On the day that I read that we would become the hub of the railway network, I also read that Sheffield had proposals for an IT park development involving 1,300 jobs.
This encapsulates the difference between Leeds and its competitors.
We live in a hype bubble –they do things. We dream of 10-year “might happen” and they think of immediate benefits.
It has always been thus. The main reason has been our singular failure to cultivate political contacts and our liability to access Westminster and EU funding.
Also, the fatal cloud of self-congratulation and complacency which has hovered over us since Leeds United were promoted in 1964. Together with the timidity and indecisiveness which paralyses decision-making and the cautious safety first mindset it spawns.
Our successes have accrued from outstanding, bold, hard-headed individuals. For example: those who exposed the campaign against our children’s heart unit, those who secured the Tour de France, those who got us the Arena and the Armouries.
We are too content to live off our image as a handsome city, a diverse, vibrant economy, our geographical location, and to rely on the financial and retail sectors to sustain us.
We need investors, political clout, links with European cities, overseas markets, a Northern cities alliance, zero tolerance of wasteland, empty properties, derelict buildings and a fast planning application process.
Not forgetting a business/exhibition centre, a connected airport and a transport system.
Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood
Rail revolution by London rules
I FIND James Bovington’s letter (YEP, October 14) on the coming rail revolution interesting, yet I can’t resist the feeling that it is probably too complicated for 2014.
We have that ever-present problem in the way – London rule!
At present we have yet to give the required powers to our great Northern cities, the ones that created the industrial revolution! But we appear to be at the point where it could happen – don’t hold your breath though.
Newcastle is unhappy with its situation, apparently claiming that it wants what Scotland has, and has been offered before the referendum on their future! Finally, could Mr Bovington tell me what a “chord” is?
Terry Allinson, Bardsey
Who would poison pets?
I TOOK my dog on my usual park the other day, only to be told that several marshmallows had been found that morning which were laced with rat poison. I had already read about the problem but not on the same park where I usually go.
This barbaric act could not only be fatal to animals but also to children. All the parks I have heard about have been in the Leeds area and, although the police have been informed, I also hope that the council are as interested in catching the perpetrators of this sickening and cowardly crime as they are when they are busy making money from an error by the public, and that they use their same zero tolerance approach if they catch anyone.
People pay their taxes and are entitled to walk their dogs without fear of them being poisoned. I do hope that every effort is being made to catch these sadistic morons and bring them to justice as soon as possible. Lots of animals are loving creatures, and any attempt to harm them in my view is a crime. Animals are not put on this earth to be used and abused.
Peter Haddington, Eccleshill
Siblings need family homes
AT BARNARDO’S we believe that every child has the right to grow up in a safe, secure and loving home. This especially applies to children who are taken into care because their parents are unable or unwilling to look after them.
We strongly believe it doesn’t have to end how it began – no child is beyond help – and for some, adoption will be their best chance of a permanent, supportive and loving family life. I am very proud of our long and successful record of finding new families for children who cannot, for whatever reason, remain with their biological parents.
This week is National Adoption Week and this year the focus is on finding new parents for groups of brothers and sisters. This week, we are launching a new appeal to find new parents who are willing to adopt groups of siblings, keeping them together and creating the safe, secure and permanent home-life they so deserve.
We welcome enquiries from all irrespective of age, faith, sexuality, marital status or background.
Becoming a parent can be a daunting prospect for anyone – but at Barnardo’s we walk side by side with our adopters for as long as they want or need us.
We pride ourselves on the quality of preparation, training and ongoing support that we give adoptive families to help them adjust to a ready-made family.
So if you think adoption could be for you, all we ask is for you to contact us at www.barnardos.org.uk/WhyAdopt
Steve Oversby, Director for Barnardo’s in Yorkshire, Bradford
Regarding the inquiry by K Evans (YEP, September 25), there is a death registered in Leeds in the June quarter of 1956 for Hannah E Shaw. Also according to birth registers there is a Hannah E Petch which was her maiden name, December quarter 1875 in Halifax.
I hope this helps the enquirer.
Peter Thorpe, Leeds
Braking bad on two wheels
I’ve seen several items recently with footage of cyclists being abused and even assaulted by other road users. While not condoning such behaviour, has anyone considered the other side of the story? There have been numerous shots of cyclists who have stopped at traffic lights, for example (now there’s something unusual for a start), at a standstill in the middle of the road, in front of cars, rather than at the side.
The issue of pavement cyclists has been ignored completely. We use pavements, they say, because of dangerous drivers but then hypocritically show utter disregard for pedestrians (including elderly people and children) as they cycle side-by-side on pavements, often too narrow for one cyclist let alone two or three. Ask them politely to get on the road and you get told to xxxx off, more often than not.
These people want to have a good look at themselves: they’re an absolute nightmare in London (where I used to live). I now watch them constantly go the wrong way along one-way streets where I live and I’ve lost count of the number who routinely use mobile phones while they’re cycling.
Terry Maunder, Kirkstall
The good, the bad and the ugly
I join many other readers in mourning the Trans-atlantic destruction of our beautiful English language.
The misuse extends to one of the former bastions of the Queens’ English, the BBC.
Several interviewers have asked an interviewee how they are and the response has been “I am good”. Surely we the viewers should be the best judges of how good they are?
The correct response is, surely, I am well!
Jack Banner, Meanwood
Love for a lag
A murderer serving 17 years in jail is going on dating sites from his prison cell in Kent.
If this is punishment then book me in for a spell. If it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable.
J Shedlow, Moortown