YEP Letters: October 23

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Growing trees for energy take years

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

It is reported that Philip Hammond is looking to impose a hike in green taxes for businesses, to wean them off gas and move on to renewable energy such as electricity.

Pray does Mr Hammond not know how we get our electricity? It comes from Drax which burns wood pellets from deforestation in Canada and North America. Someone needs to explain to him that trees are the lungs of the world, and the only way it can be called renewable is because you can grow more trees.

The fact this takes years appears to have bypassed their brains.

On another note, I read the government is appointing a minister for the lonely, which in due course will cost the tax payer millions when the said minister hires more civil servants to help run it. Why not give grants to local organisations that run day clubs for the elderly and lonely etc, or is that too easy?

Praise for city’s under-pressure care teams

Tony and Janet Hodgson, Lincoln.

I AM writing to express our admiration and thanks for the help we are currently receiving from the health and social services teams in Leeds.

My 90-year-old sister has a number of serious health issues and lives alone in her own house, where she naturally wishes to remain.

One of our problems is that, though I am from Leeds, my wife and I live in Lincoln.

The logistical and communications challenges of living 70-plus miles down the three motorways are quite an issue for us, being well into our 70s ourselves.

My sister is in and out of hospital these days, usually fall-related, and we are in effect trying to do crisis-management at long range.

We cannot praise highly enough the various NHS and related services of Leeds, our own gateway into this help is usually the Crossgates and District Good Neighbours’ Scheme, a wonderful group who can usually direct us to the other agencies such as Leeds social Services and so on.

All these departments and agencies are, obviously, subjected to severe and ongoing cuts but their prompt action – usually same day – and their professional, caring, humane attitude are beyond praise.

Irony of HS2 filling gaps of Beeching cuts

David Howram, Mirfield.

I SYMPATHISE with Rosemary Nattriss and her husband (YEP Letters, October 17) after they received notice from HS2 that their house was to be demolished to make way for the new track.

I appreciate that the new HS2 railway will provide many benefits. However it does seem rather ironic that some 55 years ago a railway network was scrapped by the government of the day after receiving a commissioned report from the then British Rail chairman Dr Richard Beeching.

An entire national branch line and semi-main line network was made redundant and subsequently lost. The Beeching report claimed the network was not profitable and subsequently the affected infrastructure was sold to the private sector and in many places houses were built on the old railway land.

In just one local instance regarding this past government policy, down the road here where I live in Mirfield there was a railway station at Battyeford, where the “Leeds New Line” branched off from the main trans-Pennine route. The line ran for 13 miles through the Spen Valley, up to Gildersome and re-joined the main line at Wortley in Leeds.

The building cost of this “New Line” – including all civil engineering and compensation costs – was less than £1m in 1902 when it was completed. The benefits of the expansion to both the London & North Western Railway Company (then owner of the trans-Pennine route) and the subsequent improvement to public service was obvious.

Unfortunately the line was closed to all traffic in the 1960s as part of the aforementioned Beeching Plan. Slowly, but surely, the infrastructure was sold off for various private housing and industrial development schemes. Before the Beeching cuts were implemented, there was no such thing as the inconvenience of bus transportations during periods of necessary railway track engineering work. The networks of branch lines throughout the country were used for diversions of the main line express trains with minimal inconvenience for the passengers.

It seems obvious and apparent to me that governments have not acted in the long-term public interest, they seem to adopt a short-term money-saving approach. There we were half a century ago with the government of the day selling off publicly-owned railway infrastructure, where house building has since taken place on a grand scale.

Then here we are, conversely, in the 21st century with the Government of this day compulsorily purchasing private land to build a new railway. I do not think the victims of these HS2 compulsory purchase orders would like to call this progress.

Stand up for freedom

Graham Hill, Oulton

ALL this deal or no deal stuff has gone on long enough.

Stand up for freedom and say to the EU that we don’t want to be in your bully-boy gang if you have no values or common respect.

So let’s proudly gather to show our children and grandchildren that bullies who create gangs, and try to impose their will with threats, will never be allowed to win. No matter what the cost.

Public will not be happy

Barrie Crowther, Wakefield.

SO Theresa May is considering extending the implementation of Brexit for a “matter of months“ which, in effect, means no end date, and being indefinitely tied to EU rules.

Not only that, but it means our £39bn bill is extended also. In effect we bail out Greece and Italy on behalf of Europe. Will the British public be happy? I think not.

Give Mrs May a chance

Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.

THOSE who criticise Theresa May should think what would have happened by now if Jeremy Corbyn was Prime Minister.

He would already have sold us out. After all, he wanted Article 30 triggered virtually the day after the EU referendum in 2016.

Give Mrs May a chance. There is no better alternative.

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