Homeless people, ugly behaviour at Leeds United and bad mannered dancers were all topics which got our readers putting pen to paper or keys to keyboard. Here are today’s letters.
Station needs a better drop-off area
Chris Dobson, via email
It was my misfortune to have to collect my son from Leeds Train Station recently at 8.30pm.
I travel quite frequently on the train myself and have smiled at the chaos that is the drop off/collection area near Weatherspoons as I normally don’t have to use it.
Tonight I was part of it and I have to ask can someone not come up with a better system? The pay and display car park cannot take any money as 70 per cent of spaces were taken up by Taxis awaiting their pre booked fairs while a continuous queue of more Taxis and private cars were trying to drop off.
This is 8.30pm on a Thursday night!
God help the poor people who have to use this area at busy times of the day.
Nobody should need to sleep rough in Leeds
Coun Debra Coupar,Executive Board Member for Communities
Let me make one thing clear; no one needs to sleep rough in Leeds. If people are in genuine need, then we’ll do our utmost to help. Homelessness is an emotive issue and protestors are saying we aren’t doing enough; what we are doing isn’t right; and that we don’t care or listen. This couldn’t be further from the truth. All we are interested in is getting people the help they need.
Some people sleeping rough have extremely complex mental health issues. This, and dealing with their addictions, makes it challenging to engage with these individuals. This isn’t a challenge we shy away from. The main issue isn’t a lack of our providing accommodation, but working with people with complicated problems to the point that they are willing to accept help.
We make offers of accommodation to rough sleepers or anyone who is found in housing need on a daily basis. However, getting someone a bed for the night won’t solve all their problems on its own. We have to take a broader view and work with that individual to get them the right support.
For those that accept our help – and people do refuse because of their issues – we will work with them to find a long-term housing solution and help them deal with their issues effectively. Only by helping people find a sustainable way forward will we be able to support them to maintain a tenancy and live independently.
If you were to spend time with our housing options team, St George’s Crypt or street outreach partners you’d soon see their training, expertise and professionalism allows them to deal with the intimate, difficult, sometimes traumatic stories that have resulted in an individual sleeping rough or finding themselves without a permanent place to call home. The way we count the number of people sleeping rough is done to a standard methodology. This allows us to report consistently over time. While we have a duty to report we also have a duty to provide support. This is about the people and dealing with the multitude of reasons that sees them sleeping on the streets.
We don’t want to continually have to move protesters around the city. That isn’t achieving anything. Before this protest started and long after it finishes, we’ll be working with our partners to ensure the needs of these vulnerable people are met.
Is corruption widespread?
Martin Phillips, Cookridge
Following on from the Sam Allardyce fiasco, former England coach Steve McClaren stated “....it could have happened to any of us....” the implication being that corruption is rife in football management.
Brexit is time to abolish VAT
DS BOYES, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds
ALTHOUGH lots of issues concerning Brexit have already been mentioned by various interested parties e.g. the single market or free movement of people, no word so far about the future of VAT, the most insiduous tax of all. You have to be over age 61 to remember life as an adult before VAT, the tax used to pay for our EU membership. Prior to 1973 there was no purchase tax levied on luxury items such as new cars and electrical or photographic equipment like TVs, washers, cameras etc, plus jewellery and fur coats.
The overall effect of VAT has been to increase the cost of living substantially for those who can least afford it, ie the working person and OAPs.
With the multi million pound EU subscriptions soon not to be paid, shouldn’t VAT either be abolished or greatly reduced to help the ordinary people?
No better off independent
N Bywater, Oak Grove, Morley
D S Boyes, thinks that Morley is better off, having “rid itself of party influence” by electing the Morley Borough Independents. Could he explain how we are better off? Morley does have some Labour councillors, a Conservative MP and many Morley Borough Independent councillors. But we are still suffering the same cuts, to care for the elderly, as the other area in Leeds.
The Better Lives strategy, which includes shutting Siegen Manor in Morley, Middlecross in Armley and The Green in Seacroft, is part of a multi-million pound cost-cutting drive. Permanent admissions to Knowle Manor in Morley have ceased, there are now 25 adults staying in Knowle Manor, whilst the capacity is 29.
Morley residents do pay extra taxes, £19.19 extra per year, to be exact. But none of that money is spent supporting Morley’s care homes.
Strictly not interested!
AlanThompson, Bramhope, Leeds
I DON’T know whether it is old age or falling standards but every time I switch on the TV to another line-up of “media stars” and “celebs” I haven’t a clue who any of them are.
But apparently a lady called Katya Jones is partnering a failed politician who lost Morley and Outwood to a Tory.
Anyone got a good book?
When United fans go silent
Name and address supplied
I’m very much a pragmatist as I reach middle age – a pragmatic socialist and feminist and Leeds United fan!
I accept we have no right to top flight football, we are stuck with Cellino our fans are not the best in the world but not as bad as painted in the Press. However recent events in the Stands at Elland Road have made me question the latter.
I am a season ticket holder and have been an active fan for over 30 years travelling all over Europe to see the mighty whites and I’ve seen it all in terms of fan behaviour. But we are in 2016 and things are different now-aren’t they?
During the recent game with Ipswich a group of fans behind me made vile homophobic comments toward opposing players on numerous occasions. No-one challenged them and a few laughed. I could take no more and turned round and loudly challenged their comments to which I was singled out for abuse and chants for the rest of the game.
I went to get assistance from stewards (who try their best) this resulted in more abuse towards me. The stewards said they had identified the protagonists and would file a report and the club ‘might’ contact me. I have heard nothing. While fans fail to stand up to racism and homophobia we are all tainted, collusion is acceptance and gives these thugs a voice. When the club takes no action the minority find a happy home.
Some manners, dancers, please!
R Kimble, Hawksworth
Last night on Strictly during the countdown to the dance - off I noticed only two of the professional dancers and their partners actually said “thank you” to the viewers for their votes. I know it’s only a TV programme but is it too much to ask they show some gratitude and manners?
Homeless but not worthless
Jaimes Lewis Moran, Seacroft
I’ve been having some heated debates on my social media over what is the most effective way to alleviate homeless troubles. There is no magic bullet that cures all, yet people also have the reserved freedom in choosing to assist or otherwise.
That being said though, neither should they be guilt-tripped into supporting such things. To quote my mum ‘’I would rather give my food and money to the homeless, than be harassed in the streets by charity collectors and buckets.’’ But most of all, people have no right to abuse anyone in destitution or to look down upon them.
To quote a sign recently seen at Leeds’ tent city ‘’just because I’m homeless, doesn’t mean I’m worthless’’.