YEP Letters: June 9

Have your say

I got stomach ache from laughing at Denise Marsden’s letter in praise of wind turbines (YEP, June 5).

She says she likes to see them going round – but the whole problem with them is that they don’t go round enough.

In fact, on average, they are only turning (and therefore generating electricity) about 25 per cent of the time. For the other 75 per cent they merely serve as a monstrous blot on the landscape.

She also thinks that when they are turning they are generating cheap electricity. If only that were so.

Wind turbines are so inefficient that they only exist as a result of the generous subsidies they attract and which we all pay for through our inflated energy bills.

The only people who make any money out of them are the (mostly foreign-owned) multi-national companies that own them, or the landowners (like the Prime Minister’s father in law) who get vast rents for allowing them to be placed on their land.

For the rest of us mugs they are a dead loss.

Their operators are laughing all the way to the bank because they get paid 300 to 400 per cent of the regular unit price for the electricity they produce.

They even get paid to switch them off when demand is low.

And don’t think they have much effect on reducing CO2 emissions, because they require coal or gas-powered plants running all the time as back-ups for when the wind isn’t blowing.

In addition, they cause interference to air traffic control radar and kill hundreds of birds who fly into the moving blades.

The sooner we stop wasting money on these monstrous white elephants the better.

John Wainwright, Leeds

Congestion will get much worse

Your editorial (YEP, June 6) hopes that the trolleybus scheme will lessen congestion.

I’m sorry to disabuse you of that hopeful notion, but nowhere in the documentation – currently standing at nearly five metres long, I’m told – does the scheme claim an improvement in general traffic.

In fact, it acknowledges that traffic will worsen.

So, in exchange for our historic conservation areas being decimated and our green spaces being concreted over, we get a scheme that increases the congestion for those who are unable to access the route.

Members of the public would do well to come to the Regus Suite at 2 Wellington Place, LS1 4AP, to hear the debate in the ongoing public inquiry. It’s an eye opener in double-speak.

Cut a green space in two with a trolley lane and, lo and behold, you have two ‘pocket parks’. Easy, isn’t it?

If we need to emulate other cities, please let it be Geneva with their move to electric buses and not Edinburgh.

Margaret Thompson, Far Headingley

Subsidising a ‘foreign’ system

I would like to sincerely congratulate Edinburgh on the opening of its tram system.

I read and noted comments in the YEP that some businesses have had to move away, many to better locations I’ll wager.

It was over budget, so even more Government money invested in the city. It was late, though not as late as our system I fear.

A few trees have had to be replaced, although I have never noticed them round the South Gyle area during my regular visits.

And – surprise, surprise – they have overhead cables. I think most people knew that without the photos.

It solved their city centre to airport problem at a stroke.

What’s even better news is that within 100 days it looks like we will have subsidised the transport system of a foreign country, while leaving the third biggest city in this country with a trolleybus – depending on the outcome of a public inquiry.

Derek Goodman, Morley

Is the force fit for purpose?

The supposedly cash-strapped West Yorkshire police have just spent £30m on a new training centre (YEP, June 2), but is the force fit for purpose?

Watch any flow of traffic and see how many drivers are using mobile phones.

Walk down any street and see how many cars are parked on the pavement.

Count how many pavement cyclists you have to avoid.

The police must notice all these offenders, but choose to do nothing about them.

Police officers on foot patrol nowadays are as rare as snow in August.

Yet visit any large supermarket at lunchtime and watch them wander in and out with their sandwiches and juice.

Is it any wonder that public confidence in the police is at an all-time low?

Write to Mark Burns-Williamson, the crime commissioner, however, and you will be lucky to receive a reply.

Paul Hainsworth, Armley

Beat bobbies, not cop luxury

SO, A new 21st century police training base is to built near Wakefield which will make it the most advanced for firearms, public order and driving training facilities in the country.

It’s strange that we cannot afford more police on the beat, which the public really need, and that money has been cut for many essentials but we can still provide luxury for our police force.

AE Hague, Harehills

Market rigged for the landlords

The criteria required to obtain a mortgage is absolutely mad in cases where an application is refused on the grounds that their income is not high enough.

Often the applicant has for years paid a far higher level of rent to a private landlord than the mortgage repayments would be and in spite of this has still managed to save up a deposit.

The market is clearly loaded in favour of private landlords, many of whom don’t give a damn about adequately maintaining their properties, and against honest, hard-working people.

It is just another example of the wealthy creating opportunities for each other.

One of my nieces has been a qualified legal secretary for the past eight years and can’t get a mortgage for £80,000 – despite paying over £7,000 a year in rent.

Derek Barker, Leeds

Nothing quite like grammars

The reason this country is run by privately-educated men is because Labour closed the grammar schools.

This made it impossible for state-educated kids to compete at the highest level with children who went to Eton.

Killing the grammars was an act of social vandalism by Labour.

So it’s a bit rich for the likes of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls (who both had an Oxford education) to paint themselves as working class heroes.

I very much doubt if either of them has ever met a member of the working class, unless one of them was cleaning their toilets.

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

Let the coalition put things right

In response to Pauline Brearley (YEP, June 3), I would just like to say that if Labour win the election in 2015 then God help us all.

It is taking such a long time for the last mess they left to be sorted out.

Who in their right mind would want them back to make the same mess again?

This country simply can’t afford them.

Let the present government continue to put things right and we shall all be better off.

It may not be right away but at least we have hope!

Susan Whittaker, Leeds