YEP Letters: November 14

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Whose fault is it we can’t buy tickets?

David Blackburn, Ilkley

RE NORTHERN Rail penalty fares. How to excel at customer service: reduce staffing in ticket offices. Do not publish the opening hours of ticket offices. Provide incomprehensible ticket machines (that often don’t work) and are difficult to use. Install credit card-only ticket machines at some stations. Employ guards who often (with some exceptions) fail to come out to the rear cab. Purchase unreliable ticket machines (even the new 2017 ones).

Whose fault is it that we can’t sometimes get a ticket?

It’s high time senior management got out and used the service and saw it from a customer point of view and found out how difficult they make it to buy a ticket in advance.

We need a referendum on devolution

Lionel Pyrah, Normanton

Former Leeds MEP Michael McGowan enthusiastically advocates a devolved Yorkshire (YEP Letters, November 7).

He indicates that ‘a single voice to speak on behalf of the whole region’ now has wide support from businesses, commerce, local authorities and a host of other relevant bodies.

All very well, but what about the county’s residents? And why also, should we follow the European model of regions like Bavaria and Catalonia?

In my view, devolution for the Broad Acres is a misguided concept on four levels.

Firstly, it would not include the Sheffield City Region; secondly, it would introduce yet another level of unwanted bureaucracy; thirdly, we have no idea which local authority would distribute the extra Government money – it could be York – and fourthly, a new-style local authority based on the Leeds City Region, together with the one earmarked for Sheffield, would surely provide greatly enhanced economic growth and opportunities in those areas and Yorkshire with, arguably, better results than the plan now being championed by Mr McGowan and others.

Spin-offs aplenty from LCR and SCR would soon be evident throughout the county once the city mayors and the cash bonanzas were in place.

Finally, in the interests of democracy, I suggest that we, the people, need a referendum to decide an issue too important to be determined by politicians alone; our lives are the ones that will be affected in the long term.

Pavements belong to pedestrians

B Smith, Leeds

There has been much controversy over the Leeds City Council policy of developing cycle lanes.

As a departure, and a more resident-friendly initiative, why not develop ‘pedestrian superhighways’ – pavements?

The sidewalks of the city are packed with tawdry patio furniture (of little use in mid-November) and A-boards (some quite large) to the extent that the free passage along our streets is dangerously obstructive for the aged, disabled, visually impaired, wheelchair and mobility scooter users, large buggies and even families with small children.

The planters, balloons, over-size advertising boards, music blaring out at all hours need to be controlled.

The pavements belong to pedestrians, not insecure cafe owners who think that they just invented coffee.

A useful start would be 
no toilets for customers, no seats outside and then Leeds City Council could take a leaf out of Bradford’s book and ban all A-boards, planters and other pavement obstructions.

Striving for a better future

Jaimes Lewis Moran, Member of Leeds Green Party

I’m from a generation of wasted potential, subjugated and bullied for my disability – autism.

Despite this I have value; I’ve grown my skills, overcome my limitations but still am waiting, pleading for a chance to prove myself. I’m not the only one like this. Across all wards, in all council estates you will find people striving for a better future, trying to claw their way out of working poverty.

I realise odds are against us, that too many people are seeking too few jobs, but the fact remains industries are being phased-out through automation. This simply means that workers ‘will’ be replaced by machines (self-serve checkouts, drone deliveries, online supermarkets).

This is nothing new and has happened throughout industrial history. Therefore there’s two very achievable options we can choose.

We can encourage new startups through condition-free grants or start encouraging any growing industry that still relies on people (such as electric vehicles, renewable technology, cycling culture, NHS). Unfortunately our government seems too focused on denying these. Either way solutions must be found or we will be facing another generation of wasted potential, maybe the ‘Universal Basic Income” could help avoid this? At the very least, these are worth a try.

Concern over fields proposal

A Ward, Leeds 8

The letter from E Towning about Fearnville fields (YEP, No vember 10) and the proposed plans to build on the area designated King George V Playing Fields came as a complete surprise to us.

We live near these fields and have never seen or heard anything about these proposals. Certainly we’ve never seen any information about a consultation meeting.

King George V Playing Fields were so named after the death of the king in 1936 “to promote and assist in the establishment throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of playing fields for the use and enjoyment of people.”

The National Playing Fields Association (now Fields in Trust) “preserve and safeguard the land for public benefit” and there are strict covenants and conditions in place that ensure the public will continue to benefit from these open play areas. A Trust deed defines a “playing field” as any open space used for the purpose of outdoor games, sports and pastimes. So how and why can Leeds City Council ignore all these covenants and agreements to build a school etc?

I agree with E Towning about the increase of traffic in the area.

At school times now there’s queues of cars making their way to and from St Nicholas’ School, the A64 and Crossgates. Having another school in the area will only exacerbate the situation.

Anyone concerned about these proposals should contact our council representatives immediately.

They cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over long established agreements.