YEP Letters: July 25

Sir Vince Cable celebrates after being named as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats at St Ermin's Hotel, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 20, 2017. See PA story POLITICS LibDems. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Sir Vince Cable celebrates after being named as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats at St Ermin's Hotel, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 20, 2017. See PA story POLITICS LibDems. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Sir Vince Cable’s ‘pearls of wisdom’

Harry Brooke, Meanwood

Vince Cable seems to forget that the ‘overwhelmingly elderly’ people who voted for Brexit were once the far-sighted young people of the 70s who voted to join the Common Market.

This was despite some of the ‘overwhelmingly elderly’ people claiming it was all a plot to create a United States of Europe with a single currency and a single parliament controlled by Germany and backed up by France. Oh, how we laughed at them, we young people who knew better. Judging by Vince Cable’s pearls of wisdom, is it not time to have a by-election in Twickenham as the electorate clearly didn’t understand who they were voting for.

Put communities first, not developers

Coun Janette Walker, Independent, Cross Gates & Whinmoor Ward

I am writing in response to the article ‘East Leeds Road plan at key point’ (YEP July 10) which, for me as the local Independent councillor for Cross Gates and Whinmoor and a local woman on whom this will directly impact, raises several points of concern.

When Coun Pauleen Grahame says that she wants the “best deal for us locally” and that “there can be no house building without the right infrastructure to support it” the implication is that the East Leeds Orbital Ring Road will open the door to housing. My question is, does the East and Outer East of Leeds need that housing?

There are many areas of Leeds where brownfield sites are available where housing and regeneration are desperately needed so why are Leeds City Council facilitating the building of a road that will, in turn, facilitate thousands of houses elsewhere?

I would also politely point out to Coun Grahame that infrastructure means more than a road. We are losing medical facilities, our schools are over capacity. No road will solve those fundamental problems facing us. All that will happen is an increased burden on local services and the loss forever of the outer towns and villages that makes Leeds so unique.

Let’s talk about the road, yes, let’s consult but let’s not walk into this on the assumption that houses must follow or are even required in this location. Because I’ll say this, they won’t be the houses we need for the people who need them in the areas they are required.

As elected members we need to put our unique communities first, not the needs of the developers, their shareholders or a council keen to benefit from the New Homes Bonus windfalls the facilitating of such development brings.

Council has caused problem

P Spence, Pudsey

The council are now complaining that volume of traffic is causing air pollution.

Yes it is and they have caused it by reducing the width of the roads, certainly in the Armley, Bramley, Stanningley areas, to create the cycle track.

I live in the area and travel this route many times and to see a cyclist on the track is an event. Have any of the council taken the time to monitor the usage of their decisions and admit they got it wrong?

They have reduced the width of the road to one lane causing all road junctions twice as long to clear and at peak times even longer, this causing standing traffic with engines running and now due to the width of the road if a bus stops, and there are plenty of them, you are unable to overtake and this now takes longer because they are one man operated buses.

In the east of Leeds where the roads are much wider ie York Road area, the problem may not be the same as Armley, Bramley, Stanningley and Pudsey but they also have many problems due to roads being reduced in width.

The council caused the problem and only somebody with common sense and practical experience will solve it by clearing the roads and allowing the traffic to flow freely again .

Never ending battle on traffic

M Little, by email

regarding the story ‘Let’s get city buses moving’ (YEP July 21) there is only one organisation to blame for the traffic congestion in Leeds city centre and the suburbs and that’s Leeds City Council, when they altered the layout of the roads years ago.

The Headrow is a classic example. Many people will know what I mean. The bus firms do their best but it’s a never ending battle especially in the city centre.

Don’t jump to conclusions

Ivan Kovaks, by email

Following the BBC’s publication of its list of high earners there was a rush of articles and letters attacking the BBC for all sorts of things.

And again they jump to all conclusions that it is not possible to do so just on these figures, there needs to be much more detail before any but the hastiest and erroneous results can be determined.

When comparing the likes of the non news presenters, the figures do not give an hourly rate so if one works twice as many hours as another but were on the same pay then this list would show one earning twice as much as the other.

Then there are many not on the list but earning equally high pay but are paid through companies and not directly by the BBC.

Also presenting some programmes would clearly warrant a premium payment, surely Chris Evans should get paid more per hour for presenting the prime time radio show than someone presenting an off peak minority interest show even though they both work the same hours.

How can you compare even just the top two earners? They work in very different fields, both work on radio and TV and very different amounts of hours.

I’d bet if the figures show how much per hour each was earning then the list would be arranged in a far different way.

As to the high level of some payments these are artistes in the same way a musicians, comedians and the like are so are free to negotiate their own pay.

Perhaps if we were to adopt the same national policy as happens in some Scandinavian countries; where every citizens tax details are a matter of public record and open to the scrutiny of all, would help all this jealous sniping at other.

But I would expect many of those complaining would not want their details open to authorities, family, friends, neighbours and work collegues.

Support for equal pay at BBC

Edna Levi, Leeds

I fully support the female employees of the BBC in their fight for equal pay similar to that received by their male counterparts, but what I find even more ludicrous is the amount some of these men receive.

How can anyone be paid over a million pounds for basically sitting behind the wheel of a car or telling us about a football game that has just been screened?

Others of the highly paid are merely reading from a prepared script, which the ladies do just as well, in some cases better.

Looking after the environment

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

After the heavy rainfall over the past few days I noticed how quickly surface water accumulated on the roads and footpaths, and I began to wonder if anyone clears the drains these days.

As a child the gentleman who cleared the drains could be seen all the time about the village using what looked like a very large ice cream scoop to clean out the drains leaving a small mound of dirt later to be picked up by the street sweepers.

I can’t remember the last time I saw drains being cleared, also when was the last time we saw a dredger clearing the river bed? Again, as a child this was a regular sight as the river bed had to be kept clear for the tom puddings taking the coal away.

We appear to be going backwards with looking after our environment.

Join NSPCC volunteer team

Michelle Poucher, Area Coordinator, NSPCC Schools Service

It’s been a very busy year for NSPCC Schools Service in our area.

In this school year our volunteers have visited 171 schools and spoken to 46,037 children through our Speak Out. Stay Safe programme across Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield.

Our Speak Out. Stay Safe programme ensures children aged 5-11 learn essential safeguarding information in a lively, interactive and memorable way. By the end of our visit we know pupils feel empowered and can speak out and stay safe.

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers we can provide assemblies and workshops to help children understand abuse in all its forms, know how to protect themselves, and to identify their trusted adults and sources of help available to them, including our Childline service.

Our fully trained volunteers truly believe that every child has the right to a happy childhood and help empower children to have the knowledge and understanding to stay safe from abuse and neglect.

These fantastic volunteers have worked extremely hard and their commitment to helping children is impressive. The difference they have made to children’s lives is huge and I would like to thank them for their time and energy over the past year and look forward to working with them in the new school year.

If you would like to help children and empower school communities to fight for every child to have a happy childhood, then please get in touch with me via michelle.poucher@NSPCC.org.uk to find out more about joining our team.

Be aware of Victims’ Code

Rob Behrens, Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman

Last week’s crime statistics revealed that there were 4,965,270 crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales last year. This seems an appropriate time to remind people of their rights under the Victims’ Code.

All victims of crime have the right to a needs assessment to make sure they get the support they need.

This could include an interpreter or an intermediary, for example.

They also have the right to be kept informed about the police investigation, including if a suspect is arrested and charged and if any bail conditions are imposed and the time, date, location and outcome of any court hearings.

Our casework shows that vulnerable victims are not always provided with the support they need or have a right to.

Some have not felt able to face the defendant in court but were not given the support they needed to give evidence behind a screen or via a video link. In other cases we have found that victims of crime, who were due to give evidence in court, were not told the dates of the hearing, resulting in cases collapsing.

It is vital that people are made aware of their rights, and that the Victims’ Code is followed so that victims of crime are given the justice they deserve.

If people are not satisfied with the way a complaint about the Victims’ Code has been dealt with by either the local police force or the Crown Prosecution Service, then they have a right to bring that complaint to us.

Reducing risk of asthma attack

Michael Clarke, Director of Advice and Content, Asthma UK

I am writing to let you know that people in your area with asthma are being invited to take part in a pilot scheme for a new digital health project aimed at reducing their risk of having an asthma attack.

Asthma UK’s 12-Week Asthma Support Programme, funded by a Department of Health Innovation Challenge Fund grant, provides expert advice, activities and tips sent straight to your smartphone.

The pilot is open to people who have had an asthma attack in the last year, are aged between 18-67, live in England and have a smartphone.

Once signed up to the pilot, those involved will receive personalised digital support that will be available to them via their smartphones.

Anyone who is interested in taking part in the 12-Week Asthma Support Programme pilot can find out more and sign up at www.asthma.org.uk/asthma-support-programme

New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22