YEP Letters: November 9

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The dog attack in Greenthorpe and withdrawal of postal services to 162 addresses which made front page news struck a chord with me.

As a former postman in the Leeds area, and former Health and Safety rep, I would say that Royal Mail would not have taken the decision lightly, but with a roaming dog, it puts every delivery person in danger, be they post staff, pizza deliveries, gas meter readers who are just trying to do their job.

The fact that Royal Mail is trying to deal with this problem, should be applauded, not critisised.

Yes, it is inconvenient and annoying, but because this matter has caused such a furore, it will be dealt with quickly.

If the dog’s owner is known, then the action is quite simple.

The owner should be prosecuted under ‘failing to keep a dog under control’ by Leeds City Council, end of.

Any dog owner knows that it is their responsibility not to let their dog roam, whether or not it will bite anyone. When this happens then the deliveries will be restored, no doubt.

In my 10 years I was lucky to only have been bitten twice, but both were near the dog’s home. These were both cases where a dog was very protective of its garden, and slipped out through an open gate.

I was not seriously injured, but one of the owners, who witnessed the bite, denied the attack when my manager sent a letter asking for future care of keeping gates secure.

Royal Mail do take dog attacks more seriously nowadays as many staff are injured and lose working time. If it is a loose dog, but contained in a garden, postal staff are advised not to enter the garden, so if a dog is loose, then mail is returned to the depot.

If the problem persists, then a letter can be sent to the dog’s owner asking for the dog to be either kept in or chained up until the mail has been delivered. That is a sensible solution.

Another solution is for the home owner to fit a locked post box near the gate, so no entry is required to the garden. This also applies if your dog or cat destroys the mail after it is posted through the letterbox, which does happen.

Name and address supplied

How freedom helps elderly

As a carer myself I read with particular interest a little known study which confirms what many of us feel and indeed fear. They selected two floors of a nursing home. One group was told the staff was there to help them; they were not permitted to make many choices for themselves. Despite the care, 71 per cent got worse in only three weeks.

On the other floor where they were encouraged to make decisions for themselves, such as how to arrange furniture in their room, the residents actually improved. They were more active and happier. They were more mentally alert and more active in activities.

It was at the 18-month mark when it became really startling. Before this study, the overall death rate in that particular care facility was 25pc.

But in the 18 months after the experiment, the death rate among those given perceived freedom and choices dropped to only 15pc, leaving the control group floor (with few perceived choices) to rise to 30pc mortality.

That means being given freedom to make even simple choices, such as what TV channels to watch, whether or not to have and care for plants, effectively halved the death rate. No medical drug can come even close to this performance in the issue of longevity. Suffocating control is quite deadly.

“The ability to sustain a sense of personal control in old age may be greatly influenced by societal factors, and this in turn may affect one’s physical well being” “more successful ageing... occurs when a individual feels a sense of usefulness and purpose”.

A feeling of helplessness may contribute to psychological withdrawal, disease, and death.

Centralised regulation is the enemy of choice. Discretion and flexibility in the care of old people should be paramount. We must avoid the ‘wake up it is time for your sleeping pill’ kind of treatment of our most vulnerable people.

Jane Collins, UKIP Yorkshire & North Lincs

Demonising lower classes

Cameron will not stand up to the energy companies. They represent the worst side of capitalism: they will allow elderly people, for example, to die or go without food to make a profit.

Cameron and the Tories represent the capitalists in the upper echelons of society, some of whom have not worked a single day for their wealth (but are apparently better than Malcolm Nicholson’s benefit scrounger demons). They bolster each other’s financial interests and I think they do not care about people in the social classes below them.

They still send young people to die in their popularity bolstering wars (how angry he was not to be able to do his Captain Marvel bit in Syria so he could show how he wins wars as well as every sporting event) and they still demonise people in the lower classes with their divisive sloganeering (“hard working people” being the latest cynical mantra).

R Kimble, by email

MPs can’t see common sense

What planet do most of our MPs live on? When asked a question they do not give a straight answer and some have lied through their teeth claiming falsely monies for houses etc. The bedroom tax, wear an extra jumper to keep warm, what rubbish; 1979, our oil reserves will last till 2150, what a laugh.

But the two biggest gaffes are Tony Blair’s weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and of course Neville Chamberlain who signed a pact with Germany in 1938 and told us no more wars, peace in our time, and we all know what happened in 1939, World War Two.

It seems to me that the man in the street can see common sense but not our MPs.

H Ibbetson, by email

Capitalists held us to ransom

The sheer arrogance and contempt for ‘ordinary’ workers’livelihoods displayed by INEOS at Grangemouth was staggering.

Gone are the days of the negotiating table, an option that I have to say was never abandoned by the unions, although they were regularly accused of holding the country to ransom – exactly what INEOS have just done.

In the wider view this should act as a wake-up call for all ‘ordinary’ people in this country as to just where we now stand with the global capitalists. It’s a potentially frightening prospect and it is unlikely to change under any Conservative government, this current climate matches exactly their long-held ambitions.

Alan Freeman, by email

No trolleybus... we’ve got buses

Might I suggest a cheaper alternative to the trolleybus. An alternative that doesn’t require overhead power cables, thereby making it aesthetically far superior and much cheaper.

Also it’s so much more versatile as it’s not restricted to running on tracks, in fact it can travel on any road that’s wide enough, so this will save many millions in construction costs, plus zero disruption. These vehicles can carry just as many passengers as trolleybuses in equal comfort, and the beauty is that we don’t even have to fork out for their manufacture because we’ve already got plenty of buses.

Ken McCoy, Harrogate Road, Leeds, LS17

Waiting for Jethro Tull

I COULDN’T agree more with Juliette Bains and her wait for the big names to appear at the new Leeds Arena.

I’m still waiting for Jethro Tull. Anybody else agree? Or do you think I’m living in the past?

Kevin Wilson, Cottingley,

YEP Letters: January 23