From: Coun Andrew Carter, Conservative Leader, Leeds City Council.
I READ with some incredulity the comments by Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s Executive Board Member for Development, in regard to his continued obsession with building more houses than are required, of the wrong type, and in the wrong places.
He attempts to paint everybody who opposes unnecessary development on green belt and green field sites as nimbys, which is far from the truth. Had he spent more time at the month long Planning Examination, when Planning Inspectors examined the Leeds proposal to build 70,000 houses over the plan period, he would have realised that most residents’ groups, and ward councillors, all made it very clear that they understood the need for more housing, but of the right type – affordable and in the right places.
Many highlighted the de-graded brownfield sites that exist all around the city, near communities that have desperately been waiting for regeneration for years.
I urge him to read the document prepared by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, headed “The State of Brownfield 2018”, which was a detailed analysis identifying brownfield sites in various parts of the country.
Interestingly, Leeds was one of the areas particularly analysed, and that analysis indicates that in the Leeds local authority area there is nine years’ supply of housing that could be delivered on identified, suitable, brownfield sites. It is time, is it not, that Councillor Lewis tackled the real issues facing the city, and does something positive to help those people who do need housing?
The attitude of the current Labour administration is unimaginative and reckless in terms of the city’s environment.
Mouring loss of our theatre
From: JC Agar, The Grove, Seamer.
RE the correspondence on the destruction of the Futurist in Scarborough.
While many local residents and regular visitors did not want the Futurist destroying, most of our Tory councillors did in order to replace it with an attraction featuring rides.
It was clear to start with that it would cost more than three times as much money to destroy the Futurist than it would to restore it to tip-top condition.
The Futurist’s excellent programmes all the year round was far superior to the Spa Theatre which is also much smaller.
Now Bridlington is getting all the ‘big name’ programmes.
Bypass is not right choice
From: David Lane, Marriott Grove, Sandal.
AS a motorist, I have used our new bypass a number of times, and it has struck me as a really disappointing missed opportunity.
What Wakefield needed, in my opinion, was the continuation of the dual carriageway from the M1 past the north of Wakefield and Pinderfields, to join with the Doncaster road, which also merits dualling. What we have is a twisty little road, which already creates hold-ups, especially at busy times, even without all the traffic which will created by the planned developments.
Just deserts for Minister
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
CHRIS Grayling’s doggedness continues to eclipse his competence. Against all the odds, front line railway staff manage to keep most of the trains running. Macavity’s response is to suggest that their pay be, in some way, index-linked to fare increases (The Yorkshire Post, October 16).
Can we contrive a system of performance-linked salary and expenses increases for Macavity and his chums? Might that not galvanise long overdue action and improvements to railways and much else?
From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.
I WAS truly horrified to read that TransPennine Express has been taking lessons from Macavity Grayling over how to avoid their public responsibilities (The Yorkshire Post, August 18). If they’re not prepared to meet passengers, and abide by the very sensible suggestions made in recent weeks by your columnist Tom Richmond, they don’t deserve to keep the franchise for a day longer.
Walk marred by dog mess
From: Tracey Guest, Wakefield.
LAST week, on a lovely day, I took my two dogs for a walk around the lake at Newmillerdam.
It was marred because of the large amount of dog mess along the footpath left inconsiderately by other dog walkers, where children could quite easily have slipped on it or fallen into it with all the health risks that that would entail.
Matters were not helped by the obvious the path. The only bin I came across was the wheelie bin near the war memorial entrance and that was overflowing. Can we not shame the council into doing something about this?
Too many universities
From: Graham Branston, Emmott Drive, Rawdon.
THE rise in unconditional offers by some universities is shameful and grossly unfair on those students who work incredibly hard to achieve high grades for their preferred course (The Yorkshire Post, August 17).
It also suggests that revenue is more important than entry standards. We have too many universities, some offering courses of limited value/use to both students and the economy. Places need to be filled, so the solution is an unconditional offer.