Your Letters

Thank you, and good luck for future

Letter of the Week: Hilary and Ian Wainwright, for Birstall Village Improvement Group

Dear Sir,

As your readers may know, Birstall Village Improvement Group has organised the erection of the Christmas lights and tree as well as the switch-on evening for many decades.

Early this year, Birstall Chamber of Trade decided to bid for funding from the council and so it was with great pleasure that our group relinquished the mantle.

We have passed on the street light features, tree lights and decorations to the care of the chamber, so the main change people will see is that the old festoons of lamps that were strung along the shop fronts have been fully retired this year.

Last year, the chamber started to take over responsibility for decorating above the shops by erecting little trees and the roll-out should be complete this year.

We would like to thank all those who kindly donated to the cause and the past members of the Improvement Group for their tireless efforts in ensuring that the festivities went on through thick and thin.

You know who you are and we also appreciate what you had to endure!

We would also like to wish the chamber of trade good luck with their switch-on this year and our very best wishes for the future.


Some degrees are pointless

From: Mr A Roberts, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

There was a top man, from a low-grade university down south, on the radio, not speaking in proper English, but ‘street cred urban’ talk.

The importance of going to university was drilled into parents by past Labour governments under Blair and Brown, to keep their youth unemployment figures down.

No disrespect, but as a retired careers teacher, I know from experience that a degree in media studies, sociology, history, English lit or sports science etc, from a lesser university, means very little.

They may have three years having a ball, but it would be costly with all the tuition fees and lost earnings climbing up the career ladder.

To put it kindly, not the best of unis include Teeside, Bangor, North East Lincolnshire, Sunderland, South London, Northumbria and Central Lancashire – where’s that? Well, Preston!


Correspondent of the week

From: Maureen Scatchard, Batley

Dear Sir,

Is this Mr Hutchinson person real?

I ask because he’s turned into the the ‘joke correspondent’ of the week.

He seems to live in a virtual world of his own, where everyone is of inferior intelligence and out to ‘get him’.

I love reading his paranoiac ramblings. Please keep him.


Pleased by court’s ruling

From: Tony Kelsall, North Kirklees Green Party

Dear Sir,

Even though this will not affect me personally, as an unpaid carer for my disabled wife I was pleased that the High Court ruled this week that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has unjustifiably indirectly discriminated against unpaid carers for disabled family members by failing to exempt them from the Benefits Cap.

The court upheld the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s submission that carers’ Article 14 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights had been contravened by not considering the impact on disabled people.

Commenting in response to this ruling, Rebecca Hilsenrath, CEO at the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: “We are pleased that the court has found the impact on disabled people of losing a family carer had not been properly considered.

“The effect could be profound and the loss of a trusted carer devastating.

“The substantial reduction of income could jeopardise the ability of those affected to continue to care for severely disabled relatives.

“The court noted that the Secretary of State did not provide any information to Parliament about the effect on disabled people if their family carer were unable to continue.

“The court also held that, rather than saving public money, it would cost considerably more for the care to be provided by local authorities or the NHS.”


Stop this war on poor

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

For those of us not blessed with a university education, watching debates in Parliament can be really stomach-churning.

The pantomime behaviour of the likes of George Osborne and David Cameron is evidence that these two in particular still have their hearts at the campus.

They have learned their politics through university textbooks, unlike most of us who experience real life.

Their idea of a debate is to try to pull a fast one on the opposition, something they learned in their student days.

Watching Osborne perform reminds me of the old Mac Davies song: “It’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way, can’t wait to look in the mirror, I get better looking each day”.

Following his spending review speech which was a further attack on the poor, the so-called experts, all from the same backgrounds and universities, tried to analyse the details of his speech for those of us they consider to be inferior to themselves.

Whilst Osborne looks forward to leading the Tory Party, many of us will be significantly out of pocket.

This is not an end to austerity, as claimed by some Conservative-supporting newspapers, but a continuation of their war on the poor.


Hearing loss battle

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

The charity Action on Hearing Loss was well represented at the NHS Citizen Assembly in London on November 25.

They revealed that Stafford CCG do not now fund hearing aids for people with moderate hearing loss.

This is shocking, because research shows that people who begin to wear hearing aids at an early stage, adapt to the aids better than those who wait until the loss is more advanced.

Hearing loss leads to social isolation and lowered self esteem. This may in turn lead, to anxiety and depression.

A legal challenge is on the cards there. (More health spend on lawyers!) What is North Kirklees CCG’s take on hearing aids?

If you choose to go to a shop for your hearing test, please go to more than one.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that one shop may tell you that you have a problem but NHS hearing aids will not be as effective as these for £3,000, while another shop will tell you that you have some hearing loss but that, at the moment it is not significantly down.

It’s your choice, make sure you do choose and don’t take the first advice.

The NHS is increasingly becoming a marketing opportunity.

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