YEP Letters: October 14

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I read with interest that over the next 30 years or so the number of passengers using Leeds-Bradford International Airport could treble (YEP, October 10).

Yet in this article, which quoted a leading councillor as saying that the airport “is a huge asset for Leeds... and has real potential for growth”, no mention was made of how vital it is to improve access.

It is essential, as our local MP Stuart Andrew has consistently pointed out, that we plan now for a rail link to the airport with a spur from the Harrogate line to a new station under the terminal building, with a possible western extension to connect with the existing line to Ilkley.

This new route would of course also be used by those who work at the airport and people who live in Yeadon as well as offering extra much-needed capacity through Horsforth.

Now is the time to plan so that the new airport link can be created at the same time as the electrification of the Harrogate line scheduled for later in the decade.

Transport supremo James Lewis seems to like the glory of being the local bus and train bigwig but doesn’t really have any grasp of what is needed to bring my beloved city of Leeds into the modern transport world.

If he had, then the article about airport expansion would have announced plans for the construction of the much-needed rail link.

I bet it isn’t even on Metro’s radar – Metro being about as much about a modern Metro system as the former German Democratic Republic was democratic.

While I can’t ever imagine a situation in which I could vote Tory, if Stuart Andrew was an independent I’d certainly be voting for him as he at least seems to understand the need to develop a modern transport system to work as an engine of economic growth and environmental protection.

Shame no one in the centre left parties does. Perhaps the Greens would let us know where they stand on local rail?

James Bovington, Horsforth

Raise money by helping others

We are often asked to sponsor people raising money for charity.

This is commendable, but I note how often the charitable activity coincides with the personal hobby interests and pastimes of the persons seeking sponsorship. I would be more impressed if such people sought sponsorship for their time spent litter picking, scraping chewing gum from pavements, or weekends attending homes for the elderly and spending a few hours helping the residents.

Trevor Crawford, Pudsey

Hague v Pickles for Yorks choice

JACK BANNER (YEP, October 10), nearly got it right when he said David Cameron proved how out of touch he is by asserting that William Hague was the greatest living Yorkshireman.

However, we must “cut Dave some slack” as with his upbringing the only other living Yorkshireman he actually knows is... Eric Pickles!

Derek Goodman, Morley

YEP gives us what we need

IN RESPONSE to A Hague (YEP, October 11) my wife and I get The Sun and the YEP daily.

I am surprised he can get 10 minutes’ worth of reading from The Sun, we cannot.

We do better with the YEP as at least it contains news, and covers local events.

My particular interest is the puzzle page, though I must say that the Sudoku is beyond me.

I once did get a grid of nine numbers but have yet to fill the whole grid.

I can do, from time to time, all the other puzzles and find it is an excellent way of filling in time.

So I say carry on YEP. You give us excellent value for money and you do provide us with what we need.

Mel Smart, Farsley

Eating bats puts world at risk

THE Ebola virus has killed almost as many people this year as it has since its discovery in the 1970s.

Experts say the disease traced back to bats, which are considered a delicacy in parts of West Africa.

Subsequently, the government in Guinea has forbidden the consumption of bats in an attempt to stop the spread.

Thousands of years ago an authority greater than Guinea also forbade the eating of bats (Leviticus 11:19).

Sadly many refuse to adhere to the health laws laid down by these authorities and with no licenced treatment of vaccine available, they are putting the world at risk.

A Stubbs, Bridlington

Hotel memories of bogus doctor

ANYONE writing a book celebrating 50 years of the Merrion Centre could do no better than talk to my dear mother, Mrs Wynn Bates, about the celebrities she met while running the Merrion Hotel cocktail bar between 1966 and 1970.

The famous names included Brian Rix, Lulu, Tommy Cooper, Peter Stringfellow, Denis Healey, Leslie Philips and not forgetting those extremely well-connected fraudsters of the period John Poulson and Joseph Kagan.

However, when it comes to bare-faced deceit and duplicity, according to mother the prize goes to a lady guest calling herself, “Professor Heinemann” (compete with faux German accent).

Indeed, along with giving highly dubious advice on operating theatre procedure at one Leeds hospital, this bogus heart specialist also ran up a huge hotel bill for accommodation, meals, taxis, gifts for hotel staff, and drinks and snacks for invited doctors and medical students.

What became of her after the inevitable court appearance I can’t say.

But, with such a silver-tongued talent for taking advantage of honest folk, if still alive she’s bound to be in Parliament.

Roger Bates, Shadwell

A court with no accountability

Last week Chris Grayling, the Attonery General, called for the United Kingdom to withdraw in whole or in part from the European Court of Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights was set up with full British support in 1959 to protect individuals against any excesses and abuses perpetrated by a European state against an individual.

The court is ultimately accountable to the European Parliament – a body containing elected British members.

It is surprising that the Government of which Chris Grayling is a member is working hard to sign up to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TIPP) which is putting jobs, salaries and safety in the workplace at risk.

TIPP will introduce a court, known as the Investor- State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, which is primarily subservient to big corporations for which national governments have only one responsibility, to pay the enormous fines and fees it will incur. No democratic accountability permitted.

The contrast between the European Court of Human Rights and the court which will enforce TIPP could not be more stark.

If we are to discount the possibility of big money talking to individual decision makers and political parties could someone please explain.

Martin Schweiger, Member of the World Development Movement, Oakwood

New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22