YEP Letters: March 15

Oulton Hall
Oulton Hall
Have your say

Check out today’s YEP letters

Oulton Hall nearly became police HQ

Michael Meadowcroft, Former Liberal MP, Bramley, Leeds.

Oulton Hall’s moment of greatest vulnerability was in 1974 when the late Ronald Gregory, the first chief constable of West Yorkshire, wanted to demolish the hall in order to build a headquarters for the new West Yorkshire Police service on the site.

The Police Committee went on a site visit and, though it was by this time in a sorry state, it was clearly a very impressive building.

On my return to Leeds, I checked and was surprised to find that it was not then a listed building.

I immediately set in train the process to have it spot-listed and this thwarted Gregory’s efforts to have it demolished. To put it mildly, he was not best pleased.

Its subsequent rescue and development as an upmarket hotel complex vindicated this action and demonstrated what can be done with historic buildings, whatever their state of neglect.

New invention to stop pavement parking

A British inventor has developed a new method to stop the blight of drivers parking on pavements. Yannick Read from Bristol has come up with the CatClaw which quickly punctures the tyre of any vehicle which drives across it. He says that not only will the device stop the frustrating and dangerous practice but could even help stop terror attacks. The simple device contains a sharp metal spike which is exposed when the weight of a vehicle presses down on it - instantly puncturing the tyre. According to its inventor it poses no threat to pedestrians as they aren’t heavy enough to activate it. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media..

Janet Dobson

What happens if you need to clear the road for an emergency vehicle when the road is gridlocked following an accident? Bad idea from someone who hasn’t considered legitimate reasons why cars go onto pavements occasionally.

Mark Allan

Tyres are expensive and what happens if it just damages a tyre which later blows out at 70mph on a motorway?

Martyn Dawson

I cannot see that planting a device which deliberately damages cars could ever be legal. What happens if someone steps on one? Do their feet get stabbed?

Gillian Barker

Ridiculous, what if someone falls on them or you stand on one? You can’t have dangerous spikes on the edge of footpaths, and as for them not being able to be squashed easily, the man’s hand on the video seems to be doing a pretty good job.

Lesley Ford

Twice my daughter has had words with drivers. She has a double buggy and cannot get past. The last driver told her to walk on the road.

I always thought pavements were for pedestrians, not cars.

Amy Mallinder

Ok, so when you’re stuck in traffic and forced to mount 
the curb in order for emergency vehicles to get past – what are you meant to do?

Simon Abbott

Brilliant. My village is plagued with this pavement parking. Think of pedestrians with pushchairs, wheelchairs and even mobility scooters. Bring em on.

Philip Butterfield

Bring it on. Pavements are for pedestrians not vehicles so who cares if private property is damaged. They shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Mathew Plummer

Raise all pavements just high enough to mangle the bottoms of those cars so that drivers have no other choice than stop parking up on them!

Stuart Ramm

What about narrow streets where if you don’t park half on pavement nothing can get past including emergency services?

Rob Chesterfield

What about emergency vehicles parking on the pavement?

Martin Harley

Surely this is illegal as it causes damage to a person’s private property and could possibly put lives at risk.

Weather’s impact on sport

Noel Bullock, Secretary, Morley Town AFC

Last Thursday’s “Pest From The West” caused all sorts of problems throughout the city and local sport was once again decimated with a limited programme as Leeds Parks and Countryside decided to close their maintained venues, even though the vast majority of them were in fact playable.

Leeds & District Football Association are pushing for a two week extension that will help those clubs with a backlog of fixtures and no doubt there will be a hefty number of midweek matches when the clocks go forward with lighter nights for evening use.

The weather has had a major impact on our season because when games get called off, we lose out on generating club funds from match day subs and selling football cards that help go towards paying for the pitch/changing rooms.

However, I do think the change in the kind of weather we now experience during the season is also a major cause for clubs folding.

It is generally agreed that the winter weather has become more severe and that has a knock-on effect towards the quality of football pitches that are available, longer and wetter periods and more frozen ground conditions. Couple this with the increasing prices, lack of suitable pitch maintenance, care and preparation on offer .and we then have another reason for the decline.

Invisible mending?

Chris and Sandra Dobson, by email

Recently walking through Leeds around Victoria Gate, John Lewis area, nice white tiles surround the area but oh dear seems as usual when a new surface is laid there is an automatic need to dig part of it up. The work carried out has been repaired by filling in with a large splash of Tarmac? Is this a case of the council buying “end of run” tiles and unable to invisible mend as they can no longer get that shade or tile type?

Is it government cut backs? (always a good get out clause) Lack of attention to detail? Or just plain cheap and cheerful? Looks awful.

Get in touch

The YEP wants to hear your views. Send your letters to