YEP Letters: September 9

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Fire service cuts: Enough is enough

Andy Killingbeck, Leeds

Concerning the article in Saturday’s YEP ‘Concerns over spike in deadly house fires’, the FBU are spot on!

They have been warning of this for many years. To quote the former CFO of West Yorks, Phil Toase (YEP Wednesday January 9 2002): “There is no room for complacency. As the number of fire deaths reduces, it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain the downward trend. The successes so far have been mainly due to home safety checks and the installation of smoke alarms”.

With less and less firefighters and fire engines, larger areas for each crew to cover, the amount of fire safety work has to be affected.

The number of fire calls may have been reduced, i.e. the number of car fires (after being stolen) that the brigade attended 10/20 years ago has been reduced dramatically from the 100s a month to just a few, but this is not down to fire safety work but rather than the improved vehicle security, and there are other examples of non-fire service intervention which has had an effect on calls.

As I have said in the past (in the YEP), the number of larger fires has increased and it would be interesting to see what the figures are for the number of incidents requiring more than the initial number of appliances that are sent. (More than two fire engines!) As is commented, the longer a fire burns the worse it gets, the more resources are going to be needed to tackle the blaze. It is only a matter of time before the “system implodes”.

Mr Pilling (CFO) along with his senior officers, along with their counterparts throughout the country should be telling the government enough is enough as far as the cuts are concerned, and should be supporting the FBU in their cause.

Instead they are toothless puppets - kowtowing to the politicians in Downing Street no doubt feathering their own nests - looking for promotion to government offices after their retirement (with gold plated pensions!)

Smoke detectors are good, but I’ve never seen once carry an unconscious person out of a burning building!

Excellent track record

John Roberts, Wakefield

Mary Creagh MP was on BBC Look North recent explaining how she was going to visit a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon.

Lebanon, despite its difficulties, is one of the first available countries which can offer refuge and sanctuary to the unfortunate people fleeing (lets not forget, nota ll can flee, the poor and infirm for example) from the horrors going on in Syria. Mary made the comment that Lebanon had, at one stage, taken in 10,000 people a day: “far more than Britain has in one year.” Clearly, a dig at Britain. Could we remember though that the British people have an excellent track record when responding to those less fortunate over the years. Whether it be organising Kindertransport during the Second World War to responding to famine, flood, war and natural disaster. According to Amnesty International, the rich and spacious Gulf states have not taken in one refugee.

Switzerland, though not in the EU could offer sanctuary to some refugees. It is still part of Europe and has a moral obligation to do its bit. People have knocked Britain in this crisis for not doing all it can. Another point is the population of this small island (over 62 million). The population of countries like Switzerland (8,211,700) and Sweden (approx 9 million) is somewhat less.

We should stop beating ourselves up as a nation; we are generous and compassionate and thishas been proven so many times. Austria, for example, was quick to say how the emergency was over and we are returning to ‘normality.’

Winter plan for cycleway?

Stuart Scholes, Bramley

The cycle superhighway of Leeds and Bradford is edging forward towards completion.

Have I missed what is a trivial point, but as autumn is with us and winter will be fast on its heels and Leeds Council has spent £20m plus, what is the procedure on the cycle highway when snow arrives?

The snowploughs will be out doing the best they are able to do with the funds availalbe by clearing the major road arteries by pushing the snow towards the gutters and drains, no a correction is due here as it will now be pushed onto the cycle highway, possibly blocking it. Will the cyclists therefore move back onto the roads, which of course will now be a lot narrower and if any accident occurs, what will insurance companies have to say about not being in a dedicated cycle highway? Maybe Leeds Council have bought some super skinny ploughs for the cycle highway, but I doubt it and how will they be gritted as they are part of the highway?

No room for more migrants

Jack Taylor, Leeds 10

Many millions of words have been written about migration. Millions of people moving across the planet looking for a better life, but it’s sad to say this is one country they will not find it.

It is too small a country to take many more. Over the past 500 years we have had famine, floods, plague, mass unemployment but the population never seems to go down, so with hundreds of thousands more people trying to get into this small country it will be suicidal, we will run out of land for growing food and shortage of water, which is life’s blood. When will those in power sit up and take notice?

MPs are ‘sickening’

T Maunder, Kirkstall

I am listening to Cameron telling the House about efforts that have been made to stop terrorism in the UK.

He clearly has no grasp of the fact that, as a Syrian refugee said on TV this morning, that more people have died in Syria as a result of Assad than IS. Either that or is he, shock horror, lying to and misleading us? I am also listening to Harriet Harman and all the time she is speaking, Tory MPs are muttering and making ridiculing noises. We pay them for such behaviour? These MPs just sicken me: people’s lives are at risk, children are dying and Cameron is lying through his teeth about IS as compared with Assad’s regime, who - like our involvement in Iraq - has actually played a part in their creation. As for Cameron’s little stories, as he is speaking, about terrorists being taken out, words fail me. Just how does yelling out insults at your opposite number help the migrant refugees?

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9