YP Letters: Stonewalling over Leeds flood defences

Flooding along Kirkstall Road, Leeds, last December.
Flooding along Kirkstall Road, Leeds, last December.
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From: Coun Elizabeth Nash (Labour), Leeds City & Hunslet Ward, Former member Environment Agency Flood Defence Committee, Morris Lane, Leeds.

HOW right Tom Richmond is in his article “Stonewalling won’t help us defend against floods” (The Yorkshire Post, July 16).

This Government has put off and put off funding flood defences in Yorkshire. Leeds received money and the go ahead for defending the city centre in November 2015, yet the scheme had been approved the previous year.

Had the money been given promptly, the severity of the Boxing Day floods would have been ameliorated as the collapsible weirs would have meant that the water would have got away rather than backing up and overspilling the riverbanks.

However, the Aire also overspilled further upstream onto the A65, flooding not only immediate properties on the Kirkstall Road corridor but also flooding the city centre from another angle.

Leeds had also asked for finance for flood defences upstream, but this was not granted. We now have another stonewall of a “catchment plan” which will take two years with no guarantee of finance at the end of it. No doubt a survey is needed, but this should have been done years ago.

I am concerned, however, about Craig Whittaker MP asking if Defra would release information to help community groups plant trees and build upstream dams, creating flood plains. This strategy only helps on small rivers and becks. It makes hardly any difference to the capacity of big rivers such as the Aire, Calder and Wharfe which are fed by numerous streams. And we should be careful that planting trees, which are dormant in the winter anyway, and building dams which can be expensive, are not used as another stonewalling tactic.

As a young councillor in 1972, I was a member of the Leeds Corporation Waterworks Committee. We built a “balancing” reservoir on Farnley Beck at the side of Farnley Ring Road and Tong Road. This solved the flood problem in this area and the dam is an attractive feature. But this was not without spending a considerable amount of money.

Give Truss a fair trial

From: Dave Broadhead, Wrenthorpe Road, Wakefield.

I THINK Tom Richmond was a bit harsh on Liz Truss, the new Justice Secretary, in his column (The Yorkshire Post, July 23).

Why would we need to imagine her briefing the cabinet on the legality of war?

Surely that is the role of the Attorney General for England & Wales, Jeremy Wright, who, as a QC, is amply qualified.

The post of Justice Secretary doesn’t require any particular qualifications at all. We don’t have a teacher at education, a GP at health or an Admiral at Defence.

From: John G Collins, Ilkley.

I ENJOY Tom Richmond’s Saturday morning column as it often represents my own attitude to many of the points raised; perhaps, at the lowest level, the poor performance of Morrison’s at Guiseley which looks more and more like a run-down Asda.

His comments on Mrs May’s start are correct but the Government needs time to formulate its strategy. The BBC and their ilk continue to criticise every move, likewise that odious Robert Peston, now on ITV.

A case in point was the announcement of the fall in the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) accompanied by pictures of hitherto unknown City “experts”. I agree that this index has been accurate over past years, but no one has said when the cut- off date was for the latest survey. Was it after the appointment of Mrs May as PM and the relative calm that has followed this decision? I doubt it. I suggest that the closure of the last index was at the height of the recent period of uncertainty where all buyers of anything would be extra cautious, and before the appointment of Mrs May and her new team.

From: Stephen Nichols, Leyburn Avenue, Lightcliffe, Halifax.

WHY on earth does Tom Richmond wish to complain at every opportunity about his local Morrisons? Try your Sainsbury’s or Asda down the road. Other supermarkets are, of course, available.

Mangled English

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

NO, R Williams (The Yorkshire Post July 23), it is not just you who winces every time you hear a BBC broadcaster mangle the English language. I am coming to terms with “was sat” and “was stood”, which are part of the dynamics of language over the years.

However, “sommink” and “somp’ing”, as demonstrated by two otherwise scholarly female Radio 3 presenters, are not acceptable.

The BBC is reported to be encouraging regional accents, especially since some of its output now comes from Salford. There is a Radio 3 female presenter with a marked Manchester accent whose name I still can’t make out after weeks of listening. It is not about accent. I have no problem with fellow Radio 3 presenters Sarah Walker and Ian McMillan, who are from Barnsley. There is no clearer speaker than Welsh newsreader Huw Edwards, while Fiona Bruce sometimes swallows her words.

I sometimes have to ask Asian and British callers on the phone to slow down.

I have no problem with callers who speak properly, no matter what their accent is.

From: Rosamund M. Gray, Lindley, Huddersfield.

IN reply to R Williams, it is not just you. Each weekday ITV 6pm local news is interrupted to tell us what is coming up on the national news at 6.30pm.

This ends up with the names
of the two newsreaders: eg: 
Mary Nightingale and “me”, instead of Mary Nightingale and “I”.

Did these professional announcers never learn English grammar at school?