YEP Letters: May 31

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Regeneration to be proud of

Tony Bell, Stanley

I would like to, at long last, pass on some praise to Wakefield Council’s planning department, as finally Wakefield has gained a building it can be proud of.

The building in question is the new Yorkshire History Centre on Kirkgate. The design of this building is pleasing on the eye.

Its lines are simple and graceful, with the eyes being drawn to the entrance by sympathetic landscaping. This building eclipses the grey uninspiring bulk of the Hepworth Gallery and hopefully, with a little encouragement, could become a major tourist asset. Hopefully some progress may be made with the adjacent semi-derelict office block to enhance this area further.

Well done Wakefield Council - keep up this line of regeneration.

What’s needed is genuine expertise

S Sleeman, LS6

After a week of articles about transport in Leeds, we read that the council has arranged a “major transport summit” in Leeds on June 10.

Will the public be allowed to have its say at this summit?

Coun Blake says that “the important thing is we will be working with some of the most expertbrains on transport in Leeds”. Whose brains?

Tom Richmond, in his online YEP article on May 17, speaks about the shortcomings of certaincouncillors with 
regard to the failed trolleybus scheme.

These councillors should have attended thePublic Inquiry (they didn’t) and cancelled the scheme as soon as it became obvious what was wrong(for example, when it was admitted it would not ease congestion).

Instead they said “a compelling case had been made”.

I assume that they, and all the others on the council who voted for it to go ahead, including those who were whipped into doing so against their better judgement, have read the inquiry report (or atleast its conclusions) carefully.

Doing so should demonstrate to them that the consultants/companies they were paying to executethe scheme were inadequate (eg, on one occasion sending incorrect financial information to the DfTbecause they “didn’t have time to check it”!)

They must remember this when they put forward their new transport plans and on no account should they consider using the same companies (at least one of which was involved in the Edinburgh tram scheme - hugely over budget at, eventually, £1 billion) for any new schemes as those
involved in the trolleybus fiasco.

Next time would Leeds City Council please employ genuine expertise instead of firms out to take our money but not give sensible advice, whichwould have shown those councillors promoting NGT where the scheme was wrong in the first place.

A tale of missed connections

Martin J Phillips, Cookridge

It does not really matter whether Coun Wakefield ‘promotes’ the Routemaster of FTR for use on the streets of Leeds.

If they are still operated by the present incumbents First Bus then nobody will be leaving their cars at home to catch a bus.

First Bus should change their name to Last Bus as they are hopelessly incompetent.

Today, for example, I wanted to catch a number 6 bus from Cookridge to Headingley to get a connecting bus to Meanwood.

The 13:17 from my nearest stop failed to arrive; as did the 13:27 and 13:37.

By the time I got to Headingley I had missed 
both the possible connections. As a disabled person I do not have other options.

And then, coming back 
from Meanwood was no 
better.

The number 38 bus failed to run, the number 69 bus failed to run.

When I eventually arrived at Headingley I had to wait 30 minutes for a number 6 bus that is supposed to run every 10 minutes!

No need to drag up miners’ saga

Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

HOW I agree with Ron Firth (YEP Letters, May 30) that it would be counter-productive to drag through the saga of the Miners’ Strike and the violence at Orgreave.

No more taxpayer money should be wasted on these costly investigations.

Nothing can be changed and families on both sides, police and miners, can only be more upset.

Vote to stay to protect jobs

Dave Walker, Wakefield

Like many people my age I can vividly recall the 1980s when West Yorkshire was very poor, unemployment was high and Thatcher ruled the country.

The future was sadly bleak for local school leavers in this area. There were few jobs and apprenticeships and not very many children stayed on at school in those days. After the miners’ strike, young people in this area could only look forward to life on the dole. Yet help was at hand. Many of those young people (who were born in the 1960s) got their first jobs, their start in life, through EU funded programmes.

The EU provided cash in spite of the Tory government, not because of it. Thatcher did not care about an area where she had no political support but the EU stepped-in and helped hundreds of local people onto the job ladder.

Nowadays many of these same people are now aged over fifty. They owe their livelihoods and careers to the EU but don’t seem grateful. Many of them plan to vote leave. Have they no memory? Do they not care about the future of their children and grandchildren?

If you recklessly vote leave you must expect that the next time there is a financial downturn, which will, of course, happen sooner or later, West Yorkshire will be again sacrificed by a Tory government down in London.

Vote to remain if you want to protect the future of West Yorkshire.

Time to believe in Britain

Graham Turner, by email

Britain’s gross contribution to the European Union has topped £491bn since the country joined the Common Market in 1973.

After the rebate and other deductions, the net contribution is £175.8bn.But what about other costs?

There are currently 4,171 European criminals locked up in this country, which costs the taxpayer an estimated £169m a year.

Britain is supposed to be able to compulsorily deport European nationals who are jailed by the UK courts.

Just 73 have been sent home in the past four years, despite David Cameron pledging to intervene to end the scandal of EU convicts clogging up our prisons. What cost to police budgets and our courts to put them behind bars?.

Figures showing there were 475,000 births to mothers from other EU countries between 2005 and 2014.

The cost of providing NHS services to those families, could be more than £1.33bn. They also pointed to statistics showing that GP registrations had increased by 1.5 million in the past three years alone.

Not to mention the billions paid out in child benefits. Britain along with the other EU countries have to pay a small percentage of all VAT collected towards the running of the EU Commission, I wonder how many millions that will cost?

Believe in Britain.

Hard lobbying is what’s needed

Steve Barber, Nottingham

It is probably good news that the Government has pulled the finance for your trolley bus scheme in Leeds and allowed it to be spent on a better local transport scheme.

It was criminal that the last light rail project was pulled after £ 100m of public money was wasted on the scheme.

Hopefully you will be able to open a tram-train scheme, running on to the streets and connecting the airport.

If not then Leeds will be the only city in the UK without light rail and possibly connected to HS2.

I say possibly, as HS2 made it clear to us in Nottingham that our successful tram is a major factor in their considerations. The eastern leg to Leeds is by no means certain.

Clearly without high speed rail links, Leeds and Nottingham would see investment by passing us and going to Manchester and Birmingham. Hard lobbying is needed unless we want to be backwaters.

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9