Put differences aside for the town
Letter of the Week: Wendy Senior, Dewsbury
Shopping in Dewsbury last week, I thought I would walk up the arcade where all the shops are vacant; none have been let.
Walking up there I met an elderly lady, like myself, who asked me ‘how has this happened, who is responsible?’
I said I wish I knew. We discussed how lovely Dewsbury used to be with all the nice shops, Marks & Spencer, the Co-op, Bickers, Harvey’s, J&B’s and Duffet & Brear; Where can you buy dresses for the over 50s in Dewsbury now?
I do remember the management at Marks & Spencer and Duffet & Brear blaming Kirklees for them leaving Dewsbury.
David Sheard, Labour leader, and Robert Light, Conservative leader, cannot agree on the plans for Yorkshire’s future.
No wonder our Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Yorkshire people not only can’t get on with other people, they can’t get on with themselves.”
We need people who put their differences on one side to sort Dewsbury’s problems out, and restore it to a prosperous town.
Please get your act together, Kirklees councillors. Dewsbury people are losing hospital services and decent shops.
At the clinical commissioning group AGM at Cleckheaton Town Hall, we were told by Dr Kelly, the chairman of the group, that Dewsbury Hospital was to have a new entrance and reception area built.
This will cost £1m; I think this money should be spent on keeping our A&E, intensive care and high dependancy services at Dewsbury Hospital.
Forefathers would be proud
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
As I watch the Labour Party conference on my TV there are many tributes to Keir Hardie, the Labour Party’s first leader who died 100 years ago, and as delegates argue for women to play a more active role, we should remember that Hardie was a supporter of female suffrage, not just to vote, but to become active in politics and members of parliament.
West Yorkshire played a major role in women gaining the right to vote, and at the 1906 Labour party conference a debate on female suffrage was led by Ben Turner from Batley.
He later became mayor of the town and was also general secretary of the National Union of Weavers, his wife was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union.
Turner spoke on a bill called OSTAM (on the same terms as men) which if passed, he argued, would enfranchise nine tenths of working class women. It was defeated.
When Christabel Pankhurst was released from Strangeways prison she was met by Tom Myers, Labour MP for the Spen Valley and former mayor of Dewsbury.
Tom Myers House in Cleckheaton is the current office of Labour MP for Batley and Spen Jo Cox.
I’m sure that Keir Hardie, Ben Turner and Tom Myers would be proud to know that after 100 years or so a female MP represents Labour in Parliament and would wish Jo and other women well in representing their respective areas.
From: Derek Cartwright, Batley
From my parallel universe, I heard a Labour man tell us at their conference how someone had died because his benefits had been withdrawn at the whim of a government body, even though the evidence of three medical experts had supported the man’s case.
Labour drew on this as an example of the evils of a Conservative Government.
Yet for me, the lesson was the opposite – it was the evils of the bureaucratic state that Labour expounds and promotes.
Then we are to believe that the self-same bureaucrats have a crystal ball and can find and promote the ideas of tomorrow?
Then we are to believe that the Labour government locally in the 2000s were correct when they told us there were increasing job vacancies in Kirklees, when in my parallel universe the council’s eventual figures showed that employment was decreasing.
Then we are to believe that you believe and trust politicians?
Then we are to believe that unions will promote the loss of jobs as some new idea makes their members redundant, as we the people move on to other products?
What happened to phone boxes? Oh, yes, you bought mobile telephones!
What happened to TVs with tubes? Oh yes, you bought thin modern TVs with better picture quality.
What happened to UK textile firms? Oh yes, you bought items from the Far East, etc!
We are to forget that ‘government’, be that Labour, coalition or Conservative, forces the steel industry to use more expensive renewable energy sources, thus pushing up their costs and making them uncompetitive, and so causing job losses!
We are to forget that ‘government’ encourages global firms to set up in their countries due to their tax regimes, and that it is politicians who pass legislation that then some object to.
All the politicians have to do is change the ‘unfair’ legislation.
Then just remember that when the self-same firms move parts of their operations elsewhere!
The difference from the truth in the parallel universe may be widening?
Keep up the good work
From: Malcolm Haigh, Batley
I just wanted to say a great big thank you to the folks who organised the Batley Festival last weekend. It was terrific.
As I understand it Mandy Keeton, Jennifer Jenkinson and Kimberley Thirkhill headed up the organising committee, but for any group to produce such a marvellous occasion called for lots of imagination, dedication and hard work from a good many more people.
How else could the Market Place, memorial gardens and town hall be filled with so many stalls and stages offering lots of goods, outstanding experiences and stupendous performances backed up with lots of fascinating information and displays about the wide range of societies and activities available in Batley.
And to top all that was the tremendous display of showbusiness talent staged in the town hall for much of the afternoon, and the mind-blowing shadow theatre which drew such a huge crowd to the top end of the Market Square at night.
It just demonstrated that Batley has lots to offer – talent, imagination, tremendous workers and performers – which made me, and many others, proud to be associated with the town.
Please, folks, keep it up. I can hardly wait for the next one.
Renewed faith from his visit
From: Peter Moreland, Heckmondwike
What a brilliant reception Pope Francis received in America last week as he addressed Congress and the United Nations.
Millions watched him on television, lined the streets and attended the special masses and not just Catholics – people of all or no faiths were drawn to this charismatic leader.
Never has the Catholic church been more buoyant as many lapsed Catholics return to church and others seek conversion.
And for those regular church-goers a great sense of pride in their faith and a warmth to welcome new members to their communities.
The true cost of giving birth
From: Karen Pickard, via email
On Friday afternoon my daughter-in-law was admitted to Dewsbury District Hospital.
She was admitted so that she could be induced and give birth to her son. The first obstacle was the car park.
For a full day’s parking it’s £6.90 and the machine gives no change, so it’s £7.
My daughter-in-law was in the hospital for five days at a cost of £ 35 to park their car.
When they were going home they were told: “You could have got a concession for parking, however the office you have to get the forms from is only open Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm.
So it was already closed on the Friday when they got to the hospital.
You then have to provide all your baby milk, nappies, clothes and mum’s personal care products.
Then there were the meal times. If you were late getting to the TV lounge, where meals are served, there was no breakfast, lunch or tea.
As a rough calculation of parking fees, buying and bringing food in, and the provision of mother and baby clothes and personal care products, milk and our own bottles, over the five-day period it cost my son and daughter-in-law £145.
This cost is on top of them both paying their NI contributions for the last 13 years.
However the majority of midwives and doctors were marvellous.
They're the lowest of the low
From: Mrs Wilby, Birstall
I am writing to let you know what sort of low life we have in our community.
My grandson’s bike was in the back garden, near my back door, and when I went to let the dog out into the back garden, the gate was open.
Fortunately, I got to the gate before my dog could get out. It was only then I realised the bike had been stolen.
I spoke to a young lady and she confirmed that there had been quite a few bikes taken from the estate.
How anyone could steal from young children, they must be the lowest of the low.
Councillors need to step up
From: G Robinson, Mirfield
Re: Last week’s letter of the week regarding rush hour traffic chaos being caused by bringing kids to schools in Mirfield from places like Savile Town, Thornhill Lees, Heckmondwike and further afield.
It was the Muslim Eid festival and some children were given time off from school.
The result was the roads were not backed up, or the town gridlocked – fact not fiction.
So, what’s going on then to alleviate all this excess traffic from well outside the area?
What are our three laughing-all-the-way-to-the-bank cavalier conservatives doing about it?
Well, in the first instance, nothing! In the second instance slightly more nothing, and in the third instance, erm, well ...!
What we want in Mirfield are some firebrand councillors to put right some of these issues, not fireside councillors with tissue issues.
We want you to make a name for yourselves; we know you’ve got safe, comfy numbers, but we would like you to fight from our corner on numerous matters with a little more pizazz than an outraged sloth.
Come on you three Tory blues, earn your wages, we’re stumping up for them year in, year out.
It’s a waste of time watching
From: Jack Bunn, Hanging Heaton
As a watcher of rugby league for at least 70 years, I have never known it get into a worse state than it is now; 50 points to 0 at Wembley.
What a disgrace and waste of time watching.
Why do we not have Australian RL recorded and played here now that our lot have packed up for the season?
Soccer is worse. Two foreign teams play on English TV. This will be ok for the immigrants when they all arrive here.
Goodbye UK. I think did I waste my six and a half years from 1940 for this?
Another thing I ask of your readers is if they think the same as me, why are we bringing in all these immigrants to fill the houses, when our lot have been fighting for years to stop building on green fields and our few open spaces?
It only makes sense to our government.