Why don’t we get fair share of investment?

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From: Gary Williamson, Chief Executive, Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber.

I WAS asked for a comment on the urgent repairs needed for the A64 Leeds Ring Road, which will cost around £25m (“£25m repair crisis over Leeds ring road”, Yorkshire Post, September 3), on Friday last week. That same evening, while sitting in the inevitable Leeds rush-hour congestion, I was listening to the radio and the news about the Edinburgh tram fiasco.

Bungled decisions and delays have resulted in an additional £500m being spent on this project, yet here in Leeds – with a population of 790,000 compared to Edinburgh’s a population of 450,000 – we practically had to beg Whitehall for second-hand rolling stock to ease over-crowded rail services.

The whole fiasco got me thinking about what half a billion pounds of investment could buy for Leeds.

It could certainly fix the ring-road 20 times over, so why does Leeds not get our fair share?

Social justice over housing

From: Max Hey, Fairway Grove, Bradford.

THE recent reports from Crisis and the National Housing Federation about the expected rise in homelessness and Britain’s dysfunctional housing market make for depressing reading.

The country needs significantly higher levels of affordable housing whether for social housing or owner-occupation.

The problem is symptomatic of the Government’s supreme indifference to the interests of anyone other than the wealthy elite which it represents.

The gloves are off. No amount of spin can disguise the greed, cynicism and selfishness of this wretched lot but this represents a concrete opportunity to fight back.

Everyone needs a decent roof over their heads and this is another chance to demonstrate at a practical level the inherent deficiencies of the free market and unite a broad cross section of socialists and progressives around a common programme to restore social justice.

Let’s keep up the pressure.

Moths that fight ragwort

From: Beryl Williams, School Hill, Wakefield.

PROFESSOR Knottenbolt can be applauded for highlighting the danger of ragwort poisoning to horses (Yorkshire Post, September3), and for mentioning the appalling damage done by it in Tasmania.

What he omits to mention, however, is the solution being deployed by their Ministry of Agriculture: that is, to breed cinnabar moths, the caterpillars of which completely strip ragwort of leaves and flowers, their populations, like those of many butterflies, doubtless having been undermined by pesticides.

So, is our Government going to wait until the situation worsens to the extent of that of Tasmania before it will adopt this biofriendly solution? I don’t know, but meanwhile I’m breeding them myself.

Menace for the rhinos

From: Aled Jones, Mount Crescent, Bridlington.

AFTER seeing yet more photos of dead rhinos with their magnificent horns hacked off by chainsaw-wielding poachers, controlling my anger has been a painfully difficult task.

I’ve wanted to make those responsible suffer an even worse fate than what they inflicted on these beautiful creatures. However, since possessing no power or authority at all, I am obliged to sit in my home and do nothing, and I am one frustrated son of a gun.

Time is running out for this 50 million year-old mammal, particularly now that a single horn can fetch £250,000 – making it more valuable weight for weight than gold.

Stricter poaching laws aren’t the answer – and it’s probably only the zoo system that can preserve the rhino species for future generations to marvel at. A bitter pill to swallow for great lovers of wild nature in general and

Africa in particular.

On our doorstep

From: David T Craggs, Tunstall.

I LOVE reading Ian McMillan’s articles in the Yorkshire Post magazine. To every Yorkshire man (and of course woman), especially those born and bred within, let’s say 20 miles of his beloved Darfield, so much of what he says runs true. But when I read his article about gravy (Yorkshire Post, September 3) I felt he let me down.

As I read through the article I was convinced that I knew how it was going to end. He described in his own inimitable way how he tried to pick up his excess gravy with a fork, before finally slurping it up with a straw. Even at this point I felt I knew what the final solution would be. But alas I was wrong.

I expected him to describe what every true Yorkshire man (but not necessarily every woman) knows, and that is that excess gravy must be mopped up before it goes cold with a “doorstep” – a thick slice of white bread, to those unfamiliar with the expression.

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