YEP Letters: September 19

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Please keep pedestrians in mind

M Boyes, by email

I hope the powers that be at Leeds City Council will look at the road junction upgrades (YEP September 14), especially the Fink Hill junction at Horsforth, with pedestrians in mind as well as drivers.

Trying to cross this junction can be hazardous at times with cars going through red lights.

Please can we have dedicated pedestrian crossing points all the way round, and none of these silly shuttered lights which obscure
them?

Supporting a single voice for Yorkshire

Michael McGowan, Co-ordinator, Campaign for a Yorkshire Co-operative Parliament

It is ironic that five years ago it was in Sheffield that the Co-operative Party launched its campaign for a Yorkshire Co-operative Parliament and yet today Sheffield is letting the side down by refusing to co-operate with the 17 of 20 local authorities who favour a single voice for the whole region.

The Co-operative Party has held workshops on devolution across Yorkshire and at the Co-operative Hotel in Scarborough and the case for a single voice for a devolved Yorkshire has received the widest support.

The best chance of striking a deal with government is for Sheffield to come on board with the rest of Yorkshire in support of a single voice for the region which then could not be reasonably refused.

Discipline in schools has gone

Terry Watson, Adel

Our schools could do with more teachers like Barry Smith,the new headmaster drafted in to failing secondary school Great Yarmouth High, which recorded the worst GCSEs in the country. Parents are up in arms at “army like rules” being introduced, but it’s not before time. For years there has been no discipline in the classrooms with unruly children spoiling lessons for pupils who really want to learn.

Barry Smith insists that now teachers are referred to as the “unquestioned authority” in the classroom with mobile phones banned and sometimes confiscated. This is more like the teaching we had years ago when we were taught times tables parrot fashion, and were fluent up to 12 times by the time we were eight.

The class sizes were much bigger, at Osmondthorpe Junior school we had classes of over 40 pupils,and just one teacher! Not like the class sizes today of 25 or less, sometimes with two teachers and a teaching assistant or two.

Unfortunately, discipline has gone in so many schools and that’s why we have so many pupils leaving school without a basic grasp of spelling or punctuation.

Connection is cure to poverty

Jaimes Lewis Moran, by email

It can be scary, realising the value and strength in our poverty stories. As you’d expect, these are oftentimes stories of hardships and persistence against many flawed systems.

There’s far too much fake news about those on benefits, yet the various poverty truth commissions show the true reality that we are anything but lazy, we are full of steadfast determination to learn, to live and grow for the better.

Poverty has more than one ‘financial’ definition too, it means feeling socially isolated, an absence of confidence, and a constant awareness that things might go wrong. (as usual) These feelings almost become routine.

It shouldn’t be this way. With any Poverty Truth Commission it can be confusing to define, yet from what I’ve seen and experienced it’s almost a combination of group therapy with some activism thrown in! You won’t be surprised to find these groups can form the strongest of bonds and family dynamics.

For me connection is the true cure to poverty, not ‘money’ as some want you to believe (although that does help) because without any support network even the smallest troubles can seem overwhelming. A sense of community is key.

Learning from history

David Collins, Scissett.

I VERY much applaud the lady who has found the names of 400 children who were buried in a common grave.

However this is nothing new and millions have over the years been buried in common graves with no memorial.

To try to rewrite history, and apply our current standards to things that happened in the past, is pointless. People falling ill had only the religious houses to turn to.

If you walk around church yards, how many gravestones are there to agricultural labourers or day workers?

No, at best they would have had a wooden cross or no marker at all. I think they would have been grateful to have been buried in consecrated ground.

We seem to be obsessed with rewriting history to fit some modern idea which doesn’t allow for the nasty side of life.

It is a major mistake to whitewash people out of history. Removing statues and renaming streets is a nonsense.

We can learn from history if we open our ears and eyes, but not if all the nasty bits are unseen.

Charity’s 120th anniversary

Pam Ferris, Blue Cross Ambassador

I am writing to ask your animal-loving readers to join me in celebrating Blue Cross’s 120th anniversary.

The pet charity has been helping animals since the 1800s and is hoping to inspire people to help during Blue Cross Week from the 2 - 8 October.

Sadly, over a century later, tens of thousands of cats, dogs, horses and small pets still turn to Blue Cross for aid. The charity cares for them when they’re sick or injured, and find them loving new homes if they’ve been given up or abandoned.Pets count on us, and Blue Cross counts on generous supporters to make sure their doors are always open.

That’s why this October, for their anniversary, it would be wonderful if readers could get involved to fundraise and raise awareness for pets in need.

My two dogs Stan and Elsie are very dear to me and they get so much love and attention – I wouldn’t be without them.

But sadly not all pets are as lucky.

Please visit bluecross.org.uk for more inspiration about how to get involved and help fundraise during Blue Cross Week.

New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22