YEP Letters: February 26

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Check out today’s YEP letters

City needs a rapid transit system

Michael Meadowcroft, by email

The idea that “civic leaders in Leeds” can have any way to “revolutionise bus travel in the city” without also revolutionising the road pattern, is sheer fantasy, (‘Just the ticket’, YEP, February 20).

The paucity of river bridges west of the city centre, the clogging up of junctions with any event whatever, the lack of park and ride schemes and the jamming of the whole city centre following any accident or breakdown in or around the inner ring road mean that it is now impossible to rely on any regular journey times in Leeds. Only a rapid transit scheme, the opening of further train stations plus at least one new or restored river bridge, can possibly “revolutionise bus travel in Leeds”.

Pro-life protesters ‘not outside the law’

Mrs P Sampson, Leeds 18

I am writing in response to Fabian Hamilton’s column (YEP, February 13).

I am one of those people (pro-life protestors) allegedly harassing women and staff outside Marie Stopes Leeds. I am in my 70s and am part of a small group who go there regularly to pray and offer alternatives to mums (and dads) in a gentle manner should they require it.

We are aware that in the situation of an unexpected pregnancy, this seems like the only option and seems to remove the ‘problem’ but in over 50 years of legal abortion, and the aftermath, in unhappiness and broken relationships it often simply exchanges one problem for others.

Whatever the outcome, in the 25 years I have been doing this apostate we have never been outside the law – we have always worked within the British freedom to stand on the pavement and give information.

The police have always approved and affirmed we observed the law in the way some dispute with angry clients but the majority of the time we get far more approval from both clients and passers by who realise our intentions are good even if they still decide not to go ahead with the pregnancy there is skilled help available should they have regrets.

And realising that they needn’t rush the decision often gives them relief.

And how wonderful to see the joy if they come out of the car park with a big wave and smile – I’m taking my baby home!

Surely charity begins at home?

Gavin Chapman, Leeds 25

WHAT a brilliant letter from Trudy Baddams regarding “benefits” (YEP, February 15).

I am now approaching 63 years old, born and bred in this country, and have come to realise I have spent most of my life in austerity of one form or another.

Britain is the sixth richest country in the world, with just 1% of the world’s population, but the treatment of the poor, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed and the elderly by this government is nothing short of a national disgrace.

It is now very clear that this government loves austerity; it has given them the greatest excuse ever with which to beat the aforementioned groups.

We give around £14billion a year in foreign aid, a very large part of it to countries with their own space and nuclear programmes. For a country with no spare cash for its own needy, is it not surprising how Theresa May could suddenly conjure up £1 billion of our money with which to bribe the DUP to support her after her disastrous and ill-conceived general election gamble backfired so disastrously?

As Mrs May said numerous times during her election campaign, “Nothing has changed”.

Quite correct, nothing has changed, but surely charity begins at home, and perhaps it is now time for some massive changes in this country?

Demand far exceeds supply

DS Boyes, Leeds 13

ALTHOUGH Coun Peter Gruen’s concerns over the plight of many in Leeds struggling to find a home are clearly genuine, he never mentioned any of the factors contributing to it.

The Right to Buy social housing introduced by Mrs Thatcher was never repealed by ‘New’ Labour, which many find hard to understand. Shorthold assured tenancies which took away all the security of tenure and control of rents, turning buy to let into a jungle environment, especially for families with children at school, was not changed by ‘New’ Labour.

All these factors have created demand for housing far in excess of available supply, now and in the foreseeable future. What were once starter homes for young people are now snapped up at high prices to be used for multiple occupation. The latest statistics show that those on modest household incomes of say £25,000 to £30,000 per annum might never afford a home of their own as previous generations like mine did, without any trouble.

Plus, those on Leeds City Council’s ever longer waiting lists for social housing must be aghast at the millions of pounds thrown away by Labour councillors on vanity projects or loans never repaid, and Supertram/NGT Trolleybus, lighthouses etc.

Fracking is not the answer

CV Barton, Burley-in-Wharfedale

The letter ‘Solution to electricity supply problem?’ (YEP Letters, February 16) makes no reference to the massive amount of energy wasted from power station cooling towers.

This comes from the cooling water which comes from the condensers into which the power station turbines exhaust. Using this hot water for heating (houses, offices, factories etc.) instead of using electric radiators, fires etc. would be a start. This technology is called combined heat and power and I understand is used at Leeds General Infirmary.

Suggesting fracking for gas (another fossil fuel) I feel is not the answer, may I ask what are the chemicals used for fracking and how will they pollute ground water?

Using electric batter technology for powering rubber-tyred vehicles (cars, buses, lorries, etc) on tarmac roads is a waste of electricity, we are already importing dirty (fossil fuel) electricity fro Europe to fill the gap. The solution is to use electricity more efficiencly in trains for passengers and freight, and tramcars. I understand tidal power is produced at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, other big sources are the Pentland Firth, Severn Barrage etc, surely these natural assets are the way forward.

Dreading the closure of our local banks

Geoffrey North, Guiseley.

LIKE many others, I am dismayed at the closure of the local branches of banks.

They justify their policies by pointing to the increasing use of internet banking. How I shudder at the prospect of internet criminals getting their hands on my accounts. I can hear the bankers saying that cannot happen.

Well if hackers can exploit the computer systems of major businesses and government departments then I suspect that Aunt Nellie’s pot of gold won’t be much of a problem.

And poor Aunt Nellie will have to take a bus ride to pay in her £25 premium bond winnings. But what about local businesses heaving with bags of cash and nowhere close by to deposit them?

It seems to me that the banks have lost sight of providing a service for their customers in the rush to reduce operating costs.

They are thinking of themselves rather than their customers to whom they owe their existence and a duty of care.

But is there a solution? The more enterprising businesses can convert problems into opportunities.

Recognising that technology is changing the game, why don’t the banks get together and provide a communal service at the local level whereby Aunt Nellie and Uncle Tom Cobley can process their accounts in different banks in one place?

Alternatively why not provide a communal service though local post offices or even supermarkets?

Brexit will reduce market links with EU

Ian Simpson, Leeds

BREXIT will reduce the market links between the UK and the EU.

The consequent trade loss will, according to Brexit supporters, be more than compensated by the opening up, or expansion, of markets elsewhere. This concept has flaws. Changes in production to meet the needs of the new markets will take considerable time, possibly years, and are likely to require further investment.

Much of British industry is now foreign-owned with decisions being made outside of the UK – in Mumbai, Tokyo, Frankfurt etc. So much for regaining control. The foreign countries do not have to invest in the UK. They could be put off by political instability, with Corbynista economics a possibility.

Left in sidings by Labour?

ME Wright, Harrogate

In his recent visit to Leeds, Jeremy Corbyn announced “at least £10bn to bring a Crossrail for the North.”

Did council leader Judith Blake raise the awkward matter of a previous Labour government’s last-minute reneging on funding for a mass transit system for the city? Did she let him sample the city’s mid-20th century public transport? If so, did Mr Corbyn express any sympathy for the seeming inability of councillors and MPs to move forward?

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