J Taylor blames immigration for the crisis in our NHS (Your Views, January 9), yet my recent visit to casualty saw a multicultural workforce treat large number of patients with care and humanity.
The problem was shortage of trained staff due to the five-year pay freeze for health workers imposed by the Tories, which is why we should all support the NHS strikes on January 29.
The bed shortage is caused by the years of hospital and ward closures and the needs of many patients who can’t be looked after in the community due to seven years of cuts to Leeds City Council services.
As for schools being overcrowded, there are over 406,000 fully-trained teachers in the UK under 60 who no longer teach, largely driven out of teaching by huge workloads brought about by government as they brought in test after test and change after change to stress both staff and pupils out.
In Leeds, local politicians from the Labour party have meekly followed the Tory government mantra of surplus places and shut schools.
In South Leeds, huge working class areas have seen three large high schools shut and demolished while there is no A-level provision in the two remaining high schools.
That is why I will be attending the anti-austerity meeting on Monday, January 26 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel at 7pm to hear what the electoral alternatives are for socialists.
Steve Johnston, Beeston
My NHS dentist is an immigrant from Romania. The last time I was in the LGI, I was looked after by an immigrant nurse from the Phillipines.
Without immigrants the NHS would have collapsed a long time ago. It is quite wrong to blame them for the problems the NHS is now facing, as J Taylor does. Unfortunately, prejudices seem not to be changed by the evidence.
I want immigrant nurses and doctors to know that most sensible people in Leeds are grateful for their efforts, just as much as we are for the work of their colleagues who were born in the UK.
Alan Slomson, Headingley
Passengers being bled dry
The story about Horsforth passengers being fined because they cannot buy a ticket at Horsforth station seems to me to be yet another example of Northern Rail trying to bleed as much money as it can from its franchise before it is replaced.
In my view, they changed the off-peak fare system for the same reason.
The automated ticket machine on Horsforth station does not even have a full selection of the tickets that should be available to customers.
For example, it does not provide any tickets for passengers using an elderly or disabled persons Concessionary Pass.
If the ticket office is shut then the only way to buy such a ticket is on the train.
Fortunately most of the conductors are aware of this situation and there isn’t a problem. Sadly, there is one conductor who likes to throw his weight around and tries to force elderly and disabled passengers to pay full fare.
Fortunately, I have read Northern Rail rules and regulations which states all their staff wear name badges.
This conductor was not wearing a name badge so I refused to pay him.
Another problem on the trains is that at busy times there are so many passengers standing in the aisle that the conductor cannot get to the passengers who want to buy a ticket on the train.
Sadly, there are also some conductors who are too lazy to bother selling any tickets.
The sooner Northern Rail have their franchise removed the better for customers.
Like all privatised companies, passengers are irrelevant and their focus is to make as much money as they can for shareholders.
Martin Phillips, Cookridge
Authentic taste of Thailand
I have just read Oliver’s report on his visit to the Thai Sabai restaurant in Headingley (YEP, January 8). Has this guy lost the plot?
We have never had a bad meal, the food and service has always been first class and you pay far less than at other Thai restaurants in Leeds for higher quality food.
He also says the place needs a makeover. When was the last time this person was in Thailand?
You get the best food in the backstreet cafés, bars and food stalls. You don’t look at the wallpaper, you just enjoy great food.
I think it’s time Oliver hung up his hat.
G Cogle, Leeds
Who pays for botched ops?
I RECENTLY read that there have been 3,000 botched operations in private hospitals over a few years and the unfortunate patients have been sent to NHS hospitals for the problems to be rectified.
I would ask if the money paid for the private treatment be refunded to the NHS as compensation?
H Shedlow, Moortown
Thrift building will be missed
TRAVELLING THROUGH Kirkstall a few days ago, it saddened me to see that the old Thrift Stores (lately Allders, then BHS) is to be bulldozed, making way for yet another retail park which the area needs like this country needs another five years of David Cameron.
The Thrift Stores, with its tower clock which invariably showed the correct time, will, I am sure, be missed by many, as was the Aireborough Grammar School which could, and should, have been saved. The site is now occupied by a housing estate, the like of which can be seen anywhere from Aberdeen to Bodmin.
A Shipman, Swinnow
Spare us the self-service
JUST WHO is running the small Asda store in Meanwood? The Chuckle Brothers?
Despite umpteen letters we have read in our faithful YEP from stressed customers, the staff are still bugging people in the shop to use the self-service machines, which are loathed by many, as we all know. The times when we have gritted our teeth and “given in”.
Those horrendous contraptions have always been problematic and take twice as long compared to a friendly checkout operator. The staff at the store are always pleasant but they miss the point.
That point is that customers are entitled to choice and we don’t go to any supermarket to do the staff’s job for them.
The other day, the normal checkout was on – with a real human too!
So I rushed around to do my shop (only because the superior Aldi was too busy) but was then told that the checkout was closing.
When I refused to use the self-service machine I was told “Well, they are here to stay”.
I said that in that case, a large percentage of their customers would not be staying.
Rupert Caspian, Meanwood
Respect due, not ridicule
THE RECENT tragic events in Paris are, of course, completely unacceptable. However, in these irreligious times, thoughtless folk fail to understand that pious people still exist. It is high time that deep ‘religious’ devotion is respected and never ridiculed.
John Walters, Knottingley
Oh, yes it was best panto ever!
COULD YOU please pass on my compliments to Billy Pearce and the company of the pantomime Snow White at the Alhambra, Bradford.
I take a party of 30 people every year to a pantomime and this one was the best ever.
The singers were great, the dwarfs were a wonderful surprise and everyone enjoyed the show.
Mary Evans, Gipton