YEP Letters: June 12

Kenny Dalglish. Picture by Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Kenny Dalglish. Picture by Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Deserved knighthood for ‘King Kenny’

John Appleyard, Liversedge

I don’t have much interest in the honours list, too many receiving awards that don’t deserve them, Mark Carne is a good example, receiving a CBE when he has to take responsibility for the recent chaos on the railways.

However there are exceptions and I do not begrudge former footballer and manager Kenny Dalglish receiving a knighthood. He played 102 times for Scotland, was the embodiment of Celtic’s football success, when he came to England he kept Liverpool at the forefront of English and European football. Later he took an unfashionable team such as Blackburn Rovers to its first title in 81 years.

The Heysel Stadium disaster of 1985 in which 39 people died and the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 in which 96 died knocked the stuffing out of Dalglish but through it all he showed diplomacy and compassion, not for nothing was he called ‘King Kenny’. In his autobiography he states that behind every successful man is a woman, but as far as he’s concerned his wife Marina has never been behind him, she has been beside him, always. Well put Sir Kenny!

Why is Combined Authority silent on rail issue?

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

THANK you for the consistent and persistent coverage of the Northern rail debacle that has come to a head in the last few weeks.

As the newly elected Lib Dem portfolio member for transport, I have been confused and disappointed that while I have joined my fellow commuters (yes I do use the train, when it runs) in demanding action by Northern Rail and the Minister for Transport, and have written to my local MP Alec Shelbrooke demanding that Chris Grayling at least visits Leeds to explain himself. The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has not been to the fore on the issue.

I must admit that when I entered the Civic Hall it was made clear to me that our powers as a local authority were limited in regard to public transport.

However, as elected representatives of people who use a public service, I don’t think it is unreasonable to lobby on their behalf those people who can make a difference.

So while Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester has been vocal in holding the Minister for Transport to account and while the independent print media have joined forces to take up the fight on behalf of commuters, what has the elected body in Leeds done? Or those across West Yorkshire for that matter?

I spoke on BBC Radio Leeds from Platform 1 the first day of the new timetables as mayhem broke out. I have lent my support to Andy Burnham, I am aligned to various social media streams demanding action.

In Woodlesford we continue our own campaign for improvement, but with the best will in the world we will remain unheard unless Yorkshire MPs and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority do their bit too.

Northern must be stripped of the franchise and barred from further contracts and there must be no TUPE (transfer of undertakings) of management staff across. It will simply move the problem, not solve it.

There has to be large-scale investment in track, rolling stock and networks, while stations must be brought into the 21st century.

As a short-term panacea, commuters must be compensated for the financial, social and time losses they have all endured.

Once more I applaud your action so far, but local representatives must play their part or explain their failings.

City is not a playground

Margaret Malinow, Roundhay

Another fine weekend and another roads blockage.

Leeds Triathlon, like the Tour de Yorkshire, brings fame and honour to the city, but be fair, it is a city, not a playground. And that city is full of people who still need to do their daily tasks, like my carers without whom I am stranded in my nightie until they arrive to wash and dress me.

On a previous occasion I had a Sunday morning appointment for a scan at LGI and turned up, only to find that most of the staff and patients had been unable to get there, and there was just me and my technician.

He was dreading the thought of his return journey when his shift ended as the inward journey had been a nightmare. My own return taxi was the high spot of my week as I saw areas of the city I didn’t know existed, and it was like a mini Cooks’ Tour.

Is it beyond the talents of someone on the council to map a route which doesn’t impact on the rest of the city, and advise everyone who might be affected? How about a hotline for people making enquiries about access?

Come on, Leeds, someone must be able to resolve this dilemma.

Reverse cuts to general practice

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, Leeds.

WE have seen the devastating effect of practice closures over the last few years, with more than a million patients displaced since 2013 .

Patients already face unacceptably long waits for appointments, and without urgent Government action and significantly more investment, this will only get worse as millions more are left without a practice and struggling to find a new one.

The Prime Minister has pledged to lay out a long-term funding plan for the NHS later this year, and she must use this opportunity to tackle the decade of under-investment in general practice.

General practice has been the foundation of the NHS for the last 70 years. It’s time the Government takes urgent action to guarantee its future for the next 70 years and more.

Stand up to Trump on tariffs

John G Wildie, Wakefield

The President of the United States of America, Mr Donald Trump’s decision to hit the European Union with tariffs on steel and aluminium imports is a dirty trick.

President Trump is only interested in his own constituency – himself. Our Prime Minister, Theresa May, states that she is disappointed with Mr Trump’s decision to apply tariffs to EU steel and aluminium imports. This could have a grave decision to our steel industries in our country, particularly in Sheffield and Scunthorpe.

Over the past years, our steel industries have suffered and have had to make quite a number of people redundant. A few months ago, the future of our steel industries was starting to look brighter, but now Mr Trump’s decision could set us back again.

This is the second time that Mr Trump has upset quite a number of people in the aeroplane industries. In Ireland, and also in parts of this country, we were making parts for American aeroplanes. But now he has taken them off us, causing more misery to some people of this country.

I just wish our Prime Minister, Mrs May, would stand up to Mr Trump and cancel his visit to this country.