Our Residents’ Association would like to respond to NGT’s criticism of our commissioned tree valuation report by arboriculturist consultant Sam Turner.
First, no assessment of the capital value of tree assets lost by their destruction for the trolleybus scheme is included in their TWAO report.
Second, we used the professionally recognised CAVAT tree valuation system because it measures the value of trees to the community including amenity and is the system used by Leeds City Council.
Third, the CAVAT tree valuation system does not take into account the impact of tree loss on noise and air pollution, heat absorption, water run-off or loss of property values.
These are all additional factors likely to increase the capital value of tree loss figure.
Fourth, using CAVAT Sam has calculated the value of tree loss to be in the order of £14m.
If NGT can demonstrate it should be lower, Sam is happy to meet the NGT arboricultural team and talk through their methodology and conclusions.
Fifth, our report states up-front that it only takes the value of trees as first planted into account.
However, as trees grow very slowly it will take decades to achieve anything like the current tree asset value.
Sixth, we understand NGT has estimated £700,000 for providing approximately 1,700 new replacement trees. Would NGT please give us an estimate as to the costs of maintaining them to ensure they survive?
Will the costs of this huge task come out of Leeds City Council’s parks and road landscaping and maintenance budgets? If so, will this adversely affect the quality and maintenance of other green areas in the city?
We contend that the currently proposed NGT trolleybus scheme for just nine miles of route through areas of Leeds where residents and businesses have shown they just don’t want it, is a complete waste of all council tax payers money and should be dropped.
Alison Larkin, chairman, Drummond and Churchwood Residents’ Association
Stench of dog mess on estate
This morning outside the Post Office, Hawksworth Estate, Leeds on Broadway is a pile of dog mess.
Round the corner there’s a pile outside the entrance to the Co-op.
You can smell it as you stand at the cash machine
What is wrong with these lazy, indifferent, selfish people?
The stuff is all over the place.
I posted some stickers the council sent me around certain areas yesterday, including the piece of grass up towards Lea Farm Road from the roundabout on Lea Farm Drive. They’ve all been removed by someone.
As if it’s not bad enough with the broken bottles left on pavements, the barking dogs left out in gardens late at night and the foul-mouthed mothers and fathers (and grandparents!) using language I can’t believe at their children.
T Maunder, by email
The low-wage economy plight
So “Name & Address Supplied” (Your Views, November 25) thinks that the minimum wage represents luxury increases.
Before I go any further let me say that I am one of the OAPs to which he/she refers in the letter.
The minimum wage was introduced ostensibly as a safety net for workers already receiving scandalously low remuneration for their efforts.
It has unfortunately been taken up as a benchmark by many types of employer, a sort of “well this is it, we don’t need to pay any more”.
In case “Name & Address Supplied” or DS Boyes (also mentioned) don’t understand, the point of working, for most people, was always to provide a decent living for themselves and their families.
We are now living with a deliberately created low-wage (and low pension) economy in what is still basically a very prosperous country.
The problem is that this prosperity is being concentrated into fewer and fewer elite, powerful hands.
This situation will not be reversed by the current right wing Eton mafia because that’s where massive Tory party funding comes from.
“Name & Address Supplied” needs to re-enter the real world and place his/her loyalties where they belong.
Alan Freeman, by email
Grit bins in need of... grit
We are ready with the grit, said the council today. I don’t think so.
They have yellow grit and salt containers placed around, the one in Broom Nook for the elderly people’s bungalow is handy, but what the council don’t seem to know is for them to be any good they must have salt and sand in them, because as usual it is empty.
Last year I phoned them and told them the path around the bungalows was treacherous and the grit bin was empty.
So a couple of days later they filled it up.
Another winter problem is because the roadside grates don’t get cleaned out, if we get a downpour of rain and then it freezes overnight, the next day we will have ‘Strictly Come Slipping’.
H Ibbetson, Broom Nook, Leeds 10
Thanks to caring staff at centre
I WOULD just like to say a big thank you, through your paper to the staff in the St John’s Centre when I lost my balance whilst going up the escalator on Friday November 22.
Also thanks to the first aid lady, they were so caring.
Mrs A Baker, Leeds 16
Ward 28 staff were first class
PLEASE DO not knock the National Health Service until you have tried it.
After spending three days and two nights in Ward 28, St James’s, I could not have wished for better care if I had gone private.
The doctor and nursing staff were first class. The nurses are heroes.
Special thanks to Rose and Henry on the night shift.
Thank you all.
Shirley, Bed 7
Privatisation ruining country
THE DESPERATE situation in the Philippines with people begging for food and water illustrates the fact that all creatures on this planet must have water to survive and it comes to us from above and is free at the point of delivery.
The only charge should be for the upkeep of the reservoirs and maintenance of the system on a strictly not-for-profit basis.
The Tory-led coalition and previous Tory administrations have other ideas, they quite happily sell off everything they can get their hands on including gas, electricity and of course water to their cronies for under the going rates to make a fast buck and always in time to fight a coming election.
This Tory dogmatic practice of privatising all our national assets is ruining this country and is creating a wider gap between the haves and have nots, and the Tories don’t give a toss, in fact it suits their purpose of divide and rule, their favourite trick.
They are quite happy to stand aside and let the fat cats rip us off to their hearts content including the water barons selling to us “the great unwashed” (pardon the pun) our own water at exorbitant rates and just to rub it in the majority of these companies are foreign owned.
Before I conclude I would respectfully suggest to the Labour opposition to add one word to their election manifesto “renationalisation”. My prediction is you will hear more of this word in the near future.
A E Owens, Swarcliffe