YEP Letters: January 28

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Pursuit of common sense on ‘Soggy Bottom’

Cllr Barry Anderson and Cllr Caroline Anderson, Adel & Wharfedale Ward.

Ref. Dave Eyre and Carol Lee, YEP Letters page January 26. We absolutely and wholeheartedly support what Dave and Carol are saying.

As local councillors in the area we have been working with them and the other residents who have been tireless in their pursuit of common sense from the council in respect of the proposed development by Taylor Wimpey for the “Soggy Bottom” site in Cookridge.

It is wholly unacceptable for Leeds planners to even think this site is suitable. If the developers are successful they will be putting purchasers through years of misery every time it rains as they will be worried what might happen should the scenario that we are all envisaging play out.

The more ground we concrete over the more water there is to run into the nearby beck taking it downstream to Kirkstall and beyond into Leeds city centre.

Nobody should have to go through what the residents and businesses of Kirkstall and other areas have suffered over the Christmas period.

Not only is there the mess and subsequent clean up there is then the cost of house insurance in the future. Do we want to put more people through this?

When this proposal comes to Plans Panel we can only hope that those on the Plans Panel have this on their conscience and vote against any development on this site not just for now but any time in the future.

We are not against development, if it is in the right place e.g. Bodington. There are enough brown field sites in Leeds to meet the demand. The fact that developers don’t want to build on them is no reason to use unsuitable sites.

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Cuts complaints are nonsense

Martin J Phillips, Cookridge

Further to letters by A Hague and Liz Goodwill questioning Leeds City Council’s funding for ‘improvements’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, one should also remember that the council, in the recent past, gave £653,000 to support the Grand Theatre and spent over £2 million on a new training base for the Northern Ballet.

Clearly the council’s complaints about cut backs in central government funding are nonsense if they can afford to throw money at organisations for an elite minority.

Playhouse is for all community

Sue Egan, Otley

Elite? Doesn’t this mean ‘the chosen few’?

How many people know just how much the Playhouse reaches out to all members of the community? A brief sample: First floor; for young people with a learning disability; Youth Theatre, for young people 8-19; Story Den, for pre-school children and carers; Heydays, for 55+, loads of creative activities every Wednesday; Our Time, for those living with dementia and their carers; Beautiful Octopus Club nights for adults with a learning disability; Theatre of Sanctuary, a women’s singing group; Asmarina Voices, for refugees; an extensive programme of activities for all school children; dementia friendly theatre performances, the first in the UK, which are now being used as a role model by many other theatres.

How ‘elitist’ can you get? Oh, don’t forget, Playhouse puts on wonderful plays with established actors at a price very comparable to going to watch football!

A kind of glorified bus

Bill McKinnon, Leeds 3

On the 20th June 1911, Leeds became the first UK city to operate a trolleybus service.

The first vehicle was driven by the Lord Mayor and the second was driven by his deputy. The great and the good were there to show their support for the civic venture, just as they would be today. But when a man on the street was asked to describe the trolleybus he called it “a kind of glorified bus” (YEP 20.6.1911). Leeds folk have always had a knack for telling it like it is.

Leeds scrapped its trolleybuses in 1928 because they were running at a loss. In 1948, the head of the transport department ruled out bringing them back. But with Metro in charge of transport from 1974, several unsuccessful attempts were made in the 1980s to bring trolleybuses back, first to Bradford, and then to Leeds as well. In 2006, under the chairmanship of a well-known Bradford trolleybus enthusiast, Metro decided to try again. This resulted in the current scheme called New Generation Transport.

It’s said that those who don’t know their own history are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps this is why the Metro board voted for the current trolleybus scheme. Perhaps they were unaware of Leeds’ previous negative experience with trolleybuses, and their own experiences in the 1980s. This isn’t as far fetched as it sounds as I’ve learnt that Metro holds no records of its 1980s trolleybus ventures.

The trolleybus scheme is not popular in Leeds with 72 per cent of over 7,000 Yorkshire Evening Post readers stating in an online poll that it would be bad for the city. Councillors even had to be whipped by their leaders to vote in support of the scheme.

It’s a pity that the people in charge are unable to see what ordinary people see, and what the very first person asked to express a view saw, which is that a trolleybus is just a glorified bus.

Private Hire Driver Protest through Leeds City Centre...11th December 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

YEP Letters: December 13