Our opportunity to say thank you
Letter of the Week: Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dewsbury East), Mayor of Kirklees
Through your newspaper, could I please appeal to local people to once again support the Poppy Appeal this year.
The link between our local communities and the sacrifices those in our armed forces make for us has been brought into sharp focus by recent VE Day and VJ Day anniversaries, which were gracefully commemorated by the people of Kirklees with the assistance of the council.
Present conflicts involving our local soldiers continue, and Kirklees has experienced more than most the sad losses of recent conflicts.
So while conflicts can seem like a world away as they are reported on the news, or we celebrate another anniversary, the impact is being felt at home, and that impact does not stop when other people move on.
Those families rely on support they get from the appeal fund.
Welfare services linked to the Poppy Appeal have spent £1.3 million a week this year, with services ranging from helping bereaved families through an inquest to ensuring an elderly veteran can stay independent in their own home.
The success of the appeal relies on the committed support of volunteers, so I want to support their ‘Poppy People’ campaign to attract new volunteers.
I believe there is a common misconception that Royal British Legion members must be either former or current HM Forces personnel, but this is not the case.
Anyone over the age of 16 can help.
The demand for services continues to increase and the need for public donations to buy a poppy or offer time gets more urgent every year.
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are not just about the names carved onto the war memorials, they are also about the great dignity showed by the veterans and serving members who proudly parade.
It is our opportunity to say thank you, and wearing a poppy is a visible sign of our gratitude.
So I would urge people to be as generous as they can with both time and donations in support of this year’s Poppy Appeal.
Just leave us oldies alone
From: Mrs Stocks, Dewsbury
I am a 70-year-old widow and I get really incensed when watching the news on television saying that it’s the ageing population that is causing the NHS to be in crisis.
I know that as people get older they need more care, but what about the immigrants who have paid nothing into the country, or the people who openly admit they won’t get out of bed to work as they are better off on benefits, and the people who have large families so they can claim benefits and not work?
I worked before I was married, part-time when my two children went to school, and 26 years after for the same company.
I paid tax and graduated pension and still pay tax at a higher rate, as I was lucky to get a works pension.
I feel sorry for the poor souls who are existing, not living, on the so-called living wage.
Perhaps the ministers, politicians and councillors should take a big cut in their exhorbitant salaries, which a lot of them don’t earn, and put it into the NHS.
Also the CEOs who have to pay people massive sums to advise them.
So, leave us oldies alone, or should we try to die more quickly or, failing that, they could always shoot us.
My views on Sam and Kev
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
I agree with Danny Lockwood and the rugby qualities of Sam Burgess, but he doesn’t look at home in Union.
In his games for England he isn’t much involved, but seems to be played out of position.
The Leeds Rhinos style of play would suit him and it will be interesting to see if the BBC acknowledges the great treble-winning performance of the Rhinos this season in their annual Sports Personality Of The Year awards. Kevin Sinfield ought to be in contention also for an individual award, otherwise there’s no justice.
Why did these firms fold?
From: Stephen Hopkins, Batley
Having followed the story of the bed firm ‘slave trade’, is this the reason why two good local bed companies closed down?
Both Layezee and Rest Assured paid good wages.
Also, have any of the other bed companies been investigated for illegal workers and low wage rates?
Tories did not want the welfare state
From: Peter Irvine, Dewsbury
This is yet another example of Tory arrogance, and hubris after their re-election.
Totally unopposed, they are capable of great destruction to the welfare state and low waged and unwaged.
These people are the ‘slaves’ who will just carry on doing so in future ‘Toryland’.
The Tories know that and will continue their cruel and audacious way.
Killing off the tax credits by degree is all part of the above policy. Tories did not want the welfare state or NHS.
Get online – your council needs you!
From: Derek Cartwright, Soothill, Batley
I have referred before to the Kirklees Local Plan as being like the Hokey Cokey, we are just dancing again with the council.
However, this may be a different dance.
At the recent cabinet meeting to approve the plan, councillors stated they wanted your views.
People I meet say it is not worth objecting, they will just do what they want anyway.
I agree that we can look at Batley Town Hall cash office and see just that, eventually they do what they originally planned.
Yet I still think we should tell them what we think. The new dance, we are population deniers – that’s a new one.
Yes, I doubted the population projection before 2011, and I doubt the future projection.
That is not to say that I doubt that England’s population grew massively in the Blair years and that Europeans are still coming to England.
I doubted they would stay in Kirklees and still do, because Kirklees figures told us there were not the jobs! We know from Kirklees that there have been no job increases here!
Now Kirklees tell us that this is largely a low-paid area, but that we need another 22,000 houses.
But wait for this, at that cabinet meeting (watch the podcast) there are a further 10,000 houses being built or that have planning permission.
Where are the jobs going to come from ... thin air? Oh, for those who say there is not the infrastructure for these houses you need not worry – the developers are going to pay for it!
Where are the doctors and teachers going to come from in areas with people leaving our state sector?
Oh yes, the developments only take up 1.7 per cent of the green belt, it is just that a lot of it is concentrated in North Kirklees.
They have in the plan a proposal for 458 rental properties in lower Soothill.
There may be a local need, but where are the jobs? If there are no jobs in the proposal, I would argue it is not sustainable.
But will you spend five minutes filling in the online objection form, will you object to the application, or agree with it?! And if you don’t agree to the plan, the council want to frighten you by saying that developers will pick the sites they want to build on.