YEP Letters: January 26

Have your say

Check out today’s letters from your YEP.

It is our right to know about quangos and PFI

Vernon Wood, Garforth

I AM sure most readers will join me in applauding the new YEP policy of presenting public interest features under the “Right to Know” heading.

You will obviously have a programme of subjects for investigation, amongst which I hope are one or two of my own favourites. I refer to the mysterious worlds of quangos and PFI projects, both of which appear to have acquired a self-originating and self-perpetuating mechanism that defies any explanation or justification. It seems the quango is a means of delay, obfuscation and reward for a committee of pals, camp-followers and back-bench retirees.

Four years ago David Cameron promised a blitz on parliament’s beloved bureaucratic quango culture, since when I understand the breed has proliferated.

Perhaps the YEP disclosure campaign can cover a few of these dark corners which have escaped detailed investigation for far too many years.

Similarly, the PFI principle of financing public projects appears to have been insidiously insinuated across every aspect of local, regional and national funding. We oldies used tocall it “hire purchase” – to be avoided at all costs).

It would be interesting to learn precisely how much, for how long and for what purpose Leeds citizens have been committed by the city fathers.

I trust their PR people will not be able to hide the truth behind a barrier of confidentiality. We, our children and our grandchildren will be paying for these indulgences. Subjects such as unnecessary street lighting, mislocated schools, empty fire HQs, useless NHS IT systems and sub-standard motorways should provide ample material for your investigators and of course, the chorus of “lessons have been learned” from those responsible.

Get down to grass tracks...

Mandy Parker, Organiser, West Riding Track League

I READ with interest the letter from John Hartley about bringing back the cycle races at Roundhay Park arena (Your Feedback, January 17).

The West Riding Track League, which he mentioned, has never stopped organising summer racing in the arena. These grass track races, started in 1897 when the grass velodrome was built in the arena for this specific purpose, have continued uninterrupted, apart from the two world wars, right up to the present day. After suffering dwindling numbers since the 1950s and in danger of closing, the league was revitalised in 2009 and now 150 children and adults race weekly from May to August every Monday night.

The Tour de France and the Olympics have led to a huge increase in the numbers

We also had a wonderful exhibition in Leeds Libraries called Cycling Roots with photos from the 1940s to the present day.

The council’s parks department are incredibly supportive towards the league but we do suffer from waterlogging of the site and unfortunately the parks department do not have the funds to improve the drainage in this climate.

We have riders from all abilities from beginner to national champions. Many famous riders have raced in our league including Lizzie Armitstead and Josh Edmondson.

I would like to invite Mr Hartley and anyone else to come and watch the Pursuit Races and The Devil Take The Hindmost races’ which still form part of our exciting race programme.We even have light refreshments to offer on a sunny night. However, please check the website to see if we are running as we can’t race in the rain.

For more information and lots of photos, check out our new website: of join us on Facebook.

Does driver have a conscience?

Lynne Rogers, Seacroft

I WOULD like to ask the driver who crashed into the back of my 19-year-old son’s car and drove off without leaving their details to get in touch.

The accident happened between 11pm on Tuesday, January 20 and 7am the next day on Monkswood Avenue, Seacroft. My son is an apprentice and therefore on a low wage and will struggle to get his car – which he saved hard to buy – repaired.

So if the driver is reading this please have a conscience and do the right thing! I can be contacted through the YEP.

Happy days at Coldcotes...

R Howdle, Halton

Further to the letter from Mary Field (Your Feedback, January 22), I too have fond memories of the flat at Coldcotes School.

If my memory serves me right some of the senior boys used to go one day a week to do baking and I seem to recall the teacher’s name was Miss Potts. Oh, happy days.

Shock film would deter smokers

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

I CAN’T understand the reasoning of the Government in making future cigarette packets plain and nameless. They say it will deter teenagers from starting smoking.I disagree and would like to suggest what I think would be a better alternative to their idea.

Make a five-minute film showing the damage to a person’s lungs and give a copy to every school in Great Britain to be shown just once a week, say at assembly. The film should show a person having to stop every few yards in order to catch their breath, along with someone at home in a chair having to have an oxygen mask in order to breathe, as well as photos of the damaged lung of a 30-year-old that looks like a 50-year-old’s.

I think this shock video would have a bigger impact on teenagers and perhaps 
make those who still want to smoke aware of the possible illegal substances that may be put into the nameless cigarette packets. Common sense may then apply.

Tackle plight of dairy farmers

From: Ruthven Urquhart, High Hunsley, Cottingham,

“WHEN all is said and done, more is said than done”. This succinct saying just about sums up the desperate predicament facing our most efficient dairy industry, in which our farmers work so hard, and yet continue to lose their head-earned money. The Government must address this sad state of affairs.