YEP Letters: January 29

Check out today’s YEP letters

Act now to find NHS funding solution

Dr Rajeev Gupta, Chairman, BMA Yorkshire Regional Council

The results of a recent survey carried out by the BMA reveal the extent to which rota gaps and the delivery of care in the NHS is the getting worse.

With doctors in Yorkshire already overstretched and having to deal with the increasing pressures of the busy winter months, this is further evidence of the pressure that services are under with almost 70 percent of doctors believing that the delivery of urgent and emergency care has worsened. Across the country, more than seven in ten hospital doctors reported rota gaps at their hospitals and almost half of GPs reported vacancies in their practices – the majority of these having at least one vacancy remaining unfilled for over six months. As well as highlighting the urgent need for improvement in the delivery of services, these figures should prompt politicians to act now and come up with a long-term funding solution so the NHS can be prepared for future challenges and doctors have the support and resources to deliver safe and high-quality care to patients. We urge something to be done soon.

Waste charges will only mean more fly-tipping

Geoffrey North, Leeds.

I WAS appalled to read that Leeds City Council is shortly planning to impose charges ranging from £1.50 to £80 for the disposal of certain types of waste at council recycling centres, in addition to the current £20 charge made for bulk waste household collection.

This will have a dramatic effect on the increase in fly-tipping. What can this Labour-controlled council be thinking? It is certain that they have no common sense. I recognise that finances are tight and the council has to make difficult decisions, but this is absolutely incredible. Whatever extra money they expect to raise will be dramatically offset by the cost of administration for such a scheme with all the security cameras, extra staff, the costs of clearing up fly-tipped waste and the cost of prosecuting the very small minority of fly-tippers that they do catch.

I understand Nottingham Council has, in the recent past, introduced a free fast response home collection service for large bulk waste and this has reduced fly-tipping by nearly 50 per cent, and saved a considerable amount of money when all these costs are looked in to. If it is right for Nottingham, why not Leeds?

Council is wasting money

Dave Hubball, Garforth

DOES anybody have a contact number for the Department for Wasting Money at Leeds City Council? We have had the tram/trolleybus schemes that have gone nowhere, Kirkgate Market regeneration that’s turned it into a ghost town, cycle routes that hardly anybody uses.

Now Leeds City Council is to start charging for residents to tip rubble, soil, hardcore etc at the waste sites. How much will it cost to clear up all the flytipping?

More cards lost in post?

Elisabeth Baker, Leeds.

DELIVERED to my house on January 18 was a Christmas card from a friend in Winchester, Hampshire.

It bears its original postmark of December 15 and another reading “North and West Yorkshire 16.01.18”. Where has it been for over a month?

To add insult to injury, the first postmark also bears the legend “Last Posting Dates 1st Class: 21 December / 2nd Class: 20 December”. Another card was posted to me from Harrogate on December 12 and was delivered after Christmas.

Are other people from whom I usually receive Christmas cards, and from whom I have not heard this year, dead? Have they sent cards which have not been delivered? How many of the cards which I posted have not arrived? The previous year, on December 19, I posted, first class to central London, a card for a birthday on December 27. It has never arrived.

My brother posted his card to the same recipient on December 23. It was delivered on the 24th.

Apart from not knowing whether or not contacts have actually sent cards which have not arrived, a great deal of money is wasted on both cards and stamps when they are not delivered.

It is no wonder that people are abandoning Royal Mail and resorting to e-cards.

Impossible to report scams

ME Wright, Harrogate.

I RECENTLY received a call, purporting to be from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). He claimed to be “upgrading my information”. I was intrigued.

“Do you still pay your phone bills by direct debit?” he asked.

“Yes, goodbye”. I rang off. There followed about 12 calls in rapid succession, all of which I left to the answerphone.

Eventually, 1471 produced a valid Sheffield number. I didn’t ring it, but emailed all details to the TPS, “not us – Trading Standards”. I emailed them.

“Dial 0345...”. I did, and a recording told me I’d have to wait a while. I emailed North Yorkshire County Council, who also suggested that I dial 0345. I gave up!

We are told to “contact the organisation directly”. If we could I’d be happy to do so; but not to pay for the questionable pleasure of pushing buttons and listening to disembodied voices.

If anyone is serious about killing off these scams, could we please have a readily accessible means of contact?

An 0800 number, or an email contact; not designed by someone who cannot accept that many thousands of us do not spend every waking moment glued to, or faffing with, a screen.

Unity out of squabbles

Vernon Wood, Garforth.

EVER since devolution was proposed, voted down and then miraculously reborn, it seems the concept has been enveloped in a dense fog of obfuscation, contradiction, indecision and a disgraceful display of barefaced local authority and political manipulation and disagreement.

Conflicts of organisation from county-wide cohesion to city region disputations, with mayoral or management team leadership remain unresolved, presenting to the country and government a squabbling, self-centred region.

At last, and despite central Government opposition, it seems that a degree of agreement may be on the cards, although success will only be achieved by a concerted, aggressive drive by our representatives.

Time taken to cross the road

A Hague, Leeds 9

AS a cyclist for 72 years my main problem now is when walking.

It can take five minutes to cross a minor road in the Harehills area, as traffic must have doubled in the last five years, with up to 15 cars from the lights, then there’s the street cars. In waiting you are caught up in it. It seems people can still afford a car even though everything else must suffer. It’s understandable as we don’t have a reliable bus service.

Time to back our police

Kamran Hussain, Yorkshire and Humber Liberal Democrats Regional Chair and Brexit Spokesperson

The Office of National Statistics have confirmed that incidences of violent crime and sexual offences have risen.

The figures reveal a rise in reported crimes over the past year, in particular, sexual offences, knife and gun crime. 5.3 million crimes were recorded: a rise of 14 per cent.

The number of incidences involving sexual offences has increased by 23 per cent, violent crimes have risen by 20 per cent, with knife crime increasing by 21 per cent.

Whilst crime is up, police numbers are down. It is time for the Conservatives to back our police, stand up to criminals and stop these police cuts.

Police forces are continually being asked to do more with less by Ministers, yet it is the public that are having to cope with the consequences.

The Home Secretary must take these shocking crime figures to Number 10 and demand extra money from the Treasury, so we can properly resource our police and start to reverse this appalling trend.

Advice on changes to benefits system

David Mitchell, National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship

it was alarming and distressing to read that the rate of attempted suicide has more than doubled since the introduction of the Work Capability Assessment in 2008. It has been 10 years since the assessment was introduced, phasing out incapacity benefit and replacing it with Employment Support Allowance and part of the change was the introduction of assessments every two years.

Although it is important to prove eligibility for benefits, some medical conditions do not improve, no matter how many assessments are conducted.

The continual cycle of reassessments and constant threat of losing your benefits can have catastrophic results on people’s mental health. Living with a life-limiting medical condition; trying to get through the winter and make ends meet; and feeling that getting the benefits you are rightly entitled to is a constant battle. These are the realities of living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) in 2018.

The British Polio Fellowship prides itself on being able to offer advice, support and guidance for members affected by changes in the benefits system.

PPS is a debilitating neurological condition that can occur in up to 80 per cent of those who have had polio.

The symptoms are numerous; there is no cure; and it will not improve every two years. Any polio survivors of the 120,000 out there 
can call us free, on 0800 043 1935.

We would love to offer them some TLC and practical support, with what we know can be a truly desperate and lonely situation.

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