I’m most dismayed to see that the Leeds Civic Trust supports proposed destruction of Leeds heritage by the trolleybus scheme.
Its website says: “Leeds Civic Trust aims to stimulate public interest in, and care for, the beauty, history and character of the City and locality. Leeds has a distinct and attractive built heritage...”
But neither the trust nor city council wish to address the proposed destruction of Victorian planted trees or English Heritage listed buildings.
All that NGT and the council will say is that they ‘require them’. What does this mean? It means that they would be taken without consent.
Some believe that this destructive scheme would economically benefit Leeds, but many doubt that.
Everywhere today we see huge projects which may generate economic activity for vast corporations, but little if any of this actually benefits the local people.
Construction jobs would largely be taken by migrant workers, and how much of the £160 million supposed to be generated would benefit residents, or would instead go to large corporations with their tax exemptions and offshore accounts?
Should we allow our heritage environment, a demonstrable and permanent good, to be sacrificed to the transient requirements of commuters, who neither live in the most threatened areas, nor care about them?
All for a speculative adventure whose principal beneficiaries would be the large road building corporations (who would receive 90 per cent of the capital expenditure).
What is not in doubt is that there would be massive destruction and upheaval all along the route, utterly transforming its character.
I am extremely concerned that this is a scheme which is being forced onto the communities that would have most to lose from it, against their consent.
This is becoming a human rights issue on top of one of heritage conservation.
Claire Randall, address supplied
Keep the BBC free of adverts
WITH REFERENCE to D Daniel wanting the BBC to start using advertisements, I totally disagree.
The BBC is the only channel you can watch without constant interruptions. A programme advert free is far more satisfying to watch than one broken into segments with up to six minutes of adverts. A one hour recording can be watched in 35-40 minutes without them.
When ITV have a highly popular show they spoil it with frequent and extra long adverts.
Would you go to the cinema with breaks in the film every 12 minutes? Keep the BBC free of them I say.
David Howard, Colton
AS MOVES to save the West Park Centre have failed, councillors are asked to back the demolition of the site as the most cost effective option.
This mystifies me as it will cost £613,000 to do this, then members will be asked for £800,000 from the sale of the land, which is valued at £2m, to build a new replacement. Why not just sell the building and attached land and save the paying for demolishing it?
It’s a lot of money to pay just to knock it down so why pay it? Let the new owners have this problem to solve, not the tax payers of Leeds.
AE HAGUE, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds 9
Pension attacks can boost UKIP
IS THE three pronged attack on OAPs and the state pension by Labour and Coalition parties a wonderful window of opportunity for UKIP to shake off its unfortunate tag of the ‘one trick pony’ ie having no other policy other than escaping from the EU.
Things under threat after the next election like winter fuel allowance or free bus passes, NHS prescription costs, eye tests etc are not really perks but have been introduced by successive Labour and Conservative governments to disguise the fact that basic state pension has slipped from being 27 per cent of national average earnings only a few years ago to just 17 per cent.
So if UKIP made helping OAPs an additional priority over only the EU in their 2015 election manifesto, they might not quite form the next government, but I feel sure would gain some representation in Parliament to build on for the future.
DS BOYES, Rodley Lane, Leeds 13
Labour’s lack of credible policy
B DUFFY (June 29) in his letter ‘paying the price under Labour’ presented a devastating litany of 12 years of reckless squandering. Long before their city chums imploded and together brought our nation to its knees.
The same Labour who has crippled us with a national debt of £550 billion, still doesn’t have a credible economic policy, except the same old addiction of ‘let’s borrow even more’.
The party now finds itself wrong-footed, aware of the seismic shift in public opinion, especially on welfarism and the bloated nanny state. The battle is won on welfare reform, and so Labour now grudgingly admits it will now support the Government’s policies, including the cap on housing benefit and job seekers allowance, after screaming about the hardship it would cause.
With just two years to the next election, its increasingly apparent that Miliband is too weak to confront his in-house critics - the Union barons and his hard Left - as well as Mr Balls, who regularly contradicts his leader ... and now we learn that his 2008 recession was actually deeper than this one.
The Coalition does make mistakes, but at least there is a strategy with a goal. The more this government is decisive in slashing bloated welfarism, the more the public turn to agree, to the greater discomfort of Labour.
Brian Johnston, Burmantofts
MOST people in the UK invest money in the country’s biggest banks and pension funds, but we have very little control over what they do with our money. Every year, these companies pour billions of pounds into coal, oil and gas extraction across the planet, pushing us ever closer to runaway climate change. Dirty fossil fuel projects are often situated in poor countries, but instead of helping more people get access to electricity, all too often they make local people’s lives much worse by robbing them of their homes or polluting their land and water. We need to cure our finance sector of its fossil fuel addiction, and as a first step banks and pension funds should be made to report the carbon emissions from the dirty energy projects they finance. Only when their impact on the climate is made public will we have a chance of forcing them to reduce it.
Angela Sykes, Street Lane, Roundhay
Lay off us OAPs
ANYONE noticed the latest attack on pensioners? There is something rotten in society where the elderly are not valued. We go through an anti elderly phase when an OAP is in a car crash. The uproar contains demands for testing for the elderly despite the younger drivers causing more crashes and road deaths. Now the cost of the elderly is the latest peccadillo. I am pushing on 80 and have paid income tax for 63 years and never been on benefits. Last year I paid £2,300 tax on state pensions and a small pension. I suspect many will be like me, In addition I pay the C of E £750 rent on a small semi which keeps someone in a job in London. My tax pays those who can’t/won’t work and my ‘benefits’ of heating and TV allowance are but a small portion of my tax. Trouble is that we are not dying early enough, Voluntary organizations would disappear without us. Lay off pensioners!
John Theobald, Garforth