YEP Letters: September 5

Have your say

I NOTE from reports in the YEP that our planning chiefs have rejected housing development proposals at Bramhope and Scholes.

All very good and environmentally sound, I am sure. But the problem of mass housing and people’s needs remains.

The answer, perhaps, is to build luxury low density housing in these areas. These would provide an infusion of money into these areas, be well designed and environmentally sympathetic.

It isn’t a matter of ‘the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer’ as the reality is that people with money want more secluded, scenic areas; while the present populations don’t want high density, mass produced housing.

Otherwise, Leeds will have a shortfall in the kind of housing those relocating from outside the city want; thus depriving itself of valuable inward investment. While other councils which are more enlightened and less ideologically driven will ‘mop up the gravy’.

We are at present playing the egalitarian game whereby ‘if Bill can’t afford it, Rupert’s not going to get the chance either’. In addition using the risible reasons for refusals, ie ‘there isn’t a bus service’ and ‘there’s a lack of parking’ and so on.

These are merely covers for doing nothing and having no ideas or ambitions.

After all, those living in luxury houses are not concerned about bus services or parking spaces.

Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood

Concern over off licence

I WOULD like to thank the YEP for your editorial comment (YEP, August 29) voicing concern at the application lodged by a shop in Hyde Park for a 24-hour alcohol licence.

For over 10 years there have been meetings by the council to address this problem but we still have this nuisance called anti-social behaviour because the councillors don’t live in the area – yet they vote on the issue.

The simple solution is to make student landlords with scruffy houses in multiple occupation contribute for their zero-rated houses, then the council will have the funds they need to address these problems.

Robert Holman, Headingley

Parents take responsibility

YOUR well-documented report (YEP, August 26) of children being ill-prepared in simple basic tasks of daily life before entering school comes as no surprise as it is a nationwide problem.

Too many parents believe it’s the job of the school to be surrogate mother, leaving them free to get on with their life.

It is the role of both parents and school in a social contract, but the main responsibility lies with parents to get them ready for schooling, and not the other way round.

Time with kids is paramount. Very few households ever see a book to read, or especially read to their children.

Parents just dump the kids in front of the TV screen for hours on end, probably too tired to engage young minds with wonder and imagination that kids love.

There is also pressure for working mums to return to work too quickly, also a cost on children.

But kids should come first and starting school ill-taught is a disaster for the future, as schools can only do so much.

BRIAN JOHNSON, Burmantofts

Story behind rail photograph

REGARDING the station with a rhubarb special (YEP, August 23), the photograph of Stanningley station looking east is very interesting.

The train approaching from Leeds Central, first stop Stanningley, is most likely a Liverpool express.

I well remember many people emigrating to Canada from Stanningley railway station on a Liverpool express, about 1,700, during the 1950s.

I remember Jean the booking clerk at Bramley station. She also handled parcels for collection and delivery. Until the wrecking of the railways by Ernest Marples (Dr Beeching’s boss), all passenger trains carried newspapers, parcels and fish etc. Fish arrived at Bramley station about 10am, when greengrocers, fish merchants and fish and chip shop proprietors collected by hand cart, van and the railway station delivered by van.

The present mess on the railway can be traced back to Margaret Thatcher who instructed the railways to scrap three coaches to be replaced by two coach pairs.

John Major’s government brought in the present system of railway management which I do not think has worked.

Management should be brought back to the north of England with directors elected by rail users, this would help to prevent the problem of wrecking the railways from within.

C Barton, Burley in Wharfedale

Was trophy cinema magic?

NOTING THE recent death of the actor Bill Kerr, I remember in the film Gallipoli he played an old ex-athlete who shows one of his prize cups to a young lad he is training, and on the small wooden plinth a metal plate reads: Henry Lascelles, World Champion, 100 yards 9 5/16 seconds, Leeds 1899.

So what’s the story here – true 19th century Yorkshire venue, or simply cinematic licence?

R Bates, Shadwell

Retirement home name

WITH REFERENCE to the letter from Councillor Peter Harrand (YEP, September 3) asking for suggestions for a name for the Shadwell Lane retirement home, I think the proper name should be Shadwell Court.

Irene Bradshaw, Gildersome

Reunite with service pals

I HAVE no doubt that many of your older readers will remember National Service. Along with many thousands of others, I was called to do mine in the RAF in the mid 1950s.

It came as something of a shock! Obviously many friends were made during my two years, most of whom I’ve not seen since.

Many ex-airmen/women, who I worked with during my two years, at various radar installations, might be interested to know that the National Service (RAF) Association which was formed some 11 years ago has had some success in reuniting old colleagues.

In addition, it has groups meeting regularly in various parts of the country, making visits to places of interest and enjoying other social occasions.

The Association is also represented at various official functions throughout the year.

Anyone joining receives a quarterly magazine in which members can relate stories good or bad of their time in the service, along with regularly updated membership lists.

The Association has recently been opened to all ex-RAF men and women whether National Service or regular.

Anyone interested can get more information from our web site at or by contacting: Brian Hooper. 13, Douglas Road, Hornchurch, Essex RM11 1AN.

Brian Hooper, Essex

Is this service we pay for?

Having been told a recent blood test result was ‘borderline’, I was informed a doctor would call me to discuss it. I didn’t get to the phone in time and when I rang back I kept getting an engaged tone.

The next day it took me three goes to get through to my surgery, only to be told the doctor was ‘in a meeting’ but would call me back.

Asked when this might be, the receptionist said: ‘Sorry, no idea.’ Is this what we pay our taxes for? I can only hope it’s nothing too serious.

David Edwards, Leeds

YEP Letters: April 20