Check out today’s YEP letters
Safety improvements needed
Gordon May, by email
Having in the recent past done a survey on Morley Low Station, I welcome the proposal for better and more frequent services.
Unfortunately it does not state how to make the area safe, or how to increase car parking facilities. As it stands at the moment the parking area is about the size of a postage stamp, although there is land on the Manchester side where some of the spoil from the building of the tunnel was left. Plus, the old oil recoveries is now being demolished and it is an ideal area. With regard to safety, as it stands at the moment I would not go down there on my own when it is dark, never mind my wife or daughter.
It not only needs CCTV,but could do with a station attendant in some elevated watch tower where he or she could keep watch.
I do realise this will all cost money, but if this is not implemented in the next two years or so we will probably have gridlock for the people going to work on the roads into Leeds.
Plea for city Spanish Civil War memorial
Mike Harwood, Kirkstall
Threatened as we are today by spectre of racism, it is perhaps time for our Leeds Council (Labour, I’m told) to show where its honour lies.
A powerful, and long overdue way of doing this would be by the erection of a memorial in the town to the men and women from Leeds who volunteered, risked and in many cases gave, their lives in the defence of democracy in Spain in 1936 against the fascism of Franco; to show our, too belated, respect for these brave and honourable fighters; to show that we understand that the struggle in Spain was part of the world wide struggle which had to follow against a fascist Hitler, a fascist Mussolini; that we understand today that we have to be equally vigilant in opposition to racism and fascism.
The ideal place, in my respectful opinion, to erect such a memorial would be in the middle of our dear Kirkgate Market – like our democracy, long-thriving; like them, I hope, still thriving and long to thrive; like our democracy and like the Spanish fighters, part of this city’s rich and brave history.
The market is a bustling place which serves the poor as did the Spanish Republic; and as should our democracy; a bustling place which shows (walk though on any day of the week) how beautiful and colourful a multi-coloured world can be.
I hope readers will lend their support to this idea, which has been before the Leeds Council for some time.
Time city was run for citizens
Bill McKinnon, Leeds 3
I was surprised to read (YEP, February 14) that following Councillor Mark Dobson’s decision to quit the Labour whip, the Leeds Labour Group said: “Mark has struggled for some time with the pressures that come with being an elected councillor.” This statement doesn’t describe the Mark Dobson I know.
Mark Dobson is an extremely effective councillor who hugely improved the quality of people’s lives by changing way the council’s noise nuisance team operates. Before Councillor Dobson took charge, the noise nuisance team existed, but didn’t seem to actually do anything. They were so ineffective, I gave up on them years ago. Calling them just added to my stress.
But thanks to Councillor Dobson, they now now take quick and effective action against those who create noise nuisance.
Mark Dobson demonstrates commitment to the people he represents by attending planning committees on their behalf to speak out against inappropriate development. This is unusual in a city where most councillors simply accept the recommendations of senior officers.
It was Councillor Dobson’s refusal to accept officers’ recommendations on cuts for dementia care and a £4 million gift to the cricket club that led to him quitting the Labour whip.
Councillors’ abdication of responsibility for running the city to senior officers is why there’s very little difference between the way Leeds is being run now, to the way it was being run ten years ago under the Lib Dem/Conservative coalition. It’s time the city was run for the benefit of citizens and not senior officers who are only interested in meeting targets. For that to happen, the councillors in charge need to start valuing councillors like Mark Dobson more than they value subservience.
Stop blaming cash cuts
C Sharp, Leeds 25
The comical institution that is Leeds City Council have had three resignations in eight days over the way it is run.
The word turmoil is being used, bullying, mistrust and I’m sure incompetence is in there somewhere.
A five per cent council tax rise was seemingly just waived through. Unused bike lanes, free laptops and heaven knows what else these jokers pass, would be of debatable acceptability if we had unlimited funds . We don’t!
So LCC, stop blaming everything on cuts and find somebody with financial nous to run things or resign, just like the three disillusioned people of the last eight days.
Hole in solution to the problem
Martha Hargrave, Wakefield
Ivan Kovacks ( ‘Council tax cuts for whistleblowers’ Letters, February 23), you speak a lot of sense sir.
Yet there is one hole in one of your problem solutions. How would a one take a picture of a driver using their mobile phone, without committing that same offence yourself?
A financial incentive could potentially encourage drivers who generally uphold the law to use their camera while driving.
It would be like Inception; someone taking a photo of someone offending, taking a photo of someone offending, taking a photo of someone...
Lack of social responsibility
Derek Barker, Moortown
I have recently had to give up work due to ill health and to begin the process of claiming benefits.
I have learned from a benefit advisor that I am entitled to receive housing and council tax benefit plus just under £73 a week SSP, out of which I will have to pay £27 a week housing benefit premium plus £13 a week bedroom tax, leaving me just over £32 a week out of which I have to pay my oxymoron “Economy 7” heating plus daytime energy usage of £30 a week plus my water bill, leaving me nothing to live on.
I have submitted an application to claim PIP ( Personal independence payment), but that can take up to 16 weeks to process assuming it is accepted the first time, if not it can take a further 16 weeks to go through the appeal process.
After being used to earning a reasonably good salary of £20K per year, I almost went into shock when advised of my entitlement and began to panic. As I did so I remembered back to the time approximately 12 years ago when I attended a course at Park Lane College when I trained to become a trade union rep.
I particularly remember my attention being drawn to a piece of human rights legislation and if my memory serves me correctly it was worded as follows: “ Under the Human Rights Act, any action or measure that is designed or intended to impose any form of detriment or hardship on any person or specific group of persons is an act of criminal persecution”.
If my memory is correct then no wonder that the Tories want to abolish the Human Rights Act, given that the draconian cuts to the welfare provision for the elderly sick and disabled, were not inflicted out of economic necessity but purely on the basis of political class dogma. What a huge contrast between our successful global economic performance advertised frequently to the world by successive Tory Prime Ministers and the way that the government displays its contempt and total lack of any sense of social responsibility to those who are both currently and formerly the working muscle and backbone of this country’s economy.
If my memory is correct, and know doubt some reader will put me right if I am wrong, when can we expect to see Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Smith face criminal charges?
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