YEP Letters: July 1

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IN REGARD to the decision by Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff to strike during this weekend’s Grand Départ (YEP, June 28), there is never a good time for industrial action and it is a last resort for any emergency worker.

Unite members have been sounding the alarm over the ever decreasing standards of care and increasing exploitation of staff by YAS executives for over a year now.

The remedy is simple, the YAS board should re-recognise the right of Unite, GMB and the Royal College of Nursing to be equal partners round the negotiating table with Unison (who are also now threatening strike action).

This would enable Unite to suspend industrial action pending meaningful changes to the destructive Workforce Plan, which Unite correctly predicted would be the instrument of the demise of a previously properly trained and equipped ambulance service.

The top people at YAS are painting a very black picture of Unite, but it is they who are behaving like children using playground tactics.

Unite just want a fair and balanced situation for their members and this cannot happen when YAS will only negotiate with Unison.

This is still a free country and it’s every worker’s right to have fair representation.

Tracey Moore, Keighley

Frustration over school places

I find it incredibly frustrating that parents can’t send their children to their local school because there aren’t enough places (YEP, June 26).

Parents have been told that the only solution is impractical expansions of existing schools, placing pressure on resources, teachers and ultimately our children’s education.

The reality is that the council is hamstrung by national Tory education policy and its presumption of funding for new free schools and academies – which are being financed and built in areas where there is no problem with capacity.

I want this to be removed so councils can explore real alternatives rather than being dictated to by Whitehall.

Local children should get priority for places at schools in their immediate catchment.

There also needs to be a visible and accountable process which parents can truly engage with when difficult decisions regarding local schools do need to be made.

Parents in three of the four wards in the Pudsey constituency are currently battling what is effectively a school places crisis, which has been created not in Farsley, Horsforth or Guiseley but in Whitehall by Michael Gove.

We need real change to deal with the current school places crisis.

Jamie Hanley, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Pudsey

Glass lesson for rubbish in UK

On a recent visit to Spain we noticed far less rubbish in the streets.

We realised that this was partly because all cafés and restaurants had started to use glass bottles in which to serve their drinks.

This resulted in recyclable glass instead of indestructible plastic. A lesson for the UK?

Hilary Andrews, Adel

No refund for T20 wash-out

I ATTENDED the completely washed out T20 Lancashire match at Headingley last Friday and assumed that a full refund would be given for tickets (I am a member but bought some tickets for others).

Not a bit of it. Yorkshire will repay no money and are only offering exchanges for tickets for other matches, which may not suit some.

I see that this condition is stated in positively minute print on the back of the ticket for the purchaser to read – after they have bought it!

To me this is rather like a store which sells a customer a completely useless item, then refuses to return their money, offering only a voucher for another purchase.

The customer has the right to say, “No, I have no wish to shop at your store again – I want my money back.”

Here for comparison is the Northamptonshire policy on such a situation: “For Natwest T20 Blast if no balls are bowled then a full refund can be applied for in writing if applications are received no later than one month after the game.”

Yorkshire living down to a stereotype?

Nigel Pearson, Horsforth

Buying cigs for war wounded

WATCHING AND listening to the elderly ex-servicemen recently talking on the television about the D-Day landings, I recall being 16 at the time.

Walking home from work, I watched lines of green single decker buses slowly shunting up Westgate from Westgate Station and wondered what was happening. All had a red cross on the side.

As I passed, a young man swathed in bandages appeared at one of the doors of a bus and called: ‘Give us a cig, love.’

I told him I didn’t smoke but feeling in my pocket I had two pennies and ran to a sweet shop.

The man in the shop said I was under age and wouldn’t serve me, but I explained why and he came to the shop door to look at the man and then let me have five Woodbines.

I ran to the bus and threw them up the steps to the young man. ‘Thanks love,’ he shouted.

A few days later I learned all about what had happened and that the buses were going to Pinderfields.

Doreen Highley, Wakefield

Workers lose out to Tour-ists

I want to ask a question. It’s great for Leeds that it’s hosting the Tour de France, but personally I’m not a fan of cycling and I also have to work this Saturday.

As a result I’m stuck, as I’m sure many people are, on how to travel to work.

I live in Armley and have to get to Crossgates.

Is it me or are the people who live and work in Leeds being neglected in the council’s rush to please tourists that are supposed to be coming?

All I want is to travel to work, but the information on the websites all seems to be for tourists coming to watch the event.

Where’s the information on people just wanting to get to work and back?

Alison Gibson, Armley

Time to sort out Burkas issue

IN RESPONSE to the letter from Paul Ibbotson (YEP, June 26) about the burka, last December my grandson was with his partner and four-year-old son.

They had just entered the Crossgates Shopping Centre. As it was raining very heavily outside he had on his jacket with the hood up.

He was immediately confronted by a security man who told him to remove his hood.

An argument started owing to the man’s nasty attitude and my grandson walked out and has not been there since.

I believe that crash helmets are also banned from the shopping centre, yet I have seen many people wearing burkas which cover the head. Why are burkas allowed when other head gear is not? It is about time we got this issue sorted once and for all, like they have in France.

B Gillatt, Oakwood

Resenting Prince’s tax cut

IT IS true what they say: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Prince Charles was given a £250,000 tax cut and as a pensioner I resent this.

Because I have been thrifty and saved and got a private pension I now pay more tax.

It is time all pensioners got a fair deal and not have to pay so much income tax.

Roger Watkinson, Halton

YEP Letters: February 19