YEP Letters: October 24

Have your say

Regarding the recent letter from Mr D Paul ‘stand up for council taxpayer’.

Is he aware that the council have repeatedly turned down applications from housing developers only to have their decision overturned by the planning inspectorate.

This costs the council many thousands which is particularly annoying as it is a fight they cannot hope to win.

Developing brown field is much more expensive because often the land has been previously contaminated.

Also government policy decrees that the city has a sufficient housing stock to meet projected housing demand into the next decade.

Those of us who constantly oppose development conveniently forget that our own homes were once green fields. Most people want to see open country stretching to the horizon but they also want to have children and live longer.

The population is rising faster than it has for many decades and assuming we remain a democracy it will continue to do so indefinitely.

People don’t just need homes they need schools, hospitals, places of work and roads to drive around on etc.

Unless we change our attitudes to development we will leave behind a legacy of congestion and overcrowding that future generations will despise us for. We only have two choices either control our numbers or lose much of the countryside. That is unless Mr Paul can explain how else we shoehorn a projected population of eighty million plus into what is already one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

B Westerman, Middleton

Lack of space on the buses

IN RESPONSE to the YEP question of 19 October: “who should have priority on the city’s buses - wheelchair users or mother’s with prams?”

I believe they are of equal importance. I have never seen a judge on a bus so he or she will not understand the lack of space available for wheelchair or push pram users.

It is always sad for me to see wheelchair users and push pram users left at a bus stop due to a lack of room on the bus, it makes me wonder how long they have to wait before a bus turns up that can accommodate them.

When new buses are being built this problem should be addressed with the views of passengers taken into account.


Sentence an insult to victim

SO A WAITER who conned a pensioner out of £10,000, claiming it was for a sister needing an operation, gets away with a suspended sentence (16 October).

What an insult to the victim and our laws. All this will do is encourage thieves to carry on regardless. There is also 200 hours of unpaid work to carry out but what will that teach him?

AE HAGUE, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds 9

Nationalisation isn’t the answer

IN 1986, the last year when gas and electricity were both nationalised industries, the average household energy cost was 6.2 per cent of household income.

Right now, after all 17 years of dreaded privatisation that figure is down to 3.6 per cent.

I don’t know what the answer is to keeping energy costs down but it sure ain’t nationalisation.

Ken Myers, Harrogate Road, Leeds 17

Reach out to help the elderly

THE QUESTION of how best we care for older members of our community continues to make the headlines – and with good reason. This week the Health Secretary broached a deeply troubling subject, suggesting that as many as 800,000 people in England are “chronically lonely”.

In our region alone, there are an estimated 100,000 pensioners who go several days or even a couple of weeks without seeing another person.

These figures provide further weight to the argument that something, or indeed, a number of things, have gone awry in the way our care system works. Just a few days after the concerns about 15 minute care visits and ongoing fears of abuse in residential care homes, we clearly face a huge challenge as a city, and as a nation. How do we find the right balance of care that treats older people with the dignity and respect they deserve?

I think Jeremy Hunt was right to turn the spotlight on families and the wider community in his remarks about how we begin to tackle the ‘loneliness’ problem. It was not, as some have sought to argue, an attempt to deflect responsibility away from government, but rather an attempt to say that the nature and scale of the problem is something that cannot be confronted by government alone.

Families, relatives, neighbourhoods must be part of the conversation and the solution.

That is why I would urge anyone with concerns about an older person – whatever they may be – to get in touch with the Council.

Another excellent suggestion, made in these letters’ pages recently, was that people should contact their local Neighbourhood Network, and I would endorse that wholeheartedly.

Speaking up when we have concerns is one small thing we can all do to help.

Councillor Graham Latty, Shadow Spokesman for Health and Adult Social Care

Little support for trolleybus

I’VE BEEN intrigued by the claims made that the follybus has the backing of the business community.

I’m a business owner and I wasn’t detecting much support for the project from people I talked to.

I decided to ask the business community myself using the Linked In social networking platforms for the Institute of Directors Yorkshire Region and Yorkshire Mafia.How many of these fifteen thousand business people replied to me and said that they support the trolleybus?

Drumroll please. Have a guess. Go on, guess.

The answer was two. Not two thousand or two hundred, just two.

And the two were decidedly lukewarm supporters, sharing the view that, in their opinion, something was better than nothing.

It seems hardly surprising that business people don’t fall for the line that a bendy bus on wires travelling on one route would create four thousand new jobs, or that a bus 
with fewer seats than a conventional bus would attract motorists off the road, or 
that any of this was worth the cost of destroying one of 
the best tree lined corridors of the city to say nothing of the £76m that a cash strapped council is required to chip in. (the same council that is shutting care homes, switching off street lights and introducing evening parking charges to save money).

The YEP should list how every councillor has voted on this stupid exercise and urge every reader to use their vote next May to support a candidate who might listen to and reflect their views even if that means changing traditional allegiances.

Andrew Batty, email

I am not an idle waster

IN RESPONSE to Malcolm Nicholson’s letter it is wrong to assume that anyone who does not own their home is an idle waster. Without going into my personal circumstances I can confirm that I do not own my home and have worked all my life, paid my taxes and apart from the state pension do not claim any means tested benefits and am not an idle waster. I agree with him that the elderly should not have to sell their homes to pay for care and if he made his point without insulting people he would get a fair hearing!

Maria Shaw, Swarcliffe