YEP Letters: January 19

Simon Brown, from Morley, Leeds.
Simon Brown, from Morley, Leeds.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Please return glass eyes to Simon

Edna Levi, by email

I am so sorry to read (YEP January 17) of the loss the brave war veteran, Simon Brown, of Morley, has sustained by the loss of his glass eyes.

Seeing the picture of them in the paper, it may well be that whoever “found” them on the London bound train, does not realise what they are and their importance to Simon and hopefully they will be located via social media or perhaps a dealer of this type of article will learn of their importance and return them to a brave soldier.

Support for One Yorkshire devolution deal

John P Hall, Yorkshire Party.

WE welcome Michael Heseltine’s views -a politician with a wealth of experience seems to agree with an all of Yorkshire devolution deal.

The UK is leaving the EU and the Government is confident that it will secure a satisfactory deal to secure the best interests of the nation. As we enter a post-Brexit era, according to the Bank of England and many business organisations, the UK will suffer serious economic disadvantages regardless of the deal we negotiate. The North of England, Yorkshire in particular, is more dependent on trade with the EU than any other part of the UK.

The Government will be well aware that the deprived areas of the UK, including Yorkshire, are the very reason why we have Brexit in the first place. The voters from these areas decided that anything must be better than the status quo.

The last general election called by Theresa May didn’t go as the Government anticipated. The deprived areas yet again voted for change and Labour did better than expected. Theresa May’s government understandably seems totally occupied with negotiating Brexit. However, attention should also be paid to life after Brexit, including, of course, the next general election. No doubt the North of England and the Millennials will have a big say in the outcome.

Business will have to quickly adjust by looking abroad for fresh opportunities. However, business will turn to the Government to take the lead and devise a new development strategy for economic growth.

The Government will need to show initiative and have a comprehensive, radical plan to minimise the difficulties of leaving the EU, and perhaps part of the answer to this is autonomy to the regions, acting as a catalyst for post-Brexit growth.

Devolution is quite a hot topic in the UK right now and, although it is often assumed that progress is being made through the appointment of city mayors, in reality, this is a misguided approach to giving regions the real power they need. This current method of operation divides the regions and leaves the smaller towns on the margins.

EU development funds currently being invested in the most deprived areas of the UK will have to be replaced after Brexit. There is no better way of investing in these regions than appointing local assemblies run by local people.

When public opinion is tested, such as the recent Doncaster and Barnsley public polls, there is an overwhelming support for a one deal solution for Yorkshire.

City connections should be priority

D Angood, by email

The Transport for the North (TfN) organisation has published its 30 year plan and according to comments made soon after it would appear to be just another “quango” spouting more waffle.

Taxpayers’ money being paid to a group who, it seems, have no authority to access funding to even contemplate a project to improve the transport infrastructure.

TfN has no powers to source its funding except through government and the disproportionate discrepancy between transport funds for London and the North leave it lagging far behind. Everything TfN talks about doing is subject to the whim of government even though the body has gained statutory status.

TfN whilst looking at the whole region has to consider smaller scale improvements that can be implemented without the need for massive investment. City and urban connections should be a priority with extra trains and carriages and smarter ticketing arrangements, which they say are in the pipeline.

Further plans to improve urban connections should be discussed with suggestions requested from interested parties. Suggestions could include ideas such as reopening the Spen Valley line from Low Moor through Dewsbury to Wakefield which would greatly improve connectivity.

Connecting the two Bradford stations would open a new vista for West Yorkshire travellers. A system of underground/ overground funded jointly with LCC could serve the city of Leeds and surrounding areas. The possibilities for the provision of a transport infrastructure are endless but the funding is not, therefore the function of TfN should be to prioritise the schemes that will bring the most benefit as soon as possible. We do not need any more years of waffling and lame excuses from so called “experts”.

Propaganda on Brexit decision

Derrick Bond, Shadwell

Since the EU referendum resulted in an unequivocal vote to leave the EU, I have been appalled by the insidious and patronising drip, drip, drip of propaganda to reverse this decision.

It varies in style and substance, but the message is the same: ‘The poor misguided voters made a mistake in a fit of intellectual paucity.’

The thinking is that mistakes can be rectified and, with a little persuasion and a big dollop of fear, Leavers can be made to change their minds.

Who do these people think they are? It’s galling to note almost three quarters of MPs voted to remain in the EU. Are they afraid their gravy train is about to change direction?

Childish actions

Phil Moon, Ilkley

Should Donald Trump and the leader of North Korea take heed of the statement which was made by J Robert Oppenheimer (The father of the atomic bomb)? Upon witnessing the first nuclear tests, he said: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”. It might cause them to think about the consequences of their childish actions.

Small gesture can make a big difference

Emma Wren, East Keswick

It strikes me, that in all the philosophical discussions about sending aid abroad we often forget the real people whose lives are forever altered by our generosity.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Uganda with the charity WaterAid, for whom I have raised funds for many years.

I visited a remote village called Ojolai where I saw children collecting water from a dirty, disease-ridden pond. As a mother myself, my instinct was to tell them not to drink it because it would make them sick. But I also knew that as it was the only water source for miles these children really had no choice.

The next day I visited the Bobol Primary School, which thanks to WaterAid did have access to water. The difference in the children was incredible. They were healthier, happier, and better able to concentrate on their studies.

The head teacher was enthusiastic about the new opportunities available to his students now that poor health and time spent collecting water didn’t force them to miss lessons. When I sheepishly handed the children a package of pencils that I had brought from the UK. They literally jumped for joy, it was as if they had won the cup final, they were so excited and happy.

And it struck me how the little things we take for granted here in the UK - like pencils, taps and a toilet - can make an immeasurable difference to the life of a child living without them. What to me seemed like an insignificant gesture, to the head teacher of a school whose students are growing up in poverty, can be the difference between a child receiving an education, and not.

This winter the government is matching every £1 WaterAid raises during its #Untapped campaign to bring water and toilets to 250,000 people. It means that my donations will go twice as far and help twice as many, and for that I am grateful. Aid isn’t perfect, after all, what is? But when it is used sensibly, to provide vital services like water and toilets, even a seemingly small gesture can make all the difference in the world.

Band against cancer appeal

Jenny Dixon, Fundraising Engagement Manager – North and West Yorkshire

Readers may not be aware but World Cancer Day is fast approaching on February 4, which is a great time to raise funds and vital awareness in the fight for young lives against cancer.

CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, is calling on locals to ‘band together’ behind families affected by cancer by organising a bake sale, coffee morning, pink and black dress down day or by donating just £2 to get their own special Band Against Cancer wristband. Donating and getting your band is a simple way to show your support for CLIC Sargent and anyone you know who might be going through a really tough time.

By helping us to raise vital funds and awareness you will be ‘banding together’ behind children, young people and their families when their lives are turned upside down. With your help, CLIC Sargent can reach those families through our support workers and nurses who provide practical, emotional and financial support, to help minimise the damage cancer causes to young people beyond their health. In the last year CLIC Sargent supported 556 children and young people across Yorkshire following their cancer diagnosis, 234 of which were newly diagnosed. To find out more go to: www.clicsargent.org.uk/WorldCancerDay also available in JD Wetherspoon pubs and Morrisons stores.

Let us know what you think

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your views with other readers. To join the debate, email yep.newsdesk@ypn.co.uk Please keep letters under 300 words.

YEP Letters: January 20

Picture by  John Giles/PA Wire

YEP Letters: January 18