Check out today’s YEP letters
Council should have fixed a price
A Hague, Leeds 9
WHEN work is to be done you get an estimate for the cost of it and sign for it to go ahead.
If the contractor finds they can’t make a profit they negotiate for work to stop or a new price is fixed.
However Leeds Council have a different view to this and Lotherton Hall, where refurbishment work was estimated to cost £602,605 in 2014, was revamped and cost £133,000 more, with Leeds taxpayers footing nearly half a million of it. You could not make it up.
Thanks for spreading a beacon of hope
Councillor Peter Gruen, Chair of Adult Social Care, Public Health and NHS Scrutiny Board, Leeds City Council
Every once in a while something happens to make you jump.
For me that wonderful moment came at the last meeting of the Leeds Health Scrutiny Board. We had asked colleagues from the Third Sector to come and tell us how they were contributing to the city’s well-being agenda.
We were blessed when Bereket Loul from Touchstone, Pat McGeevor from Health for All, Pip Goff from the Community Foundation, Angela Goodyear from Feel Good Factor and Dom Charkin from Zest Health for Life enthusiastically and straightforwardly told us much of what they do.
They were passionate, determined and spread a beacon of hope. For today; never mind the funding gaps, don’t worry about the constant reshaping and reordering of priorities; don’t let that get in the way of just doing what we can on the front line; to help, support and make a difference to people’s lives.
They came anxious about presenting to a lot of ‘suits’ from the council and they left knowing they had made a huge impression on everyone in the room; including other fellow professionals!
They were excited to find an appreciative audience and went back to the work feeling good, knowing that there are people who value what they do, respect their commitment and want to say thank you to them and the hundreds of colleagues they represented to us.
Thank you for making our hearts jump!
Time to leave the club
Mr G Best, by email
Picture this; you live in quite a nice house, earn a decent amount and have a secure and happy lifestyle. Then you join a club which charges a membership fee which is quite high but gives you some benefits.
This club then asks you to take in some poorer members who come to live with you but not all of them work and and then want their relatives to come as well. The ones that do work are only earning a low wage so get top ups in the form of tax credits and are happy because they can send child benefit home for their children and it’s a lot more than they’d otherwise get.
Meanwhile you are doing quite nicely so the club demands that you pay more membership fees, at first you refuse but find you can’t or they will fine you. All the while the club is making more and more rules which cost you more to implement but you are a stickler for abiding by these rulings so you obey them rigidly. Not so the other members of this club, you are fair game so you can’t give jobs to your own friends, you have to offer them to all the other members, even if it means your friends going to the wall.
The other members joined a union which meant they used a different currency to yours (fortunately you declined to join) and now they are losing money hand over fist but keep borrowing vast sums from a central bank which doesn’t want to admit failure. You try to cancel your membership but are threatened will all sorts of dire consequences, such as you’ll be less safe, lose your job, won’t be able to buy other members goods and they won’t buy yours (even though they love some of your stuff), the sky will fall in etc.
Why the heck would you want to remain? Just think of all the money you’d save. It would more than compensate for any losses (and I suspect they wouldn’t be anything like as bad as they say) and you’d get your house back. Be able to make your own decisions again and be free once again. Vote Leave.
Leeds’ own vanity project
Grahaeme Lauder, Leeds 6
Grant Woodward justifiably attacks London’s cultural domination at the expense of the north (‘As Leeds scrimps, London builds another vanity project’ YEP March 10).
The vanity project in question is the London Garden Bridge. But there is another vanity project here in Leeds and it’s called the trolleybus. And many of Mr Woodward’s criticisms of the Garden Bridge could equally applied to the trolleybus.
For instance while £60m of public funds are going on the bridge, Leeds council taxpayers are having to stump up more than £77m for the trolleybus. And if the bridge is basically a footbridge with shrubs, then the trolleybus is basically a bus with wires rather than the new generation transport claimed by the council.
Mr Woodward highlights the contradiction between Leeds aiming to be European Capital of Culture and imposing cuts in the opening hours of museums, galleries and other visitor attractions. Yet these cuts will only deepen if the trolleybus scheme goes ahead. And the cultural vandalism doesn’t stop there as the scheme tears the heart out of traditional neighbourhoods and green spaces. Recently the Culture Minister failed to intervene to protect the Bradford Media Museum. Let us hope that the Transport Minister doesn’t fail us in the same way and instead intervenes to reject the Trolleybus scheme.
No cycling on footpaths
F Ward, Leeds 8
We read in the papers about cycle lanes, but when you look around, a good many cyclists have cycle lanes already - the public footpath. You see them casually cycling along or whizzing around pedestrians. Even the ones who you’d think would be most responsible - those wearing hi-visibility clothing and helmets, do it. If it’s “suggested” that they should be on the road, you’re met with a stony stare or told in no uncertain terms what to do.
If any of these people would stop and read paragraph 64 of the Highway Code, they would see that in large print are the words “You must not cycle on a pavement.” Also section 72 of the 1835 Highway Act. Local Councils should erect signs making clear these restrictions, but I suppose nothing will be done until there’s a serious injury.
To my mind these dangerous cyclists are as bad as motorists who use mobiles while driving.
Building worth preserving
Mrs J Aveyard, Leeds 7
ON re-reading an old copy of the Yorkshire Evening Post I realised why I had kept it, a small account, regarding the obvious decline of the last historical old mansion in Chapel Allerton.
The company who purchased and developed this area could not fail to have noticed more than a little tlc was required to protect and restore the interior to give it a new lease of life, with several financial returns, they obviously have numerous experienced professional workmen, their talents are in evidence in the property already developed.
The “mansion” has stood the passage of several centuries, a listed building, giving the modern dwellings a prestige standing in its magnificence overlooking the avenue of Mansion Gate. This wonderful building is so worthwhile preserving, I do so hope the owners will rectify any further deterioration.
David Raw, Cumbria
Between Sunday 19 June and Friday 24 June I will be leading a group to visit Germany and Poland to commemorate the end of World War Two, 71 years ago.
We will visit Berlin, Potsdam, Stalag Luft III, Dresden, Colditz Castle, Weimar and Buchenwald. We still have a few places left. For more details call me on 01368 866826 or 07710 270840, firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at Fellside Terrace, Knock, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6DH.