Check out today’s YEP letters
Keep Arts Network at Carriageworks
Jonathan Chapman, Tingley
I AM not happy that the Community Arts Network are getting evicted from the Carriageworks Theatre on Millennium Square which has been their home since 2005.
I have seen many shows there including children’s theatre productions of Pinocchio and the Magic Scarf plus in more recent years I have seen Lidos pantomimes as well. Once I was on work experience and I was working with Leeds Children’s Theatre and seeing all the adults and the children do plays and improving at their Saturday morning workshop. I would like to know what the children going to do on Saturday mornings now?
So just think about what you are doing Leeds City Council because community stays in Leeds at the Carriageworks, that’s where it was born.
So if you care about Community Arts Network then you can help them, visit their website www.leedscan.org.uk.
Staff no choice but to take industrial action
Iain Dalton, Leeds 8
In your report (‘University is ‘hopeful’ that strikes can be avoided following pensions vote’, YEP, January 23) you quote Leeds University’s desire for “a pension scheme that is valued, sustainable, stable and fair”.
But the proposed changes, from a defined benefit to a defined contribution scheme, will mean that staff face a loss of over £200,000 in retirement – how is that fair?
Questions have been raised around the USS pension scheme’s alleged deficit of £17.5bn, as reported by Universities UK. Yet a report commissioned by UCU showed it to have a £8bn surplus.
Why this £25bn discrepancy? In my understanding, the Universities UK figure is based on if the value in the scheme, ignoring all contributions after that date, could pay for all future benefits payable. This is a ludicrous scenario that would only exist if every pre-’92 university in the country went simultaneously bankrupt!
No worker wants to take strike action, with the ensuing loss of pay for that day. But when faced with major attacks like this on the pension you believed you were building up for retirement, then university staff have been left with no choice, hence the strong ballot result for industrial action.
Introduce a fee for using hospital A&E
Mr M Bennett, Leeds.
I fairly recently had the misfortune to spend 17 days in hospital in Paphos, Cyprus.
On entry to A&E I had to pay a fee of €10 (non-refundable); this applies to locals and tourists alike. This I thought was a brilliant idea and well worth the money, as all manner of tests were carried out, some unrelated to my complaint.
In view of the recent headlines about the National Health Service being in financial meltdown, surely it is not beyond the powers that be to adopt a similar scheme here, say £10.
You do not have to be a member of MENSA to figure out the vast amount this would put into the coffers of a failing and almost bankrupt system.
This I feel would eliminate the time-wasters. Subsequently it would cut the queues and waiting times drastically, thereby freeing up the time of overworked staff.
I have spoken to several people from all walks of life whom, with the exception of one person (a hospital worker), agreed with me.
The average person does not visit A&E often so the fee would be of a minimal loss. This would also affect the low-paid, therefore it could be means-tested.
The more I deliberate, the more incensed I become at the ineptitude of our top Ministers to tackle the problem.
Back devolution campaign
R Spreadbury, Liversedge.
Here is an idea so our local MPs can make amends for scuppering Brexit, ignoring the electorate in general and their Northern voters in particular. Support a cross-party campaign for devolution for Yorkshire.
This might give us a bit more say in our social and economic destiny than at present, not a hard task.
Here are some stats for our local MPs to contemplate over a lunchtime Prosecco in a trendy London wine bar: Yorkshire’s population is 5.3 million (the population of Scotland with its own devolved parliament is 5.3 million). If Yorkshire was an independent country, it would have finished 12th at the 2012 Olympics.
Yorkshire’s economic output is almost seven per cent of the UK’s total economic output. It has an economy bigger than 11 EU nations. We seem to have little in common with London and the South-East, much like Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Perhaps, for a start, we could then spend our taxes on a Northern high-speed rail link instead of on London’s Crossrail and other London-centric vanity projects; develop local jobs and industries fit for Yorkshire folk, leaving London to its “gig” economy with cheap labour; and stem the bleeding of talent and resources into the South-East.
It’s time to get behind Mrs May
KE Coates, Garforth..
I AM sick to the back teeth of Brexit remoaners making excuses just to get another referendum. People like Ken Clarke, Michael Heseltine, Lord Adonis and Nick Clegg. Even worse was Tony Blair.
I think the Labour party must be having seminars guiding its members on how to throw a spanner in the works at every opportunity to mix up the Brexit process. Because of all this playing around, we are the laughing stock of the world, and no wonder.
Every person should get behind Theresa May, who is working very hard to try and get the best deal she can for the future.
It took Blair and Gordon Brown 13 years to wreck this country, I think Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell would take three weeks to do the same damage. If this country came under attack with Corbyn in charge, he would throw his hands in the air and surrender – flower power comes to mind.
With all the country backing Theresa May, we stand the best chance of a good deal. If we don’t, we will be in big trouble, and it will be of our own making. It is time to stand up and be counted, and show some true British grit!
More customer focus needed
Nigel Pearson, Harrogate
What Leeds Bradford Airport needs is more customer focus.
We landed from Warsaw on Sunday night and were informed the rear door wouldn’t be opened as the apron was too icy and dangerous, then we had to walk from the planes steps onto icy ground before getting to the freezing ‘covered’ walkway to the main building.