YEP Letters: October 9

Kirkgate Market, Leeds.
Kirkgate Market, Leeds.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

What’s happened to city’s market?

J Westerman, by email

Whatever have Leeds City Council done to our once thriving hub of the city? The market.

It was a most exhilarating place to visit, not any more, it is a disgrace, the meat row has gone so has the fish and poultry aisle. They don’t exist anymore. I have gone to this market for well over 70 years, when it was a proper market. Since this new effort has been in place, I very seldom go, it’s so upsetting to see it as it is now.

The city has too many restaurants and bars. Some are very nice. The city centre is almost a no go area for cars and where there is parking it is very expensive. It’s good to see all those graffiti boards moved from around part of Quarry Hill. Some quite nice sepia pictures on Vicar Lane are quite tasteful.

Loans move is just a ‘palliative measure’

Graham Branston, Rawdon

THE Tory proposal to increase the repayment income threshold on student loans from £21,000 to £25,000 is helpful, but merely a palliative measure.

A far more popular step, short of reducing academic fees, would have been to cap the interest at, say, one per cent.

A post-graduate earning say £26,000 will, if the new threshold is implemented, still find difficulty reducing the loan because of the current high interest charges.

Furthermore, the Tories should be brave and close the student loan office in Glasgow, given the privileged position of Scottish students attending Scottish universities, and relocate it to an area of England with a significant level of unemployment, ideally somewhere in Yorkshire.

Rethink needed on student loans

John Riseley, Harrogate.

THE Government would be unconcerned, and might indeed be relieved, to learn that their line on student loan reform is the opposite of what I would have suggested.

They propose increasing the threshold salary for starting repayments to £25,000 a year, while the interest rate payable goes up to 6.1 per cent.

What is iniquitous about debt is not that borrowers are required to repay the money they received, but the often greater sums they pay as interest. Higher interest rates reflect the cost to the lender of some borrowers defaulting. Yet it is those who do actually pay what they owe who also pay this interest.

Bad borrowers are carried by good ones, with the burden falling most heavily on those who, because of their limited means, pay over a longer period.

I would cut the interest rate to below that of inflation while maximising the amount of the principle recovered. This could be done by drastically reducing the threshold for repayment, ending the 30 year cut-off and introducing joint liability for married or co-habiting couples.

The profound reluctance to do this stems from the perceived political need to keep the universities open to those whose attendance serves no economic purpose.

Poor welcome for Tour guests

Katie Smith, Ilkley.

I REFER to the news that Ilkley has been revealed as either the start or finish of one of the stages of next year’s Tour de Yorkshire, and note that it is the only town in the Bradford Metropolitan District to have that honour.

Great news for our town, but would the leader of Bradford Council like to comment on where the thousands of visitors she claims will boost the region’s economy will be able to find any information about the event, or in fact will be able to use the public conveniences, as both of these facilities are being closed by her council next year to save money?

Confrontation has led to mess

Don Burslam, Dewsbury

WHAT an unholy mess our politicians have got us into.

The future is as uncertain for the UK as it has ever been in peacetime and our combative political system means that shouting and posturing ensures that no improvement will appear on the horizon; quite the contrary.

Nevertheless, we are more fortunate than the Americans who were so ill-advised as to elect their worst president in history.

Although our system is deeply flawed and ineffectual, we do avoid giving responsibility for our government to such dangerous incompetents as Donald Trump.

Now it seems we must suck up to such menaces in the hope of a big trade deal. What a hope!

The situation cries out for more consensus in our politics over such problems as the NHS, housing and poverty pockets. This has got to be more sensible than the same old tired alternatives as giving the market free rein or more nationalisation.

As a first step, we could adopt PR which would render the system less confrontational. Germany has PR and they are doing all right.

Time to stand up for Yorkshire

Peter Grainger, Lofthouse

I am a very proud 70-year-old Yorkshireman.

Yorkshire and the North in general gets a very rough deal from a very biased South-based parliament.

I would like to see all Yorkshire MPs of all parties form a White Rose Group and stand up for God’s own country, in an effort to gain the funding we need and deserve.

Take your rubbish home

J Whiteley, Headingley

CAN I say although rugby and cricket fans (mostly rugby) may think that Headingley is a student ghetto (which sadly it has become) there are still many long suffering residents here.

So please can you take 
your rubbish home after a match?

Today (Saturday morning) our street is littered with discarded cans and take away rubbish that has 
been consumed and just thrown out of the car doors.

If you would like to write your address on the wrappers we can return 
them to your house or even park outside and return the favour.

Take your rubbish home! So disrespectful!

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YEP Letters: December 16