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Overwhelmed by generosity of local people

Letter of the Week: Mark Eastwood, Chidswell Action Group spokesman

Dear Sir,

I am writing on behalf of the Chidswell Action Group to say a big thank you to the local community for pulling together in support of our recent campaign to raise enough money to appoint a planning lawyer to represent us in our fight against Kirklees Council and the Church of England’s plans to allocate land for the building of 1,500 new homes and 50 hectares for industry at Chidswell and Shaw Cross.

We have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by local people who made donations at the pre-Christmas weekly street stalls adjacent to Shaw Cross playing fields, by residents who attended the pub quiz held at the Huntsman Inn, which overlooks the proposed site at Chidswell, and by those who gave money privately and via the donation boxes located at various businesses around the area.

Amazingly, within three weeks we were able to raise enough money for a lawyer to make a very professional representation setting out reasoned legal arguments as to why what little green belt and farmland left in the area should be left untouched and preserved for future generations.

Your readers might also be interested to know that the Kirklees Council’s Local Plan affects not just Chidswell, but Dewsbury as a whole, with more homes planned in other areas including thousands on green belt in and around Thornhill Lees, which combined with the 1500 at Chidswell, will undoubtedly lead to severe traffic congestion on our already over congested roads, place our children’s health at risk with air pollution and put huge pressure on overstretched services at Dewsbury Hospital.

Yes, we need more houses and businesses, but the amount allocated for Dewsbury is totally disproportionate to the rest of Kirklees and will decimate what little bit of natural environment we have left on the outskirts of our town.

That cannot be fair.

Although we have presented a very strong case for defeating Kirklees Council’s Local Plan based on its legal soundness, should council leaders ignore the local community who oppose it by disregarding the legal representation sent on their behalf, then we will pursue our case with the independent planning inspector at the next stage, and beyond if necessary.

To do this, we will still need the continued financial support of local residents to help pay our legal fees, therefore, we will be arranging more fundraising events and hosting more street stalls in the area during the warmer summer period and whilst the council puts together its final proposals.

Any donations, large or small, that your readers and the wider local community can give to our group towards legal fees will provide us with more than just a reasonable chance of defeating the council once and for all.


Paula’s made the effort

From: Harold Laycock, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Thanks to the intervention of Paula Sherriff, Member of Parliament for Dewsbury and Mirfield, finally after many years of concern work was carried out on repairs to the road surface outside 38 Sunnybank Avenue, Mirfield.

Once again with no credit to our local councillor (singular).

In all of the 63 years plus since I was eligible to vote at 21, in all of the MPs, Labour and Conservative who have represented Dewsbury and Mirfield, Paula is, in my humble opinion, the only MP who is truly making an effort to represent us.


Wardens back out in force

From: LR Hirst, Northorpe

Dear Sir,

My thanks for printing my letter regarding the grid locking of Dewsbury on Friday  February 19.

One sentence of that letter was about there being no police presence, I forgot to say also that there was no presence of traffic wardens either.

Lo and behold, on Friday ruary 26 the first time the shop and stall holders had been able to trade and make some money, who was out in strength in the town centre,  our friends the traffic wardens.

Whilst getting my products from the fish stall, I noticed one of them checking my blue badge. I asked the question where was he and the rest of the wardens the week before?

His answer was they had been told by their bosses to keep a low profile and not interfere.

I have no-one to prove this statement, but would not make it up.

Is this the conduct that shopkeepers, stall holders and the public expect from council staff?

I was shopping on the market between 2pm and 3pm.


Rule Britannia

From: D Hill, Birstall

Dear Sir,

Re migrants. So Dave has sent our mighty Royal Navy into action. What’s the other boat doing?


We can give it away once

From: J Jennings, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

There are 10 billion reasons for us to vote against staying in the EU, they are pounds sterling, and it is the approximate nett cost to Britain each year.

In days gone by, our traitors were educated at Cambridge universities, now it seems they are educated at Eton.

I am surprised that their bed fellows are our local Labour Members of Parliament.

It appears our MPs are happy to embrace democracy when it elects them to an elite body, only for them to advocate joining a failing, corrupt and anti-democratic (super?) state.

We are told we would be the victims of a trade war in the event of us voting out; ask Alpha Romeo, Audi, BMW, Citroen, DAF, MAN, Fiat, Mercedes, Renault, Scania, SEAT, Skoda, Volkswagen, Volvo et al, what their response would be if our market was closed to their products; Merkel and Hollande would probably be in internment camps within weeks.

In the event of a vote to stay in the EU, the uncertainty is much greater once Brussels controls us.

As an old man it is unlikely to have a great effect on me.

Giving away our sovereignty can only happen once, but will last forever, and so will the names of the  Quislings who support this betrayal.

I am convinced that we were much less secure as a nation in 1939 than we are now.

Today it would appear that our Eton boys and present Labour MPs would have been raising their right hands in order to keep us ‘secure’.

I much prefer the story of our response as a nation and Commonwealth in those days.

I still believe that as a people, we prefer freedom and honesty to imagined prosperity and servitude.


It Asda be said they’re great

From: Miss Hodge, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

May I, through your Forum page, thank the wonderful staff at Asda in Dewsbury.

I am a disabled 72-year-old lady, and shopping is very hard for me.

The staff at Asda are so helpful and kind, it’s a pleasure to shop there.

I do hope the powers that be at Asda realise what lovely staff they employ, and treat them accordingly.

Thank you all, you are wonderful.


My reasons for voting ‘leave’

From: Wendy Senior, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

I was watching Newsnight on BBC Two and Evan Davis the presenter was speaking to Inga Beale, Lloyds Bank’s CEO, who told him it was their company policy to stay in the European Union along with other companies such as Marks & Spencer and the Virgin Group.

I would like to explain what our soldiers went through in two world wars to keep our country free.

My dad, Percy Charlesworth, was called up to serve his country in early 1941.

He was sent to Scotland for training and was given a long brush as there were no guns available.

Six months later he was sent to Libya, where he fought going backwards and forwards from Benghazi to El Alamein for a year.

He had to eat his meals from a paper bag because of all the flies in the desert where the soldiers were fighting. They were known as the Desert Rats, the Eighth Army.

My dad was a gunner, he was killed aged 34 on  November 27 1942 a year after arriving in Libya. I was two and half.

My mum received a telegram the week before Christmas 1942 telling her my dad had been killed.

There was no funeral, they did not bring soldiers home in those days, so mum never saw his grave – I went a few years ago.

The consequences for my mum were that she was now a single woman and had to go to work full time to keep us.

She couldn’t pay a small stamp like her friends, she had to pay a full stamp and was also taxed as a single person. She earned £9 and the tax office took £4 because she had a small widow’s pension.

I can remember her on Fridays opening her wage packet, putting money on the side for gas, electric, food and rent. There wasn’t much left.

If it had not been for her elder sister helping I don't know what we would have done.

Mum hadn’t worked for 13 years after a disastrous home birth. A young Earlsheaton doctor on his first delivery had to choose between my mum or my brother. My brother died, and she had to go back to weaving two looms at our local textile firm, Greenwoods.

My point is, what is going to happen to our country if we stay in the union? Will we be swept into a European country where we have no say over our affairs?

Look at the problems we have already – our hospitals are overcrowded and there are not enough doctors or teachers. We must not forget how many more people have stories like mine, of men who lost their lives fighting for our country in two world wars.

Is this the way we must lose our liberty?

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