I read with interest the article regarding the proposed drop-in centre for prostitutes in Holbeck (YEP, January 10).
My family lived in Holbeck for 20 years when my husband was Sub Postmaster of the Post Office in Holbeck Lane. We left the area when the building was demolished in 2003.
I note from your article Jackie Hird’s comments that the residents are 10 years too late to prevent Holbeck becoming a red light district.
I wonder if she is aware of how hard some of us residents tried to prevent the deterioration of Holbeck much more than 10 years ago. Mr Peacock will remember the meeting we had with our MP and local councillors when we tried to prevent the building of the bail hostel in Holbeck Lane. Their comments were then that the building was in an industrial area, not near any houses. They seemed unaware where my family lived or our neighbours who ran the sandwich shop. Two families with four small children.
Prostitutes were a regular part of our family life. They sold their wares under my bedroom window when the Post Office was closed. They stood like statues at every lamp post from the Post Office to the Nelson pub most evenings.
The landlord of the pub had to lock the back door of the pub to prevent them using the ladies toilets after business. On one occasion when I objected to one girl approaching OAPs collecting their pensions on a Thursday afternoon she came into the Post Office and spat at me over the counter.
Over the years my sons saw things I would have preferred they had not and as they grew older other problems arose. Yes, you’ve guessed, when arriving home one evening my elder son was approached.
Calls to Holbeck police usually resulted in the girls being moved on but they were soon back.
It often seemed to us that the authorities were happy to contain the situation by allowing the trade to carry on in a deprived area.
This latest plan seems to illustrate my assumption. The caretaker’s house, whilst deemed to be in an industrial area, is set back from the main road but in full view to passing traffic and pedestrians. I ask the same question as I did all those years ago when the bail hostel was built. Would the local councillors in the more affluent parts of the city agree to the drop-in centre being opened in their area? I think not.
Margaret McFarlane, by email
Underground needed in Leeds
I HAVE learnt of the almost £5m already spent on the trolleybus – much on consultants and this is on top of all the money previously spent on the Supertram.
I am appalled and maybe, with all that money at stake, it is the reason the Labour councillors were whipped into voting for it.
It puts the so-called consultations into sharp focus – if they have spent so much it seems they are likely to be determined to force this appalling and misjudged scheme on the public who don’t want, need or support the scheme on so many levels.
A city of the size and importance of Leeds deserves an underground. We should stop scrabbling round picking up the dregs that everyone else is discarding and demand the same type of transport system that London has and continues to expand.
Judith Klaus, by email
Money wasted on consultants
CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN to the YEP on its excellent coverage of the major local issue, NGT.
I’m shocked, though not surprised, that our council has blown nearly £4m on consultancy fees, before anyone picks up a shovel.
Whether I agree with particular decisions or not, my experience is that LCC has, on its permanent staff, excellent officers to support and advise our elected representatives.
Why this colossal expenditure on consultants, who in my own professional experience charge a lot to tell you what your own people already know? Yet more of the citizens’ money down the drain.
Does the Freedom of Information application allow us to know who the money went to? That might be interesting.
A E Green, Grosvenor Mount, Leeds
Barriers won’t be broken down
WITH REFERENCE to your article about burying the 7/7 legacy in Beeston (YEP, January 8), I don’t think the centre will help to break down barriers.
In Chapeltown we have the same problem. A planning application has been submitted to build a mosque where the former Phoenix nightclub used to be. A listed building which has now been destroyed.
Residents and locals are against this as there is another mosque less than 100 metres away. The Muslims say that they want to integrate with the community etc.
Since there has been numerous objections they have now turned the land there into a dumping ground. The police, fire department and Environmental Health have now got involved (wasting our council resources).
And this is what they call integration and breaking down barriers. They are just being selfish and annoying the community.
Resident of Chapeltown, by email
Awful rhymes in adverts
COULD SOMEONE in the know please tell me who writes those appalling rhyming couplets that are currently featured in a number of adverts?
There’s a heating one that refers to “having a kick about with trout”, rhymes “trousers” with “raining schnausers” and so forth. There’s another one that refers to “dozing in the Dales” and “winter sales”. If I know who they are, I can buy a gun and shoot them, you see. Like a an angry buzzing bee.
Either that or I could share their drugs and mess around lying on rugs.
T Maunder, by email
Re-open rail line to Wetherby
I SYMPATHISE with your correspondent Mrs Gannon from Barwick-in-Elmet (YEP, January 7) as she bemoans the lack of rail transport from her village into Leeds.
The logical development in this area would be to reopen the rail line to Wetherby and have a park and ride station north of Scholes which could serve Barwick.
In the much longer term a tram serving Seacroft could be extended to Barwick. It is a great shame then that there are no plans to use the massive East Leeds Extension housing project as a catalyst for reopening the rail line at least as far as Thorner.
It will also be one more Leeds public transport tragedy if the expansion of the White Rose centre goes ahead without incorporating a rail halt on a soon to be electrified line. While it is true that there might be enhanced bus services these do not encourage people from their cars in the same way that rail does.
James Bovington, Horsforth
Three saps will contest election
THE THREE major parties will all go into the 2015 General Election led by the same sad saps who currently front them. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, three second rate men with a first class education.
Cameron will be hoping that the economy recovers enough to bounce him back into Number 10, Miliband will be praying that UKIP take enough votes from the Tories to make him PM by default and Clegg will be hoping there’s a nice cushy seat for him on the Brussels gravy train after the Lib Dems have been put out of their misery.
Cameron, Clegg and Miliband empty vessels ready to spout anything that will give them power. This is our national tragedy. How can we believe in men who believe in nothing?
Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet