Check out today’s YEP letters
Support Crypt’s excellent work
Coun Alice Smart, Armley
I’m very excited for Saturday.
For the second time, Armley Festival is taking place on Town Street and Armley Moor where we will celebrate the best that my ward has to offer – and that’s an awful lot.
I just want to draw readers’ attention to an extremely worthy cause we’re raising for at the festival and that’s the St George’s Crypt food bank. The Crypt on Town Street does so much to help people who, a lot of the time, are at rock bottom but it’s in need of support to make sure their excellent work is kept up.
So I ask everyone who is able to bring something that they can donate to the St George’s Crypt food bank visits the collection point in Armley One Stop this Saturday between 12pm and 4pm.
I hope to see lots of people for what I know will be a fantastic event hosted by All Together Armley and the legions of brilliant volunteers.
Paying price in grip of bureaucracy
Christopher H Tyne, Temple Newsam, Leeds.
GIVEN the much-publicised financial situation of the NHS, and in particular the alleged shortage of Government funding, it would be interesting to know from where the finances allowing the procession of court hearings being indulged in by doctors and bureaucrats at Great Ormond Street Hospital in respect of the Charlie Gard case derive.
Some of us dispute whether this should be a matter for the courts at all, let alone one financed by general NHS funds.
Is this not just another case of ‘we know best’ establishment types dictating in a most impersonal and inhumane fashion – a style of operation which is becoming ever more prevalent at all sorts of levels?
A style of operation where the bureaucrats and politicians demand that the general public do as they are told, and pay for the privilege too – oh and by the way, if you do not do as you are told, you will be fined into the bargain.
From emptying dustbins to car parking, from situations as in Sheffield where trades union legislation has been used to prevent individuals protesting about tree felling all over the city, to spending millions on cycle tracks which no-one wants and very few cyclists use.
Fifty years ago I spent some time behind the Iron Curtain, and have never forgotten the experience. There, bureaucracy ran supreme, and the general public had little or no say in anything.
In one (with the benefit of hindsight) amusing incident, I was refused entry into Czechoslovakia until I had my 1960s-style hair cut.
Thankfully that situation has long gone, but we seem in many ways to be heading down that same track here. If the Charlie Gard case results in his parents being finally overruled, the establishment should be ashamed of themselves, but I doubt very much that they will.
If our young people really wish to create a better country for themselves, they could do much worse than ensuring that the present hold that bureaucrats have on our way of life is strongly contested.
Too many MPs?
Nigel Bywater, Morley
Philip Hammond, the Conservative MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer said on The Andrew Marr Show that the public sector receives a 10 per cent “premium” over the private sector. What utter nonsense.
In November 2014 the Office for National Statistics did a study into public sector pay levels: “After accounting for the different organisation sizes between the public and private sector, it is estimated that on average the pay of the public sector was between 3.3 per cent and 4.3 per cent lower than the private sector in April 2014.”
Since that study in 2014 public sector pay has been falling behind the private sector still further, for the last three years.
Public sector pay is currently rising at 1.4 per cent a year, behind inflation at 2.3 per cent and private sector workers at 2.5 per cent.
Most public sector workers pay is capped at one per cent, fire fighters and MPs are an exception to that cap. Education Committee chair Neil Carmichael, warns recruitment of teachers is ‘crisis point’ the Conservative MP for Stroud said.
The Royal College of Nursing has said England is currently short of at least 20,000 nursing staff. The Royal College of Midwives says the country needs 3,500 more midwives.
GP leaders and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine say the UK urgently needs greater numbers of general practitioners and emergency doctors.
There is no shortage of MPs, some say there are too many.
Living the high life on the state
Phil Hanson, Baildon
The subject of who pays university student fees continues to be discussed. What is not being considered is the question of how the universities are managing their new found wealth, a veritable bonanza.
None of the political parties has to my knowledge challenged the universities to reduce their fees to give students the benefits of a free market.
Instead, what we are seeing is universities offering courses, often delivered by low grade staff and even students themselves, whilst the staff reward themselves with very lucrative salaries, pensions and double digit increases.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance recently published data on who pays what and where possible to who, it makes a shocking read!
What makes these pay rates and salary increases amazing is that there are hundreds of tutors and staff on salaries around and above what the nation pays to the heads of government!
Salaries in excess of £100,000 are commonplace and there are many on £200,000, £300,000 and £400,000, and some in excess of £600,000! This is living the high life on the state and really demonstrates the hypocrisy of these educational institutions who want the ordinary working man and woman to pay for student fees to stop student pressure threatening their lifestyle!
Come on, universities, start by looking at the lavish salaries and operate like business have to do in the real world.
The students may be angry about their fees but the should direct their energy at those who are exploiting them directly rather than asking those who could and would never go to university to pay for them!
Leeds: capital of culture?
Paul Hainsworth, Leeds 12
How on earth can Leeds be considering a bid for European capital of culture 2023?
We have a city council that can’t keep afford to keep street lights on at night but can waste £29m on a hardly used cycle route to Bradford .
A politically correct, invisible police force that thinks the Beat is an 80s pop group.
A shambolic bus service courtesy of First Leeds where profit is the priority.
Maybe the Armley street drinkers are the jewel in our cultural crown?
Time to accept Brexit vote
Phillip Bell, Bramley
Having read, yet again, the self righteous arrogance from regular contributor John Cole of Shipley, about the same subject regarding his inability to accept a democratic vote which, surprisingly, he didn’t agree with but the majority of the country did, hence the word democracy.
Mr Cole, let it go now and accept the result.
We voted to leave the EU, deal with it!
Timing clash for history events
Pamela Radford, Horsforth
Last weekend both Temple Newsam and Lotherton Hall had major history weekends with different activities each day.
Is there no one on Leeds City Council who has responsibility for coordinating events who could have gently pointed out that both using the same weekend was a poor idea?
It is demoralising for both staff and volunteers at both sites who put in a huge amount of effort, to see different council sites competing for the same audience.
As a volunteer at one site I wonder why I bother; as a history buff I would have liked to attend both events.