From: Coun David Blackburn, Farnley & Wortley Ward, Leeds Council.
I FIND it extremely strange that we have horror stories of a shortage of housing and house prices going up when developers are still coming back to planners saying their approved planning applications are not viable unless they get out of their affordable housing obligations. Clearly, if house prices are going up and up developers can afford to fulfil their obligations.
The other thing I find astonishing is the number of sites in Leeds that have had planning permission for some considerable time, yet when developers are asked why they are not being built on they say there is no demand. I know the buoyancy of the economy differs from one place to another, but in Leeds we have a strong and active economy.
It seems to me this is a serious case of land banking by developers, restricting supply and giving them an excuse to claim that more land should be released for development. Developers do not wish to build on brown field sites, they wish to develop green field ones where they will make much more profit.
Rail fare rules draconian
From: Alan Haigh, Foster Close, Morley, Leeds.
WEST Yorkshire rail passengers should be aware of the extent of the damaging evening off-peak fare restrictions that Northern Rail is proposing to introduce from September 8. Those buying return tickets will see their fares increased by about 20 per cent. A host of other tickets are also affected, such as Rover and duo tickets and journeys within West Yorkshire by East Coast, Transpennine and Cross Country trains.
These will be the most draconian ticket restrictions in Britain and as a result Northern Rail must surely become the worst railway company by putting an extension to its franchise and profits above the welfare of its customers.
If the scheme had been restricted to the busy trains departing Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester between 16.00 and 18.30 hours, then we would have had few complaints. Instead, the restrictions have been unfairly applied indiscriminately and will mostly affect lightly used trains which need more passengers, not measures which will discourage people from travelling. Anyone going out for the evening to any of West Yorkshire’s five centres and catching a train before 18.30, to return say about 22.00, will be charged the full peak fare as if going to work early in the morning.
Northern Rail needs to consider its passengers and think again. It is disappointing that Metro is not standing up for West Yorkshire in opposing these restrictions.
Counter blast on firearms
From: David Thompson, Sales Director, York Guns Ltd, Common Road, York.
YVETTE Cooper deliberately tries to muddy the waters between legal and illegally-held firearms (The Yorkshire Post, August 23). How many of the 101 incidents to which she refers actually involved a legally held firearm? And of the ones that did how many were just accidental?
Shooting sports are amongst the safest activities to participate in, and legal gun owners are amongst the safest, honest and most responsible people around.
More than can be said for some her colleagues recently!
From: Paul Morley, Ribblesdale Estate, Long Preston, Skipton.
I ALSO served 30 years as a police officer and wholeheartedly agree with Peter Hyde (The Yorkshire Post, August 23). Unfortunately the police have to employ what society offers them and the society of today is totally different to that of 25 years ago.
From: Keith Sturdy, Grimbald Road, Knaresborough.
ON looking at your front page (The Yorkshire Post, August 22) and reading the article about the appalling driving of the comedian known as Chubby Brown, I had to look at the top of the paper to check that it wasn’t April Fool’s day, or I had drifted back 30 or 40 years.
I am referring to the abysmal penalty of £30 and four points imposed by Northallerton Magistrates.
I have not seen a fine so low for careless driving for at least 30 years. Whoever authorised the prosecution for careless driving should hang their head in shame, as should the JPs who dealt with the case.
Was Powell correct?
From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.
About seven years ago I wrote to your paper wondering if there was any substance in the speech by Enoch Powell when he talked about “rivers of blood” when referring to the increased immigration figures at the time.
Some of the news coming out of the Middle East is making one’s hair stand on end. We have British citizens going abroad to join the barbarians who are threatening to spread their religious fanaticism worldwide.
These men, or women, will be returning to Britain schooled in the art of savagery which could ultimately manifest itself on our streets.
Am I right in wondering that what Powell said all those years ago is starting to come true? Let us hope not.