Bradford was once a leader in schooling

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From: Charles Rushton, Pasture Close, Strensall, York.

I MUST agree to differ with Margaret Eaton’s speech (Yorkshire Post, January 24). I could take issue with many issues raised, most of which refer to the current metropolitan sprawl now identified as Bradford. Older readers will readily agree that such places as Keighley, Ilkley and even Saltaire on your picture, had their own identities before the 1974 disaster.

However, where I get very cross, is where she states that “education standards in Bradford have historically been low”. No doubt at all that this is the case, getting worse by the year, but only thanks to the major changes in the post-war years. Bradford from Victorian times was perhaps the leader in many ways in the development of schools, allied with leading the way in school meals, e.g. Green Lane School, and the establishment of health care clinics etc. As a former pupil of Hanson School, she must be aware of the great work done by all the schools described as secondary, more popularly known as grammar schools.

These provided a wonderful route for the poorer families for a good education; I personally can vouch for Belle Vue. Following this the city had a magnificent Technical College, a world leader in textile science. All this until the system was destroyed by the politicians, replaced by Peace Studies at the university!

No, Bradford did not have low standards in education over some 90 to 100 years, as for today, I no longer concern myself as my Bradford, dear old mucky city that it was, is long gone.

From: M Day, Rochdale Road, Greetland.

REGARDING the North/South divide, I was born and raised in Halifax. Soon after I completed my apprenticeship an opportunity became vacant in the South, so I moved to Bedford.

Later another opening came up in Halifax so I moved to Huddersfield. Subsequent moves were made to Leeds and Nuneaton and finally back to Halifax where I now live. Within this time period, some 50 years, I worked in 15 or more countries round the world. I have seen and experienced a great deal in that time yet chose to return to Yorkshire.

So could I respectfully suggest that you all stop whinging about how bad it is and get off your backsides and go where you perceive the roads are paved with gold? We live in a free country and almost a free world, so take advantage of it. Sitting round waiting for the good times will not solve your problems.

Placing trust in Miliband

From: George McManus, Whins Lane, Long Riston, East Yorkshire.

IT’S unfortunate that Phil Hanson from Shipley (Yorkshire Post, January 24) prefers to allow vitriol and hatred – “Ed Miliband should think before opening his mouth” – to get in the way of reason.

When he says Ed Miliband spent money like water, is he referring to the additional spending on schools in Shipley, the extra teachers and police officers or the cuts in NHS waiting lists?

Could he mean the increased spending on flood alleviation, which the Tories now admit they’ve reduced or his pioneering policies on climate change? Probably not.

To then say that he could never trust somebody who is middle class is particularly nasty and leaves no hope for working class activists like me to ever become an MP. Presumably he’s happy to leave our aspirations and those of future generations to the Old Etonians currently running the Government.

I don’t bear any grudge against David Cameron, Nick Clegg and George Osborne because their parents made the mistake of sending them to public school. I don’t trust Ed Miliband because, like me, he went to a comprehensive school, I trust him because his values are my values and are rooted in the real world.

Concern over flood defences

From: MW Joyce, Aire Quay, Hunslet.

AS a local resident living by the River Aire in Hunslet, I am concerned about the approach by Leeds City Council to its flood defence scheme for the city centre.

It is clearly understood that effective flood defences are necessary for Leeds city centre given the number of near-flooding incidents we have witnessed over the last 15 years.

However, what is being planned is the entire removal of Knostrop Cut which will remove a valuable local recreational area in a part of Leeds that has few facilities of this kind.

An alternative, effective solution involving the placement of flood defence barriers in areas of the river that pass through the city centre was initially proposed. This has now been rejected on aesthetic grounds.

Removing this popular facility in an area of the city that is clearly benefitting from urban regeneration would be a retrograde step in the improvement of a part of Leeds left neglected for a long time.