YEP Letters February 8

St Gemma's Hospice Leeds,.
St Gemma's Hospice Leeds,.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Thank you for supporting St Gemma’s

Tara Bean, Individual Giving Manager, St Gemma’s Hospice, Moortown.

On behalf of all the patients, staff and volunteers at St Gemma’s Hospice, I would like to offer our most sincere thanks to readers for their wonderful support of our work via the Half and Half Appeal.

This year’s most generous donation of £7,737 will help us to continue providing care to people with life threatening illnesses living in Leeds. We are very grateful to YEP readers and everyone who has generously donated to the Half and Half Appeal during 2018.

In 2017/18, St Gemma’s received 1,313 patient referrals. This was a 14 per cent increase on the year before and we are pleased to be reaching more people across the community who need our care and support. We had 538 admissions onto our In-Patient Unit and made 5,682 visits to patients in their own homes. Ninety seven per cent of in-patients told us that the hospice made a positive difference to their life. Thank you for helping us to achieve this.

Clean Air Zone: businesses need support

Coun Andrew Carter, Leader of the Conservative Group, Leeds City Council

It was good to see the recent letter to these pages from Coun James Lewis on the forthcoming Clean Air Zone (CAZ) (‘Work together to tackle air pollution’, YEP Letters, January 29).

The central theme around working together was good to hear and makes a refreshing change from a council administration that tends to look to blame the Government for all that is wrong in Leeds.

Whilst the CAZ will bring challenges, it is clear that the city must become legally compliant on air quality to address the impacts it can have on the health of Leeds residents.

Leeds will be the largest charging zone outside of London and it is vital that the businesses that could be impacted by the new charges are given support and advice in order to access the funding packages that will be available to them in the coming months.

We do have some concerns around the possible impact on smaller HGV operators. There has been a suggestion that the retrofitting of some HGVs may not, currently, be technically feasible and with the market for compliant Euro VI engines becoming more prohibitive and the resale value of non-compliant units plummeting, there could be a particular challenge for those businesses with a small fleet who could be significantly impacted by the daily £50 charge for their vehicles.

As a result I call on the council administration to place additional focus on these businesses to ensure that they are given the support they need to either retrofit when possible or reinvest in their fleet. Without targeted support it is possible that the city’s roads could see an increase in vans as businesses switch their mode of delivery to non-charged vehicles. This could mean that the CAZ is less effective as more congestion hits the roads.

The Government have allocated £29m for the scheme plus over £2.5m in early measures funding, so over £30m in funding to get the CAZ off the ground. This equates to over a tenth of the funding allocated nationally and is a significant sum that should be welcomed by the administration not criticised. The council is not without responsibility on this issue. They manage the local highways network and therefore have a key role to play in managing and alleviating congestion which is a major contributor to air pollution. It is important to work together to tackle poor air quality and part of that approach has to be better management of the city’s roads.

RAF family still needs support

Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, Chief Executive, RAF Benevolent Fund

Last month’s vandalism at the Bomber Command Memorial highlighted the very worst and the very best of our communities.

I cannot thank readers enough for their incredible support in the wake of this shocking paint attack.

To date we have received more than £25,000 in donations to help the RAF Benevolent Fund meet the repair bill. Repair works have now been completed on the Memorial and it is now returned to its former glory.

As well as the donations received, the RAF Benevolent Fund had thousands of messages of support from around the world. It was heart-warming to see how well the Memorial, the veterans and the 55,573 men it stands to represent are thought of.

We must never forget their sacrifices and the RAF Benevolent Fund is proud to be the guardian of this tribute to their legacy, for generations to come.

As the Fund enters its 100th year of support for the RAF Family, we must not forget those veterans who are still with us. Our aim this year is to ask for the public’s help in reaching more of these veterans and their families, while we still can.

Our support could help pay for the care costs of an RAF widow, or provide for mobility aids to keep an elderly veteran at home, or simply allow a veteran to enjoy his retirement in dignity and comfort, through a regular financial grant. Put simply, the RAF Benevolent Fund looks after the RAF Family. If you know someone in need of support, contact our free support line 0800 169 2942 or email mail@rafbf.org.uk

Helpful way to cut crime

Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds.

POLICE use of facial recognition technology should be introduced nationally as soon as possible if it is considered to be successful.

There are too many do-gooders in society who bleat about anything.

If technology is available to enhance law and order, then it is a no-brainer and should be utilised.

Law and order is in decline so any system which reduces criminality must be welcomed. As a retired police officer, I have to say the UK will never be in a situation whereby it becomes a police state.

Those who fear such an introduction should keep looking over their shoulder.

A job for rugby coach Jones?

Anthony Hopkins, Guiseley.

I WOULD respectfully suggest Theresa May urgently sends for England rugby coach Eddie Jones to join her team in the renegotiations.

He did a fair job last Saturday engineering the demolition of the Irish backstop.

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