YEP Letters: June 5

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Hidden dangers in cycle lanes

A Hague, Leeds 9

AFTER reading the letter ‘Why do cyclists not use their lanes?’ (Letters, May 30) I will tell you (after 71 years of cycling) why.

I was always against them, and trying the one on York Road early this year I was brought off my bike as on a dark night a pedestrian was in the centre of the cycle lane with his back facing oncoming cyclists.

Instead of shouting, I swerved left onto the footpath not seeing the steep ridge there and crashed. My fault maybe but what would you have done? Last December a lady running across Wellington Street to avoid a car crashed into me in the cycle lane there. Luckily I just had a few bruises but likewise, why don’t pedestrians use the crossings?

The new cycle lane on Stanningley Road is treacherous at night with many hidden dangers, so you have to slow down and losing speed is the big turn off for cyclists in a 
hurry, and as most motorists respect the line at the side for cyclists (not forgetting the swing open car doors) the cyclists know their best place.

Fighting for women’s pension rights

Lynne Metcalfe, WASPI

I am a member of WASPI – Women Against State Pension Inequality.

We are women born in the 1950s hugely affected by the rise in retirement age. We grew up in an era of enormous post-war social and economic change. We worked, raised children, struggled to establish rights that women enjoy today and made irreversible life decisions based on a projected retirement age of 60.

In 1995, the Conservative government raised the retirement age for women to 65 in line with men and in 2011 the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition government raised the age for both to 66 effective by 2020.

WASPI agrees wholeheartedly with the equalisation of retirement age but not with the methods. Too great a change in too short a time, often without proper notice or information, has prevented many women from making alternative arrangements.

This point has been highlighted by the recent Cridland Report which recommends that any future one year rise in retirement age should have 10 years’ notice.

We want the Government to make proper transitional arrangements to fully compensate the 3.5 million women affected. Many rely solely on state pension and are suffering severe financial hardship and remember only 13 per cent of women have an additional income via an occupational pension compared with 80 per cent of men.

Many are struggling to find work for another six years and are coping with increasing demands to care for both grandchildren and ageing parents. We are a national campaign with cross party support and are asking voters in the election to ascertain if their local candidates support WASPI and then vote accordingly.

This could affect you, your partner, mother, daughter, sister or friend. WASPI wants to ensure dignity and security in retirement not only for our generation but for generations to come.

Gap narrowing in opinion polls

Derek Barker, Moortown

I AM pleased to see that the gap between Labour and the Conservatives in the election polls has narrowed recently.

I feel that as the majority of the people realise that a traditional Labour government based on the founding principles of the Labour party will serve the best interests of the majority and not the few, the gap will become even narrower.

As for Theresa May lambasting Jeremy Corbyn for pointing out the link between the terrorist atrocities that have recently occurred in this country and our military involvement in the Middle East, by trying to claim that Jeremy Corbyn is somehow trying to justify the terrorist action, to my mind simply shows a degree of desperation. The repercussions of our military action was predicted by experts before parliament, including the majority of the Conservatives who voted in favour of going to war, and excluding Jeremy Corbyn and the minority who voted against going to war.

Stating the obvious does not in my view constitute any measure of sympathy towards the terrorists, it is simply a case of ‘I told you so’.

Labour would keep spending

Terry Watson, Adel

How can anyone even consider voting Labour in the coming election?

History has shown that whenever Labour are in power, when leaving office, the country is always skint. Margaret Thatcher had to pick up the pieces in 1979 when she took over from a Labour government under complete control of the trade unions.

When the Conservatives took over, they not only cleared the billions of debt which Labour had saddled us with, but left us with a balance sheet which was the envy of Europe. In 1998 our economy was in credit, the first time for years, Gordon Brown soon changed that. In just twelve months we had a deficit of £86bn.

The downturn in the world’s economy could not have come at a better time for Gordon who used it as a smokescreen for the disgraceful mess he got us into. With another Labour government, it would start all over again, spend spend, borrow and spend, then let the Conservatives sort it out once again.

Time to put Britain first

D Angood, by email

It is such a shame that the film Churchill is not programmed for release until after the election.

It may have provided some of the younger voters with some idea of just what their forefathers sacrificed so that they could and would be able to vote.

What they sacrificed to ensure our country remained free and able to govern itself.

In this election it is imperative we make sure that we carry on with Brexit and ensure we put Britain first and personal politics second.

A travesty of democracy

Don Burslam, Dewsbury

THERESA May says every vote counts.

To that I would reply that some votes count more than others. We are about to participate in yet another travesty of democracy.

The whole process is in effect truncated to 100 seats or so producing a distorted result.

This leaves the smaller parties to struggle to make their voices heard at all despite attracting millions of votes from people who are in effect disenfranchised.

Proper representation of all shades of opinion should be a cornerstone of democracy.

Such a great country as ours should now have the maturity to reform an outdated and discredited system.

Praise for hospital care

Ray Bapty, Leeds 4

I FULLY agree with Blaise Tapp’s praise for the NHS (YEP, May 22) and also with the letter stating the importance of early detection of bowel cancer (Letters, May 29). I went to my GP for a routine check up which included a blood test and the result showed that my red blood cells were low. He explained that this could be caused by a number of things including cancer.

On 10 February I had a scan including colonoscopy and endoscopy.

The results showed that it was bowel cancer, but the doctor at St James’s said because it was caught early it could be removed with keyhole surgery.

I was admitted to St James’s Hospital on 8 March and discharged on 15 March and given the all clear shortly afterwards.

My thanks go to all the staff at St James’s Hospital from the top man to the tea lady on Ward J47.

Let us know what you think

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New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22