Time to build progressive network

From: Rev John Nicholson, The Laureates, Shakespeare Road, Guiseley.

LIBERAL Britain is not dead. Despite the attempts this week of the mass media to kill it and bury it – as shown by Bernard Ingham’s ramblings – the voters of Eastleigh confirmed their trust in liberal democracy.

The challenge now is to build over the next two years a network of progressive social democratic green europhile one nation (North and South) groups which will lead Britain in the 21st century.

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Who should lead this alliance? Vince Cable, Ed Davey, Tim Farron, Tessa Munt, Sarah Teather, Jo Swinson, Caroline Lucas, Rachel Reeves, Chuka Umunna?

From: TW Coxon, West Auckland Road, Darlington.

FOR a country admired worldwide for the quality of its health care, it is shameful that it takes a report to tell us that we are lagging behind the rest of the world in controlling preventable diseases.

As if we don’t have enough problems with health and social services, childcare, the Armed Forces, Europe, immigration and overseas aid we now learn that David Cameron is proposing financing the Syrian rebels. Is there no end to the nonsensical policies emanating from Whitehall?

Surely, the Eastleigh result must have told the PM something?

Caring face 
of council

From: Paul Hudson, Ash Road, Leeds.

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IN Headingley, one can see that our councillors have our interests at heart in the way they are looking after certain areas.

Unlike North Grange Road with its stone slabs, granite kerb, black street lamps stones and blue notices reminding people to consider the residents by being quiet, Leeds City Council has kindly thought about the increased council tax band that comes with nice surrounding and decided to keep ours low; well I expect they noticed that many of the residents left here, among the student population, are pensioners.

They have done this kind act by removing all the Yorkshire Stone in the area, including the kerbs and allowed us to have the wonderfully modern concrete kerbs with the very attractive tar-macadam pavement surface.

By building slum quality appearances into areas that once were attractive, it should allow us to spend that little bit extra on heating once the re-valuation puts our council tax in the lowest band, every cloud and silver linings eh? I can only hope that North Grange Road and other areas will be able to benefit from the council’s actions of care like ourselves.

Crocodile tears on tax

From: Martin Fletcher, Savile Close, Emley.

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I AM getting increasingly annoyed at the Lab Dims and Labour’s crocodile tears over the extra bedroom benefit loss. It is a case that a small number of people with disabled or mental health problems need an extra bedroom, but it is small, and that could be addressed.

I know this because I have a disabled wife who also has bipolar disorder.

Why should I pay taxes so someone else can have an extra room paid for by the taxpayer but I am not allowed one? Even though I was more than willing to pay the extra rent for a two-bed flat or house.

Because there are only two of us, no council or housing association will give us a two-bed property for rent, except maybe where no one else, including us, wants to go.

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So I am not allowed to have two bedrooms I would pay for and to be fair, we get no benefits so it makes no difference as to money anyway.

But other people expect us to pick up the tab so they can have an extra room.

They want one, fine. Pay for it yourselves.

Parking costs sunk Dock

From: Peter Hartley, Shadwell Lane, Leeds.

IT is very sad but not surprising that Clarence Dock now faces the closure of two restaurants and the casino.

When the Leeds Development Corporation attracted the Royal Armouries to the site in the early 1990s, the master plan envisaged substantial free surface parking.

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Unfortunately, the greed of successive site owners, by over-development and the provision of an expensive multi-storey car park, have inevitably jeopardised the success of the whole scheme.

The suggestion that the proposed trolleybus passing the site would revitalise Clarence Dock is pie in the sky.

Would Meadowhall, the White Rose Centre or any scheme outside a town centre be successful with only expensive multi-storey parking?

Stainless steel knife facts

From: Fiona Lemmon, Clifton Byres, Clifton, Maltby, Rotherham.

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FOLLOWING Jeni Harvey’s article on the community buy out of Portland Works in Sheffield, I am writing to correct some of the information therein.

Portland Works was not the birthplace of stainless steel, nor was Harry Brearley the maker of the world’s first stainless steel knife.

Harry Brearley discovered stainless steel while employed by Firth’s in Sheffield in 1913 but it was Ernest Stuart, the cutlery manager at Portland Works, owned by R F Mosley & Co, who made the world’s first stainless steel knife in the summer of 1914.

This is widely documented and fully acknowledged by Harry Brearley himself. My godmother, now in her 87th year, is the grand daughter of Ernest Stuart. She and I are both shareholders and joint owners, along with more than other 400 people, of Portland Works. The next open day at Portland Works will be held on May 19.

Details of the works’ history and forthcoming events can be found on www.portlandworks.co.uk.