YEP Letters: November 27

Terry Cunningham pictured in 2006
Terry Cunningham pictured in 2006
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Terry’s given his life to the community

Mrs P Gyi, Leeds 17

I got to know Terry Cunningham when I moved into the area and my youngest son went to St Nicholas School, he is now 54 years old.

Mr Cunningham was the caretaker, all the children knew and liked him. He ran the bingo in the old church hall three nights a week with his sister Pat, who is sadly no longer with us. He was not only the caretaker of the school, he opened and locked the church for the priests. He helped to get it ready for baptisms, weddings and funerals. There were always one or two homeless youths at his door and he gave them a cup of tea and a sandwich. Terry taught some of the young boys and later girls to be altar servers in church. He has given his life to the community. Everyone knows Terry and knows he would help them if they were in trouble. Later Terry walked round the area with his beloved dog Monty who has now passed on. I hope Terry gets some reward for all he has done for the community. God bless you Terry, they don’t make them like you any more.

Initial tram route deserves strong support

Toby Young, Skipton

THE proposal to develop an initial tram route from Leeds city centre to south Leeds and Stourton put forward by Paula Dillon, president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, deserves strong support from Leeds City Council, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the public at large.

Leeds has a disastrous record of failed tram projects stretching back 70 years, long before the recent debacles over the tram and trolleybus schemes. The future economic strength of Leeds depends on it throwing off the mantle of the largest city in Europe with no mass transit system and this proposal could be a practicable way forward. The city council recently missed a golden opportunity when it decided to spend £173.5m on buses and a couple of stations instead of making a start on a tramway.

I chaired the technical team which developed the initial tram scheme for Manchester back in the 1980s.

At that time many people thought it was a waste of time and would never happen. Now nobody can imagine Manchester without its trams. Leeds has 35 years to catch up. Paula Dillon’s plan should be progressed as rapidly as possible.

EU will lose cash cow with Brexit

Ian Anderson, Wakefield

Isn’t it time that David Davis grew a backbone and told Michel Barnier where to go?

I just cannot believe the bully boy tactics that Michel Barnier is coming across with in the Brexit negotiations, and getting away with it, with no retaliation from David Davis. Surely, the time has come to put him in his place, and tell him straight? Adolf Hitler couldn’t bully us into submission, so what chance does he think that he has?

I think the time is coming close to David Davis having to say, “That is what we are going to pay, and that is what we are going to do, take it or leave it”.

Since when did the UK start bowing and scraping to anybody? We all know what their problem is, they are losing the cash cow that always obeys the rules, and they will try anything to get the leave decision reversed.

Boycott would give us upper hand with EU

Michael Dennis, Ripon.

I THINK it is about time that we all gave David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (and a local lad to boot) a helping hand.

He is clearly battling against an EU which either has failed to remember how much trade we do with them, or which is allowing political issues to override the economic issues.

I think that the entire UK population should stop buying all German cars, (Mercedes, BMW, VW, Porsche etc), and all things French – Citroëns, Renaults, Peugeots, wine and food.

Within six months, CEOs would be hammering on the doors of the Bundestag and the Élysée Palace demanding that their public servants come to speak to us about a trading arrangement.

We may even be able to call the tune by then!

I think that we would all need to boycott German and French goods for my suggestion to work, but I fear that a considerable number of UK citizens appear to want the Brexit talks to fail.

Let’s have own City of Culture

B Leonard, by email

so the EU decree that we in the UK cannot have or be a City of Culture.

Well it’s about time the UK told them where to go or as we say in Yorkshire, a bit of tit for tat. We should have our own English City of Culture and let the EU do a runner.

After all we are still a part of Europe and lest they forget we were part of Europe in 1939 when the cry from the EU was help and yes we did, big style.

Population is as big a threat as climate change

John Riseley, Harrogate.

WE read dire forecasts of ice caps melting and great cities being flooded in the decades ahead.

Yet we know better than to accept this projection fatalistically but recognise it as a call for change from the direction in which past and current actions are leading us.

We are summoning the will to avert this fate, notwithstanding that it will require compliance by the great majority of nations – even when many may be tempted to free-ride on the sacrifice of others.

At the same time we see the world population continuing to rise steeply, placing us in a vice between growing demand upon resources and increasing uncertainly over the capacity of a climate-changed planet to sustain us. Of these problems with excess carbon dioxide and people, the latter is more tractable as each region can benefit from its own efforts while others face the consequences of their own irresponsibility.

We might therefore expect forecasts of a UK population above 70 million and rising to be met with the resolute response that we will not allow this to happen and will do what is necessary to prevent it. Instead we see meek acceptance of this impending calamity.

Cyclists need reflectors

A Hague, Leeds 9

I noticed this week that cycle reflectors go bright when car headlights strike them, but most cyclists without lights also have no reflectors or reflective clothing.

They don’t use batteries so cost is minimal, so these people need a heavy fine to wake them up.

As there’s no chance of the police doing this – why not have special wardens to do it?

Budget falls short on NHS

Dr Rajeev Gupta, Chair, BMA Yorkshire Regional Council chair

With the NHS facing one of the most challenging periods in its history, the budget announcement has fallen short of what is needed to address the long-term funding problems which unfortunately look set to continue.

In Yorkshire, increasing pressure on services means that many waiting time targets haven’t been met for years and patients face longer delays to see their GP as the crisis in general practice has left many surgeries struggling to cope.

As government figures published this week reveal a significant fall in the number of GPs and three in four medical specialities struggling to fill training places, recruitment and retention should be a priority for the NHS, yet the budget offers little solution to this crisis.

The Chancellor’s failure to commit to extra funding for public health issues means that the damaging impact of alcohol, tobacco and poor diet will continue to cost the NHS billions each to year to treat.

Whilst the proposals in the budget will go some way towards easing short-term pressures, this was largely a missed opportunity to prioritise patient care and create the sustainable future the NHS needs.

Festive Friday

Hannah Vince, Fundraiser at The Children’s Trust

As the festive season approaches, we’re asking readers to help us raise money for some very special children during their Christmas celebrations this year.

The Children’s Trust is asking you to put on your seasonal smile, don your festive socks and frocks and show some Christmas spirit by getting involved in Festive Friday, a national dress-up day, on 8 December.

Haven’t got anything festive? The downloadable Festive Friday toolkit complete with DIY selfie props is the perfect accompaniment for your Christmas party and those festive party photos, in return for a suggested donation of £2.

Each pack includes classic Christmas pudding glasses, Santa’s hat and beard, a trendy holly bowtie and some naughty and nice signs to stir things up a bit! Money raised will help to support children with brain injury from across the UK.

Sign up today at Thank you.

Supporting unpaid carers

Stephanie Stone, Revitalise

Imagine being a carer for someone you hold close, being on hand to offer emotional and physical support no matter what time of the day or night.

As this month we mark Carers Rights Day, I’d like to take a moment to tell readers why we’re devoted to doing all we can to be there for those in a caring role. Did readers know that 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility every day? That’s equal to over two million per year. Or that they save the economy an estimated £132 billion every year? For everything carers give, we are absolutely resolute to be there in times of need.

Experience has taught us that many carers are steadfast in their devotion to their loved ones and that it is often the thought of not being there for those they care for that prevents them from taking some much-needed time off.

I work for Revitalise an incredible national charity that provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers at our three accessible respite holiday centres in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport.

As a charity we know that many carers would rather spend time together with their loved ones than time apart. That’s why our respite holidays give carers the chance to relinquish their caring duties and focus on enjoying precious moments with the person they care for once more.

If you would like to find out about Revitalise, our breaks, ways we may be able to support you, or if you would like to support us, please call: 0303 303 0145 or visit:

Thanks for Access bus

Lena Ackroyd, Leeds 16

I would like to thank Metro for the Access bus.

They take me shopping, the drivers are so cheerful, they help you on the bus and even fasten your seat belts. They carry your shopping to your door and make sure you are safe inside.

Thank you so much.

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