YEP Letters: September 18

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Common sense flew out of the window

Mary Tyler, Pontefract

I recently came across another example of Health and Safety coming in through the door and common sense flying out of the window.

I went into three local charity shops and asked if they had any knitting needles as my daughter-in-law wanted to learn to knit.

‘Sorry, no we don’t’ said the first one, and in the second I got a terse ‘No!’. The third was a bit more helpful. ‘We’re not allowed to sell them’, said a volunteer, ‘they could be dangerous and used as weapons.’ As he said that, another volunteer came out of the stock room with a knitting bag full of needles.

‘Here’, she said, ‘these have just come in. See if there’s anything in there you want.’ I selected two pairs and asked how much they would be. ‘We can’t sell them, so nothing,’ said the lady. ‘Just put a donation in the box if you like.’

I did leave a donation, to thank them for their common sense. I can appreciate that knitting needles should be kept out of the reach of small children, but there is no way that I, as a grey-haired 67-year old, could be mistaken for either a toddler or a drug-fuelled teenager.

The irony is that I could have walked across the road to the market hall and bought a brand new pair of knitting needles, the plastic packaging around them presumably rendering them useless as weapons.

What will charity shops be prevented from selling next? Belts, scarves and ties? Shoes with laces? Crockery and glassware that are just waiting to be smashed in someone’s face? I despair!


House refugees in care homes?

N Taylor, Halton

A council task force established in regards to immigrant/refugees from Syria to be housed in Leeds, plus L.C.C. has found £100,000 towards the cause.

Perhaps these people could be housed in the care homes that the council intends closing down?

Consider the older tenants

R Kimble, Hawksworth

I am informed there will be a house inspection next week, despite the fact that these inspections have been very positive in the past.

If they know this, why not use the time more constructively to do something about those tenants who make the area an eyesore? Or whose loud music disrupts one’s peace and quiet? I have lived on various council estates under Labour and they all share the same characteristics. I once complained to Islington Council about noisy neighbours: after three letters to them I got one from them telling me I was harassing their staff! Unbelievable - they did nothing about the noise. Always favour the perpetrator/underdog/drug dealer/neighbour abuser and so on, and not the complainant.

A neighbour of my parents in Derby in the late 60s was evicted for playing his transistor radio too loud in the garden. No verbal warnings followed by numerous letters followed by going to court, just “out you go”. Now I have to put up with dogs barking all day and ALL night, hugely overgrown gardens, gigantic hedges, loud music, yobs gathering on the pavement waiting for their dealer, dog mess everywhere, rubbish left anywhere including the same yobs throwing empty beer cans in your garden, it’s as if “broken Britain” is encapsulated in certain areas of this estate.

Yes there are good people, beautiful gardens, lovely trimmed hedges but these people utterly spoil it and they are now in the majority. One couple who have lived here for years suddenly have a single parent next door and EVERY time I walk past all you can hear is screaming and shouting and the garden has become a complete mess.

Why not consider how the older tenants might feel and do something about such people?

Transport key to development

John Burrell, Harrogate

Regarding the Yorkshire devolution debate - what is best for Harrogate, my main concern is about transport, particularly rail links, a concern which I had as a young man when North Yorkshire was originally formed.

I think time has proved my fears to be correct and that rail links and much needed improvements to roads in the area have suffered as a result of the insular, provincial nature of the North Yorkshire County Council.

We are an important town which feeds into Leeds and York and therefore cannot be regarded in isolation; indeed, Harrogate has to be linked to transport strategies being developed for those two vibrant and ever-expanding cities. I am certain that if we had been part of the area covered by Leeds Metro, the line to Harrogate at least would have been electrified under the same scheme that has benefited the Airedale and Wharfedale lines to Skipton and Ilkley.

We now have a sensible plan for the Leeds - Harrogate - York rail links. The Government say this is “paused” (though I feel this will be another “promise” to be wheeled out at the next election) but in the event of the “go” button being pressed, I think it sensible that the schemes are developed together with the York to Leeds line and to maximise use of rolling stock between the whole Leeds Metro Electric lines.

Similarly, bus networks have to be developed in conjunction with rail links, to provide proper connections and to stimulate growth of rural communities which have suffered (and continue to suffer) from appalling cuts to services. As for roads, Harrogate and Knaresborough are grinding to a halt at certain times of the day; we need a stronger voice to develop strategies for these towns and to push forward the completion of the circular route to the west and round the north sides to allow users of the A59 and A61 a faster transit through the area and minimise the delays, not to mention the the wear and tear, experienced within the two towns.

The A61 being used as part of a loading/unloading bay for the Exhibition Centres cannot be sustained for much longer! Therefore, I feel the option which would serve us best would be:- Leeds City Region - West Yorkshire and Harrogate, Craven, Selby & City of York. The Greater Yorkshire option I feel embraces too large an area with needs not linked to our own, whilst the North Yorkshire/East Yorkshire option would perpetuate the current “rural” attitudes which exist. Improved transport is the key benefiting all new developments in housing, growth in population, jobs and the ease of movement for goods and services throughout the area.