June 26: Call time on Houses of Parliament repair bill and turn Westminster into museum

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From: TE Marston, Lincoln.

THE dodgy condition of the Palace of Westminster first became known to the general public earlier this year through Michael Cockerell’s documentary on the BBC. The programmes also revealed the quirky practices and traditions of MPs, clearly beloved of the class of 2010 – and no doubt that of 2015 will embrace them also. Most of their quirks are born of their working environment which constitutes for them a kind of “alma mater”.

But we, the public, do not fund Westminster to further the personal maturation of our governors.

Now we are told that repair of the Palace is imminently necessary and will cost billions. In order to restore their historic working environment, I fear MPs will be all too willing to spend “taxpayers’ money”, that earned by “hard working families”, on what is an expensive eccentricity in these austere days.

Surely this is the opportunity to take Britain’s politics out of the 19th century and bring it right up to date? I see new, modern chambers for our Parliament, sited at some convenient point in our communications network.

Let’s get away from the crass confrontational set up of the present Commons, replacing it with a chamber in the round like the United Nations or the US Congress where argument is less tribal and debate is more constructive. As for the old building, it will be cheaper to run as a museum. If some MPs wish to retain it as the seat of government, let them use private money – all our other gems are going that way.

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

LABOUR’S new Shadow Chancellor Christopher Leslie pontificates on the public finances (The Yorkshire Post, January 20) and, while accepting some spending cuts, criticises some of the austerity measures. Unfortunately this man is yet another example of what is wrong with so many MPs, with no proper business experience.

From: Michael Ross, Harewood.

I HAVE to disagree with Mr Jowett (The Yorkshire Post, June 19) when he says the cheap seats (the risers) are not the best vantage point to appreciate the orchestra at Leeds Town Hall.

These seats, almost amongst the tympani and percussion are the best vantage points in the house. Not the best upholstered perhaps, but the excitement of being so close to the orchestra and watching the expressions of the conductor bringing in all the various sections, well compensates for any discomfort. I wouldn’t swap for the “posh seats” with anyone.