YEP Letters: September 7

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Don’t moan about cash we got

Jaimes Lewis Moran, Seacroft

Is the cycle highway ambition really such a white elephant, especially considering how long overdue ‘any’ cycling infrastructure has been?

True, you could say equal attention must be paid to poor road conditions and other infrastructure overhauls, but in the end aren’t they all essential either way? Yet once again people overlook the fact that ‘the money used was strictly for cycling’ so instead of complaining about the money Leeds ‘did’ get, how about the money it didn’t receive; (from central government) like the much needed flood defenses, ring-fenced money previously for that ludicrous trolleybus dream (which must be bid for – again...) or more importantly, devolved mayor powers to make local decisions!

City care home judgements just not good enough

Coun Peter Gruen, Chair of the Adult Social Services, Public Health and NHS Scrutiny Board, Leeds City Council

When, last year, the Leeds Health Scrutiny Board first started to monitor the CQC ( Care Quality Commission) ratings handed out to Residential and Nursing Care Homes, we were alarmed.The first few batches of such judgements showed that, in Leeds, only approximately 50 per cent of homes were accorded a ‘good’ judgement. The other 50 per cent were found to either ‘Require Improvement’ or to be ‘Inadequate’.

At that time we were advised that these early inspections concentrated on establishments where there were some concerns and we should expect later judgements to be more positive.

I am afraid these aspirations have not materialised.

The latest three month batch of CQC results, between April and July 2016, shows that out of 60 inspections there were 33 ‘Good’ judgements, 26 ‘Requires Improvement’ judgements, 
and one ‘Inadequate’ judgement.

It is reassuring that, where in a few cases further action became necessary, the Council’s Adult Care Service has suspended placements to homes.

Sadly therefore there is a continuing trend which is causing the Scrutiny Board much concern.

The fact that only 50 per cent of private sector provision is deemed to be good, is simply not good enough.

The reasons for such sluggish performance are also consistent – inferior leadership, insufficient care and quality and not sufficiently good relationships with residents.

We know that we all at some stage have to make the most difficult and emotive decisions about our loved ones and determine whether or not they can stay independent at home or need increased care and security.

Our burden would be eased if we were reassured that those care homes close to us will offer ‘good’ or perhaps even ‘outstanding’ care.

There is one bright note that all three of the council-run homes were recently re-inspected and achieved ‘Good’ ratings.

So the lesson is that it can be done and I call on the private providers to be fair with Leeds residents and up their commitment, leadership, supervision and resource – until they do our Scrutiny Board will continue to challenge the disappointing results.

Free bus pass is my wage!

Maggie Lake, by email

I’ve just got home from ‘work’ – only six hours today. Another six eight-hour shifts on Wednesday and that’s me done for the week (apart from some litter collecting). No wages as such. Though I do think of my Bus Pass as a bit of a wage! Being able to use my bus pass and not have to have the charity pay my fares to and from ‘work’ is a good bonus.

Having done this voluntary work since I retired four years ago, let me assure your readers that I, and thousands like me, make excellent use of the bus pass.

I also love travelling to small towns in Yorkshire – Horbury last week for tea and the bookshop, Lovely!

Stop the free pass crusade

Richard Wade, by email

I see that Mr Keer, and his two supporters the Ingles, have mounted their tired old hobby horse for another trip out of middle earth, to continue their tired old crusade against the evil bus pass owners who are getting free travel and those who are actually only going one stop, forcing the bus to keep stopping and starting again.

The drivers must be incensed at having to keep stopping at bus stops (I thought that was the point of them).These crusaders seem to be under the sad illusion that if the bus passes were removed, the country’s financial problems, and the abysmal bus services would be solved.

All that is needed is proper funding from the government, and a better managed bus service.

But wait awhile – the YEP has asked for the readers’ opinions so you may be able to gather some more support for your campaign.

Chewing over a litter problem

Johnathon Marchant, by email

It’s always good to read about Leeds City Council cleaning our streets(YEP, September 2).

A gang of four council workers using hi-power jet-washing tools to rid the pavement of chewing gum in readiness for the new Victoria Gate shopping centre.

My personal bugbear would be litter and people not taking care of their gardens.

Surely this is a much easier and cheaper problem to deal with. Do people walk around looking at the gum on the pavement?

Water? Mine’s a pint... or two

Alan Thompson, Bramhope

I’m always amused when I see local joggers on a two-mile circuit grasping their water bottles for dear life and taking regular sips to stop themselves from becoming dehydrated.

Poor souls. They are victims of the publicity machines from the bottled water companies.

I sometimes feel a bit dehydrated at the end of a long walk, but a couple of pints of local bitter at the end of the day puts things right.

Send Olympic cash to A&E

Rita Joy, LS16

Perhaps now our wonderful Team GB have had such success at the Olympics with the help of Lottery backing, these monies could be directed to our wonderful NHS.

The need has never been greater with operations being cancelled and sad stories of patients waiting to be seen at A&E.

The difference this could make to our health service would make it the envy of the world once more

Customers are important asset

Ivan Kovacks, by email

No wonder, I thought yesterday, when listening to or reading various news items on the lagging productivity of the UK, we always show to be falling well behind the American, Germans and ever the French!

Over the last week I contacted three different companies, all for various reasons including wanting to give them money.

And each time the person on the phone was attentive, polite and played at being helpful.

However, none were able to offer any real help but swore blind they knew a person who could and also said that someone would phone me back the same day.

No doubt you can already guess how many return calls I got – yes, you’re right, none!

Despite making second, and in one case third, calls no one from any of these organisations has phoned me back and all my issues are still unresolved.

Clearly all the people I talked to have no real care for the jobs that they are doing, they just go through the basic motions and do the minimum required.

Until employees like these develop some real work ethic, care for their jobs and more importantly actually help the customers, we will continue to lag behind all these other countries in any productivity rating.

What these companies must understand is that the customers are the most important asset they have and keeping them happy and well serviced will maintain their loyalty and continued 
custom.

YEP Letters: November 20