YEP Letters: October 26

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Check out today’s YEP letters

City’s bus services are ‘a shambles’

Harvey Hinchcliffe, by email

I agree with M Kershaw (YEP Letters, October 23) about the 51/52 bus service to Meanwood.

This service is very poor. Complaints to First are given the same response - driver shortage. The reply comes from Manchester, really what do they know about buses in Leeds?

Also if they are so short that bread and butter services are ignored, why do Metro give First every park and ride going? Bus services all over Leeds are a shambles.

Get it sorted First or forget any more park and ride services.

Rising demand and insufficient funds in the NHS

Rachel Power, Chief executive, The Patients Association.

last week’s reports are further confirmation of the deterioration in NHS performance in the face of rising demand and insufficient funding.

The reports highlight the impact this is having on patients: They are increasingly suffering long waits, some are feeling they have to pay to go private and some are simply not being seen quickly or safely enough.

A rise in demand for healthcare due to demographic changes has long been foreseen, and it was widely recognised at the time of the last two spending reviews that they did not give the NHS the resources it needs to meet this rise. It has done well to hold out for as long as it has – the CQC showed last week that care standards remain overwhelmingly high, albeit speed and access are increasingly problematic.

The answers to these problems are well known: We need much better care to keep people well in the community and reduce the need for hospital admissions. This means better services for older people with long-term conditions, and much stronger prevention and public health.

The drive to tackle this started far too late, and remains inadequately funded. The transformation of NHS services envisaged in the Five Year Forward View needs to happen, with thorough engagement with patients and communities.

Funding must be made available for doing it properly, so that it does not amount largely to cuts and retrenchment.

And more funding and a fairer structure for social care must be found. These solutions are all obvious, yet we still await a full commitment to them from the Government.

Savers shirking role in economy

John Riseley, Harrogate.

MANY of those who, like myself, have significant funds in the building society or bank will see predicted rises in interest rates as a long overdue restoration of a fairer deal for savers.

I beg to differ. I would characterise as either deluded or freeloaders those who expect a substantial risk-free return. This oxymoron is only made possible by the FSCS guarantee of up to £85,000, meaning that risk is borne by the taxpayer. If interest rates do go up, it would be appropriate for much of the increase to go to the Treasury in fees for this.

Savers are shirking their proper role in the economy. Suppose that we had buy-to-let landlords who were looking for some modest improvement over the paltry one per cent return they were getting on a savings account, instead of borrow-to-buy-to-let landlords who are struggling to service their debt at interest rates of five per cent or more. Wouldn’t that go some way towards addressing our dominant social problem of sky-high rents?

Rather than lending to house buyers, savers could invest directly in buy-to-let property as sole owners, with a consortium of friends or through shares in housing companies.

Such a change could, of course, take many of these risk-averse players outside of their comfort zone. But we view it as the height of good sense, and worthy of Government help, for a couple to buy a house when their joint wealth amounts to only a 20th of its value. How then can the same sort of investment be too risky for those who are trying to accumulate a deposit towards a house or for those who already own outright the house they live in and have savings enough to buy a further house or a substantial part-share in one?

By turning lenders into landlords and borrowers into tenants, we could reduce rents, debt and the risk of bankruptcy, defaulting and economic crash. But that is unlikely to happen so long as we, and the Government, rely for advice on those whose livelihood is in money-lending.

EU is not a democracy

Tony Walshaw, Moortown.

THE UK took a democratic decision to leave the EU and yet Brussels appears to disregard this mandate.

But, remember, the EU is not a democracy. It simply fears its bureaucratic decline and elimination.

Watch with horror (and relief?) as the EU descends ever downwards, shredding its remaining democracy as it clutches at the edges of Eastern Europe in a rapid and inevitable demise.

Some benefits to staying in EU

Peter Bye, Addingham.

I DON’T want the United Kingdom absorbed into a European super state, and I certainly do not want the UK to be forced into the euro within the next five years.

However I can see some benefits should we remain. The UK Parliament would exist to simply ‘nod through’ European legislation, consequently the number of MPs could be reduced to about 25 per cent of the present number and the House of Lords reduced to the same number. This means that Parliament could be moved to a more appropriate building. A modern industrial estate would be ideal.

The cost of refurbishing the Houses of Parliament could be avoided, saving a fortune, and the premises sold.

A double whammy if there ever was one.

This would be the start of major changes, but I’m getting a headache.

However I can see the need for an investment in the building of a large trough for the EU legislators to stick their snouts in.

Perhaps others have some ideas to transform what was our nation?

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