Vital to attract the bigger airlines

SIR - Inadvertently, Councillor Greenwood's opposition to privatising Leeds-Bradford Airport (T&A, February 17) serves to reinforce exactly why the airport should be sold.

His concern that "scheduled flights, which are used by businessmen" would be at risk is misplaced and simplistic.

Low-cost airlines operate scheduled flights and airlines like Jet2 and Ryanair make up the bulk of Leeds-Bradford's business. A handful of flights excepted, they are not targeting business travellers.

Coun Greenwood perhaps meant "full service" airlines but if so, I'm not sure what he thinks is at risk. These services now represent a minority of the airport's business and council ownership has seen the withdrawal of BA, Aer Lingus, the Belgian national airline and a dismal track record at winning new business from the likes of Lufthansa, Air France, Scandinavian and the US airlines.

Getting these airlines into Leeds-Bradford would be a massive boost to the district's profile and its attractiveness as a place to do business.

These airlines are not here now and the biggest risk is they never will be. One only has to look at the successes of privatised regional airports to understand this risk is much greater under continuing council control.

Mark Teale, Prod Lane, Baildon.

Fools over fuel

SIR - You have provided much information about Leeds-Bradford airport (T&A, February 22) and it all points to growth which is portrayed as positive in terms of choice and employment.

One million passengers in 1996, two million by 2003, this year expected to be three million and almost five million by 2016 and seven million in 2030.

This unfettered use of aviation fuel to meet our current selfish needs is irresponsible and reckless. It guarantees climate change out of control and destruction and death for millions in many parts of the world as well as considerable damage to the interests of our children.

Future historians will wonder why we thought it so important to have hen nights in Dublin, stag nights in Prague and weddings in Mauritius.

Keith Thomson, Heights Lane, Bradford.

Give us a clue!

SIR - A number of residents have requested a public meeting concerning the amalgamation of the six area housing trusts into one large organisation, but so far there has been a deafening silence from Bradford Community Housing Trust to the request.

As this reorganisation, the third one in four years, directly affects the residents, they should be entitled to know the details. The letter sent to tenants was very vague with lots of grand phrases and nothing else.

What tenants would like to know is exactly how financial savings will be achieved and in what way services will be improved.

Mrs E M Baxter, Hoyle Court Road, Baildon.

Smoking free vote

SIR - I always had Malcolm Wood down as an intelligent fellow, so imagine my shock at his letter to the T&A (February 19).

Talk about throwing a strop.

This "interfering bunch of nitwits" (who by the way, have done more for the welfare state than any Government since the creation of the NHS after the war, also a Labour government) merely introduced the smoking Bill. It was a free vote, no whips, no lobbying, and there were three options, but the massive majority of 200 MPs realised that two of the options were unworkable.

Sarcasm doesn't help what is a life-threatening subject.

Dr Tom Smith in his article "Stub it out and live" (T&A, February 16) pulled no punches: "Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide which poisons the red blood cells. It also contains nicotine which clogs up the arteries. Besides lung cancer, it can cause cancer of the tongue, throat, larynx, pancreas, kidney, bladder and cervix."

I think that this Bill is Parliament working at its best.

Geoff Tasker, Park Road, Low Moor

Lack of respect

SIR - I must add my protest to the Alhambra's plans to show Jerry Springer: The Opera in May. It is very offensive. Today, in many areas of life, we do not have or show respect for others. This fills me with sadness and alarm. It is one of the signs of a decaying society.

How good it would be if our communities could show respect for each other. How good it would be if in our families and our neighbourhoods we could show respect for each other. Respect breeds tolerance and understanding.

I am a Christian but if this "opera" hit another faith's leaders then I would feel empathy for them.

Beatrice A Wear, Bryanstone Road, Bradford.

Insulting to God

SIR - Jerry Springer: The Opera is a highly offensive and blasphemous show in which the writer makes the actor playing Jesus use the strongest of swear words and he appears to wear a nappy.

As a Christian, I find this extremely distressing and insulting to the God I worship. If other faiths had been given this type of degrading treatment in a "show" I'm sure the Alhambra Theatre would not have staged it.

Although freedom of speech is extremely important, I feel that courtesy and respect are equally vital in our society.

Mrs Margaret Barnes, Bowling Hall Road, Bradford.

Cause debased

SIR - I was about to pen a letter to the T&A criticising Bradford Odeon Rescue Group (BORG) for parading shivering, skimpily-clad female campaigners outside the former Odeon cinema in a bid to save the 1930s building (T&A, February 16) but thought different for fear of being classed a prude.

That was until I read an article claiming that multi-millionaire electronics boss Sir Alan Sugar said he would not be happy with himself "if I did business flashing my 34Ds" and added "no-one working for me is going to do it".

The line of women might not have looked so pleased either if they heard some of the lewd remarks that accompany lascivious stares.

Also I wonder how many male beeping motorists passing by actually read the message on the placards. Would they have beeped their support for the sensibly-dressed members of the Denso Marston Nature Reserve if they had seen them putting up nest boxes for the birds, as shown in the photograph on the facing page?

I doubt it, but then again there are birds and there are birds. By literally sexing up their latest effort, BORG - who have failed four times to get the building listed - have underestimated the integrity of English Heritage and simply debased a worthy cause.

David Rhodes, Croscombe Walk, Bradford.

An ivory tower...

SIR - Does Maud Marshall of BCR inhabit a different city to the rest of us? I ask because in your article (T&A, February 20) she states that she wants to "thank the people of Bradford for their ongoing support."

Is she not yet aware that her actions over the past couple of years have destroyed much of the support that she could have engendered if she had ever bothered to listen to, and act upon, the views of the majority of Bradfordians?

Please Ms Marshall, come down from your ivory tower, and properly engage with the people who indirectly actually pay your wages.

Bob Watson, Springfield Road, Baildon.

l EDITOR'S NOTE: The T&A reported in 2004 that of 2,500 people who took part in a detailed local consultation exercise, 77 per cent approved of the regeneration Masterplan.

Canal not viable

SIR - I read your comment and report on the plans to restore the Bradford Canal link to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Shipley (T&A, February 22).

In theory it does sound a delightful proposition but the volume of water needed to bring the scheme to a reality is just not there.

I agree the water from Bradford Beck could be used, as it is no longer polluted as it was in the industrial past, but consider the amount of water needed to fill the canal and the wastage each time a lock is opened.

Unless there is to be a complicated system to pump the water back from the City Hall lake, the 'cut' is in danger of running dry.

If we believe the current weather forecasters the future predictions for more summer droughts would prove as fatal for the canal project today as it was to the builders in the past.

Mrs J Ashworth, Station House, Gargrave.