I am grateful for you publicising the findings of our survey into the effects of the Bedroom Tax which is clearly creating feelings of pessimism and insecurity to tenants of social housing (YEP 1st October).
Unfortunately for Cllr Gruen we are not simply wanting to bring the impact of welfare reform to the attention of central government. We are seeking to persuade the Leeds Labour Council to do something of real benefit to those who are having to make a choice between paying rent or paying utility bills.
Polls show that 60% of the population are opposed to the Bedroom Tax, the Lib Dem conference voted against it and the Labour Party has promised to scrap it in 2015 – leaving the Tories isolated. Tenants, however, need security now.
If Cllr Gruen was to announce publicly that there would be a policy of no evictions then Leeds tenants would be released from the pressure and stress they are under to try and find a portion of their rent.
At a recent full council meeting Cllr Gruen and his Labour colleagues voted against such a policy and therefore there is the possibility that the council will commence possession proceedings against those who fall into arrears through no fault of their own. Such legal proceedings are likely to cost double the amount of arrears of rent and so it makes neither economic nor common sense.
We ask that Leeds councillors do the right thing and announce “no evictions for arrears of rent due solely to the Bedroom Tax”.
Hands Off Our Homes
It’s not the only traffic problem
News of proposed improvements to Horsforth roundabout will be welcomed by all who have to use either the Ring Road or A65. But will this like every other past promises over many years actually be kept?
Over 12 years ago similar grandiose plans were announced which were quickly forgotten by Leeds City Council, with several others made and also never kept inbetween times.
Also, Horsforth roundabout is only one of several long-term local traffic problems, as Rodley Roundabout and its approach road the A657 Rodley Town Street/Rodley Lane, is already badly congested by extra traffic from extensive and ongoing housing development around Coal Hill Lane and Bagley Lane, Farsley with hundreds more houses planned.
Rodley, Calverley and Farsley residents and some in Bramley also adversely affected seem to get no consideration from Leeds City Council.
Finally, the only approach road to the former Clariant site ie Calverley Lane by Calverley Bridge currently has no restrictions on traffic turning into or out of it across the main traffic stream of the ring road including 44 tonne HGV’s which is extremely hazardous and a direct cause of regular accidents there, what if anything is to be done about that?
DS Boyes, Rodley Lane, Bramley, Leeds 13
Miliband’s right to freeze prices
I do wish D.S.Boyes and all his Tory compatriots would get real.
The six largest energy companies are squeezing the life and breath from this country for the sake of profit. Profit for them not their users,the population of this country.
It is a myth to talk about bankruptcy. How can you go bankrupt when this year alone they have made £560 million pounds profit each. Ed Miliband is right to freeze prices in two years time when he becomes Prime Minister. This inept Government has done nothing to improve the lot of anyone but the rich and wealthy with their recessionary policies except increase unemployment and continue so to do. They are borrowing more now than ever the last Labour Government did. Do they not realise that the less in the pot, the less you can do with it. Leeds Council are having to make drastic cuts but it is not Labour policies that are responsible but the swingeing cuts made by the Government. 2015 will alter all that.
Mel Smart M.C.I.T., Cotefields Avenue, Farsley
Means test our bloated council
I very much enjoyed the recent Leeds ‘Light Night’ and found it a superb example of what our city can achieve - thousands of people enjoying their city and being able to explore locations which for many who work full time are often effectively inaccessible.
There is a lot of potential in Leeds for it to be a great medium sized European city like our twin cities of Lille and Dortmund or places like Zurich or Antwerp. All these cities have a metro system. Leeds doesn’t and we will never be in the European big league until we do.
So its great that local people are campaigning to create a walkway from a disused central area rail viaduct. However much better if this and other presently redundant rail infrastructure were brought back to the transport network.
Shame that those who plan our transport network so underestimate this city’s potential that they won’t even cost a metro plan for the city. Instead we have trolleybus.
James Bovington, Church Grove Horsforth
There have been a number of letters recently published in these columns about MPs “who have never done a real day’s work”. For reasons that are beyond me, some of them are aimed particularly at Labour MPs. They abound in all parties! What particularly galls me is the “posh boys and girls,” born into vast wealth and privilege, who gravely speak to the heart of the nation and make such statements as “nobody gets something for nothing,” when their own wealth base is inheritance, and they virtually get paid for breathing from the moment they’re born!
Along with their riches they seem to have been bequeathed infinite arrogance, sanctimoniousness and self delusion.
They’re convinced that their wealth has been earned by their own hard graft and wisdom. They’re blessed with the belief that wealth equals virtue, and do not hesitate for a moment to preach to the rest of us from their lofty pedestal about how we should think and how we should behave.
They preach the virtues of prudence and frugality to people who are desperate to make ends meet at a time when pawn shops, payday loan companies and food banks are found in all our communities, when they themselves have not had to commit to a fragment of personal spending economy.
Talk about self delusion! For myself, I’d be happy if all party politicians had, as a condition of membership of the House of Commons, to relinquish their inheritance in pretty much the same way Tony Benn renounced his inherited peerage in order to achieve this. If they really wanted the job they should be prepared to make genuine sacrifices.
Antony Schofield by email
At last a Government is making a stand against the crippling Carbon Tax currently one of the most popular schemes for relieving the people of their hard earned money. The Australian Government instituted a Carbon Tax in the middle of 2012 and already it is contributing to a record number of firms going to the wall with thousands of employees being laid off and companies forced to close factories that have stood for generations. A New South Wales treasury analysis shows businesses and households will be hit with a bill worth an estimated $580 million dollars a direct result of this tax. David Cameron should follow Australia’s example and scrap this iniquitous tax but as we are paying more than Germany, France and Italy put together it is highly unlikely.The problem with Politicians is that common sense is not very common.
Terry Watson, Adel