YEP Letters: March 24

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Our women are worth investing in

Jaimes Lewis Moran, member of Leeds Green Party

There’s been much talk over having a newly-dedicated female statue in Leeds.

I don’t believe just one example would do this subject justice as there’s so many inspiring women throughout our history. That being said, maybe this could be our solution; so let’s have a massive mural dedication instead.

I’m confident there’s loads of aspiring female artists in our universities who’d very much love this challenge too. If it was done this way, this mural could include the Barnbow Lasses from Cross Gates, the suffragettes striving for equal rights, or better yet our NHS nurses and doctors bringing quality and supportive care.

I’m sure there’s many other individuals though that truly deserve our praise. What confuses me the most about this statue bid is that apparently Leeds City Council want us to pay for it ourselves using ‘donations’? Yet by not financially contributing to this cause it is in my mind a great insult, not just to the people of Leeds, but to the women in our society long overdue their truly deserved recognition. By Leeds City Council deciding to do as such, it gives the impression our women are not worth investing in - which of course they are so many times over.

Policy is in response to levels of obesity

Coun Tom Leadley, Morley North, Morley Borough Independents

REgarding the letter ‘Council has no right to stick misguided oar in’ (YEP March 15), what the original report (YEP March 13) didn’t make clear was that 400m exclusion zones for new hot food takeaways around schools would be applied only to high schools, not primaries.

Existing takeaways would not be affected; as Syke Fisheries is more than 400m from Woodkirk, it would be doubly unaffected.

There may have to be adjustments to take in areas close to school back gates, such as the White Bear at Tingley, which is more than 400m from the Woodkirk Academy buildings as they are off-set from the centre of their large grounds.

Similar planning policies have been introduced by other councils, partly in response to growing levels of obesity in children and adults and in the context of an increased statutory duty of care which local authorities now have to take active steps to promote the health and wellbeing of citizens, rather like the Medical Officer of Health duties which dated from Victorian times.

A lot of well-researched information on nutrition was presented at the White Bear public inquiry by Coun Jim Aveyard of Morley Town Council and Debbie McNab of Woodkirk Academy.

The problem was that in the absence of coherent Leeds planning policy on hot food takeaways, none of it carried any weight with the Planning Inspector, who disregarded their evidence in his report.

Work which has all-party support in Leeds is being done to plug that policy gap, focussing on two problems, one of which is the placing of new hot food outlets close to high schools, sometimes seemingly deliberately, and the other is the continuing accumulation of large numbers of hot food takeaways in some neighbourhoods and shopping centres.

Sue Ryder was inspirational

Mrs J B Wozniak, Leeds 7

I would like to suggest some sort of memorial should be erected for Sue Ryder.

I had the privilege of meeting her many years ago at a reception at the Civic Hall in leeds during the funding campaign we had for the opening of Wheatfields Hospice. The younger generation probably do not know about Sue Ryder and her work in the Special Services during World War Two and her struggles after the war when she drove with her helpers thousands of miles across Europe with vans taking supplied to the war-ravaged areas and particularly to Poland after that country was “sold out” to Stalin after the Yalta conference. She opened clinics, homes and hospices in the UK and Europe and elsewhere in the world and even had destitute people living in her home. Sue Ryder was an inspiration to us all.

You mentioned in your article the Cheshire Homes. Group Captain Cheshire was Sue Ryder’s husband and therein lies another wonderful story. With regard to funding, perhaps an exhibition with donation boxes, Radio Leeds, the TV channel Made in Leeds and surely businesses in Leeds and Yorkshire would sponsor the project? I am sure Sue Ryder would have been appalled at the past and recent hate crime, particularly against the Poles who have always been our firm allies - remember the three Polish mathematicians and Enigma, the Battle of Britain, Monte Casino, Arnhem etc and of course Lech Walesa, Solidarity and the Polish Pope John Paul II and the eventual fall of communism.

When Sue Ryder was made a peer she chose the title of Lady Sue Ryder of Warsaw.

Credit where it’s due

Lee Ingham, Leeds 6

Credit where credit is due, Headingley Literature Festival has got to be one of the Seven Wonders of Headingley (if not Leeds).

I cannot believe that - as a man that does not read books - I have been to three book signings in the last six days!

Credit also that two of the writers (James Brown and Amit Dhand) are connected to Headingley and currently on the best sellers list. My only criticism is that I now have three books to read.

Thanks for floral displays

Joyce Aveyard, Leeds 7

I would like to congratulate Leeds gardeners for the prolific fantastic floral displays of spring flowers, swathes of crocuses delight the eye, such beauty lightens the gloom, with such an abundance of pretty shades.

Road speeds prevent a crocus crawl however. As a passenger I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty, appreciating the results of our gardeners’ hard work.

Fighting the inanity of Brexit

John Cole, Shipley

On Saturday last I had the pleasure of attending an anti-Brexit protest meeting in Leeds. The two guest speakers – Richard Corbett MEP and Prof. Michael Dougan (an expert on European law) were most convincing in their presentations and were able to quote chapter and verse as to why Brexit is such a bad idea.

Of the several compelling points made by Michael Dougan, one had particular resonance. On the question of immigration control Prof Dougan pointed out that successive British governments (including the Conservatives in coalition and since 2015) had had ample opportunities to restrict the inflow of migrants.

Some of this could have been done with the agreement of Brussels. But the UK government had simply not bothered to do it. When immigration became an issue, the Tories found it easier to blame the EU rather than take responsibility for it themselves.

In Dougan’s own words the Conservatives have been “selective, dishonest and hypocritical”. I found it refreshing to hear a lawyer who had not only mastered the technical detail, but was prepared to exercise his moral compass. I think that all who attended the meeting left both better briefed and more resolved than ever to fight the inanity that is Brexit.

Sign up for BHF bike ride

Shonali Rodrigues,Head of Events, British Heart Foundation

I am calling on readers to sign up to the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) 54 mile London to Brighton Bike Ride on 18 June 2017.

As Europe’s oldest charity bike ride the event attracts tens of thousands of participants from all corners of the UK each year, including people from Yorkshire. With 12 weeks to go to the event we are only half way to raising our target of £3 million to fund life saving heart research so we are encouraging as many people to sign up as possible.

For the first time in the event’s history the use of electronic bikes will be permitted this year. I hope this will encourage more riders of all cycling abilities to get in the saddle and take on the challenge. Our London to Brighton Bike Ride is an achievable challenge for all cyclists. Heart and circulatory disease still kills 1 in 4 and affects 7 million people in the UK. In Yorkshire and the Humber alone around 13,800 people die each year because of it, tearing families apart.

The BHF will continue fighting against these devastating conditions until we live in a world where nobody dies prematurely because of them.

To sign up for the London to Brighton Bike Ride visit bhf.org.uk/L2B

courage: PC Martin Willis holds on to the van. @WYP_PCWILLIS/PA Wire .

YEP Letters: December 5