YEP Letters: June 11

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Council is doing best it can for Stank Hall Barn

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council

I AM responding to the comments regarding the Stank Hall Barn site in Beeston from Mr Crowther (Your Feedback, June 2).

As highlighted in the letter this complex of buildings represents a valuable part of Leeds’ heritage and is of national significance. Despite the best efforts of the council, the barn has suffered from repeated episodes of theft, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

The council welcomes the community activities that the Friends of Stank Hall Barn group are bringing to the site, activities that have been aided by the council issuing an appropriate licence for them.

This will undoubtedly raise the profile and highlight the challenges of bringing the buildings back into a viable use that respects their historic character.

As part of progressing the vision for restoring the buildings the council has commissioned a building survey to highlight the potential costs of restoration.

This is expected to be completed later this month. The report will identify any immediate additional works needed to stabilise the buildings and to provide a basis for the council to explore funding opportunities with interested partners.

This partnership approach is essential given the well documented financial challenges the council has faced across all of its services.

Despite these difficulties the council is committed to exploring every option for bringing these buildings back into use to enable their full historical splendour to be enjoyed once again.

Housing crisis goes full circle

Roger Cliff, Bramley

For once I agree with DS Boyes’s comments, on this occasion with regard to home ownership (Your Feedback, May 20).

However, Labour-bashing Mr Boyes does not mention that two of Mrs Thatcher’s policies helped to create the situation we are in now – these being right to buy and unregulated mortgage lending.

First right to buy. I live in Bramley, and great swathes of the better quality housing stock built from the 1950s onwards are now in private hands.

However, not many have bought on the two large 
pre-war estates of the Fairfields and Broadleas.

Getting a council house in Bramley is like gold dust.

Secondly, my wife and I bought our first house, a through terrace, for £4,750 in 1973.

In those days you got a mortgage from a building society. Or if you were waiting for the mortgage to come through, the dreaded bank bridging loan.

The Abbey National would only give us a £ 4,000 mortgage. Not a penny more. That was one-and-a-half times my salary, and I think it was a third of my partner’s.

Fast forward 15 years and any Tom, Dick, or Harry would give you a mortgage four, five or six times earnings and twice your partner’s.

It did not matter that you could not afford the repayments.

Following the banking crash of 2008, mortgage lenders want a 10 per cent deposit. Young house buyers with no chance, private landlords charging a fortune on rented property, very few council houses left ... Bingo!

As Mr Boyes says, back in the 1950s and early 1960s very few people could afford to buy their own home and it has now gone full circle.

Learning how machine works

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

Everywhere you go nowadays it seems there is no one to take your money – just a machine.

Buy a rail ticket? A machine. Settle up at a supermarket? A machine. Fill your car tank? A machine.

It’s called self-service, sometimes it’s just self-bewilderment.

Those of the tap-tap, touchscreen generation have no problems and the machines always seem to obey them.

But press one wrong button by mistake and you are in serious trouble. You can’t go back.

Press “cancel” and your money disappears. Press “assistance needed” and a bell rings somewhere miles away.

But no one comes except the queue behind you is getting angrier.

I have a solution. Plastic card in hand I look round for a teenager and ask: “I say young man, can you understand this machine?”

I don’t mind the pitying looks. Within seconds the job is done. He is quietly pleased to have been proved superior – I have my plastic card back and my ticket.

If the question had been: “In which war did the battle of Alma take place?” our positions would have been reversed.

Pubs rant was a sheer insult

John Knights, Gipton

I WONDER if Jayne Dawson realises how many decent hardworking people she insulted with her article on Leeds pubs (YEP, May 27).

It is blatantly obvious that she does not know what she is talking about.

I wonder when was the last time she worked for 16 hours a day, seven days a week. I suspect never.

Having successfully run pubs for more than 20 years, I think that stating that pub landlords are “surly and often complacent” is absolute rubbish, and was written by someone who is absolutely ignorant about the licensed trade.

Thanks for Purple reign

Julia MacLeod, Regional Head of Operations, the Stroke Association

Thank you to everyone in Yorkshire who helped us to Make May Purple for stroke in Action on Stroke Month 2015.

Communities up and down the country united to show their solidarity for the 
1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK.

From holding purple cake sales, doing sponsored fun-runs, to turning landmarks or wardrobes purple, your tireless support has been truly humbling.

Stroke is cruel. It happens in an instant, but its effects can last a lifetime. It can rob you of your speech, your mobility and your dignity.

At the Stroke Association, we believe in life after stroke. Thanks to the selfless dedication and commitment of your readers, we know that together we can conquer stroke.