YEP Letters: June 20

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Check out today’s YEP letters

A ‘soft’ Brexit is not an option

John Wainwright, by email

I see the remoaners are out in force alleging that the election result means that the electorate have voted for a ‘soft Brexit’.

Not so, both the Conservative and Labour manifestos stated that we would be leaving both the single market and the customs union, which means that the vast majority voted for parties supporting a so-called ‘hard Brexit’.

Staying in the single market would mean continuing paying billions into the EU budget, remaining subject to ‘freedom of movement’ with no control over immigration and continued acceptance of the primacy of the European Court of Justice.

Since those are all things the Brexit vote was to get rid of, ‘soft Brexit’ is not an option, so get used to that you remoaners and move on.

Precious green space taken away forever

Coun Jack Dunn, Ardsley Robin Hood ward

I echo the comments made by Angela Coggins (YEP Letters, June 14), the points she raised are very relevant about medical facilities and school places including high school places.

These and other issues were raised at the public inquiry which was called after the Leeds planning authority refused the application in the first instance. The appeal by the applicants was granted by the Government’s Communities Secretary.

Concern was raised at the inquiry, and subsequently to the Government Minister, about the effect on local highways and junctions which are already under pressure from the increased volume of traffic from the already established new developments.

The Communities Secretary addressed this concern by commenting: “I am aware there will be a build up traffic at nearby Bradford Road Thorpe Lane junction,it is something we will have to live with” or words to that effect.

Church Fields was earmarked to be a protected site under the council’s site allocations plan, the plan, which has yet to be accepted by the government would give the council some scope for building for the future where land could be released when local infrastructure and medical and education facilities could be alongside.

But if developers are allowed to short cut the allocations plan and go for green areas instead of brownfield sites first, assisted by the government, then we will end up with developers getting wealthier and local communities having their precious green space taken away forever.

And we will have massive developments and new communities without anything to sustain them. So with the backing of this communities secretary on behalf of the government, the developers will not stop at the likes of Church Fields and they have already another one in the pipeline for a public inquiry off Thorpe Lane, Tingley for 770 homes.

So well said Mrs Coggins, the community of East Ardsley and councillors are alongside in your efforts to prevent a new village been imposed on the old, but once the Church Fields application left the council it seemed we were never in with a chance.

It will also be interesting to see what part air pollution plays in the next one, which is near to the motorway now that there is a realisation that we are been slowly poisoned by traffic fumes.

Put money into core services

B Duffy, by email

The problem of fire safety has been caused under ALL governments, over a number of years.

When these tower blocks were originally built from the 1960s,like the ones in Leeds, they had a caretaker, living on site, responsible for perhaps three tower blocks, with a team of cleaners.

Together they were responsible for checking the lifts were working,cleaning them, cleaning the landings and staircases and making sure there were no obstructions and fire doors on each landing, worked properly and were in good order on a daily basis.

Also they kept the external ares clean and tidy. Tenants were able to make the caretaker aware of any problems or concerns. Gradually all these services were taken away as housing departments became more like social services and dumped unsuitable tenants and families in these blocks, which were never intended for young families.

Let’s get our councils back to being public servants. We pay our rates for these core services. Put the money back into the necessary services. Let these minority sectors raise their own funding if there is the need.

The question of fire safety should be put back in the hands of the fire authority, working in conjunction with the architects, designers etc. They are the ones who have to carry out emergency rescues.

Dawning of a unique career

Michael Stott, Ossett

In response to the YEP’s retro 1971 feature, I can’t recall The Rolling Stones’ Leeds University appearance but their second appearance in the city will live with me forever.

Their first ever gig in the city was November ’63 with local troubadours Sammy King and Mike Sagar in support but by July ’64 the band’s reputation had spread faster than a rash, grabbing front pages everywhere.

Arriving at The Queens Hall from Bridlington the previous evening, bear in mind in the original line up, the quintet would turn up no doubt buoyed by a Top Of The Pops promotional appearance the previous week for what was set to become their first number one It’s All Over Now.

Was there ever a better timing? The joint was far from the ideal location but the old tram shed would accommodate a bigger attendance than anywhere else, so important.

In what resembled a centrally placed boxing ring each individual member was rapidly escorted through the ranks and on to the makeshift stage by heavies. Once in place pandemonium erupted with young girls screaming while their heroes,and mine, were dispatching ‘Walking The Dog’, ‘Route 66’, ‘Just Wanna’ Make Love To You’ and ‘Can I Get A Witness’. It was all an education for me and I suspect many around me. Not long after this they embarked upon a career fortified by original work that has sustained it and kept it at the forefront of rock ‘n’ roll now in excess of half a century. The band’s colossal body of work and image remain without parallel. What the Stones do even today other bands still aim to surpass. To be in place that memorable evening was to witness the dawning of a unique career.

Fascinating to look back

David Martin MBE, by email

I always find the YEP retro features fascinating, as it is nice to look back.

In your feature about 1971 you show a picture of terrace houses in Albion Street, Leeds. Is this in the city centre ? I don’t remember that . You also mention Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. I was at the event in 1958 for the Leeds Music Festival. I was also at the opening of the new Seacroft Shopping Centre in 1965 when both Philip and Elizabeth were there. I must correct you that she did not open a ‘community centre’ as you stated. At the time this ‘shopping centre’ was hailed as a first in the suburbs. Sadly it declined over the years and of course closed.

Help needed by library group

David Wilders, chair, Friends Of Castleford Library

The Friends of Castleford Library was formed in 1998 by a group of local people who use the library and decided that such a valuable asset to the town deserved to be promoted and supported.

The Friends support the library in many ways such as providing funds for projects outside the scope of the regular library budget. We are proud to celebrate our forthcoming 20th anniversary and have hugely enjoyed making a difference to the cultural life of Castleford in that time. The group has a committee of six, and we are seeking a secretary to come on board and fill the vacant position. If you would like to help us by filling this role, please contact Jane Carter (Library Supervisor) at Castleford library on 01977 722085.

We just want a better future

Kevin Wilson, Leeds 11

I FEEL I must respond to the letter from Jim Kirk (‘Nothing in life is free’, YEP, June 15).

If Mr Kirk disagrees with the current Labour leader and over 500,000 Labour Party members why on earth did he vote Labour?

Mr Kirk tells us he has a ‘deep repugnance for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’ but then like all the other detractors of Mr Corbyn from within the Labour Party fails to enlighten us as to which of the policies he disagrees with (with the possible exception of nuclear disarmament). Is it a fully funded, free at point of use NHS with fair treatment for both patients and staff? Is it a fully funded comprehensive education for all children? Free school meals perhaps? Maintaining the triple lock on pensions to ensure today’s pensioners receive a state pension (currently among the lowest in Europe)?

Nobody is claiming these things are free. They all have to be paid for and they are, by millions of working people in this country who pay their taxes and National Insurance, some for over 50 years. That’s more than can be said for the billionaires and off shore tax avoiders. They are the real freeloaders. None of the policies mentioned above are extreme in any way, just the mark of a civilised society in a social democracy. None are left wing dogma.

Mr Corbyn is a decent, honest man who believes in fairness, peace and equality. Neither Corbyn nor Labour believe in a ‘free for all fantasy’ we just want a better future for young people, to build a better future for all.

Most of our MPs, like most of the older generation who went to university, did so with the help of a grant and no tuition fees and no thousands of pounds worth of debt. Why shouldn’t that be the case now for today’s youth? Why shouldn’t the employers who will profit and benefit from the knowledge and skills of today’s students pay toward their education? Very few working people believe in the something for nothing mentality claimed by Mr Hirst. Yes ‘money is finite’ but the problem is it is concentrated in the hands of a greedy minority represented by the Tory Party and the right wing of the Labour Party. Mr Corbyn wants to change all that with a redistribution of wealth. Seems fair enough to me.

We all want success (yes, even Mr Corbyn) but the rich and greedy – whether the purveyors of zero hours contracts, poverty pay, high rents or greedy bankers and their bonuses whilst at the same time refusing loans for investment – all want something for nothing. Usually the blood, sweat and tears of working people in order to enrich themselves.

It’s about time the rich and greedy, something for nothing tendency were put in their place and the majority in society – ordinary working people – started to benefit. Mr Corbyn has started that fightback and is going to make that possible. Nothing is free, we all pay and we should all benefit.

Legacy lives on

The Rev Nick Shields, Administrator, West Yorkshire Churches Together

The recent memorial service for Provost John Allen at Wakefield Cathedral is a reminder of his practical work for Christian unity.

In the late 1980s, he formed a friendship with the incoming Catholic Parish Priest at St Austin’s, to the north of the city centre. The parish dates from 1828 and Canon Barr had arrived to find the buildings in a sorry state, setting about some urgent renovations.

First was the clergy house next to the church and to enable the work, Wakefield Cathedral kindly lent their house on South Parade to the Catholic clergy. Then came the church, needing to be closed for several months, so Provost Allen proposed that St Austin’s used the Cathedral for some of its services. This was a great success and through worshipping under the same roof, the two congregations moved closer.

The legacy of this initiative- then new in these parts – lives on.

Event was brilliant

Caroline Spillane, Tingley

I WOULD like to congratulate all those involved in the organisation of Great Get Together community barbecue and picnic at the Methodist chapel on Westerton Road, Tingley.

It was a brilliant opportunity to meet our neighbours and to celebrate the life and work of Jo Cox. It would be wonderful if it became an annual event.