REGARDING YOUR article on the Government’s funding to Leeds City Council to help them identify the rogue “beds in sheds” landlords, it then also mentions that the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors will help yet another voluntary code of practice into existence!
This is telling me that due to the lack of social housing stock, there remains a very soft approach to the property-owning landlords. It is a sad case of the council losing the teeth of independence!
The issue of beds in sheds and other sub-standard landlord property issues should go back to a humanitarian platform through the re-energising of social housing policies rather than trying to deal with the myriad of local property kings. The Government is putting a sticking plaster over deep post-industrial decline wounds which go much further than housing!
Never before are social homes more needed to help the low paid worker pay affordable rent, keep a job and stay out of the clutches of exploitative landlords.
Kendal Wilson, Wharfebank Terrace, Tadcaster
Good news about the NHS
THANK YOU for publishing a good news story about the NHS.
The Paediatric Neuromuscular Disease Unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital is doing excellent work, as documented by your story. (YEP, January 2).
My understanding is that negative stories about the NHS are scheduled to continue for some time yet, so that makes your story all the more welcome. There are some really great people quietly getting on with their jobs within the NHS doing wonderful work.
The vast majority of work within the NHS is done well and with human care and compassion. Positive, feel good stories can be a great support to those feeling besieged by the negative stories, so please continue bringing some good news to your readers.
Martin Schweiger, Montagu Place, Leeds
Facts on Irish independence
THANKS TO Paul Kilroy we now know the truth of late actor Peter O’Toole’s birth – born in Leeds. I also believe that Mr O’Toole worked as a photographic dark room assistant for the Yorkshire Evening News, now the YEP.
However, in his comment about Irish independence in 1916, Mr Kilroy is at least one light year away from historical facts.
For 1916 was the Easter Rising, ie armed rebellion against centuries of brutal repression by the forces of the British Crown. This quashed in days, but the campaign reinstigated in 1919, which led to the infamous ‘Treaty’ of 1922 by which the six Northern Counties remained part of the UK designated ‘Northern Ireland’ – the other 26 became the self-governing ‘Irish Free State’ still part of the British Commonwealth.
The names changed yet again in 1937 to the Gaelic or Erse name of ‘Eire’ which in 1949 was declared under leader Eamon de Valera the ‘Republic of Ireland’ and left the Commonwealth for good; although of course later joined the EU.
D S Boyes, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds
Instil gospel of hard work
The Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants are coming as of right – how many we do not yet know. And still we have up to a million 18-25s jobless, which our compassion industry bleat on about a ‘lost generation’ who have been betrayed.
Yet, we see Europeans of the same age, come here, willing and able to take the jobs our young should do. The Left scream ‘why work for slave labour?’
The answer is that nobody has a right to any job on their own terms that suits them only. Teens and twenties should get real and grow up to adjust their expectations in the real world of today. Only a minority can hope for exciting careers, and the rest settle for the ordinary mundane, but vital tasks of modern life.
The educational system is largely to blame. Youngsters are told more about their human rights and not enough about responsibility, infusing the delusion that all ‘will get prizes’ on their very own terms. Who can be surprised when a certain celebrity tells the kids ‘the secret of success is to be useless at school!‘
Sadly, too many of our young people – by no means all – leave education with little sense of punctuality, courtesy or deference to superiors. Schools must insist on the gospel of hard work, and no sympathy for any excuse. The world does not owe anyone a living.
This 21st century will be one of fierce competition, with a demand for a small flexible high tech workforce. Meanwhile, the rest will join a vast important army for the ‘service industries’. Whether mundane or not, it’s our choice of who takes these jobs – school leavers or immigrants.
B Johnston, Rigton Drive, Burmantofts
Lessons for a political life
RECENTLY A local MP was featured holding a ‘mini Parliament’ in a primary school (YEP, December 20).
All very heart-warming and seasonal, to be sure.
As a dramatic educational exercise it would presumably have had the young Parliamentarians claiming free meals, taxi rides to and from school, out of class allowances, paid attendance, homework payments, second lockers and overnight accommodation in the teachers’ common room, if working late.
Also they would learn to ignore everything those selecting them want, but being expected to address their fellow pupils’ concerns with the staff, pretend they are still acting in their best interests.
Finally, they would reserve the right not to attend the sessions, if needing to help their parents with the shopping or to make fact-finding visits to other schools.
It only remains to reward them with cost of living proof pocket money and a secure job thereafter.
Paul Kilroy, Spennithorne Avenue, Leeds
Huge rise in borrowing
A MESSAGE to R Barker’s letter (YEP, January 1) about the country being left in a financial mess.
The Chancellor George Osborne has borrowed more money since 2010 than Labour did in 13 years of government. It is also a myth that Tories are good with the economy.
Hasn’t R Barker heard of Black Monday and Black Wednesday where billions of pounds were wiped off the value of shares overnight under Tory chancellors Norman Lamont and Nigel Lawson? Both were sacked for their incompetence.
Lamont supported the poll tax and increasing VAT. He was accused of putting the country into recession by too much borrowing! Lawson was dubbed ‘the one club golfer’. He was such a poor chancellor that Margaret Thatcher brought in her own economic advisor Sir Alan Walters to oversee the economy.
William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith hold prominent positions in this current government but both of them were failures when they led the Tory Party.
But my concern at this moment in time is not whether Balls is better than Osborne, though he could hardly be any worse, it is the rise in energy bills, food prices, the increased need for food banks, loan sharks, poverty, falling wages for millions of hardworking people, low paid, insecure jobs and a failing National Health Service that used to be the envy of the World.
John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge
Sea visit neglect
THE CLOWN who took his four children to the sea wall and nearly drowned them in huge waves should be prosecuted for child neglect and abuse.
John Theobald, Garforth