YEP Letters: October 31

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Trade Union bill should be scrapped

Paul Regan, Batley

I am very proud to be a member of a trade union but I am very distressed to what I feel is a war on people like me from this government.

My union has supported me at work during these past very tough years. It has been difficult to cope with lower wages and rising living costs, but the union has helped to keep standards and safety at work, and has fought to save jobs.

I do not understand why this government is now planning new laws that attack the vital work unions do. Instead, they should be thanking working people and their unions for putting our shoulders to the wheel during the recession, for working cooperatively with employers to find solutions to problems at work.

My fear is that the government’s hatred of unions will result in very bad laws for the British people. Their appalling trade union bill will not modernise industrial relations, as the government claims, but will make disputes more bitter. Were the government truly interested in improving things at work, then they would not be undermining basic rights - and were they truly interested in raising turnouts in strike ballots, they would be bringing modern, secure voting to workplaces.

As a proud Brit, I am deeply shocked by moves to take apart our fundamental freedoms. The land of Magna Carta should not be legislating to make lawful strikes all but impossible, and our government should not be seeking to silence people on social media.

As Tory MP David Davis says, the trade union bill is like something from the dark days of Franco. Nobody seems to want this bill - not the police, the HR managers, nor civil rights groups. It has no place in modern-day Britain. It should be scrapped, now.

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Denied a living wage

James Kirk, by email

To quote Tory MP Michael Ellis, “you can’t have an unelected house overruling an elected one.”

How then can David Cameron threaten to flood the House of Lords with hundreds of ‘Tories’ in a bid to get his own way on welfare reform? By what democratic process will they have been elected?

At an estimated cost of £30,000 per person to dress these individuals in the necessary regalia, (no doubt funded by the tax-payers) I find it astonishing that in trying to save money, Mr Cameron is prepared to waste it to demonstrate what a petulant, sulky brat he is.

As usual, it is always the poorest who shoulder the burden of these reforms, and has give rise to one of the most abhorrent terms to label those who rely on the tax credit system, ‘The Working Poor’

Has it come to this, that in the 21st Century the people of Britain are working all their lives just to be poor? That even today most are denied a living wage, and for several years to come, will have to make do with the minimum just to exist.

There is only one reason to be in business, and that is profit. Those workers who help build those profits don’t seek to share them, they merely want the growth of the business to be reflected in their wage packets.

We can’t all have a mansion with two kitchens, but that doesn’t deny us the right to dream and strive for that second kitchen.

Motorway city misnomer

DS Boyes, Leeds 13

HAVING passed my driving test in Leeds 51 years ago, and able to recall being allowed to drive and park on many city centre streets that are now pedestrianised eg Kirkgate, Commercial Street, Bond Street, Albion Street and Briggate, I believe I have a reasonable understanding of the problems.

However, the term ‘Motorway City’ was always a misnomer, as when the Inner Ring Road and its tunnel was built between 1961 and 1965, there was no M62 and the M1 was still under construction at the Leeds end.

Plus although the tunnel had motorway signage and appropriate vehicle access restrictions, it began at the nightmare Armley gyratory only to end shortly at the Woodpecker traffic lights for over 20 years until the flyover there was built, and has no direct link with outer ring road.

In reality, the 1970s motorway age passed Leeds by with link roads from M1 to A1 in south Leeds or from Colton to A1 and M621 only recently built.

The biggest failure by both Leeds and HM Government was not to build the Aire Valley Trunk Road talked about 60 years ago, which would have eased congestion on both the A65 Kirkstall Road and Horsforth/Rawdon/Guiseley route and the A657.

But, and a very big but, if the roads mentioned by Councillor Lewis are closed to traffic, exactly where will it go instead, as without some viable alternative, other existing accessible roads will be even more congested.Also, in Leeds centre are numerous historic private parking areas up alleys or in yards etc , often out of sight. Would access to them be denied if pedestrianisation was introduced?

Obviously public transport like buses and maybe also taxis would need access, but what of private hire vehicles, already barred from the designated bus and taxi lanes? Any ban would seriously affect them.

Delivery vehicles would need access to shops and other premises etc, would these be restricted to certain hours of day or night? Also, what size delivery vehicles would be allowed, as this is an aspect often overlooked, for example the Transit sized van can get in anywhere, or even a 7.5 tonner, but anything over that in the HGV classes eg 18 to 26 tonnes rigid or even larger articulated ones could cause serious problems except on special delivery of machines etc.

One of best postal services

M Whitehead, Leeds 7

A HAGUE must be joking with his postal charges suggestion, 40p anywhere in Leeds and £1 elsewhere in Yorkshire - and what about to any other part of the country?

That would be extremely upsetting for people like myself who send out many cards and letters - and does A Hague include Christmas and Easter cards in these changes or will there be a special one for them? We still have one of the best postal services in the world, I’m sure, despite various alterations over the years and it is reassuring seeing post people going on their rounds some of which I am sure are arduous. No, A Hague, please don’t speak your suggestion out loud, someone from the Post Office might overhear. We don’t all have gadgets to which some people seem permanently attached - and still prefer to put pen to paper.

YEP Letters: December 16