YEP Letters: February 6

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Privileged to attend ‘brilliant’ show

Coun Noel Bullock, Elmfield Ward, Morley Town Council

I had the privilege of attending Morley Amateur Operatic Society’s presentation of Sleeping Beauty last week.

By all accounts it was well-attended from Thursday right on through to Sunday, with positive feedback, and everybody connected with the production deserves a massive 
pat on the back for putting on a brilliant display.

Please build us a new school we can walk to

Lucy Clement, by email

Leeds City Council are planning to spend millions of pounds of public money in the wrong place yet again in their on going effort to avoid building a new and desperately needed primary school in Roundhay.

In 2011, the council’s own Justification Statement for building the primary campus for the misleadingly named Roundhay Through-School, states that it was intended to provide places actually IN Roundhay.

However, as predicted by two local head teachers at the time who objected to the proposals on the basis it that it was in the wrong location (and would only damage the catchments of their schools), it had failed in its intended purpose within a year of opening.

It now has a catchment cut-off of 739 metres and provides places to only a small area of Seacroft and Oakwood. And in fact any sensible person would have been able to predict this outcome by understanding how school places are allocated in Leeds, and how parents will try and influence the educational futures of their children.

Of course a school built on the other side of one Europe’s largest parks was never going to serve the Roundhay community.

The council did it again in 2016 with the case of the Gledhow Primary School expansion scheme.

Millions of pounds have again been spent with the justification to alleviate the pressure for school places in Roundhay, yet within a year it is already not serving the area of exceptional need, the ‘blackhole’, where still around 60 children each year are unable to access a place at their nearest school Talbot Primary, or other local schools.

If I were a current or prospective parent at Moor Allerton Hall Primary School, I would be extremely worried right now.

If proposals do go ahead to merge it with Allerton Grange and expand it to a three-form entry primary campus, it is actually in the council’s interests for it to remain undersubscribed and less popular with local families in order for it to carry out its function as a mop for the ‘blackhole’. Because if it becomes an attractive magnet it will all go wrong again; unless Talbot Primary starts to fail, and then children in the ‘blackhole’ will finally get to go there; at least until it improves.

So I would really like to know how Coun Judith Blake and her colleagues on the Executive Board plan to justify this proposal on the 7th February (and I mean morally justify, not just on paper). It has received vehement opposition from the Roundhay and Moortown communities, and what parents really want to know is how can the council continue to think it is okay to leave such a huge number of children without a priority school that they can reliably access each year?

Please build us a new school we can walk to. The “very special circumstances” to justify using the Roundhay Golf Course Practice Ground have been here for a long time.

Country’s future turned into squabble

Mike Harwood, by email

For goodness sake, the future wellbeing of our country and its peoples is being turned into a playground squabble between two childish gangs; the two Tory gangs.

Please consider the following: first, the referendum had absolutely nothing to say on the preferred possible terms of any withdrawal from the European Union (and was not a vote for withdrawal from Europe); that is there is right now no specific, decided policy, backed by either election manifesto or, far less, referendum.

Second, in any such situation it is the duty of a responsible government, owed to its electorate, to form a united and coherent policy and with a united front to pursue that policy and defend it before the electorate.

On this, this present government, travelling as May’s Government (but already a patchwork of disparate parties) is neither united nor coherent.

If it is at least responsible it should now resign; and give chance for the expression of an articulate and decisive view by the electorate as to what we should be doing about Europe.

City run for Diabetes UK

Stephen Ryan, Head of the North, Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK are urging people to go the extra mile on Sunday May 20 by taking part in this year’s Simply Health Great Manchester Run for the charity.

The race sees thousands of runners take on both the 10k and half marathon challenges making the event suitable for all athletic abilities.

Runners will take in views of some of the city’s most significant landmarks including Old Trafford Football Ground, the Imperial War Museum and Beetham Tower. Diabetes is a serious condition that, if not properly managed, can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and amputation.

Every day, around 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes so every mile you run and every pound you raise for Diabetes UK will help us realise a world where diabetes can do no harm. All runners who join the Diabetes UK team receive a branded vest, crazy hair, a fundraising toolkit, online support and training tips. They will also be cheered on by Diabetes UK supporters along the route giving them an extra boost towards the finish line.

To sign up just visit: www.diabetes.org.uk/great-manchester-run

Research into clothing strike

Jessica Heath, by email

I am a final year student at the University of Leeds, conducting research into the 1970 Leeds Clothing Strike.

It would be really useful for my work if I could interview anyone who remembers the strike or who participated.

Unfortunately, with the ages of many who were involved I have struggled to find people.