YEP Letters January 4

Picture Tony Johnson
Picture Tony Johnson
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Selfish young people hogging A&E

Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

NOT surprising to read that young people misuse A&E. Many young people are extremely selfish and only think of their own convenience and attend at a time that suits them.

Usually they are on their phones in the waiting room. Surely they are the ones who are able to look for alternative care as opposed to the elderly who, in this study, seem to be the more discerning as to what is an emergency, despite most not being smartphone-savvy.

Town centre parking charges ‘least welcome’

Coun Tom Leadley, West Ardsley

Our high streets and town centres are under pressure from internet shopping and Brexit uncertainty, though so far Morley has weathered those storms far better than most.

Against that background, one of the least welcome things would be the introduction of car parking charges, it would drive people on to home shopping websites or down to the White Rose shopping centre. Local councils have been treated badly by central government for years, there have been spending cuts year on year since 2010 despite great increases in need and demand for expensive services such as adult social care and care of the elderly. Town hall barrels have been scraped harder every year, until it isn’t easy to see where any more money could be cut or where any more could be wrung out. One proposal in Leeds City Council’s Initial Budget Proposals for 2019-20 is to introduce parking charges on city council owned car parks in three town centres, Wetherby, Garforth and Guiseley.

Some in Morley might be tempted to ignore the plight of others and carry on, but that would be complacent; once the principle is established, it will be extended. We will be next and probably a bigger cash cow than Garforth or Guiseley.

Rogue operators of private car parks, who are trying to extract “fines” for imaginary breaches of their own obscure rules, are a problem already but they will have to be taken on separately. We will be briefed in confidence by finance officers about next year’s Leeds City Council budget and be able to put forward our own ideas and amendments, but I am confident that we won’t be supporting the principle of having parking charges in local town centres, even if for the moment they might be levied in distant places which Morleians might not choose to visit.

Safeguarding our urban trees

David Rutley MP, Forestry Minister.

OFTEN when we speak about the importance of trees we think of vast rural woodlands or great forests covering swathes of countryside.

While these trees are undoubtedly an important part of our environment, our urban trees are also equally important – for lining our streets, greening our parks and providing a healthier environment in our towns and cities.  Trees are a critical component of the country’s green infrastructure network, and a precious natural asset which we must protect for future generations. In urban areas, the right trees in the right places play a pivotal role, helping to clean and cool the air, provide habitats for birds and other animals, reduce flooding, and improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing. We recognise that local communities often feel passionate about the trees in their local area. But we also know that our urban trees are under increasing pressure. 

Tree felling is an essential part of the cycle of tree-management – but it can generate local concern, especially if there isn’t information available about why a tree is being felled. Nowhere knows this more than Sheffield, where the felling of much-loved street trees caused an outcry, leading to an ongoing Forestry Commission investigation. Whilst this investigation is yet to conclude, as a Government we want to make sure that communities are not put in a position in the future where they feel they don’t have a say on what happens to the trees on their own doorstep.

In 2017, we made a manifesto commitment to introduce a duty to consult on the felling of urban street trees. This week we have announced a consultation on measures to deliver this commitment and help protect these important environmental assets. The proposals include measures to make sure communities have their say on whether street trees should be felled, with requirements for councils to consult local residents. I strongly encourage all those with an interest in preserving and protecting 
our vital street trees to come forward and respond to the consultation. When taken together, these proposals could significantly enhance the protection of our trees – a precious national asset. By taking into account the voices of people across the country, we can ensure that the laws we put in place help us deliver a greener and healthier environment not just for us, but for generations to come.

Dechox for the new year

Adrian Adams,Dechox Warrior at the British Heart Foundation

This is a call out to all chocoholics, cocoa bean lovers and confectionery enthusiasts. A suggestion, a plea, an idea that will exercise willpower and strength whilst helping those in Yorkshire and the Humber who are living with heart and circulatory diseases…dechox!

I’m asking the people of Yorkshire and the Humber to forget the ordinary new year detoxes, which attempt to banish all pleasure during the darkest months of the year, and instead just cut one beloved item from your pantry throughout the month of February – chocolate.

Each year, heart and circulatory diseases kills one in four people in the UK, 13,600 of which are from Yorkshire and the Humber. Money raised by those brave enough to take on the challenge will go towards the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases.

Last year, we saw over 18,000 chocolate lovers raise an astounding £1 million towards vital research, but with your help, we think we can raise even more in 2019. We’re all familiar with the struggle of saying no to the left over Celebrations sitting on the coffee table. But by standing up to heart and circulatory disease and saying no to chocolate this February, we’ll be one step closer to beating heartbreak forever. Sign up here: www.bhf.org.uk/dechox

Get in touch

Please send your letters to yep.newsdesk@ypn.co.uk. Please keep letters under 300 words.