YEP Letters: January 10

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Uplifting news on service area

Tony Bell, Wakefield

How uplifting so early in the new year to see the story regarding the green light been given for the Leeds Skelton Lake service area.

From the picture it appears the buildings will be built on a similar format to the Gloucester South Services on the M5 which are extremely eco friendly.

However as a cautionary notice, visitors to these premises on colder days should wear a reasonably warm coat as the eco building relies on natural heat rather than the usual heating systems in older service areas.

Could it be too much to hope the services will be run by the Westmoreland Group who also run the Tebay Services on the M6?

This would mean food would be sourced from local farms and producers.

The quality of food served in the cafeterias at both these existing service areas makes travelling long distances almost a pleasure. No doubt this service area with this quality could become a tourist attraction in its own right.

No doubt there may be planning objections from existing service area operators in the area who will have to update their offering when this competition comes on stream.

‘Cast aside by the Tory government’

Valerie Allen, East Ardsley

I read with great interest your article (YEP January 6) regarding Motability and PIP claims.

I have every sympathy with both Ms Brookes and Mr Allen as I have been treated by the DWP in exactly the same way.

I am disabled and have to use crutches as I cannot walk far. I had my PIP reassessment on October 28 2016 and three weeks later received a letter from DWP informing me I had been reasessed to the lower level of PIP.

I had polio in 1958 when I was three years old and it has got gradually got much worse since then.

However, the DWP have decreed I can walk despite polio and, therefore, do not qualify for the enhanced rate of PIP anymore despite being under the care of my GP and an orthopaedic consultant at Chapel Allerton Hospital.

I have arthritis in my left knee and pain in my right hip and back due to polio which means I cannot walk far and have difficulty carrying out day-to-day activities but this has been totally ignored by my assessor.

Furthermore,it has been well-documented that polio-sufferers do not suddenly “get better” but that the condition gets much worse with age and also causes post-polio syndrome. Again all totally ignored by my assessor.

Furthermore my husband (and my carer) of nearly 40 years died suddenly last year so I have now to cope alone.

I would like to challenge the DWP spokesman who claims in your article that “24 per cent of claimants are now receiving the highest rate of support, compared to 15 per cent under DLA”.

Figures show that thousands and thousands of genuinely disabled people have been reassessed to the lower rate of PIP and consequently have had their Motability vehicles withdrawn and the DWP simply do not care.

I am now retired and worked full-time for over 35 years and have always paid my taxes and would never claim anything I was not entitled to, but now in my time of need , I have been let down and cast aside by a Conservative Government who would rather spend billions on foreign aid without giving a second thought to genuinely disabled people who, through no fault of their own, have a disability.

Shame on you Theresa May and your not so “caring Conservative Government”.

I lodged an appeal (sent by registered post) against the very unfair decision of the DWP within the time constraints of their “Mandatory Reconsideration” process in mid-November 2016 but to date the DWP have not responded despite my MP Andrea Jenkyns being involved.

I would be very interested in the DWP’s comments to the points I have raised regarding my reassessment and their non-response to my appeal.

Working hard to boost market

Coun Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council Executive Board Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning

Joe Cooney (YEP Letters January 6) feels that £13.5 million is a lot to spend on an open space in Leeds Kirkgate Market.

I’d agree if that were the case, but of course the money has been spent on much more than this.

It is being used to install a sprinkler system to keep traders and customers safe, removing over 2600 tonnes of rubble from the 1975 fire, the painstaking cleaning of Yorkstone paving, laying 620 metres of new drains, creation of a fresh produce area, repairing the roof, dealing with unexpected eventualities such as the discovery of a medieval well and preservation of historic columns.

All of this within a grade 1 listed building, a market which stayed open throughout the refurbishment, in the centre of the city and all the challenges that go with it.

We recognise last year was a difficult one for traders.

We are now seeing more people shopping in the market, and have attracted new businesses to trade there with more to come in the next few weeks.

The market is made up of the people who trade there and who choose to shop there.

With Victoria Gate now complete, I hope that as many people as possible can pop into the market and find the bargains, the community atmosphere and the improved facilities that are available.

Mr Cooney asks if we will be working hard in 2017. The answer is yes, absolutely we will!

Not only to fill the remaining vacant units and support the great traders in the market but to help the city centre as a whole become an even better place for traders, residents and visitors alike.

Stop feeding the pigeons

Jane Taylor, Leeds 17

On January 5 and 7 I was in Central Road as it joins with Kirkgate.

My first visit last week was marred by the presence of a swarm of pigeons eating in a frenzied manner on breadcrusts helpfully left there by someone.

Walking through a host of pigeons as they take off is not a pleasant experience but the mess left by this bread seemed somewhat worse.

On my return home I reported the situation to Leeds City Council who I imagine came to clear it as this area falls into a prime area of the city. Reprising my journey today I find even more bread together with the discarded bags that facilitated their deposit and this time crows and smaller birds were having a field day.

There must be CCTV of this offender who is, at worse, a serial litterer and at best misguided.

His/her actions have created a nuisance and a health hazard because it won’t only be birds that start sniffing around.

On a health point for the birds- I understand that birds should not eat bread, being, as it is, carbohydrate which will only make them fat.

Whoever this person is will they please STOP IT NOW!

Returning NHS equipment

Geoff Hodgson, Stanningley

During 2016 my wife and I were patients in St James’ Hospital for many weeks.

On our respective discharges we were ‘given’ elbow crutches, a zimmer frame, a toilet frame, a bed support and a high seat perching stool.

All the items were new in the original cellophane wrap. I do not know the actual value but would estimate at least £250.

I brought the crutches and zimmer frame home in my son’s car when he collected me on discharge, the other items were delivered to our home by an independent contractor.

I asked at the hospital where I should return the items when we had no further use for them. We don’t want them back I was told, ring a charity shop, they will take them and make a few quid for their funds.

Help the Aged were very pleased!

Time for charity to begin at home

B Leonard, by email

Reading the news in the YEP it looks like the people of Leeds and the rest of the country will have to pay more council tax to pay for the care crisis up and down the country.

After reading the daily papers I think it is about time we took the stance that charity begins at home, seeing as we give some £12 billion away in foreign aid and to countries that are top of the money tree but still we give.

Surely it is about time some of this was put to good use in England instead of going to Tom, Dick and Harrys around the world.

Seems like we need it more than they do.