Monday's Letters: Why can't we build a beautiful city centre for the future?

The recent letters about Bradford are so important – we must solve the Westfield shoping centre problem as soon as possible.

If the company is unwilling to complete plans, Bradford needs help to conclude the operation (Yorkshire Post, January 20). Why not ditch the idea and concentrate on the beautiful centre of the city?

A new shopping mall only repeats the"old" idea of public wishes. If new building is required, why not replicate the old arcades – the Swan Arcade for example. Modern fashionable interiors can be built. We can never return to the groundbreaking businesses like Busby's, and Brown Muff's but the ethics of good, friendly, forward-thinking service can be replicated.

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We already have most of the mall type of store in the centre – except BHS amd Debenhams. The wonderful architecture could be promoted and admired while enjoying the same stores as other towns. I am looking forward to the completion of the Central Park – a wonderful central asset – but I am worried the Odeon will be lost as this would be the best building to complete the area.

As the demise of Yorkshire Forward (the owner) approaches, will this property be returned to the city to complete the development of the area?

From: S. Middleton, Aireville Avenue, Bradford.


From: Vernon Wood, Leeds.

I NOTE that following takeover of part of the Netto group, Asda, with the support of the Office of Fair Trading, will retain and operate two Netto stores in East Leeds (Harehills and Seacroft).

Both are little over a mile from the existing Asda Superstore on York Road at Killingbeck. This is typical of the oddly illogical decisions which the fair trading bureaucrats arrive at when considering potentially monopolistic situations such as this, where three Asda outlets will shortly be operating within a radius of 2.5 miles.

In contrast, when Morrisons took over the Safeway branch at Garforth some years ago, the OFT compelled Morrisons to sell that branch to Tesco, who already had a large store in Garforth and another just two miles down the rail line in Crossgates, and not forgetting Tesco's monster Seacroft superstore three miles away.

At that time, the nearest Morrison store to Garforth was six miles distant at Rothwell.

Such irrational and unjustifiable decisions lead the observer to question the criteria used by the London-based body, and to ask – do they actually own a map other than their London Underground map?

The wheels come off Britain's healthy future

From: Allan Ramsay, Radcliffe Moor Road, Radcliffe, Manchester.

once hailed the green future of transport, Segways – two wheeled scooters, capable of 12mph, easy to balance thanks to gyroscopic technology, and used on pavements in 43 US states and many European countries – could have reached the end of the road in Britain.

Philip Coates (Yorkshire Post, January 19) was fined 75 for riding one on the pavement (any different than a mobility scooter?) near his home in Barnsley. The District Judge's ruling was: "The machines are motor vehicles and so cannot be used on footpaths."

Neither are they allowed to be ridden on the road – a Government ruling says they do not comply with road traffic law.

But then aren't millions of drivers failing to comply with road traffic law when they habitually break speed limits (and go unpunished). As a consequence millions find cycling threatening, indeed a non-starter – another "spanner in the works" for the green future of transport! And what's the Government doing about it? They've scrapped funding for speed cameras. So much for their plans for a greener, healthier Britain, and more evidence to suggest they haven't a clue how to sort our catalogue of problems and fears!

With reform and cuts to the NHS, in particular to A&E – which deals with tens of thousands of road traffic casualties a year, at a cost of billions – how can we afford not to have reform of road traffic law? Isn't it absolutely imperative that we cut speed limits and the numbers of lawless drivers?

NHS reforms put first class care at risk

From: Brian Ormondroyd, Brindley Court, Skipton.

WE in Craven, North Yorkshire, are fortunate in having first class surgeries and, in Airedale, a first class hospital.

All this is at risk with the Andrew Lansley proposals for health reform (Yorkshire Post, January 20). An attack governed perhaps more by ideology than common sense.

Changes are needed if we are to meet the challenges of the increasing age of many patients and the increasing needs of a younger generation.

Some 25,000 jobs are at risk, cuts in Accident and Emergency, maternity care and care for the elderly are facing us. Longer waits for operations are promised. Cancer treatment and for other essential life threatening illnesses are at risk. This is just for a start.

These Conservative and Liberal Democat attacks must be resisted at all levels.

Resistance is not an option if we are to preserve and protect our National Health Service.

Opposition to the changes has come from across the entire medical profession, from the BMA to the Unite union. lt has been suggested that Number 10 expressed concerns when the proposals were being formulated.

lt is not about making these changes work, but about opposing them.

The Lansley proposals will be welcomed by the private health suppliers. A source of easy profit. Private hospitals are quite ready to do the necessary but simple and generally straightforward operations like cataracts, but shy away from the more complicated and life threatening operations.

If these ill thought out Lansley proposals go ahead, I fear that we could eventually face a US-style health provision where care depends on patients' cash or private insurance. A country where millions are without health provision. A country with the worst health care in the developed world.

ls this what we want?

Margaret Thatcher was forced out by mass protests against the poll tax. We can do similar by action and not acceptance.

No happy ending for EU

From: Nick Martinek, Briarlyn Road, Huddersfield.

It may well be candid of James Bovington (Yorkshire Post, January 18) to admit, in response to Tom Richmond's column, that the UK's elected Prime Minister has no power to sack the unelected EU foreign minister, Baroness Ashton, but it hardly advances his case for the EU.

It only goes to show how powerful and undemocratic the EU is; and how little we can hold to account our new masters in Brussels.

Moreover, Mr Bovington claims he is "pro-European". Well, "pro-EU" he may be, but pro-European he is not. He is an EU statist: all in favour of a dull, corrupt edifice of self-appointed bureaucrats intent on centralised and regimented control of the peoples of Europe. The glory of Europe was the independence of its nations, accountable to their own people; the very lack of central control which Mr Bovington has set his heart against. By all means let us co-operate with the other nations of Europe on an individual and ad hoc basis, but let Mr Bovington be under no illusion – his forced corralling of reluctant peoples into an EU empire will not have a happy ending.

Burden for employers

From: David W Wright, Uppleby, Easingwold.

yet another hare-brained idea from the coalition Government at a time when the UK needs positive guidance and help to ensure our competitiveness at home and overseas.

The latest comic contribution from Nick Clegg, which was originally proposed by the disgraced previous Labour government, is the paternity leave system, on top of the already abused and over-generous maternity leave legislation.

For goodness' sake – let's get things in perspective – for pregnancy is not an illness and is a choice made by prospective parents who should take responsibility for their own choices and not expect employers to foot the bill for their decision to increase their family, planned or otherwise.

The maternity and paternity leave legislation simply inhibits employers from recruiting young women, and the latest scheme for fathers will add yet more burdens on commerce and industry which is battling to survive against so much regulation and red tape.

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

according to Ed Miliband, the Lib Dems made a tragic mistake in joining a coalition government. What utter rubbish! Given the indecisive result of the election, a coalition government was the only available option. The country needed a stable government with the economy in such a mess and the Lib Dems rightly decided that they needed to compromise in the national interest; the old saying of 'half a loaf is better than no bread' is relevant.

I am afraid that the Labour Party, bankrupt of ideas, is reduced to making overtures in the vain hope of persuading Lib Dems to go over to them. The Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election result, contrary to the "expert"forecasts, showed the Lib Dems remain a vital force in British politics. In addition, I gather they could be back in government in Scotland too.

Boiler solution

From: Michael Curtis, Buttfield Road, Howden, East Yorkshire.

I WRITE with regard to the many letters you have received on condensing boilers. The problem is caused by the water from the condensing boiler dripping very slowly down the escape pipe which, when the weather is very cold, freezes and blocks the pipe.

One solution could be to build a small resevoir tank under the boiler, say two or three litres, which once full would automatically empty itself down the pipe.

By doing this, the water would be discharged down the pipe in just a few minutes and would not have time to freeze up thus blocking the pipe.

Once the reservoir was empty, it would return to its original position ready to be filled up again.

I do not think this simple device would take alot of designing and would save a lot of people expensive problems in winter.

Don't forget the pension payouts

From: Nigel Shaw, Secretary, West Yorkshire TaxPayers' Alliance, Westmoor Avenue, Baildon, Shipley.

YOUR recent feature on the pay levels of "movers and shakers" in the Yorkshire community made interesting reading and will be welcomed by both supporters of the TaxPayers' Alliance in West Yorkshire, and the many ordinary taxpayers who effectively pay many of the salaries quoted.

However, for completeness, I would suggest that in terms of the many public sector "fat cats" listed, you need to include a reasonable estimate of the fantastic pension contributions which their employers are contributing on their behalf.

If we used an employer contribution rate of 20 per cent, it is evident that your analysis is significantly under-estimating their total remuneration packages – after all pension is really deferred pay.

Otherwise, a great report.

Sponsorship for bridge

From: Ken Brooke, Main Street, Leconfield, Beverley.

I REFER to my previous letter (Yorkshire Post, January 10) when I suggested that an offshore wind manufacturer, like Siemens, be allowed to sponsor the Humber Bridge.

After the announcement that Siemens are more than likely to commence manufacturing wind turbines on the banks of the Humber, surely the Humber Bridge Board should waste no time in offering the company the use of the bridge for advertising purposes and re-naming it the Siemens Bridge in return for clearing the debt of the bridge. It is a clear case of everyone's a winner.

Balls record

From: Dr Hilary Andews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

WHAT a smug smile on Ed Balls' face when Alan Johnson resigned as Shadow Chancellor and he was given the job (Yorkshire Post, January 21).

Have the electorate forgotten he was the closest economic advisor to Gordon Brown getting the UK into the largest deficit in history?

How sad.