YEP Letters: May 7

Have your say

MP GREG Mulholland’s comments (YEP, April 30) just confirms how out of touch politicians are regarding public transport. While showing opposition to the Trolleybus, he suggests that Supertram would solve the transport problems in Leeds. It won’t!

It has ALL the failings of the Trolleybus but may be slightly less damaging to the environment. The main reason Mr Mulholland cites for having a Supertam system is so Leeds can “...compete with Manchester and Sheffield and our European counterparts” ie he sees it purely as a status symbol rather than anything useful for helping to reduce traffic congestion.

Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Cookridge

I FIND it strange to have to try and defend Leeds against Andy Viggars of Pontefract (Your Views, May 1) who is I presume a fellow Yorkshireman? The fact is comparing one northern city with another is purely personal. Comparing them based on football teams is futile and a narrow view.

He says: “Will Leeds ever get over the superior status of Manchester United?” and that they always will be a greater club. Well, all it appears to take these days for that to happen is someone who lives in another part of the globe to “splash the cash” and buy Leeds United. I bet United (who are based in Salford, not Manchester) never thought the noisy neighbours and Chelsea would ever challenge them for top dog status. Football supporters are still tribal but the clubs are not, it’s all just business. What part of Salford did Cristiano Ronaldo grow up in for instance? I am not a football fan so comparing Leeds and Manchester on who has the resources to buy the best players and success is over my head or interest. Nor is it in my view an important measure to compare places.

As for shopping – it’s down to what you want. I think Manchester City Centre is OK, but it’s a bit dirtier than Leeds and a bit too fragmented. Also when the Hammerson development is complete every outlet except Selfridges will be repeated in Leeds and it will move above them in the shopping ratings.

As for transport they and Liverpool are lucky, they appear to be ‘luvvies’ as far as Westminster and the EU are concerned and get our money lavished on them when compared to Leeds. They had their tram extension (about the same cost as for a full public system for Leeds) turned down at the same time as the bid for a tram for Leeds, on cost grounds. However after all the ‘hoo-ha’ died down it was quietly waved through for Manchester.

Comparing music and culture is again a personal view. London wipes the floor with all the cities in the north combined but I don’t think it’s a better place nor would I wish to live there. And if we are asking what either city can “only dream of” then Manchester can only ever dream of being in Yorkshire!

Derek Goodman, by email

Cities like chalk and cheese

THANKS, MR Viggars for giving the people of Leeds and Leeds fans in particular a good belly laugh after reading your letter (YEP, May 1). You are clearly a man of towering intellect if you feel the need to write this kind of meaningless dross.

I suggest you do one of two things – either get out a bit more or move to your beloved Manchester. Leeds and Manchester are like chalk and cheese – it’s pointless comparing the two, but if that’s what floats your boat then, hey, it’s a free world. Next time though, please be more honest and admit you are a fan of that lot across the Pennines instead of pretending to follow some obscure non-league club you can’t even be bothered to name.

Barry Mortimer, Near Crook, Bradford

Winning team in 60s and 70s

ALTHOUGH I don’t agree, I can fully understand people wanting to emigrate from this country only to be thwarted by financial constraints. But there is absolutely nothing preventing Andy Viggars (Your Views, May 1) from leaving Pontefract to move to his beloved city across the Pennines, thus allowing the thriving business and vibrant leisure sectors of Leeds City to be enjoyed by those who appreciate it.

Also, for the record Andy, ‘MU’ haven’t always ‘been a greater club than LU’. During the 1960s and early 70s Don Revie’s Leeds beat MU almost every time they played them, knocking them out of two FA Cup semi-finals along the way (remember also January 3, 2010) and in 1974 when LU won the league title, MU were relegated – fact.

I would gladly get the ball rolling and throw in the first tenner to help Andy move west – providing of course, it is one way.

Gary Edwards, LS25

No pride in living off benefits

HOW REFRESHING to read about a couple expecting their 17th baby. But taxpayers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they won’t be paying for it. This couple can still find time to run their own bakery business and bring up their family without looking for handouts.

What a contrast to a jobless woman who advised her 19-year-old daughter to get pregnant for an easy life on benefits. The mother got pregnant at 15 and has never worked, yet receives £1,200 a month and, no doubt a free council house. Now her daughter is doing the same. Does neither of them have any pride? It makes all the hardworking people who pay their taxes wonder why they bother.

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

Plea for info on film director

I AM currently writing a book on the British film director Robert Hamer, who made Kind Hearts and Coronets and It Always Rains On Sundays amongst others. From the National Newspaper Archive, I note that he is constantly referred to in the Yorkshire Post of the 1940s as ‘Leeds Film Director’ although he was actually born in Kidderminster. His father was Mr Owen D Hamer, former manager of the Lloyds Bank Leeds branch, chairman of the Leeds and County Conservative Club and a director of the Leeds Permanent Building Society.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who has any information on the Hamer family who, I believe, lived at some point in the Roundhay area. Does anyone know when they moved to Leeds from Kidderminster, or does anyone have information on Robert Hamer’s twin sister Barbara who was later headmistress at Huddersfield High School? Did she marry and have any children? Are there any relatives still in the area?

Any information would be most welcome. Please email

James Howard, by email

Give state pupils sporting chance

OH, FOR a little fairness to the less well off!

Back in around 1995, the Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) got permission to convert some 60 hectares of green belt farm land into building land for their new school, completely transforming the school’s assets by changing the land value from around £500,000 to around £30m. It shouldn’t really have been allowed, but councillors wanted to help this Leeds private school.

The GSAL left behind a small one hectare sports site in South Headingley/Hyde Park, consisting of a hockey pitch and very small sports hall, which local people have been trying to buy for local state schools. At sports pitch price this wouldn’t have been a problem.

The local state schools have only hard playgrounds for sports and would love the chance to share this site, which is safe and tailor-made for school sports. There were also plans to use it for after school community sports and an impressive business plan had been drawn up with the backing of the volunteer-run This is an area with no sports centres or grass sports fields.

But the rich GSAL again wants special help and this time threatened legal action if this site, too, isn’t wrongly converted to building land.

GSAL, you have already benefitted massively from the generosity of Leeds Council which enabled you to build on land you could never have acquired had it already been priced as building land.

Time to pull back, show some fairness, and let us buy this tiny sports site for state school pupils who need it so much – as you promised when Leeds Met University pulled out from their purchase of it for sports.

J A Rowe, South Headingley

YEP Letters: April 20