YEP Letters: October 16

Pic: PA.
Pic: PA.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Monitor exercise not lunch boxes

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

Rather than scrutinising the contents of lunch boxes of their pupils (calorie checking) schools should instead be increasing the amount of physical activity (exercise/sport) their children are involved in so that the children burn off more calories.

Removing high calorie items from a child’s lunch box could in fact be harmful, particularly if the child is very active and therefore needs the extra energy.

When I was at primary school in addition to all the other activities we did during the day I went swimming nearly every day straight from school.

Decisions not at council’s discretion

Andrew Thomson, Guiseley

Stuart Andrew’s recent opinion piece (YEP October 10) is yet another attempt to perpetuate the myth that local planning decisions are entirely at the Leeds City Council’s discretion.

It is simply untrue. He fails to say that all local planning decisions have to follow the National Planning Policy framework, introduced by the Conservative-led government in 2012 through legislation which Mr Andrew supported in parliament.

The NPPF has been described by planning commentators as a “Developers Charter”.

The CPRE, which Mr Andrew commends in his article, has published a damning report on the government’s approach to planning in the NPPF.

It states that “local authorities are being compelled by national policy to release more land for development” and “developers are then able to pick the most profitable sites, usually greenfield ones”.

I welcome the fact that the government appears to have changed its planning requirements, which should allow the council to revise its housing target.

Rather than making what appear to be politically-motivated attacks on the council, perhaps Mr Andrew could represent his constituents more effectively by taking responsibility for the consequences of his voting record in this area and act to change the NPPF as the CPRE have recommended in their report, to properly protect the green belt and ensure that genuine local housing needs are met.

Upgrade to 21st century system

Trevor Brook, Leeds 12

So we are getting a £500m transport hub that has no underground, monorail, tram or metro links to anywhere else in the city.

Come on Leeds don’t waste this opportunity to upgrade to a 21st century transport system for the city.

Brexiteers’ fantasy land

Alan Slomson, Leeds 6

John Walsh’s letter (‘UK in a position to bargain’, YEP, October 10) is a good example of the economy fantasy land that so many Brexiteers seem to inhabit.

It has been pointed out in your columns many times that, although we import from the the EU than we export, as a proportion, our exports to the EU – 40% or more of all our exports - is much more the the proportion – around 10% – of their exports that come to us.

Losing this trade woulds be much more serious for us than for the other EU countries. It is time Brexiteers had the courage to face this uncomfortable fact.

Our negotiating position is not all that strong, and the assumption Mr Walsh makes that we could settle for similar tariffs on both sides is wishful thinking.

He also ignores the fact that trade deals cover regulations as well as tariffs. Even a competent and united government would find it difficult to make a good deal for the UK. As for the present government - need I say more?

The pound has fallen in value by 15% since the referendum. This was predicted by the experts whom Brexiteers shouted down.

The experts also predicted that negotiating an exit from the EU would not be easy: another prediction that is coming true, but another fact that the fantasists fail to accept.

Better tourist info needed

Andrew Shepherd, by email

When are we to receive a proper tourist information centre in Leeds?

We used to have a great one in the train station then it closed down, leaving us the one by the town hall. It was a pleasure to go to Bradford and visit a proper tourist info centre, when will Leeds follow and get organised? Hopefully when the new train station gets modernised we will get one.

We have visitors coming to Leeds not knowing where to go, they have to find a map to get to the tourist info centre only to find they need to be near the railway station. They walk around town bewildered.

Dissolve councils – to pay for this devolution plan

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

Now that devolution for Yorkshire is gathering pace, with failed politicians’ names being touted for the post of Mayor of Yorkshire, I am concerned that this will lead to endless layers of bureaucracy which will produce grandiose titles with grandiose salaries (because we need the best!) for the long suffering tax payers of Yorkshire to pay for.

If or when devolution happens all local councils should be dissolved to pay for it.

Wind turbines not the answer

Harry Brooke, Meanwood

After watching an expert on the BBC’s Countryfile inform the nation that wind is the answer to the UK’s future energy problems, I checked the live National Grid electricity generation website.

Being a Sunday, total UK electricity usage was at one of its lowest points for the week, but wind turbines provided only a trifling 1.4 per cent of this total, a derisory 0.52 gigawatts. Yet the UK needs 60 gigawatts on a frosty winter’s day when there is barely a breeze. The fickle, yo-yo wind can’t even provide a fraction of the electricity to power our homes and factories.

Despite this, Environment Secretary Michael Gove claims that, in the future, wind will generate the electricity to charge the batteries of 20 million cars as well. Dream on.

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