YEP Letters: September 19

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Check out today’s YEP letters

‘Our economy remains very fragile’

Alan Slomson, Leeds 6

Andrea Jenkyns’ (Life in Politics column YEP September 18) claim that the UK economy has been doing well since the Brexit referendum is unfortunately typical of the misleading propaganda we have come to expect from Brexiteers.

She points to a small improvement in the GDP figures in the last quarter (attributed by most commentators to the good summer and England’s good performance in the World Cup), but she does not tell us that overall the economy has grown more slowly in the last two years than before the referendum, and lags behind other EU countries. She does not mention the recent statistics showing how many people are now living in poverty, nor the fact that what growth there has been is the result of increasing personal debt with overall borrowing greater than savings. In fact our economy remains very fragile. If it really had done so well since the referendum, why has the value of the pound fallen so much?

I deserve chance to vote on Brexit deal

Callum Hawthorne, 19, Our Future, Our Choice activist, Burley, Leeds.

I WAS too young to vote in the 2016 EU referendum.

Like most of my friends, I would have voted Remain, and was disappointed by the result. As the Prime Minister has negotiated her deal, that disappointment has turned to fear.

I study chemistry at Leeds University and want to work in it when I’m older. I fear the deal the Government has negotiated will decimate British science.

British science has won more grants from the European Research Council (ERC) than any other country. Brexit and the Government’s negotiations have put our membership of the ERC at risk – along with it 500 further research grants in the works.

Similarly, a record number of EU academics and lecturers have left the UK since the vote.

With reduced investment in research projects, and reduced researchers, why would any company working in this industry choose to invest, or set up, in the UK in the future?

I know Rachel Reeves, my MP, represents both Leavers and Remainers, the young and the old, the new to Leeds and those who have lived here their whole lives. Many supported a mandate for more money for the NHS, taking back control of our laws, and new trade deals.

But none of that is delivered by the Prime Minister’s deal. In 2016, there was a mandate for national renewal, not national humiliation.

I doubt a single one of her constituents voted for a record number of EU nurses and doctors leaving the country since 2016, to become a rule taker from the European Union, to be poorer, or to be just five months away from having to rely on stockpiled foods and medicines.

To support the Prime Minister’s deal, and not let the people decide through a People’s Vote, is to assume that people here support the deal. As details of the deal drip out, it has become clear it represents a crushing blow to the poorest and youngest in our society.

If the politicians fail to give the decision as to whether the Prime Minister’s deal, or lack of one, is good enough for the future of our country, then they would be assuming that a majority of people, without question, support the deal.

As 2.6 million of Leave voters have changed their mind, 1.5 million young people have gained the vote since 2016, and one million European citizens have taken British citizenship since the vote, evidence is lacking.

It is a necessity, for the future of Leeds and its younger people, and for democracy, to have a People’s Vote on the Government’s Brexit deal.

Airport’s bad impression

Bob Watson, Baildon

DAVID Laws, the chief executive of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA), has announced a multi-million pound expansion that will create “an airport Yorkshire can be proud of.”

While that is to be welcomed, it has to be asked whether the new terminal building will include additional airbridges?

If LBA is indeed to be brought into the 21st century, then they really should be ensuring that having to walk or be bussed across the apron is either eliminated or vastly reduced.

This should surely be an absolute priority for the highest passenger airport in the country, as current first impressions are certainly not good.

Bottleneck must be dealt with

Philip Clarkson, by email

There is overwhelming resistance to the Connecting Leeds Otley Old Road scheme which is part of the Connecting Leeds Programme.

This was apparent from the Q&A session held at Lawnswood YMCA as council officials and consultants tried to deal with the concerns raised by local residents .

Online responses to the scheme have been largely negative and this was reiterated at the meeting.

The main problem appears to me to be the lack of any radical proposals to deal with the Headingley bottleneck which must be dealt with before any other areas.

The lack of such a scheme is due to the way in which the Government funding for the whole Connecting Leeds project has been structured.

The £170 million being provided has to be spent by 2021 which gives insufficient time for any scheme in Headingley to be implemented due to the complexities of land acquisition etc . Instead the council has gone for the easy win at Otley Old Road using council owned land.

This is not an efficient or effective use of resources in my opinion as the main cause of congestion is not being dealt with.

The Government must extend the time period over which the funding is available to enable bus services to be improved and congestion on the Otley Road corridor to be reduced.

Rein in rogue landlords

Ian Wilson, Selby

THE only way to procure long and lasting chains of good family social housing is to rein in all rogue landlords .

They must be brought to book, and the housing market itself needs vast reductions in house prices.

This has become a false ‘cash cow’ for so-called housing punters for year upon year, the result of bulging property prices.

Keep the guards on our trains

M Fell, Upton

My grandson is in his early 20s, totally blind from birth and autistic.

He lives in a flat in Ilkley for the disabled. When he wishes to travel, he informs Northern Rail and has what is called assisted travel.

This means a guard helps him to get on and off the trains and to transfer from one train to another.

He travels quite often – he volunteers his time at RNIB in Leeds, teaching IT to people there who need help. He goes to pop concerts in London and Outward Bound courses in Milton Keynes.

He belongs to a blind and visually impaired group – they go away for weekends and also on holidays.

He has to make his own way to pick up points and Luton Airport. He comes to see me for long weekends.

He goes from Ilkley to Leeds, Leeds to South Elmsall where I meet him.

How could he do all this if the guards were taken off the trains?

It makes him feel more independent being able to travel. He is not the only one needing this kind of help. There must be hundreds in the same position as him. Please keep the guards.

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