YEP Letters: February 4

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Current city visitor centre is ‘lamentable’

Michael Meadowcroft, Honorary Alderman, City of Leeds

The letter from Mr Thornton (January 21) draws attention to the current lamentable Leeds Visitors’ Centre.

Leeds had a superb visitors’ centre based strategically at the railway station. It was well stocked and well staffed. It was able to direct visitors to local facilities, and to sell tickets for local events and local transport. It was always busy. When there were big events in Leeds it was packed out.

It was Network Rail’s proposal to increase the rent that threatened its survival and I was given information on its usage and its finances. Clearly the centre was a popular and valuable asset. I lobbied the city council but had no reply. Eventually, your paper carried the story that the centre was under threat. I was appalled and tried to encourage support for its retention.

I contacted Gary Verity, of Welcome to Yorkshire. He simply sent my letter on to the city council - the same authority who were determined to close it! The Chamber of Commerce did not reply at all. I saw that Stuart Andrew, Conservative MP for Pudsey, had raised tourism in Parliament and wrote to him.

Eventually I had a letter from his office saying he could not deal with my letter as I was not a constituent! I explained that this was a citywide issue not a constituency matter but I had a further letter from his office telling me that, not being a constituent, it was not a priority for Mr Andrew.

I raised the matter with Councillor Keith Wakefield, then leader of the city council. He told me that because the coalition government was cutting the city council’s finances, it could not afford the annual £50,000 subsidy.

It is a valid point but I refuse to accept that the stated subsidy was not a good financial investment.

It is not simply a question of welcoming present visitors but the obvious fact that first-time visitors who receive a warm welcome would be more likely to return.

Do we want visitors or don’t we? Alas, by this time the die was cast and the centre duly closed. Its disappearance is a considerable loss to the city.

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Road closure problems

John Ferguson, Leeds 8

Recent comment on the Triathlon included a complaint on the disruption caused by road closures.

Having worked as a Leeds Ambassador, assisting the public at a number of city centre events, the most requested information is where to catch buses diverted by the road closures.

If a few days before the event Metro were to put a small notice on the affected bus stops directing people to the nearest point where they could catch the diverted bus it would significantly reduce the frustration of those forced to travel during an event.

Where is money coming from?

G Barker, Tingley

While F Ward (‘Corbyn: threat to national security’, YEP Letters January 26) may well have a point, I would like to shine a light on the guy who is actually in charge of our nation’s security, David Cameron.

We are told we are on our highest alert ever, so what has he done about it?

He has scrapped Nimrod our early warning of enemy vessels and won’t have a replacement until after 2020, we have aircraft carriers with no aircraft on them, battleships that constantly break down, he has cut the army, navy and air force to the bone, he has cut our police so much they cannot cope with crime, let alone a terror attack.

He has cut the fire and ambulance service so how can they fight this threat?

We are told there is no money, so where did he get the £20billion he gave to the Greeks and the £40billion he has promised to the IMF?

While the rest of us pull our belts in, he continues to spend on London.

Billions for a new underground rail, nearly £2billion for a Thames underpass, billions for a deep water dock in the capital and nearly £30billion for HS2 to get business people to and from London 30 minutes faster.

If there was no money this would be put on hold.

Nominate a heart hero

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive British Heart Foundation

I would like to invite your readers to nominate someone for a British Heart Foundation Heart Hero award.

The awards recognise the incredible efforts people make to fight heart disease.

Ask yourself who has impressed you with their drive and determination to make a difference.

They might be someone who’s campaigning for better health services, a brilliant fundraiser or a heart patient who’s inspiring others by overcoming daily challenges.

Heart disease continues to devastate the lives of millions of people.

But in every community there are individuals striving to change that, and the heart hero awards exist to celebrate their work.

If someone you know deserves an award, please nominate them online at bhf.org.uk/heartheroes.

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9