YEP Letters: October 4

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Have your say

As the days slowly pass for a government nod (or head shake) on the progress of the proposed trolleybus scheme for Leeds, how is it that no-one has, of late, highlighted the biggest problem - how can it be paid for?

Have Leeds Council forgotten the contribution demanded by National Government of £73 million from the rate payers of the Leeds Metropolitan area toward the total £250 million cost of the scheme?

Where will this come from? Has Leeds Council more hidden reserves? They have already provided £19.2 million from some obscure development fund to pay for preliminary work on the proposed trolleybus scheme.
Readers may well recall a previous total loss of some £20 million by Leeds Labour Council in 2005 in connection with the then proposed Leeds Supertram. That too was for preliminary work.

Are 99 councillors convinced that with all the present financial restraints being imposed on care for the elderly and others affecting the welfare of Leeds residents should be ignored to pay for a single trolleybus route between Adel and Stourton?

Let us hope that we have someone in Leeds Council big enough to put an end to this wasteful, unnecessary, unwanted and unaffordable scheme irrespective of our national Government’s choice.

John S Slater, Otley

Happy days on little money

IN REPLY to Amanda Lillia letter of 20 September it set me thinking of my life from September 1920.

As a school boy playing in the street at football, playing taws in the cobbled road and all the other games we played. We had a good time, we did not need money to spend we just enjoyed life as it came.

Money was very tight in those days. A penny was a great delight to us at the end of a working week.

My mother and father kept me, my sister and grandparents on just over £2 per week. My dad’s work as an engineer was the only money we had. No money from the state.

Potatoes were 2d a pound, bread 3d a loaf (sliced bread not known of then). Tea cakes seven for 6d, newspapers 1d and stamps 1d. Tram fares 1d, petrol for cars, not many on the road then was one shilling and sixpence for a gallon.

We did not have a radio only a “Cat’s Whisker” radio with ear phones, no stereo, no electric cooker in fact no electric only gas lights in our living room.

No washing machine only a peggy tub and a heavy wringer machine operated by winding a handle to get the water out of the washing.

When you think of a computer nowadays costing over £500 which people with credit cards now have, that would have bought a three-bedroom house in those days, but few people did not have.

Happy days.

Stephen Cocker, Leeds 14

Socialism is dead, Red Ed

ED MILIBAND thinks he can buy voters by promising a”fix” on energy prices for a pathetic 20 months. What happens after that?

Energy companies might take a leaf out of Labours book and borrow, only to claw the money back with far greater increases after the 20 months is up.

When will “Red Ed” understand that socialism is dead? He can smile all he-likes on TV but voters are not stupid. The electorate must never forget that Miliband is just a posh version of Red Ken – Livingstone.

If this is the best Wallace can come up with he should leave the thinking to Gromit.

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

Social housing is the answer

WAITING LISTS for social housing are at an all time high, yet the Old Etonian extends with immediate effect, the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme.

Mortgages are something not all of us want, a millstone round our necks, for a third of our lives therefore, to be fair to everyone, Mr Cameron should pledge a similar amount that ‘Help to Buy’ is costing to local authorities and housing associations in order to build homes by the thousand which are needed all across the country to replace the ones lost under the Tories “Right to Buy”.

A Shipman, Swinnow, Leeds

Teachers hold us to ransom

So schoolteachers are staging one day strikes for better pay and conditions! They want a rise from their starting salary of £21,000 a year and better work conditions and a better pension system. How would they like to work 10 hour shifts including early mornings, all night and weekends as part of their daily duty?

How would they like to have to perform their duties in all weathers?

How would they like to fight and deal with drunks most nights of the week especially at weekends? How would they like to be in the middle of a football crowd? How would they like to have only 28 days per year annual leave?

These are a few of the things today’s police officer has to put up with and deal with. And they do this on a MAXIMUM starting salary of £22,000 per year. This is only £1,000 per year more than a schoolteacher. I don’t think any schoolteacher would change his profession and become a police officer and have to put up with what they have to put up with. Are these better conditions than a schoolteacher? Certainly not.

There are also approximately 280 police officers fewer in West Yorkshire than there was in 1991. These figures are shown in the West Yorkshire Chief Constables Annual Report of 2012.

No profession should be able to go on strike. Police officers cannot by law. The schoolteachers’ unions should sort their problems out without them having to strike.

They are holding the education authorities to ransom, let alone the children missing a day’s education. It seems a case of ‘we can’t have what we want so we’ll go on stike’.

Graham Harland, Leeds

Thank you for helping my wife

I would like to thank all the wonderful people in Castleford (Carlton Lanes) who came to the assistance of my wife who became unwell at about 1.45pm on September 30.

One produced a bottle of water and others rallied around to ease her discomfort. I am 84 and my wife is 82 and I want to thank the wonderful people for supporting us and sending for the ambulance, which arrived within 10 minutes. She was taken to Pontefract Hospital who were very efficient.

My wife is now recovering well.

Thank you once again.

A Richardson, Kippax, Leeds.

Astounded by Miliband attack

I find the Daily Mail’s attacks upon ‘Red’ Ed Miliband’s father really quite astounding. I have heard so-called “political bloggers” and MPs interviewed at the Tory Conference saying that, as Miliband may be the next PM, the public have a right to know about his background.

They decry Socialism/Marxism as an ideology that has resulted in the deaths of large numbers of people in, for example, the old U.S.S.R.

Conservatism and Capitalism are also ideologies and the latter was criticised, in an academic way, by Miliband senior from a particular theoretical and legitimate viewpoint (ie, Marxism). One wonders if any of these people have read anything by, or about, Marx.

He (Marx) did NOT see Marxism as a form of government. It was intended as a historical critique of different modes of production and theconsequences of them. They (the Daily Mail) should have a good look at themselves.

R Kimble

The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth.

YEP Letters: January 16