Check out today’s YEP letters
Thirty-year wait is waste of money
Alex Gillies, Leeds 14
THIRTY years to upgrade public transport systems in the north is a waste of time and money, when people will not be abandoning their automobiles.
In the next 10 years everyone will have bought or leased a self-driven electric vehicle, that 10 minutes before you leave for your journey will emerge from the garage and park at the front door. On cold mornings the heater will engage, so no need for macs or brollies. Making yourself comfortable, you can open your laptop to read the morning paper or start work on the journey.
The children can catch up on homework, printing their work sheet before reaching the school gates. Arriving at work you will not need money for parking, when you’ve alighted from vehicle it will return to your garage until required to return for you. These vehicles will be strong and robust to withstand minor scrapes, prangs and carry passengers that probably weigh around 30 stones.
Red light zone resources should be used for rehab
Carol Lee, Cookridge
I was present at the recent meeting regarding the prostitution zone in Holbeck. There were many unanswered questions.
I think that everyone realises that these girls are not your high class escorts doing the job in order to achieve a plush lifestyle. These girls are desperately addicted to Class A drugs and some to alcohol. During recent conversations with people in authority I have been dismayed at some of their responses.
When I enquired about help for drug addiction at a drug centre I was told I was condescending and that “some of these girls like to live this life of prostitution and drugs and don’t want any help” .
Someone from a charity said “No one should tell these girls what to do - you wouldn’t like it if you were told what to do”.
My responses were : These girls have not chosen this lifestyle. They do not enjoy it. They have got into it through their own foolishness which they now regret. As for being told what to do, I am told every day what to do. That is part of living in a civilized society.
After watching Sex, Drugs and Murder on BBC3 iPlayer I noted what the girls said. Two of them liked being in prison as it gave them structure and rehab. Another said she wished someone would shake her and say “what are you doing with your life?”. These women are not in control of their lives. Drugs and pimps control them.
I suggest that instead of pumping resources into this zone, which just enables the girls to maintain their desperate cycle of selling their bodies for sex to pay for drugs day in and day out, that the money is used to create better facilities for drug rehabilitation.
It is incredibly difficult to exit this life of drugs and prostitution. Help should be there for the girls and for those who do not accept the help then maybe drug rehabilitation requisites should be issued.
Leeds should be a city moving forward and not backward. The sight of these sad creatures walking the streets of Holbeck selling their wafer thin bodies to pay for drugs is just not acceptable in 2018.
The women deserve better
Paula Brown, by email
Regarding the so called “managed area” in Holbeck, I fear this zone is a blight on our city and brings shame onto the UK. Women who are victims of sex trafficking, drug addiction and mental health problems now have a zone in which their “handlers” can force them to work without fear of prosecution.
As a city we should take a stand against modern slavery in all its forms. The money the women earn is taken from them the same day and diverted to the pimps and drug dealers, forcing the women back onto the streets in a never ending cycle of misery. The average duration of slavery endured by street prostitutes is apparently nine years of living hell. We must take action to protect the weakest and most vulnerable women in our city. An urgent programme of treatment is required for the men who abuse them. Let’s deal with the abusers: the punters, pimps and dealers using mandatory re-education programmes that they pay for.
These could be run in a similar way to courses for drunk drivers. The prostituted women deserve better and Leeds deserves better.
Cycleway’s ‘bizarre’ design
Jay Warner, by email
Ever since the Tour De Yorkshire, Leeds is being plugged as a cycle city.
However, the Leeds cycle superhighway is concurrently one of the worst cycle infrastructures and most ridiculous road infrastructures of a major European city.
My European friends who visit Leeds have mocked its bizarre, useless and simply dangerous design. After cycling four miles eastbound to its abrupt end near Seacroft, I was appalled by its extremely dangerous navigation of junctions and its elaborately unnecessary navigation of bus stops. At many bus stops it zigzags across pavements meaning pedestrians have to crick their necks twice within the space of a yard to simply continue walking along their path. In some places these awkward bus shelter navigations relinquish and merge into unmarked pedestrian pavement two yards later, making the previous section of lane totally obsolete.
There are many examples of the cycle lane disappearing especially at dangerous junctions. If it’s safe to cycle along the pavement (as these disappearing lanes suggest), cycle lanes could have simply been marked on widened pavements with paint, rather than frivolously spending money on lowered curbed tracks. Conserved money could have been spent on cycle bridges or underpasses at large junctions. One example of its ridiculousness is the inbound stretch between Halton Dial and Shaftesbury, where the curbs of the cycle lane are raised and lowered continuously for each house’s driveway along the road. Why are we obsessed with curbs?
Often the lane is too narrow to overtake cyclists which would not be an issue if the edges of the lane were not curbed. New drainage would not have been needed had the lanes not been lowered and curbed.
Why give cash to France?
Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16
the National Health Service is in crisis with patients dying on the floors of hospital corridors and what does Theresa May do?
She gives £44.5 million to France to cope with its border controls.
Why? France is not a Third World country. The French haven’t given us any money so we can rebuild Hadrian’s Wall! Not content with that, Theresa May then gives the French another £50 million to be spent on former French colonies such as Chad and Niger.
And people still cannot understand why the majority of Brits voted to leave the EU.
Scotland has a better democracy
N Bywater, Morley
In the local elections coming up in May, all our present contingent of councillors will all be up for election.
As a local authority worker for Leeds City Council, myself and all my 14,632 colleagues are disqualified from standing for election. Disqualifying almost 15,000 people from standing for election seems quite bizarre to me, not many people are interested in politics, the bigger the pool to choose from, the better. The turnout in my electoral ward in 2016, Morley South was 30.8%, a sad reflection on how people feel about politics.
In the English local elections of 2016, in some areas fewer than one in five eligible voters went to their local polling station to cast a vote, raising fears of a broken system. The turnout in the 2012 Scottish local elections was 39.6%, and in 2017 local elections turnout was 46.9%
Some people might already be aware of the differences between England and Scotland. Scotland has no tuition fees, no prescription charges, its own Parliament and the Scottish Parliament also has Proportional Representation.
The Electoral Commission carried out a report for the government in 2015, the report recommended that England should adopt the same qualifying rules for elections as Scotland, and local authority workers should be allowed to stand, but they would have to resign their job with the local authority if elected. The report has not been acted upon yet.
The Conservative gave the DUP £1 billion so that they can get bills through Parliament, but very little few bills are being processed. I believe that Scotland has a better democracy, England needs to catch up.
Keep your children safe
Steve Oversby, Director, Barnardo’s East Region
A recent YouGov study for Barnardo’s found that barely half of adults who were going to buy internet connected presents for children would check who the youngsters are communicating with online.
While more than 80 per cent of those who had planned to buy an internet connected gift for a child said they were aware that strangers could contact and connect with the child through them, just 55 per cent said they would monitor who the youngsters were talking to. And only six in ten adults who bought these gifts for children said they would activate the maximum privacy settings designed to help keep children safe when they are online.
The results make clear a gulf between the public’s appreciation of the potential risks posed to children by the internet and the action they should take to reduce them.
Barnardo’s has long been calling to make the internet safer and for parents to be more aware of mobile technology children are using and who they’re talking to online. Our concern is that the digital revolution is enabling the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people via the internet and mobile devices. We are not saying ‘don’t allow your children to enjoy these toys or devices’, but we are urging parents and relatives to ensure their children are as safe as possible by ensuring privacy settings are at maximum and that they monitor who their child is communicating with.