YEP Letters: September 21

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Have your say

Good to see Leeds central business leaders getting behind NGT – just a pity that they don’t emulate their illustrious innovative transport forefathers and go with a modern system not a dinosaur of a system.

Why have gantries, lines and separate stops as well as destroying many mature trees on one of the most attractive runs into the city when modern, clean vehicles which can be re-charged at the bus stops are now available?

Also – incidentally – probably destroying many small businesses en route-but no one seems to care just so long as the folk who choose to live out of the city can get in and out with ease.

Margaret Thompson, Leeds 16

Youth hub policy not replicated at West Park

I WAS interested to read that Leeds City Council is looking for voluntary organisations to help run the South Leeds Youth Hub and reduce the £180,000 a year it currently spends maintaining the building.

Whilst I am pleased that the council is looking at imaginative ways to keep this community facility open, it’s a shame that this same approach was not taken with the West Park Centre.

The West Park Centre was very well used by the local community, with 2,000 people using it every week, nearly three times the number using the South Leeds Youth hub.

Whilst lacking the state-of-the-art facilities of the youth hub, it had a tremendous community and cultural ambience that cannot be replicated elsewhere in the city.

The council had the option to make the necessary repairs to bring the WPC back into use and still generate some income through partial demolition and sale of the site.

But instead they decided to completely demolish the building and sell off the land, giving a £1.6 million windfall to council coffers but displacing dozens of user groups, many of whom still remain homeless.

So now we have a situation where the South Leeds Youth Hub is deemed worth subsidising, whilst the poor old West Park Centre will be demolished in a matter of weeks, its fate sealed by a brutal focus on the balance sheet that doesn’t seem to apply to other council-run buildings.

Coun Sue Bentley, Weetwood Ward, Leeds City Council

Heartless edict of school fines

BRIAN HYMAN is absolutely correct in his comments about the problem of family holidays (YEP, September 17).

A £60 fine for taking a child out of school to holiday with parents is an unsympathetic, thoughtless edict by the education authorities, who appear to neither understand nor care that in certain kinds of employment, holidays are arranged in order of seniority; and many have no choice but to take theirs when they can, often in the early or later months of the year.

Why therefore, under threat of being fined, should they be denied a holiday?

Furthermore, no matter what explanation is offered to justify this Draconian attitude, what about the long, six-week summer break which, no matter how they try to explain otherwise, has to be equally as disruptive in terms of continued education, as a two-week break from school.

Perhaps schools should be fined for being closed too long!

Without being facetious that is certain to be a no-go suggestion. Teachers themselves wouldn’t wear it!

E A Lundy, by email

Too drunk to read of danger

SO NETWORK RAIL have released footage of passengers taking alcohol-induced tumbles three times a week at Leeds City Station (which I think is a miracle to be so low) yet claiming it’s one of the networks worst hotspots for accidents.

Posters are to be erected to warn of the risks of getting drunk at the station to yourself and others, but how many drunken travellers are going to look at these posters let alone read them?

AE Hague, Bellbrooke

Grove, Leeds 9

Hordes cross during red man

I AM A non-driver and I am complete agreement with Nick Keer (Your views, September 17) about the misuse of pedestrian crossings in the centre of Leeds.

Time after time when I am in the centre of Leeds when wishing to use a crossing I press the button, and stand waiting for the red man to change to green whilst hordes of people push by me on either side, streaming both ways across the crossing whilst the red man is still showing.

It sometimes feels as if I am the only person in the centre of Leeds waiting for the green man to show.

I feel sorry of course for these people being in such a hurry, but one of these days some of them are going to go a lot further than they expected to and a lot quicker and all because they did not wait for the green man.

John Hutchinson, Kippax

Clegg’s last chance saloon

NICK CLEGG is surely drinking in the last chance saloon by his promises of a five pence increase on a plastic carrier bag and demanding reductions on the cost of school uniforms.

If the Liberal Democrats really wanted to help the less well-off he wouldn’t have supported so many Tory policies with such vigour these last three years.

It’s quite pitiful to see Mr Clegg scrambling around for some degree of credibility for himself and his party by these recent declarations, not surprisingly on the eve of the Lib Dem conference in the hope of throwing some scraps of good news to the Lib Dem faithful.

He extols that it’s some kind of victory that, from 2015, plastic bags will be costing us all five pence more, when if he was really concerned about environmental issues he would make sure all retailers by law only handed out recyclable bags (plastic or paper).

The public will not forget his eagerness in 2010 to ‘jump into bed’ with the Tories, his support for their economic policies, his U-turn on tuition fees and his support for the ‘bedroom tax’ to name but a few.

History cannot be re-written no matter how hard Mr Clegg tries to convince us otherwise.

Alan Thorpe, Whitkirk

‘Student tuition fees’ says it all

I HAVE three words to say to Clegg’s claims at the Lib Dem “Which Way Is Woodstock, Man”? conference not to have reneged on his promises: student tuition fees. Enough said.

T Maunder, by email

Be aware of Type 2 diabetes

I AM writing to let people in the local area know about Diabetes UK’s new awareness campaign to highlight the potential consequences of Type 2 diabetes.

Many people think of Type 2 diabetes as a relatively mild condition, but the reality is that it can lead to amputation, blindness, heart attack and stroke.

That is why over the next two weeks, our campaign will use adverts in local shopping centres, roadside posters and on the radio and public transport to make clear the devastating impact Type 2 diabetes can have on people and their families.

Funded by our National Charity Partnership with Tesco, it will also raise awareness that being overweight; having a large waist; being over 40 (or over 25 if you are from a South Asian background); or having a close relative with diabetes are risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

I would urge your readers that if any of these apply to them, they should have a risk assessment online at www.diabetes.org.uk/risk, at their local Tesco pharmacy, another pharmacy, or talk to their GP. It is important that people find out their risk so that if they are at high risk they can start getting support to make the lifestyle changes that can help prevent it.

Linda Wood, Diabetes UK’s regional manager for Northern & Yorkshire

One law for rich, one for the poor

WILL THE new 10 years in prison for benefit cheats also apply to MPs fiddling their expenses?

Thought not, one law for the rich, one for the poor.

John Blakey, Park Villas, Leeds 8