I have listened to many views both pro and against NGT. Whilst much has been said about the environmental issues relating to NGT I have heard little discussion about the economic impact to the areas affected by the route.
Without doubt the disruption caused during the construction phase will heap economic havoc on the Headingley area and the A660 corridor in general.
My experience of nearly 40 years of trading has shown that customers will quite simply avoid the area during the construction phase and will take their custom elsewhere. The result will be that many many businesses, already struggling in an economically depressed market, will not survive. At the completion of this project we will be left with an area whose character will be changed irrevocably for the worse. At the end of this journey, and the delivery of the promised questionable state-of- the-art transport system, will our children thank us for the economic wilderness we have bequeathed them? I doubt it.
Leeds City Plans Panel meet tomorrow and 13 elected councillors will consider whether to recommend the Transport and Works Act Order for the NGT Scheme, I sincerely hope they heed the Government Guidance given in the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) which states: “The Government is committed to ensuring that the planning system does everything it can to support sustainable economic growth.” Planning should “recognise town centres as the heart of their communities and pursue policies to support their viability and vitality”.
A Headingley centre full of shops empty as a result of been driven out of business by the inevitable disruption of the construction of the trolleybus scheme will not, in my mind, constitute a viable centre full of vitality. I strongly urge the Planning Committee to properly consider the impact their decisions will have on the economic future of the affected areas when they make their decision on the scheme.
John Dammone, Salvo’s Restaurant, Cafe & Deli , Salumeria Ristorantino, Otley Road, Leeds
Making energy competitive
I have just had an idea to curb energy prices and it would cost the Government nothing.
It is this: For the Government to set up an energy company, called say, the UK Energy Corporation. It would buy electric and gas wholesale from the suppliers and sell the energy to the consumers at two thirds the current rates. It would be a “not for profit” organisation and the profits it makes would be offset by lower prices to the consumer.
When the present cartel of energy companies cry wolf, the Government would then say to them: “We are introducing an element of competition”, something that has not been in the industry since it was privatised. This would be genuine competition and its immediate effect would be to bring down the cost of energy otherwise the energy companies would risk going out of business. The energy industry is a Strategic Industry in this country and as such should be under state control and not the other way round. This scheme would be nationalisation without paying for it. Everybody wins.
Mel Smart, M.C.I.T., Cotefields Avenue, Farsley
Team on Ward 23 are heroes
I have just returned home at the weekend after having an 11-hour operation followed by 10 days in ward 23 at LGI. I was apprehensive about the aftercare, cleanliness etc, after reading reports in newspapers about the NHS prior to going in for the operation.
I could not believe the aftercare from all the staff, including cleaners, food servers, student nurses, nurses, staff nurses and sisters. What a team and all of them went out of their way to talk to you, support and encourage you and help you in any way that they could despite being understaffed both during the day and night shifts.
Cleaning was very regular and thorough and they took a pride in the cleanliness of the ward. There were only three nurses on the ward on a night and it was non-stop action for them all night long, but they still made time for you.
Well done the team of Ward 23 and my quicker than expected recovery and return home was clearly down to their excellent aftercare. They are all heroes.
Rod Wright, Cross Gates.
Ed’s losses in and out of office
During the Second World War there was a slogan “loose talk costs lives.” There is now a similar situation where it seems “loose talk costs money.”
Hearty congratulations then to Ed Miliband for being the only MP in the history of British politics to as good as achieve “the double.”
Not being content with bankrupting the country while in power, he then has to try again in opposition. Red Ed isn’t even Prime Minister, yet all he has to do is open his mouth and the stock market burns £2billion of share values overnight. How can the Labour party under Miliband expect to get elected when he damages the economy even when he isn’t in power?
Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet
It seems to me that many in newspaper journalism at the level of certain daily, national newspapers do not know what “freedom of speech” means.
It does not mean that you can say what you like, about whom you like in whatever way you like. There is responsibility and accountability involved.
It’s rather like a certain, local MEP using a phrase that many, including myself, found offensive. You can say he has the right to use that phrase (legally and morally a phrase loaded with prejudiced connotations that border on breaking the law surely?): equally people who objected to it have the right to say so without people calling them names no less offensive than the original phrase.
The Daily Mail has used the academic ideas of the father of an MP to describe him as hating this country and as “evil”. This is no less dangerous than what used to happen in the old USSR when people who criticised the State were imprisoned: it is the same principle. If you are a Marxist academic living in a capitalist country it is inevitable that you will criticise said country. It doesn’t mean you hate it and newspapers do not have the right to make this kind of inference about someone because of their ideas. It’s not freedom of speech. it smacks of the same kind of intellectual control that they are apparently against.
Since when, also, has the Daily Mail had anything positive to say about whole groups and cultures of people living here? Does this mean they also hate England with its armies of unemployed layabouts/illegal immigrants/binge drinkers/chavs/lazy students and so on ad infinitum?
Terry Maunder, via email
Carbon tax in Australia
Terry Watson wrote about the UK dropping its carbon tax, like they have done in Australia. The carbon tax in Australia is very different from the few green taxes that we have here in the UK. The Australian carbon tax has only been shelved for political reasons, the electricity retailers in Australia have said that it will take years before their prices come down; does that sound familiar?
Despite Terry Watson’s figures to the contrary, and the dire warnings about the carbon tax, Australia’s economy is still growing and creating jobs. Australia’s unemployment rate fell from 5.8 per cent to 5.6 per cent last month, the UK unemployment rate is at 7.7% The UK should adopt a similar scheme, we should adopt a carbon tax whereby everyone gets a personal carbon tax free allowance. It won’t happen for years; because it would mean the rich paying their fair share, instead of the more you pay, the cheaper it gets.
N Bywater, Airedale Terrace, Morley