Film festival could work wonders

SIR - If a house is "a machine for living in", so is a city. What kind of living is implicit in the Bradford regeneration plan? Squatting under metal mushrooms? It is activities, not constructions, that will regenerate Bradford.

At the "One City Lunches" talk on Thursday, Phillip Bergson, the international film critic and consultant to the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, gave an inspiring talk about what major film festivals can do for the regeneration and international profile of cities. Such a festival could do wonders for Bradford.

With the NMPFT, we have a head start. But more screens would be needed. The Odeon should be renovated, in association with the NMPFT, as a multi-purpose venue, adaptable for concerts, conferences and films. And to please Maud Marshall (and because it already is), it could be renamed "The Iconic".

Nicholas Bielby, Frizingley Hall, Frizinghall Road, Bradford

Support campaign

SIR - Leeds is a top UK retail centre, and this has been achieved after years of extensive regeneration.

The Broadway centre will help Bradford become an important retail destination once again.

Because of Leeds's status it outshines all surrounding places including Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield, which are considered better places to shop than Bradford, although I fail to understand why because they offer no better choice and are no more convenient.

Here in Bradford, we do have a variety of shops in an easy-to-get-round area, a modern shopping centre and department store, bustling markets, high streets and independent retailers and a retail park within easy reach of the main shopping areas plus several car parks located among the shops.

Bradford can offer choice and convenience and is still a good place to shop. If people took time to come into the city centre, they might be surprised at what is on offer.

The Buy It In Bradford campaign needs to be taken seriously because Bradford will never become any better without everybody's support.

Jack MacPherson, Killinghall Road, Bradford.

Vision is needed

SIR - Ove Arup's proposed Aire Valley master plan is effectively advocating major road building by proposing the linking of Canal Road, which is to be converted to a dual carriageway, to the Bingley Relief road by means of a tunnel at Shipley (T&A, March 15).

This recommendation arises from the need to improve travel from the north of Bradford to the south and to reduce road congestion.

However it is ironic that Ove Arup has failed to advocate the benefits of Bradford cross-rail, which would connect the two separate rail networks and allow continuous journeys from the north to the south.

This would encourage motorists to change their modes of travel, thus helping to reduce the very congestion that Ove Arup is seeking to alleviate.

It is clear consultants and developers still consider the importance of major road building, despite the rapid growth of road traffic and the harm to the environment.

In contrast a radical vision is required, which would encourage less need for travel and the establishing of sustainably-based local businesses, such as organic farming, recycling plants, repair and craft workshops and small scale sustainable manufacturing.

Alec Suchi, secretary, Bradford Rail Users' Group, Allerton Road, Bradford

Could you help?

SIR - Supporting victims of robbery, GBH and domestic violence isn't easy. You wouldn't expect it to be.

However, it's an absolutely essential role in our community, which helps people during some of the most difficult times. Many volunteers at Victim Support see their role as challenging, but also very rewarding and volunteers gain skills, experience and training through working with us.

Last year at Victim Support, we helped almost 93,000 people in West Yorkshire alone. To continue supporting all the people across West Yorkshire who need it, we have launched a major recruitment pilot to increase our number of volunteers.

Please call the Volunteer line on 0845 226 4444 to find out whether being a Victim Support volunteer is for you. We look forward to hearing from you.

Diane Shepherd, Victim Support, West Yorkshire, Park View Court,

St Paul's Road, Shipley

The way ahead?

SIR - As criminal injustices to young soldiers at Deepcut, in Iraq and elsewhere leak out to the public, I would draw attention to the measure Ernest Bevin took to nullify such incidents when he joined Churchill's War Cabinet in 1940.

This consisted of an Act allowing soldiers with a complaint to write to their MP, who then had the power to demand an investigation and, if verified, immediate rectification, with the perpetrators suitably punished.

I know of such a case where it was stopped in its tracks immediately.

Miss Margaret Harbison, MP for North Lanark, acted on it and the Army had to conform immediately.

Simple, but effective.

Robert Hornsby, Bredon Avenue, Shipley.

Terrorist farce

SIR - Why does Tony Blair insist on allowing known illegal terrorists to remain on British soil? Why bother to go to the trouble of tagging these people and paying them state benefits to which they have no right?

What is wrong with just deporting them to the country of their origin?

The excuse is that they may be executed in their own country, but they gave up their human rights when they became terrorists. Far better they die than a hundred or more British people in a terrorist attack.

This whole government and its policies are just a farce.

N Brown, Peterborough Place, Undercliffe.

A time for realism

SIR - I read with interest the T&A front page report on March 15 about the proposed regeneration of the Aire Valley. In the report it states that it is intended to make Airedale a world leader in digital communications and that the success of Pace and Filtronic has established a strong base for expansion of hi-tech industry.

The truth of the matter is quite different. Pace moved its manufacturing base abroad to reduce costs and as reported in the T&A Filtronics has shifted more than half its large-volume manufacturing to China and 270 people have been made redundant.

The vision of the report is very optimistic and it would be pleasing to see some of the proposed projects succeed, but as a realist I fear that the only people who will gain will be the consultants and developers, and we the ratepayers will be the ones to pay for it.

I Weston, Wrose Mount, Wrose, Shipley.

Unfair to Muslims

SIR - In reply to Mrs Lumb (Letters, March 15) regarding the way the Hussain family has been treated by some members of the Muslim community.

I am a Muslim, not a fanatic but quite liberal. I would say the Muslim faith is peace-loving and caring. What happened to the Hussains happens in every faith.

Recently anything bad that happens regarding Muslims is front-page news. Not so long ago a film director was brutally murdered in Holland for making a film which was pretty offensive to the Islamic faith. He was killed by an extremist who must have taken too much offence to this. It was on every news channel and every paper, making every Muslim look evil based on this one man's actions.

I would just like to point out that on a Saturday afternoon in a pub containing Leeds, Chelsea or Millwall fans you could get killed for simply supporting a different football team. Weird, eh!

Shardy Rehman, St Leonard's Road, Girlington.

Boards so tatty

SIR - Julius Caesar made a decision and stated pro bono publico (for the public good), and that's the reason why Bradford Council has banned A-boards on the streets (T&A, March 12).

I too have seen how dangerous it is for wheelchair users and mothers with pushchairs being forced to step into the road because of blocked pavements.

In the USA shop owners automatically get on-the-spot fines for obstructing a right of way.

On top of this many of the A-boards are handwritten and not only do they look tatty they lower the tone of decent areas.

It puzzles me that a person starting up a business can't even afford a sign-writer.

David Rhodes, Croscombe Walk, Bradford.