United away matches, I like to book my coach or train tickets in advance as it is cheaper that way, but I have been caught out a few times.

Going by train, the earlier you book the cheaper it is and it is cheaper then waiting and booking on the day and this is the same with coach travel.

But if the date and time of the matches are changed the tickets cannot be amended, therefore you have to pay again for tickets for the rearranged match.

I do think National Express and the train companies should allow you to travel on the same ticket.

Mr R Webster, Leeds 9

Sadness at 
loss of centre

HOW SAD to see the photo in your paper of the West Park Centre being demolished.

I joined the school just after it opened in 1953 as West Park County Secondary Modern and left in 1957.

It was a very good school, ahead of its time with two big gymnasiums and a large hall which hosted plays put on by the pupils and was also the venue of the final of the Leeds Schools Boxing competition.

It also had very good rugby union, cricket and boxing, of which one lad got to the all England final.

Chalky White was the headmaster and as I remember, he represented England in the discuss in the Olympics.

The lads formed West Park Old Boys rugby union side in 1959 which was the forerunner of West Park Leeds as it is today.

I have a panoramic photograph of the entire school pupils and staff taken in May 1954 totalling over 500 people.

Happy days.

So sad that it is no longer standing.

Jack Winterburn,
Bowood Crescent, Meanwood

Doubling the national debt

IN HIS letter “Let Tories clear up Balls’ mess” Mr Duffy conveniently fails to explain why the national debt is now more than double what it was when Labour left office. If the Tories’ economic policies are working, then surely the national debt should have gone down not up? The national debt when Labour left office was mainly due to having to borrow money to bail out the banks.

What is George Osborne’s excuse for doubling the debt?

The figures suggest Osborne is doubly incompetent!

Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Cookridge

The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth.

YEP Letters: January 16