YEP Letters: June 23

The Queen's Speech
The Queen's Speech
Have your say

Check out today’s YEP letters

Even more admiration for the Queen

Edna Levi, Leeds

I have always admired the Queen and even more so in the past weeks.

I am sure she is very worried about the health of her husband Prince Philip, yet she undertook making The Queen’s Speech at the opening at the House of Lords. In previous weeks (together with Prince Philip) she had the Trooping of the Colour and her visit to survivors of the terrorist attack in hospital.

I am pleased she has managed to get some relxation at the races and hope Prince Philip is soon back at her side giving her support and, on occasion, putting his foot in it.

Eight towers out of 100 getting sprinklers

Only eight of around 100 high-rise housing blocks in Leeds are being fitted with sprinkler systems it has emerged. Leeds city council revealed details of the works it had in progress in response to questions posed a week after the Grenfell Tower disaster which claimed at least 79 lives. The city council said it was prioritising tower blocks reserved for older residents - with five complete and one in progress and two more planned. The works were already under way before last week’s tragedy in London. Here’s how YEP readers reacted to the news on social media...

Julie Almond

I THINK we need to get some perspective, how many fires as bad as the one last week have we had in Leeds?

I live in a house surrounded by blocks of flats and over the years seen many fires but they always stayed contained within the flat itself. Most of these blocks have been up since the 60s and 70s and there’s never been a serious fire.

They are prioritising flats that have elderly and disabled residents due to them not being able to get out quickly plus they are more likely to cause a fire. My parents live in a block next to me, they had a sprinkler system put in at the beginning of the year so LCC are already taking steps to make the blocks safer to live.

Mark Hamilton

No need for sprinklers. Early means of detection and warning and a well maintained means of escape via a protected route with two sets of one hour fire doors (with intumescent strips and/or smoke seals) separating the route from flats to the stairwell.

That is all that is required to save lives.

Relatively cheap to install at either a conversion or a new build.

A weekly check by a nominated competent “person of responsibility” and a system of reporting any defects by residents. Common sense and practical safe systems of work.

Andy Killingbeck

There is no more danger from a fire in a multi-storey flat than there is in any other domestic dwelling.

But it’s the people and their visitors that cause most of the problems in high rise from my experience. If the fire doors on the landing weren’t propped open, if the dry risers weren’t vandalised, if people didn’t leave refuse and other rubbish on the landings, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem. The fire at Grenfell tower was unique because of the cladding. They need to sort that first! In an ideal world sprinklers would be fitted in every home, not just flats but it’s not practical.

Glenn Knowles

I HAVE Parkinson’s and live on seventh floor. In the event of a fire I would like as much warning as possible. Fit them to all high rise instead of spending money making roundabouts look pretty with flowers.

Steven Buzzby

Judging by all the high rise fires I’ve seen even this is unnecessary. High rise fires just don’t spread, they were designed like that. Now flammable cladding is a different story all together.

Linda McGrath

Find the money Leeds City Council, if you or family members were living in them I’m pretty sure things would be different.

If you can find money to loan to the cricket ground then surely that money could be used for this instead.

Nicola Banks

The point is that when these were erected they were built with concrete walls and floors as to contain a fire in one unit - the actual buildings themselves are perfectly safe and do not need a sprinkler system – it was the newly installed cladding that posed the issue.

Barbara Thomas

The government should provide all councils with the money to install sprinklers and working fire alarms in all council high rise flats!

Martin Monaghan

Many of the high rise blocks in Leeds have open balcony access to their front doors, which is totally different to the design of Grenfell.

If you insist on sprinklers in those, you might as well put sprinklers in all dwellings, which isn’t a bad idea, but enormously costly. I haven’t put sprinklers in my house. Have you?

Ross Goodwin

Not good enough! All people’s safety and wellbeing should come first, no matter what the cost. Find the money or don’t build them – simple.

Darryl Winter

The cladding caused the fire to spread. High-rise flats in Leeds are generally designed in such a way that if a fire should occur in one of the dwellings it is contained in that dwelling for as long as possible.

Kevin Kelsall

water won’t stop all the fires. We should look at the materials they’re using.

If stairways are built better with water sprinklers with proper fire doors fitted they should help out a lot.

Amir Ali

Learn from what has happened, people in tower blocks need to have an emergency escape plan, the alarms should be all connected and sprinkler systems fitted ASAP.

David Atha

Should be made compulsory in all high rise buildings as well as residential but In particular high rise flats.

Shawn Williams

If MPs were paid by results, or what little they actually achieved... the costs savings would pay for gold plated sprinklers in every tower 

meddling paul, via website

Living in a council block of flats, I can tell you that the sprinklers would be set off almost every weekend by someone drunk or on drugs, then what, do the fire brigade attend every time a sprinkler is set off, how many properties would be flooded by sprinklers in landings.

In the past I have seen flats burned out with little effect on neighbouring properties, we don’t need a knee jerk reaction, we need a well thought out plan, with no cladding on the flats.

yellowone, via website

Sprinklers may work on those 70s blocks which are similar to Grenfell tower, these blocks are enclosed.

I live in a 50s block which is much better designed and has two fire escapes and open walkways.

We had a generic letter from the council, applicable to all tower blocks, stating that they believe the cladding put on some blocks is safe, believe!

They don’t know? I would not be happy living in one of those!

There have been three fires in flats here and fires were contained.

There was more damage to other flats caused by the water and people were mostly left to fend for themselves by the council.

I believe some were put up in a hotel until electrics sorted but no help with damage. I imagine most councils are the same judging by the Grenfell fiasco.

Memories of Pink Floyd

Terry Maunder, Kirkstall

I was interested to read about Pink Floyd (Letters, June 21).

I “discovered” them via John Peel when he played tracks form their second album “Saucerful Of Secrets” on his radio show in 1968.

I didn’t have the opportunity to see them until 1970 when they did a free concert in Hyde Park, London.

The purpose of the concert was to premiere their album Atom Heart Mother. Roy Harper, Kevin Ayers’ Whole World and Edgar Broughton Band were in support.

Myself and four school friends hitched down from Derby.

Anyway, readers might like to know that, until October, there is a Pink Floyd Exhibition at London Victoria & Albert Museum in London, called Pink Floyd : Their Mortal Remains.

Difficult to summarise without giving too much away but it consists of stage props and design, other visual artefacts like “The Pig” from the “Animals” album cover, the teacher from Another Brick In The Wall” musical artefacts including, for example, Bert Weedon’s Play In A Day guitar book which so many learned to play guitar from.

Many of the musical artefacts are in glass cabinets accompanied by music paper reviews and excerpts of interviews by the band.

Stage costumes are included and there’s even a copy of the Johnny Rotten “I Hate Pink Floyd” T-shirt! T

here is also video footage to watch.

I found the poor lighting in places to spoil some of it as it resulted in a bit of crowding in the rooms as people paused to read items that were not very visible and took longer then they might otherwise have done.

Still, worth a visit for the fan and tickets are priced £20 - 24.

Council’s priorities

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

A few weeks ago this paper reported that Leeds Council had spent £1.6 million on PR, now we discover they are proposing to turn street lights off throughout the night to save money,

Says everything you need to know about council priorities.

Residents are ‘voiceless’

Mike O’Sullivan, Castleford

TORY councillors have admitted they received warnings about the dangers in the fire-devastated block of flats and did nothing.

Compare this to how they fawn on developers and encourage the building of luxury penthouses. The dead and injured and their families are among the poorest, clearly not natural Tory voters.

How little do Conservatives in Kensington and Chelsea care for them? Draw your own conclusions, then look at how Theresa May could not spare the time to talk to some of them on her first visit to the scene. Over past recent years Conservatives have pushed austerity and easy targets are those residents of Grenfell Tower, voiceless and unable to defend themselves.

The Prime Minister has promised a public inquiry, but will it compel councillors and council staff to testify under oath? I will believe it when I see it.

Grenfell Tower has shown again just how dedicated and professional our NHS staff are, the same staff who, as we saw in the election campaign, are grossly underpaid, just like the equally professional and brave firefighters.

First past the post is mockery

Don Burslam, Dewsbury

HOW ironic that the Tories are now lamenting that although their aggregate vote rose substantially, their seats do not measure up to their votes.

Talk about poetic 

They have supported a first past the post electoral system through thick and thin and now they have been bitten by the very same system.

The case for PR becomes more compelling with every successive election.

First past the post is just a mockery of democracy.

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