Your Letters

Funding to prevent flooding was cut

Letter of the Week: John Appleyard, Liversedge

The scale of the floods in the north of England is absolutely shocking.

In 2009 the Labour MP for Leeds Central, Hilary Benn, claimed that the floods in Cumbria were “once in a thousand years”.

He was wrong.

I was born in Kirkstall and attended Kirkstall Road School in Leeds, an area which has been badly effected by the floods.

It is no use David Cameron and Prince Charles coming up north for photo opportunities when thousands of homes have been swamped, with much damage to local businesses and thousands left without power.

This government has slashed funding for flood defences by £116 million in this year alone.

This follows cuts of hundreds of jobs at the Environment Agency, while fire and rescue services have also been cut, with 87 jobs lost since 2010.

Throughout this trauma local people are volunteering their services to help in any which way they can, they don't seek money, glory or fame, they do it because they care.

David Cameron doesn’t understand this behaviour.

That’s why, if the news papers are correct, he is planning a knighthood for his election strategist, the Australian Lynton Crosby.

This knighthood is insulting and degrades the honours system and should not be allowed to happen.


Help save a life in 2016

From: Jon Latham, assistant director, NHS Blood and Transplant

Dear Sir,

Many people in West Yorkshire will be considering giving things up for the New Year, like unhealthy food or alcohol.

But you can change your life by choosing to give.

Giving blood is amazing – you can save or improve the lives of up to three people each time you donate.

We always need new donors to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups among our donors to meet patient needs in future and to replace those people who can no longer donate.

We need more than 6,000 people to donate blood every day to meet the needs of desperately ill patients in hospital.

Blood and platelets are not just used after accidents. They are used for patients with cancer, anaemia, childbirth complications, and in a wide variety of life-saving procedures.

Less than three per cent of people aged 17-70 donated blood last year.

Thank you to everybody who donated and helped save lives – we look forward to seeing you again in 2016.

If you’ve never given blood before, register to donate blood and book an appointment to donate in West Yorkshire at

Donating only takes an hour of your time.

So please start this year by changing not just your life, but someone else’s life too, by giving blood.


Not surprised by latest flood

From: Ben Worthington, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but I do profess to being a little bit surprised by some people’s very public shock at the latest round of flooding in Mirfield and in the wider district.

Shock horror – homes and businesses built recently about two feet above the flood plain got soaked for a few hours.

Does it not stand to reason that, if you build in an area that has flooded in the past, then there’s a fair to middling chance that you might get your feet wet at some point in the future?

If you love your possessions so much, then don’t choose to live 10 feet from a flood-prone river.

Or make your home flood-resilient to avoid the worst of the problems we’ve seen.

People seem to have very short memories and appear to be shocked at the floods – as if they’ve never happened in Mirfield before.

The main difference is that there is now more and more human activity happening so close to the river, and with the advent of social media everyone can wade in and have their opinion, informed or otherwise.

On a human level of course I sympathise with people whose home or business was affected, but a bit of perspective and historical awareness wouldn’t go amiss from people who seem to think it’s the end of the world.

Days of heavy rain, buildings on a flood plain – it doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s going to happen.

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