YEP Letters: September 22

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Still time to defeat Housing Bill

John Davies, chair, Hands off our Homes

On September 17 you reported that Coun Lewis had seemingly grasped the idea that Leeds City Council could be forced to sell 3460 houses (homes).

They would not be sold to the current occupants under the “right to buy” scheme but sold on the open market to cover the cost to Housing Associations of they themselves suffering the imposition of the right to buy scheme if the Tories get their way.

These 3460 properties are homes that the city has built and the tenants have paid for over many years and indeed have subsidised central government using the rent revenue. Believe me, those that think council housing is subsidised are so wrong. It is the exact opposite.

So with thousands on the waiting list for a council home we are to have less available.

On June 9 you kindly printed a letter I submitted in which I made this very situation clear. It gives me no pleasure to say “I told you so” but we now have to plan to halt the proposed legislation in its tracks. Over twelve months after the “bedroom tax” became law politicians of all persuasions realised that it was a pernicious piece of legislation that badly affected some of the most vulnerable.

We still have time. The new Housing Bill is scheduled for debate in Parliament in October.

I hope that Richard Lewis will be campaigning alongside Shelter and many other groups to ensure that this forced sell off of council homes and the right to buy applying to Housing Associations never gets onto the statute book.

He could start by calling for a contingent of councillors to attend the anti-austerity demonstration at the Tory party conference in Manchester on the 4th October and then working to ensure that opposition MPs are aware of the importance of defeating the Bill.

The Labour Party has a new leader who will surely not allow Maggie Thatcher’s right to buy policy to continue or indeed be extended.


Stop being an appeaser

Terry Watson, Adel

Once again Cameron has caved into his masters in the EU and paid up the £2.8 billion penalty for having a successful economy.

He said in October it was completely unacceptable but he caved in and quietly settled the full amount this week. Brussels wouldn’t have dared to demand £2.8 billion from Thatcher, but she always fought for Britain, unlike Dave. Germany and France received a generous rebate for having a failing economy. Cameron should have flatly refused to pay and faced the consequences. Britain’s contributions have quadrupled in the last five years costing every family in Britain £450 a year.

He is constantly being warned by Merkel and her underlings that if he doesn’t do as he is told they will not support his call for changes to our membership before our referendum. How can anyone with any intelligence fall for that one? It is time to stop being an appeaser Dave.

As Churchill once said: “An appeaser is someone who feeds the crocodiles hoping that he will be eaten last.”

Spend cash on care homes

P Kelleher, Morley

I have never before felt the need to write to a newspaper but the closing paragraph in a digital article in Saturday’s Evening Post which didn’t seem to appear in the printed version took my breath away.

“Senior councillors are expected next week to authorise handing £100,000 from council funds to help charities in the city supporting refugees”. Much as I deeply sympathise with those individuals who are suffering and, indeed, may make my own donation, I feel very strongly that WE as individuals decide which charities we support and not Leeds City Council. Their remit is to collect our council tax and spend it for the benefit of local citizens.Thank you, senior councillors, but this is surely a personal decision and not one for you to take on our behalf. For example, it would be better spent endeavouring to keep open the three care homes which are scheduled for closure!

More false promises?

Alan Thorpe, Whitkirk

With regard to reports that George Osborne is considering the scrapping of free school meals for infants. The Tory manifesto of only six months ago pledged to continue with free school meals, this was a commitment, a word I feel is constantly overused by this government and which it uses freely to quell public disquiet then when they feel the time is right kick it into the long grass.

Capping care costs for the elderly was a commitment made prior to the general election and then afterwards was duly ‘delayed’ until 2020. The same can also be said of the ‘pausing’(shelving) of vital upgrades to rail lines in the Midlands and the North of England, so much for the much vaunted Northern Powerhouse scam which was just to con the public into winning their votes. I could go on listing all the false promises but would run out of paper!

Fracking revolution?

D S Boyes, Leeds 13

WITH the latest uproar over proposed, exploratory, drilling for shale oil and gas in the former Castleford and district coalfield, you have to wonder if protesting about anything and everything, often by those who don’t even live local to it, or don’t seem to work for a living, is one of our few growth industries.

Future security of energy supply to reduce reliance on imports is very important, and of those protesting, few could have been around when the old mines, coking plants and gas works were in operation causing enormous environmental and health problems to workers and immediate neighbours alike as I was!

The attitude of Labour councillors involved is as usual conditioned by the fact that it is a Conservative government suggesting fracking. As it was when the Con Dem coalition on Leeds City Council proposed a waste disposal incinerator in East Leeds. Then, Labour was up in arms about it on exactly the same environmental and health grounds, but once back in power, Labour now fully behind the incinerator. Fracking has revolutionised energy in the United States, cutting costs and reducing imports as well as creating more jobs. Why can’t we look forward to the same?