YEP Letters: February 2

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Sinister side of devolution in public transport

Denis Angood, Stanningley

The devolution of Yorkshire is once again high on the parliamentary calendar. But is there a sinister meaning in the word or its near neighbours “desolation” and “devaluation”?

Leeds and its neighbours once had their own public transport system, run by the themselves for the benefit of the community. Alas, along came privatisation.

The privatisation of public transport was undertaken because Mrs Thatcher stated that there was no competition. In her opinion there was no opportunity for any independent company to gain a foothold.

Is the legacy 30 years down the line what Mrs T envisaged? I dread to think that she wished today’s reality upon the travelling public. I believe what she wanted was more operators who would compete between themselves to offer their services at prices people could and would afford to pay.

Leeds City Transport was one of the biggest municipal operators in the country, it provided a tram system that was envied worldwide and supplemented with buses where necessary. In its heyday, its success meant it contributed to the city’s coffers.

In the prosperous late 1950s and early 60s as wages increased so did people’s “necessities” – TVs, washing machines, cars etc.

We saw the demise of the trams, a reduction in the number of passengers, fare rises and wage increases – the strength of the unions were all contributing factors.

Spiralling costs were prohibiting investment and fares rose to keep pace which caused people to begin to grumble about public transport. Some people looked upon that as a means of introducing changes.

Now we have a monopoly of two companies virtually controlling local transport services in this country. Did Mrs T foresee this happening? I don’t think so.

Recently we have read of yet another body formed to oversee our regional transport – TftN (Transport for the North). There are so many questions that need asking regarding its policies, plans and accountability that we will need another group to police it – talk about jobs for the boys.

Why do we need so many people, many of whom do not have the foggiest idea of what transport is about, to make up these groups?

Where is the common sense of yesteryear when a couple or more experts got together to thrash out a series of alternatives and then put them forward for discussion by the appropriate people?

Country of snitches

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

Reading about a gentleman standing on a chair to put up lights outside his restaurant and the rather pathetic action adopted by his local council, what I find most worrying isn’t so much the council’s action (we’ve come to expect councils to employ idiots) but that of the person who reported him.

Have we really become a country where snitches thrive and feel it necessary to go to the authorities because someone is standing on a chair?

Whoever this “citizen” is, (what’s the betting they’re a Liberal?) I would suggest they get out more, get a life and stop assisting Britain’s sad decline towards a Stasi-inspired state.

Have they really got nothing better to do?

Inflated cost of spending a penny

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

We all know that as time passes inflation becomes the norm.

However spending a penny at Leeds city train station now costs 40 pence to go just once to the toilet, not 40 times as in days gone by.

The next progression will be to pay per minute to increase their income, or am I putting ideas into the head of Network Rail?

Importance of Saudi Arabia

Mel Smart, Farsley

I DO wish people would stop moaning and carping about the hypocrisy of having flags at half mast for the ex-king of Saudi Arabia.

Of course the Prime Minister went there to show our respects. Of course he ignored the worst elements of the Saudi regime because he knows well that Saudi Arabia is a mega rich country which spends billions of pounds in Britain. The Saudi Air Force has more British planes than the RAF. Arms, arms and more arms is what we sell to the Saudis.

Please also bear this in mind, the Saudis control about 75 per cent of the world’s oil. The name of the game is to keep the Saudis sweet or the whole British economy will go down the pan. If that involves hypocrisy then learn to live with it. There are plenty of tyrants elsewhere in the world who we have to ignore so what makes Saudi Arabia so special?

Sack culprits for £94m fiasco

A Hague, Harehills

AFTER RECENTLY declared fiascos by Leeds Council, like the £94m spent on a scheme to lower use of city electricity, only for us to be told our electric bills increased by 40 per cent, those responsible should be sacked (if this is possible) or resign.

I say reverse the old saying – take care of the millions and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Every week we read that vital services are closing because the few thousands given to charities are reduced or ended yet millions are treated like confetti.

Healthcare is as good as ever

D Boyes, Rodley

IT’S A bit rich Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary criticising the NHS when on his watch hundreds died of neglect in Mid Staffordshire and billions were wasted on flawed PFI contracts.

As for the coalition taking back healthcare back to the 1930s – it’s nonsense. Both my grandmothers and other relatives died young in that period from illness easily cured today, so there is no comparison.

I didn’t need any serious attention until the age of 68, when I was hospitalised in an emergency. Later a visit to A&E and then orthopaedic surgery – all without having to wait long – plus care from my GP and district nurse. The service is 100 per cent at all times.

Although being disingenuous about the NHS and indeed everything else is endemic to Labour, if there are any slight problems in some parts of this country, they have obviously arisen from Labour’s past immigration programme.

YEP Letters: April 20