YEP Letters: March 5

George Mitchell and his milk "float" in winter of 1963 near Balm Road, Hunslet.
George Mitchell and his milk "float" in winter of 1963 near Balm Road, Hunslet.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Remember the winter of 1963?

R Kimble, Leeds 5

The winter of ’63: we still went to school, sat shivering in our bobble hats and scarves, no heating on. It lasted for months and the snow was several feet deep.

And what happens in 2018? Motorways gridlocked by the car and lorry drivers who ignore warnings not to travel – as usual. Schools closed, gas supplies in danger and the whole news network on TV is in deep panic. Cancelled medical appointments. The snow is barely three inches deep and I got a good laugh from a bus queue when I walked past and wished them merry Christmas.

Children up the road are making snowmen – that’s the spirit. And Brexiters think we can do it all alone, ha ha.

Where is Monkbridge Forge painting?

Baz Walker, Leeds 12

PASSING the Evening Post office buildings on Whitehall Road and being able to see the listed Great Northern Railway viaducts reminded me of the time I worked at the old Monkbridge Forge as a maintenance fitter.

Our department was situated under one of the arches and it had access to most of the works including the offices and the boardroom. At the far end of the boardroom hung a magnificent oil painting showing Monkbridge Forge as it was in the mid 18th Century.

It showed the River Aire, Leeds and Liverpool Canal, railway viaduct and cupolas.

For the smelting of iron and the original bridge itself with its bowed cross members and parapets, crossing the bridge is a shepherd, herding his flock towards Leeds market for I presume auction.

This painting depicts the start of the industrial revolution in Leeds and should have pride of place hung in the Leeds art gallery. It isn’t, so where is this iconic work of art? Does anyone know of the whereabouts of this painting?

I’d love, like many others, to see it again.

Voters will end up paying

A Ward, Leeds 8

Why are our elected leaders still pursuing the idea of an elected mayor for Yorkshire?

According to the report in the YEP, Labour MP John Grogan, during Prime Minister’s Questions, referred to a group comprised of 18 Conservative and Labour council leaders, the Yorkshire CBI, the Yorkshire Institute of Directors, the Yorkshire TUC and his Grace the Archbishop of York who all support an all-Yorkshire devolution settlement, but funnily enough there was no mention of us, the voters, who will end up paying for this extra layer of bureaucracy through increased council tax, no doubt.

I thought we’d had a referendum in 2012 when there was a 63.3 per cent “No” vote. Can anyone explain what has changed since then? Why are our elected leaders ignoring the wishes of the electorate?

Thank you for your kindness

M Jones, Leeds 11

Last Thursday in Morrisons, Penny Hill Centre, Hunslet, I inadvertently left my handbag on one of the benches.

I wonder if I might try to thank the very kind and honest person who handed it in to reception. God bless you, whoever you are, I am so grateful.

Who decides what’s fair?

Jim Kirk, by email

Does Gavin Chapman (YEP Letters, February 26)really believe that a Labour government would take the foreign aid budget and distribute it fairly amongst the sick, disabled, unemployed and elderly of the United Kingdom?

Who gets to decide what’s fair? That’s the point! Labour love to fractionalise the population into group identity, create tribes of victimhood whose needs are based on how downtrodden they are brainwashed into feeling.

Labour don’t care about the poor, the sick, unemployed or elderly, they just hate the rich. Does Mr Chapman imagine for a second that food banks and the homeless will disappear under Corbyn?

People want hope, a chance to prove they can take some responsibility and control of their own life, get ahead by their own determination to strive for a better future.

What good are you to Labour if you achieve anything? The true workers of this nation (who need a better voice than Labour) toil away to support their family and aim for the small gains that help to fund that second car or new conservatory.

Reward comes from effort, but Labour want sacrifice. Individual achievement is vile to them because if you can pull yourself up, you don’t have to rely on the crutch that claims to be your only means of support.

Austerity is never a good thing, but when Labour empty the piggy bank, it’s the savers who suffer the most for they have to refill the coffers.

Prioritise city and urban connections

D Angood, by email

The Transport for the North (TfN) organisation has published its 30-year plan and according to comments made soon after it would appear to be just another “quango” spouting more waffle.

Taxpayers money being paid to a group who, it seems, have no authority to access funding to even contemplate a project to improve the transport infrastructure. TfN has no powers to source its funding except through government and the disproportionate discrepancy between transport funds for London and the North leave it lagging far behind. Everything TfN talks about doing is subject to the whim of government even though the body has gained statutory status. TfN whilst looking at the whole region has to consider smaller scale improvements that can be implemented without the need for massive investment. City and urban connections should be a priority with extra trains and carriages and smarter ticketing arrangements, which they say are in the pipeline.

Further plans to improve urban connections should be discussed with suggestions requested from interested parties. Suggestions could include ideas such as reopening the Spen Valley line from Low Moor through Dewsbury to Wakefield which would greatly improve connectivity. Connecting the two Bradford stations would open a new vista for West Yorkshire travellers. A system of underground/ overground funded jointly with LCC could serve the city of Leeds and surrounding areas. The possibilities for the provision of a transport infrastructure are endless but the funding is not, therefore the function of TfN should be to prioritise the schemes that will bring the most benefit as soon as possible.

Our economic thinking is wrong

Dr David Hill, CEO, World Innovation Foundation

As usual the proponents of HS2 do not comprehend the long-term ‘big’ picture,

Although we know we need additional capacity on our railways, we need even more vitally, new hi-tech industries.

In this respect railways are a mere support mechanism, just like banks used to be and should be.

These do not create the industries that will provide the future wealth, but only support it.

For without new industries evolving, the support systems would fail, even the banks and railways.

We appear in this country to always get the cart before the horse and want to build support systems when we have not even the new industries to make them viable long-term investments, as we only have one economic pie to eat from and where it cannot grow unless we create new leading-edge industries.

But more importantly, no economy can survive on support systems alone and where after the HS2 is in place no new hi-tech industries will be born from it that will have any global significance.

Why therefore do we try to fool ourselves as China realised over three decades ago that it is to capture the leading-edge industries of the future where a nation will command a global economic presence and dominance.

This basic premise is what we miss time and time again and where some economists predict China will have an eventual economy three times that of the USA and possibly greater.

But this will not be provided through just hi-speed support trains, but by having the world’s most advanced industries in place.

We have to wake up to the realities of the unfolding future 21st century global trade and what will drive all this before we eventually realise, support systems are not the answer and where additional capacity is meaningless when the global industries of the future will be elsewhere.

Who paid to clear cycle highway?

Ivan Kovacks, by email

Just a couple of thoughts on the recent covering of snow; when I walked a couple of times from Armley to Bramley the pavements were slippery, wet and dirty but surprisingly free from cyclists!

I was not the only person to notice this, when several cyclists passed us moving along the road, they must have felt safe on the road which was free from snow.

We also saw that the cycle highway had been cleared of snow but was totally free from users.

Now I know the council maintains that this cycle path was paid out of government grants and not our council tax, I wonder if the clearing of 
them is also paid from this grant?

If not and the clearing was paid for by us, then why cannot the pavements also be cleared as more people use them than the cycle path?