YEP Letters: March 6

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Better off without skyscrapers

Coun Tom Leadley, West Ardsley

Leeds is better off without super-tall buildings such as that pencilled in until recently for the Hume House site on Wade Lane (‘Deal falls through at last minute for the sale of planned skyscraper site’, YEP February 23); City Plans Panel had a preview of it late last year. At 40 storeys on the top of a hill it would have been far too dominant in the city’s skyline. Looking in more details, it would have been too near the existing student block just to the north; it would have blocked light and outlook from many of its rooms and funnelled prevailing winds. Bridgewater Place so far is the only super-tall building in Leeds and arguably has been more bother than it is worth because of its effect on winds. Around ten years ago we escaped, perhaps narrowly, the Lumiere Towers on Wellington Street and the Kissing Towers on Swinegate. After some delay, both sites were filled by shorter buildings more suited to Leeds. That recently completed on the Lumiere site is an especially fine example of up-to-date architecture which will be an asset to the city for many years to come.

Increases will have impact on city’s families

S Kavanagh, Morley

It is absolutely amazing to think Leeds City Council (LCC) have now found another way to take from the almost empty pockets of Leeds residents by their intention to increase leisure costs from between five per cent and almost 10 per cent at a time when they should be encouraging fitness in the community.

Such increases will further impact on individuals and families by reducing their disposable income.

The council wants to increase its income by £375,000 but will leisure centre staff receive similar percentage increases to their salaries, I don’t think so. It is just another way of bleeding the residents of Leeds and for no gain, other than for the council.

Already LCC are to increase parking charges in the city centre, this time hitting the same pockets of residents and visitors wishing to avail themselves of the delights of Leeds. If LCC want to promote the city, then stop the ever occurring and unnecessary increases which do nothing to enhance activity within our city.

The council should concentrate on not wasting millions on projects such cycle lanes, free computer packages, the trolley bus scheme which, again, would have favoured the few but failed costing thousands, and the latest tram system suggestion again benefitting the minority on its route.

Then of course there is the intimated rail link to Leeds/Bradford Airport which doesn’t actually take you to the terminal building, that idea is a joke in itself. Without such useless projects there would have been no need to dip into the pockets of residents nor would there be in the future.

For goodness sake LCC, stop the continual increases and stop blaming your every move on central government and cut backs.

Austerity cuts effect us all

Derek Barker, Moortown

Watching Question Time last week I could not believe the degree of arrogance displayed by Justice Minister Elizabeth Truss, when she sat there poker faced and said that the Conservative government was clearly the government that represented the interests of the workers of this country.

I think that Downing Street should be renamed Mount Olympus. The austerity cuts to the public services diversely effect all but the wealthiest elite who have the resources to pay for private security and medical cover but as yet I am not aware of any company providing a private emergency fire fighting service.

When a person dials 999 the operator doesn’t ask are you super rich, upper middle or lower middle class, working class or unemployed or too ill to work.

Even a wealthy person can bleed to death at the side of the road waiting for an emergency ambulance after a road accident, and as for private security monitoring of premises, the companies providing such services in my personal experience as an ex security officer, their response times can be even slower than that of the police.

The first time a high profile person or a member of their family dies as a direct result of the austerity measures I wonder if that would spur the tax dodging celebrities and sports personalities in this country to volunteer to pay a higher level of taxes, or will some of them simply make charity commercials asking the least well off to donate £3 a month to a national emergency ambulance service.

There is a north south divide

Hilary Andrews, Leeds

WE in Yorkshire are constantly derided because we say there is a North-South divide in England.

I, too, didn’t really believe it but a recent visit to London’s Tate Modern gallery to see a fantastic exhibition of 200 of Elton John’s photographs has changed my view.

The gallery has a new expensive addition and there is a carpeted room the size of a Northern street where you are invited to lie down and listen to different sounds.

All we saw were a load of young people lying down and using their phones. What a waste of taxpayers’ money. It would never happen here.

Lack of control and authority

Don Burslam, Dewsbury Moor

CONSIDERING the years the perennial Europhobes have had to devise a strategy or a blueprint for what they want after leaving the EU, it is clear they haven’t got a clue.

All we have is a undignified scramble from one far-flung leader to another and ad hoc deals to preserve jobs. Will President Donald Trump launch a lifeboat? I don’t think so.

The lack of control and authority is palpable, and whenever hardball negotiations start, we can have not a scrap of confidence that our side will prove a match for the Brussels brigade.

We are let down by station

Ian Dixon, Castleford

I read with interest about the £3.2m improvements to Castleford Railway Station and hope they come to fruition, having been promised an interchange years ago.

The new bus station in town is excellent (although I wonder why half the buses seem to park outside). The current rail facilities are an appalling disgrace.

The station should be much better for a town the size of Castleford. It has always baffled me that Garforth, for example, has two working stations and Castleford has just the one, not that two are needed.

Ever since Victorian times a railway station has often been the first impression of a destination to a traveller. We are really let down here.

I also welcome the desire to reopen Platform 2. A service to the east (York) is needed and I believe would be very well utilised.

Cake Break for MS Society

Tom Kerridge, Michelin star chef and restauranteur

My dad was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) when I was six.

At the time, I had no idea how life-changing it would be for our family. Fortunately, my little brother and I had our mum. She took us to rugby and held down two jobs to support us. More than 100,000 people live with MS in the UK.

It’s often painful and exhausting, and can cause problems with how you walk, move, see, think and feel. And it can be just as tough for friends and family, who have to watch their loved ones battle often debilitating symptoms.

But no matter your connection to MS, the MS Society is here for you through the highs, lows and everything in between. That’s why I’m supporting Cake Break – a delicious way to fundraise this March.

It’s the perfect opportunity to come together with friends and family and indulge in some tasty treats while supporting everyone affected by MS.

I’d love for your readers to join me in baking for the MS Society – they can find out more at www.cakebreak.org.uk or join the conversation using #CakeBreak. Together, we are strong enough to stop MS.

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New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22