YEP Letters: July 31

Will HS2 help Yorkshire?
Will HS2 help Yorkshire?
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Local transport stuck in buffers

Coun Carmel Harrison (Lib Dem), Leeds City Council.

I BELIEVE there are two questions that need asking of West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Why is it not demanding that HS2 is scrapped and the money allocated to the leg between Birmingham and Leeds or be invested in local and regional projects to provide sustainable public transport now? What is the Plan B for when, not if, the leg between Birmingham and Leeds is eventually scrapped, given the prominence it has in Leeds City Council’s most recent transport strategy, 2016 and still not updated? Having read recent articles that focus on how the cost of HS2 is already over budget on compulsory purchase, my belief is that the project will continue to Birmingham, given the level of work and investment so far, and then be mothballed as too costly. I don’t particularly have an issue with HS2, more a problem with the fact that there is an overreliance on it, while local services, which are essential now, are being neglected.

Local transport remains stuck in the buffers, while costly vanity projects are pursued to be eventually scrapped.

Holbeck red light managed zone: your views

Influential politicians in Leeds have clashed over the city’s controversial managed red-light zone. Leader of the Leeds Conservative group Coun Andrew Carter has called for an immediate suspension of the scheme believing it to damage businesses and communities in the area. But Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities Coun Debra Coupar hasefended the project claiming the council is doing all it can to ensure vulnerable people are protected.
 The Leeds managed red light zone was introduced in Holbeck in 2016 in order to protect sex workers from violence. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media..

Rosheen James

Shut it down! It’s clearly not working and making Holbeck residents’ lives a misery.

Beverly Golesworthy

Feel sorry for Holbeck residents, especially ordinary women trying to go about their business in the dark who will no doubt be pestered by “clients”.

Natasha Keighley

If people are that bothered and the council want to do something to help then open brothels, tax the women, give them health checks and help to get of the drugs. 
Keep them safe away from the people that abuse them.

This isn’t just a problem in Holbeck, it’s a problem in this country.

We are so closed minded it’s one of the oldest professions in the world and it won’t ever stop.

Louisa Gardner

The problem with brothels is trafficking and slavery.

These women are mostly addicts, vulnerable and there is always some evil person looking to exploit them.

Michael Scott

CLOSE it down now, listen to the residents.

Gill Foley

Make parlours where they can work safely.

Anne Russell

Out of sight out of mind I think, feel sorry for the residents.

Why didn’t they put it in a posh part of Leeds?

Betty Diamond

They need to stay where allowed and not bring their filth into family areas - used condoms, tissues, toilet roll, used needles. 
Disgusting.

Darren Stevens

It’s not nice but get them a brothel and off the streets and they will be safer too.

Craig Bailey

Let’s be fair if there were used condoms and needles you wouldn’t take your children that way would you?

Cordelia Frances Threapleton

They are not allowed to do their business in the zone so they can go anywhere to do it, this is the problem. They even do it in phone boxes during the day when kids are out playing.

The zone is only the pick up point, that’s all. Parents cannot get away from seeing this, there’s needles and condoms every. No parent can avoid it.

This is why people do not understand the area and what’s going on.

You have to live in it to see and understand it all. It’s really not as easy as people think.

Jonny Lundy

There’s no escaping it. My family go to the church in Holbeck and the kids Easter egg hunt in the grounds of the church had to be called off because of all the needles and condoms.

Steve Ward

It must be a hell hole for the people that live there. Put them first and make their lives better.

Aidan Hirst

If there’s condoms and needles then it’s obviously not being managed properly.

Time for tough talking on Brexit

Terry Watson, Adel

No deal is better than a bad deal’’, the words of our Prime Minister nearly two years ago and obviously long forgotten.

She is now handling the negotiations herself , so we should be prepared for complete capitulation. Theresa May should have experienced business people advising her instead of devout remainers. Barnier is out to punish Britain for daring to leave and is determined to put any obstacle in the way of an acceptable Brexit.

The Irish border should be no problem at all. Switzerland is not in the Customs Union and is bordered by five countries and has no problem at all so why are we not allowed the same system?

The main reason is that free from all the shackles of the worst trading block in the world, Britain will blossom and will be a competitor for the EU.

Now is the time for Theresa May to tear up the latest agreement which Barnier turned down before reading it and walk away. It is time to start acting like another Margaret Thatcher that she professed to be, and tell Barnier that we will still trade with the EU, but it will be under WTO rules. Tough talking is all these people respect as Donald Trump proved with his tariff threats.

Blue line is getting thinner

Phil Crowther, Bingley

Ivan Kovacks ( YEP July 28) writes a thought provoking letter about police numbers and crime in which he asks for better information on which to judge the subject of police numbers and their usage.

He suggests that numbers of front line officers in the 70s and 80s, of which he has experience, may be similar to those today.

However, I think a black mariah can be driven through his thought process, as what he does not mention is that even if the numbers are similar, crime then and now is much changed.

In the intervening period we have greatly more vehicles on the road, hence far greater traffic offences and related crime. Where are the white peaked cap traffic police, rare as hen’s teeth ?

We now have cyber crime that did not exist in the period he refers to. Drug related crime has soared out of control, so much so that even the police agree they are only scratching the surface of combating the problem.

The police are now dragged into every conceivable type of domestic involvement from mental health to investigating grooming, abuse etc.

So even if , as Mr Kovacks infers, numbers on the front line may be the same, they are now swamped with demand in comparison. But to be realistic, virtually every chief constable, in particular in large conurbations, now reports they have resources only to react not be proactive and this week the West Midlands CC said the public should not expect every crime to be investigated.

City centres and football matches are the only places you now have the chance to see police on foot, in the suburbs and rural areas they are non existent, even PCSOs have been much depleted in the last five years.

We all know where the problem lies, our current PM presided as Home Secretary over a conscious decision since 2010, to cut resources under the policy of austerity.

Despite a government main responsibility to uphold law and order, there was manipulation of figures to advise crime was falling in an attempt to justify the cuts.

Meanwhile at least £13 billion goes abroad annually in foreign aid, talk about May fiddles whilst Rome burns.

Mr Kovacks may be willing to give Tory propaganda a chance to prove itself but I don’t.

The criminals know apprehension is unlikely, sentencing is grossly inadequate, the jails are full, the blue line is getting thinner.

Cut to free milk provision?

John Appleyard, by email

As Education Secretary in Edward Heath’s Conservative government Margaret Thatcher made a decision in 1971 to stop the provision of free school milk for junior school pupils which prompted the playground chant of ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, the milk snatcher’.

Now it’s rumoured that Theresa May is considering cutting free milk for the under fives, which would see children across the country missing out on milk that helps them grow.

The plan has not been fully announced, but I would expect MPs to vote against it.

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