Check out today’s YEP letters
Support for libraries is overdue
Matthew Smith, by email
Libraries are a valuable resource for all of us, valuable for our communities for education, entertainment and enlightenment.
They are also often the only place for those without the resource of a computer to access the internet. Libraries are access to knowledge, and knowledge is power. The library books I have read have entertained me, moved me and changed my life. Libraries are unarguably a bastion of civilisation. Since the start of austerity there have been hundreds of libraries and thousands of library staff lost across the UK. It doesn’t have to be like this. There is a petition calling on the government to protect library services by ringfencing government funding for libraries. The petition can be found at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/228742. Support for libraries is like the library books I forgot to return on time; overdue.
Securing a better deal for policing
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
I write further to the letter in the YEP January 7 from Philip Crowther in Bingley.
It is entirely defeatist to start with the premise that I am ‘knocking on a locked door’ when it comes to Government funding around policing.
I make no apologies for doing so in securing a better deal for policing, something well publicised in recent years.
Now, more than ever, we should be fighting for additional investment in West Yorkshire, having seen sustained cuts to the tune of £140m plus since 2010, equating to roughly 2,000 jobs.
With potentially millions more of unexpected police pension costs coming our way, I cannot see how anyone would reasonably expect a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) not to address this as a matter of urgency.
Similarly, there remains no real answer from Government about the Police Funding Formula, which leaves us millions short each year, with no parity against many other Force areas on how the bulk of police funding is distributed throughout England and Wales.
Not with-standing the continued pressure I continue to apply around these very issues, there are numerous achievements that I have delivered though my office, which are continuing to make a very real difference to people’s lives.
My Safer Communities Fund, for instance, offers proceeds of crime money to not for profit organisations, which deliver against my Police and Crime Plan. This has seen more than £2m shared across 559 community safety projects in West Yorkshire since 2014.
Likewise, I have brought significant investment to West Yorkshire Police that promotes innovation, such as body-worn cameras, hand-held mobile devices and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.
I lead nationally in the drive to tackle Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery for PCCs and have delivered additional funding to tackle important issues, including Child Sexual Exploitations and Cyber Crime, for example.
Over the past year alone, I have launched a new Victim’s Support Service, commissioned a restorative justice service for the entire region and brought over a million pounds to the region from the Youth Intervention Fund, helping to divert young people away from serious violence. These are certainly not soundbites and my performance can be evidenced every step of the way with tangible outcomes for our communities, West Yorkshire Police and our partners.
Finally, I do object to being mentioned in the same breath as Chris Grayling, who has quite rightly been questioned at every turn in failures of transport policy in the North and abject Government responses to real and sustainable devolution to this region.
We voted leave, no ifs or buts
M Meeson, Leeds
In reply to James Bovington (YEP Letters January 12)
I am sure Mr Bovington would find it “frightfully” good news that Germany is close to recession, and that Italy is most certainly there already, and France is struggling.
And that the country that voted to leave the EU is the one that most illegal migrants will travel through the EU to live in, the UK with its free health service, housing and cash in hand handouts.
Why does Mr Bovington insist on a second or maybe a third referendum until he realises that the UK voted to leave, no ifs or buts.
The problem lies with the EU’s refusal to give a legal time limit to the Irish backstop.
D Angood, by email
J Bovington’s (YEP Letters January 12) idealistic notions that countries from the near defunct EU (will be when we leave) will forbid travel to their country simply because six unelected members of the commission say so are unbelievable.
Does he really believe that the EU as a whole will survive the rules and regulations from those six and will agree to forego any form of veto?
His view of the EU through his rose coloured spectacles fails to see the ominous realisation of what those six are planning.
Within two years no member state will be allowed to vote against anything the six decree. Democracy or despotism?
Many EU states are awaiting the result of our departure anticipating following the same journey. Mr Bovington is just another scaremonger trying to erect barriers and fears in an attempt to procure a stay of execution. As are all the questions regarding a No Deal scenario which is what should have happened in the first place.
The EU are more fearful of us leaving than we are and join the remainers in manufacturing facts and figures to conceal and suppress their fears.
J Hemsworth, Selby
There is some debate , mostly orchestrated by those who do not accept the democratic vote to leave the European Union (not the continent of Europe of course ) , that there needs to be a second referendum.
Of course there should be a second referendum.
Having decided to Leave the European Union, not being cowed by, and defying the ongoing plethora of lies generated by the Remain camp’s Project Fear, the questions to be asked of , and answered by the electorate, are
1. Should we accept the May deal, or
2. Should we leave without a deal.
Our heavily Remain parliament and Speaker Berkoff will have to get on with it or resign their positions in favour of people who will.
Let private hire taxis use city’s bus lanes
Mohammed Sajaad, by email
Maybe I could shed some light on the transport infrastructure in Leeds.
First and foremost let’s see what we have got for Leeds. Trains, hackney carriage taxis (537), private hire taxis (4448), buses and general traffic. No trams or trolley buses.
Buses have to follow a set route and don’t provide a door to door service.
Hackney carriages work from inner city Leeds and take their customers out bound and private hire mostly work from suburban and rural areas of Leeds and bring their customers inbound. I have to be blunt, the problem is Leeds City Council and its over-reliance on buses to be the saviour and solution to all its transport woes.
Leeds City Council has had over a decade to fix this issue and I can say hand on heart that they need to take a simpler approach.
Allow private hire taxis licensed by Leeds to use bus lanes and let the public make the choice about what they want to use.
I surely don’t want to hear that old chestnut about there are too many (private hire) taxis.
London has 21000 hackney carriages and 80000 private hire. That’s what you call too much.
Makes sense not to allow them and because they (hackney carriages) do the knowledge. I can do the knowledge of Leeds but I don’t want to be a hackney carriage driver. Leeds is a great city but you have got to work with what you have to improve traffic flow especially now that it is a legal obligation for Leeds to improve air quality in the shortest possible time.
It is Leeds City Council and it not changing from the norm and doing something radical that can change the transport infrastructure of this city. Let private hire taxis use bus lanes. What have you got to lose?
We should just leave
David Gibbs, Leeds 7
Perhaps I have missed something. If the Prime Minister’s deal is not accepted why should we now be being told that there could be no Brexit?
The deal may not be accepted but the referendum was so we should just leave and save the £39 billiion.
If not what was the point of having the referendum in the first place if we are just going to have another one because the people who lost the first vote want to have another go because we cannot agree among ourselves?
Would we not just be in the same boat two years down the line because the leavers will never accept anything but leaving and the remainers anything but remaining?
In my innocence I thought this was what the referendum was all about.
If we don’t leave I will never vote again for anything. What is the point?
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