YEP Letters: June 1

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Pavement parking problem sympathy

Richard Saberton, by email

Just under two years ago I suffered a spinal cord injury and as a result am now confined to a wheelchair so I can sympathise with H Dorey’s mum (Letters, May 19).

I too have problems not only with cars parked partly or fully on the footway but 
also with wheelie bins left out for days before and after the collection date. However I don’t think it is necessarily that these people are bad mannered or uncaring but more that they are just not used to seeing us wheelchair users on the footway. Probably because we don’t use the footways very often because they are blocked by parked cars and wheelie bins!

The ‘stubbornly static’ council home waiting list

John Davies, Hands Off Our Homes

Your article headlined “674 bids –for one council house” (YEP May 29) sadly makes clear that the length of the waiting list for a council home remains stubbornly static and the council apparently has difficulty finding a solution to the continuing problem.

As housing campaigners for far too many years we have pointed out that projects such as the EASEL project in 2005, which saw vast swathes of Seacroft and Gipton cleared of council housing, was never going to create “affordable” homes let alone secure safe tenancies at acceptable rents.

The Bedroom Tax in 2012 did indeed force tenants to consider the affordable nature of their home and the more recent Household Benefit Cap has caused hardship – particularly for families with children in the private rented sector who can no longer afford their home.

They now become dependent upon the social housing sector along with the thousands of others who realise that a council house with a secure tenancy agreement is so desirable.

MPs at Westminster –of all political persuasions- agree that the cap on local authority borrowing to build homes should be lifted.

Theresa May’s government is in a precarious position and should be pressured to do what is necessary to allow Leeds City Council to build the type of housing that is required rather than to sell land to private developers hoping that at least 10% of the homes constructed will be “affordable”.

That the government can say that money will be made available to replace flammable cladding from tower blocks but be taken from an affordable housing programme simply adds insult to injury to those needing a home.

When referring to housing, the mantra that “the market will provide”, is a particularly bad joke.

It really is time the council grasped the nettle otherwise we will read of the same housing problem over and over again.

Prescription for active life

Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

I ATTEND an excellent older people’s group at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Heydays happens every Wednesday and us “oldies” can take part in a variety of activities including drama, music, creative writing, art and crafts.Last week we were delighted to see that Leeds Medical School had sent along three medical students to see what we were all up to.

Could this be the start of the revolutionary idea of GPs prescribing attendance at

such an activity session in an attempt to prevent loneliness and keep our minds alert by meeting new friends and trying new things?

Such a simple concept but too hard for our ‘pill cures all’ society?

Speed limits are outdated

Peter Horton, Ripon

THE REPORT that 60,000 drivers have been fined for exceeding speed limits on Yorkshire’s motorways just demonstrates the old adage that a law that is widely flouted is a bad law.

It must be about 10 years ago that the Conservative Party said they would raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph – but it has not happened.

The comments of Brake are quite unhelpful where they seek to equate “speeding” with dangerous driving.

The fact is that a rigid speed limit (70 mph) at all times, night and day and in all weathers, is inefficient and unrealistic.

It takes no account of safe speed, which should be much lower in fog, snow and heavy rain, yet could be much higher in dry fine weather and light traffic.

It may be the law for drivers to restrict their speed to a number on a sign but it has absolutely nothing to do with safe speed for the prevailing conditions.

The outdated 70mph limit was brought in more than 50 years ago when vehicles were much simpler, less safe and less efficient than today’s cars, and the attitudes of Brake and indeed the police are still stuck in the past, where they are happy to use advanced technology to catch drivers but not willing to recognise that the same advances have made ancient fixed speed limits redundant.

HS2 will drain region’s talent

Arthur Quarmby, Meltham

AT a mind-blowing £55.7bn, the HS2 project which nobody except the establishment wants, is the biggest-ever infrastructure project in Britain – and the total is already forecast to rise.

The establishment is determined to force this white elephant upon us because, as has been proved by similar projects in Paris and Tokyo, the outcome is nothing to do with a 20-minute shorter journey, but will effectively draw talent, enterprise and new businesses from the regions to the capital.

If only the public were allowed a say about this, or even to express an opinion which would influence the establishment. If all that vast amount of borrowing is to be undertaken, then how much better to spend it on the National Health Service – to the benefit of the whole country.

The award of an initial exploratory contract of £1.4bn to Carillion, shortly before that company collapsed, is an excellent opportunity to cancel the whole madness.

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