YEP Letters: October 24

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Get involved in ‘little library’ scheme

Coun Mark Dobson, Leader, Garforth and Swillington Independents

I notice with interest the latest Little Library to pop up in the city, (YEP October 23), this time in Headingley and I would encourage other people to get involved and create similar Little Libraries in their local community.

However, always one to give a shout out for Garforth, there are to my knowledge at least two here so the Headingley addition certainly isn’t the first.

Indeed one of ours was developed, managed and maintained by my ward colleague Coun Field and has proved an enormous success over the last few years.

In the light of the council’s drive to close, or reduce the hours, of many of our municipal libraries let’s hope there’s a strong future for the wonderful, community produced, local assets.

Don’t the yarn over devolution mislead you

Mike Harwood, Leeds 5

Re: ‘MPs on Yorkshire devolution’ (YEP October 21), unless you are a populist and can only read in cut-out pictures, you will understand that ‘Yorkshire’ does not wield power – power is wielded, decisions are made by people, humans.

Further, do not be misled by the devolution yarn being spun by the government. This government’s equation is not the only necessary one; power, the power to make the decisions which spell out bread and butter, warmth and a home for all, should of course be spread, wielded as far and widely as possible by those who make the wealth which enables the decisions to be made, not by such as the self-seeking of South Kensington and Chelsea and their lackeys, but neither should it be isolated, taken into the grasp of some one-off Commissioner dressed up as a Mayor.

Power in my square of Kirkstall is exercised by my local, elected councillors, chosen by and representing the people of Kirkstall; in turn representing the people of Leeds, in turn representing the people of this country and in turn, I should like to think, the people of this vibrant, brightly dancing Europe; and in turn.. my councillors live within maybe a mile of me – one even in my street – it is not exercised by one person with all the threat of incompetence and corruption which that brings. It is easier to push, cajole or bribe one person through the eye of the metropolitan needle that a whole, locally elected council (however weak I might at times suggest them to be!)

The question is, or should be, not just where is the power to descend but who is going to exercise it. They are separate questions and should be kept separate, not hidden behind the subterfuge of ‘devolution’. The devolution of power should be demanded, its concentration away from local democratic bodies into a solitary (weak, however well intentioned, should be resisted).

No more than Brexit (as is now increasingly being realised) does what is being peddled in reality offer the democratisation of power away from the establishment and away from the fat parasites, whether in guise of a northern or a southern accent.

Environmental vandalism

Coun Martin Tett, Environment spokesman, Local Government Association.

LITTER and fly-tipping is environmental vandalism – it’s unpleasant, unnecessary and unacceptable. Not only does fly-tipping create an eyesore for residents, it is also a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin.

Clearing up fly-tipping is costing councils more than £57m a year – money that could be spent on other services, like caring for the elderly, protecting children or tackling homelessness. It is unacceptable that they are having to spend vast amounts each year tackling this scourge. The Government has responded to our call for councils to be able to apply fixed penalty notices for small scale fly-tipping – and this is a big step in the right direction.

When they take offenders to court, councils need a faster and more effective legal system which means fly-tippers are given hard-hitting fines for more serious offences.

Manufacturers also need to provide more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones.

Walk away to get good deal

J Barraclough, Morley.

AS the EU continues to be intransigent over Brexit negotiations, the Government should be fully prepared to walk away with no deal rather than agree to a bad deal.

The Government would certainly have the support of the British people. According to a new Sky Data poll a large majority of the public believes that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’. A massive 74 per cent agreed the country should walk away rather than accept a bad, ‘punishment’ deal. Just 26 per cent think ‘any deal is better than no deal’. As Justice Minister Dominic Raab has said, the UK must ‘strive for the very best outcome from these negotiations, but prepare for all eventualities’.

It is worrying, therefore, that the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, wrote that he will only spend money on preparing for a ‘no-deal scenario’ just before such a scenario should arise. The responsible action to take would be to ensure that we are prepared for a no-deal scenario now.

We hope that the UK and EU negotiating teams will reach a deal that benefits both sides. Indeed, it is in their interest to do so. However if we want to get a good deal, we have to be willing and able to walk away from the negotiations. If, because of EU bullying, the UK and EU agree to a bad deal, then Britain will be saddled with the terms of the deal for decades.

Recognising great work

Carol Povey, Director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism

The National Autistic Society is thrilled to announce that the Autism Professional Awards are back this year.

We are looking for people and organisations in your area that make a difference to the lives of autistic people and their families. We are looking for your stories so that we can increase public understanding of autism and inspire others to support autistic individuals. Do you know a teaching assistant that has helped an autistic child to achieve something amazing?

Or perhaps you know of a business that has made adjustments for autistic employers? We want to recognise all the great work in your community so get nominating. Visit

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