YEP Letters: September 15

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Improve the city’s infrastructure

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

With regard to your article “Leeds has highest expected demand for homes in North” (YEP September 11), the news you revealed last week as a “good news” story is actually going to make matters worse.

In fact the news that 6000 civil servants will be moving to offices off Whitehall Road could be construed as a bad news story: to start with Leeds will have to find homes for 6,000 more families.

Then we will have to somehow accommodate 6,000 more passengers on public transport or 6,000 more cars on our roads.

It’s no use attracting more people to live and work in Leeds unless something is being done to improve the infrastructure.

Concentrate on teaching, not uniforms

Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds.

READING about the school uniform controversy at Leeds West Academy, and the stance taken by its principal Christian Wilcocks, it is clear he is being ridiculous, especially with his feeble attempt to justify his actions.

Surely, it is more important that education comes first and not a uniform?

No doubt parents respect the wearing of a uniform but does it really matter whether trousers have a zip or an elasticated waist as opposed to a belt?

The question is do all the pupils look the same by wearing the same coloured garment?

Does he want pupils to be wearing Savile Row clothing or those which they feel comfortable in without a drastic change to their appearance?

Get real, Mr Wilcocks, and concentrate on teaching the pupils.

Hub move is unwelcome

Bob Watson, Baildon.

JEFF Pearey, director of JLL, has been working on behalf of the Cabinet Office on the new “Government Hub” in Leeds, into which some six 
thousand civil servants from around the region will be relocated.

He stated that this is the largest ever office pre-let in Leeds and is a major economic boost for the city.

That has to be a rather insensitive comment bearing in mind that it will do the exact opposite to places such as Bradford and Shipley, who will be losing around 2,000 jobs to this new “Hub”.

Bradford and Shipley are in dire need of new employment opportunities, and certainly cannot afford the loss of so many jobs.

It surely cannot be cheaper to rent letting space in the centre of Leeds rather than other alternatives?

This move is an unwelcome and unnecessary action which totally disregards the needs of the wider area, and really should be deplored.

Disinformation on Brexit

John Cole, Shipley

It has been said by a well-informed “Remainer” that the “Leave” side in last June’s referendum won by telling lies “on an industrial scale” (Prof Michael Dougan). The Brexiteers are now manufacturing yet more lies and disinformation. The latest fib pushed into circulation relates to the lead EU negotiator, Michel Barnier. Barnier was widely reported in our Brexit-biased newspapers as saying in belligerent tones that “the British needed to be taught a lesson”.

This was at an economics forum in Italy. By contrast, the Observer economics correspondent who was present reports that such words never dropped from his lips, and that Monsieur Barnier’s general tone was one “was one of regret and not hostility”. So we can add yet another deliberate misrepresentation to the previous Brexit canon of disinformation that includes Boris Johnson’s fabricated story about bent bananas and Farage’s lies about Turkey about to join the EU.

When one side of an argument is constantly pushed to misrepresenting grossly the truth you can be sure that they have a basically very weak case.

Festival was a great success

Doreen Ward , Chair of the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival

I would like to thank all the performers, volunteers, supporters and visitors who made this year’s Chapel Allerton Arts Festival a great success.

Over the weekend we raised through our bucket collection £13763.31 which will be used to fund our 2018 Festival.

Don’t promote ‘flawed’ model

John Appleyard, Liversedge

I have just written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to say how appalled I am that in recent years the Department of Health has promoted to impoverished countries a financing mechanism that has burdened the NHS with debt and is threatening the provision of good quality, affordable health care in those countries.

The use of the ‘Private Finance Initiative’ to fund UK hospitals has been widely discredited including by the National Audit Office, the treasury select committee, and various government ministers.

The NHS is paying over £2 billion every year to private companies for PFI contracts, and yet the Department of Health, through Healthcare UK, has been promoting the use of similar public private partnership (PPP) around the world.

PPPs put the health care of impoverished countries like Zambia and Liberia at risk of unjust and unpayable debt.

I am asking Jeremy Hunt to stop Health Care UK and the wider UK government from promoting this flawed model to countries in the global south.

Award for entrepreneurs

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, c/o Leonard Cheshire Disability

Entries for this year’s Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs are now open.

Eleven years ago, with the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, I set up the award which recognises the many talented, ambitious and inspiring disabled people who have set up their own businesses, charities or social enterprises. The award is also open to start-up and not-yet-registered companies.

I’m now calling for people to apply or nominate someone they think is eligible for this year’s award. There is a cash prize of £70,000 – the largest of its kind – and the overall winner can invest £30,000 in their business in any way they choose, while another four finalists win £10,000 each.

The 2016 winner, Alex Papanikolaou, a young entrepreneur from Glasgow, won with his Freedom One Life design of a next generation power wheelchair. Previous winners have been drawn from the building, hospitality and tourism, as well as IT sectors.

This award is open to anyone with a disability – as defined by the Equality Act – which includes all disabilities and long term health conditions.

Apply now or nominate someone, before the deadline on 6th October, by visiting, and liking our Facebook page Stelios Philanthropic Foundation.

Humane wildlife deterrence

Tod Bradbury, Campaigner, Animal Aid

As the weather cools, and winter approaches, it is important to be compassionate towards wild animals seeking warmth and shelter inside our homes.

Some of these animals - rats and mice, for example - are viewed as unwelcome ‘pests’. But please remember that these animals suffer just as much as the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes.

There are many simple and effective methods of humanely deterring these animals.Animal Aid provides free advice sheets on how to stop these animals from taking up residence without harming them, and how to encourage them to leave if they have already arrived. For details email or phone 01732 364546.