Your Letters

Think about population when it comes to vote

Letter of the Week: J Hesketh, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

It was interesting to read Kevin Speight’s letter in last week’s Press in which he attempts to make the case for the UK staying in the EU.

I can accept some of his points, but would argue strongly against others.

However, one issue trumps all others.

Kevin’s last sentence states “Immigration, when under control, is a huge asset for our proud and prosperous nation”.

The relevant words are “when under control” and it is crystal clear that as long as we remain in the EU it is not and never can be under control.

Citizens of all other EU countries have unfettered rights to migrate to this country and we have no control whatsoever over their numbers.

We must therefore look at what this could mean for the UK.

The official population projections for the UK show a growth of nearly 10 million people in the next 25 years to a total of more than 74 million.

The massive worry is that this official projection assumes net migration of 185,000 a year over that period; a little over half the present rate of 330,000.

There is also an official ‘high migration’ assumption of 265,000 a year (still way below the current figure) and if this occurs our population will increase by 16 million over the next 25 years.

That is 16 more cities the size of Birmingham! If anyone believes that our services such as the NHS, education, housing, transport will be able to cope with this, they are living in cloud cuckoo land.

The argument that is put forward by those in favour of staying in the EU is that even if Brexit occurs we would not be able to strike up trade deals with EU countries without continuing to accept free movement of people from the EU.

I do not believe this for one moment, just look around at the huge numbers of VWs, Mercedes, Audis, Skodas, BMWs, Volvos, Renaults, Peugeots, Citroens plus of course many other types of goods.

The UK is a hugely-important market for other EU nations and you would have to be a very inept negotiator not to be able to come to a deal that allows us to pick and choose immigrants in the manner that Australia has always done.

When people cast their vote they should think about 16 more cities the size of Birmingham.


Fighting for his political survival

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive’!

These words of Sir Walter Scott were written more than 200 years ago but are still relevant as we witness a wealthy elite which insists on knowing every penny that those on welfare benefits receive, but is very coy about revealing their own source of income.

The late Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey was asked the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance. He replied: “The thickness of a prison wall”.

You don’t have to be an expert on the economy to know that when we find the British Virgin Islands, with fewer than 25,000 habitants, hosts over 800,000 companies there is something fishy going on.

The Government talks of defeating terrorists, drug smugglers and other criminals but they cannot do so without tackling the whole system of tax evasion, tax avoidance and financial regulation.

Prime Minister David Cameron has now admitted that he and his wife sold shares worth more than £30,000 in an offshore tax haven fund set up by his late father.

He’s also at odds with Tory MPs and members over Europe, his Chancellor George Osborne’s disastrous budget has left a hole in the economy.

Cameron is fighting for his political survival.


Going to give Labour a chance

From: ‘Mr Edwardo Gonzales’, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Moan, moan, moan, blah, blah! Amazing, an election is approaching and the trio of councillors from Mirfield decided it’s time to come out shouting how they have been wronged.

Let me tell you ignorance is bliss, and you have all certainly sat idle.

You could have invested your time in the town council office, but did nothing; happy to leave it until an election was near, then bring it out as a battle-weary trophy. You did nothing!

Well done to Kirklees Council for closing the building, it was a liability.

Why have you not taken up residence in the alternative properties offered? Please tell us residents of Mirfield why.

Is this a bit of deja vu with Mirfield Community Centre where you did the same? Did nothing for years, then come wading in interfering with the transfer of assets.

You should have been there from the beginning and sorted this.

You may think by using your points of bad footpaths are fooling people, but you are sadly not: Please credit us with intelligence.

You have had four years to sort this, so don’t make a song and dance about it now.

As a Tory voter, I’m sorry I’m not voting for you; I have gladly eaten the crumbs you left on the plates, but now there is a bitter taste.

So, I’m going to give Karen Rowling (Labour) a chance, and don’t scoff El Trio, because it’s a start; let’s hope others follow.


Building was old but serviceable

From: K Hudson, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I’ve been reading in your newspaper last week or so about the demise of the town council building in Mirfield.

One minute the building is a viable concern housing the town council, its administrations, the GMB union and the Royal British Legion, the next moment it’s shut, boarded up with a £360,000 repair bill for it.

This figure to repair the building is, in many of our opinions, far too excessive.

I have attended council meetings here; the interior decor is definitely a timepiece, but the doors, toilets, lights and heating all work.

It was cold outside but warm inside, as was the welcome. The meeting was about the redevelopment of the local railway station.

The fixtures and fittings were definitely a throwback to the days of the old urban district council; we all agreed it had an older statesmanlike charm to it.

We have often mused over the scenario that if Michael Hutchinson had been fortunate enough to have gained access to a council seat, or his colleague had not left the council for work reasons, the Labour cabinet would have found a way to do things differently. Many of us may not like the fact that the Conservatives hold the reigns of power on the town’s elected body, but that is a prime example of democracy at work, they won the local elections.

We, as Labour, were unlucky on this occasion not to be elected; but as long as the process of democracy is upheld, and the town council speaks for all sections of the community, we should be grateful.

What we are not grateful for is the dumping of a democratically-elected body out onto the streets.

In the 21st century, this acting and behaviour reflects the sort of tribal politics that we see across the Middle East, parts of Africa and areas where Mr Putin presides.

We did not vote Labour in Kirklees to put our name to this type of policy.

Think again is our advice, we are of an age where we can remember how good things used to be in the area now called Kirklees.


Standing up for local people

From: Ednan Hussain, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Dewsbury and Mirfield

Dear Sir,

‘Vile and poisonous’. That’s how even some Conservative MPs are describing their recent budget.

And they’re right. The Conservatives are cutting taxes for the rich and taking money from the disabled. They want to look after the millionaires that bankroll their party at the expense of people struggling to make ends meet.

During the last Government, the Lib Dems were able to stop things like this. Now we’re seeing what the Conservatives are really like. Labour are nowhere to be seen. They’re too busy fighting among themselves to fight for fairness when it’s needed.

Only the Lib Dems are saying ‘enough is enough’. We are standing up for the people in Dewsbury and Mirfield, that this government has shown they just don’t care about – disabled people, teachers, nurses, people struggling on low and middle incomes.

We cannot build our economic recovery on the back of the poorest and the most vulnerable. Sadly, that’s exactly what the Conservatives want to do. Lend us your support.

It will send a powerful message that the Conservatives have got this one wrong.


Welcome to US-style healthcare

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

How dare NHS England have the strapline ‘high quality care now and for future generations’?

How dare Jeremy Hunt organise a conference on patient safety?

At the North Kirklees CCG meeting we heard how a woman in labour with a suspected breech baby and other indications of difficulties, was denied a birth at the Dewsbury Hospital consultant-led unit because she had booked, in the sunny uplands of the first months of pregnancy, at a competing trust.

Then, she was sent not to the consultant-led department of the competing trust, but to the midwife-led unit! The baby lived, but this is not ‘choice’.

It has been going on for some years. Anecdotally I know that if a woman presents at the wrong trust, not only does she have the stress of the birth but the constant censure from the staff. This is not ‘choice’.

In the same way, the Urgent Care Vanguard and the council’s Sustainability and Transformation, being developed with private companies, will not be ‘choice’.

Like Care Closer to Home, there will be, in Chris Dowse’s words “only one offer”. If you are lucky.

Welcome to US-style NHS Medicare. Unless the public says STOP the cuts and sell-offs!


Action needed on litter problem

From: ‘A disgruntled resident’ of Mortimer Street, Healey

Dear Sir,

I am writing in absolute disgust at the current condition of the streets of Healey.

Recently, a new diner/takeaway was opened where the former fish shop once stood. It is obvious that the owners have gone to great expense to revamp this shop.

However, since the shop opened I am staggered at the number of times that I have witnessed numerous bin bags being left either outside the shop front or to the side running adjacent to Mortimer Street.

This morning I have approached the end of the road to find chips strewn all over the road and a many number of bin bags that have been ripped open. When is something going to be done to stop this happening in future?

As a homeowner on Mortimer Street, where I have lived for over 20 years I am thoroughly mortified at the prospect of being overrun by vermin, which are bound to be attracted by this constant neglect and downright disregard for the local residents.

Healey is a lovely little village and I cannot stand the thought of it being ruined. Neither is it fair on the hard working people who retain the pride in their homes to simply allow them to be subjected to such disgusting views on a daily basis.

The Environment Agency should be making this a matter of priority before it becomes acceptable behaviour in other areas also.

It is all well and good championing local businesses but not at this cost, no matter how much money has been invested.

It is absolutely abhorrent and I urge our local councillors to come and see what is being dumped upon us for themselves.


Who will reform the EU?

From: Graham Turner, Gomersal

Dear Sir,

Over the last few weeks, I have lost count of the number of times MPs have said “We want to stay in a reformed European Union”.

So who is going to reform it?

Our Prime Minister David Cameron visited the 27 other countries in the EU trying to obtain a better deal, for our country, putting a great deal of time and effort into his renegotiation.

What the Prime Minister achieved was really no more than cosmetic changes, and even these may not be legally enforceable.

They do not provide any long-term solutions to the cost of the EU to the taxpayers, its lack of democracy and control of our borders. We have voted 70 times against the introduction of laws we didn’t agree with, but to no avail. So who will be able to reform the EU?

We are safer in the EU, say the Remain campaign. Tell that to the family of Alice Gross, the 14-year-old who was murdered by Arnis Zalkalns, the Latvian who was let into this country after murdering his wife.

Under free movement rules, we are unable to carry out proper checks on EU citizens coming to this country.

Time and again, the unaccountable judges of the European Court of Justice have flouted both national sovereignty and simple common sense.

Indeed, in their determination to undermine our parliamentary democracy and judicial system, they have become a serious threat to democracy.

In its latest idiocy, the court has ruled that two suspects, a Romanian and Hungarian, cannot be deported to their own countries because this would infringe their human rights.


I hope new chief exec makes a difference

From: Wendy Senior, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

Nine million pounds of taxpayers’ money spent on a booklet – it arrived this morning.

I have just read it, there is nothing explaining what will happen if we vote to come out of the EU; just if we vote to stay in, and who can be sure what will happen if we do vote to stay in?

I am sending my booklet back to David Cameron.

We also heard last week about the £175m overspend on foreign aid, giving money to silly projects which do not spend our taxes correctly.

I do not think our Prime Minister understands our young people are struggling to buy houses, to find jobs.

The government has also cut bursaries for nurse training, he should make sure people in our country are alright before giving money away to other countries.

Last week I attended the Clinical Commissioning Group meeting at Ravensthorpe Community Centre, where I listened to a young woman telling about her horrendous experience of our Mid Yorkshire and Huddersfield midwifery services.

Dewsbury Hospital turned her away as she was booked to have her baby at Huddersfield Hospital.

Everything went wrong which has left her with a poorly baby who needed 24-hour care.

There is a patient’s story every month; last month it was about Alzheimer’s, a lady with both parents with this illness, and her struggle to sort services and care for them.

These problems are happening before Dewsbury Hospital A&E services are downgraded; before we are left with six beds at our new midwife-led maternity unit; before we have no A&E services in the whole of Kirklees.

I just hope Martin Barkley, the new interim chief executive of the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, a replacement for Stephen Eames, can make a difference.

We can only hope.


Return to sender for government’s leaflet

From: Colin Walshaw, Scholes

Dear Sir,

A wonderful piece of Government propaganda dropped through my letter box on Monday, Herr Joseph Goebbels would have been proud.

Let’s look at its claims.

We will not join the Euro: Probably true.

We will keep our own border controls: What do you think?

The UK will not be part of further European political integration: With only 8.4% vote in the Council of Ministers and 9.7% in the EU parliament, with Qualified Majority Voting we have little clout against the other 27 members.

There will be tough restrictions on access to our welfare system: Not tough enough and currently temporary, also subject to ratification after the referendum.

We have a commitment to reduce EU red tape: This is against EU rules of ‘Acquis Communautaire’, or irreversible laws. Only repealing the European Communities Act of 1972 would achieve this.

EU countries buy 44% of everything we sell abroad: 80% of the British economy is consumed internally in the UK, 20% exported, 11% is exported worldwide. Some 9% is exported to the EU, this includes items for non-EU countries shipped via Rotterdam, Antwerp etc for onward transportation.

Lower flight costs: May increase but not significantly.

EU mobile roaming charges: Phone companies will recoup this by higher UK charges, so the majority of UK residents will pay for the small number who travel abroad for short periods.

Access to free or cheaper healthcare abroad: Most people have travel insurance, unlike visitors coming here.

No other country has secured significant access to the single market without paying into the EU: Tell this to China, Russia, USA, Japan, India and Brazil to name but a few of the top 40.

Keeping us safer: We supply 75% of the intelligence to the EU and America, EU police forces do not communicate with each other.

The government judges what the UK gets back: No it does not, the commissioners do, and they approve what we spend it on.

The right to live and work in the EU: We could do this before joining. Of the 1.2 million Brits in the continental EU 33% are retired mainly in Spain, Ireland and France. 3.3 million continental EU citizens live here because of our stronger economy.

The UK is strong, the EU gives us strength: The UK is strong and membership of NATO gives us the clout.

The Government believes it is in the best interest of the UK to remain in the EU: More like in the interest of the rich and powerful. Google the Bilderberg Group for more information.

A once in a generation decision: True, the EU’s share of world trade is reducing compared to emerging countries including the Commonwealth. Your children and grandchildren will not thank you for buying them a ticket on the Titanic.

I suggest return to sender with a second class stamp, address 10 Downing Street, London. SW1A 2AA.


Care home crisis continues

From: Stephen Walker, Howden Clough

Dear Sir,

A few weeks ago you were kind enough to publish my letter regarding the looming care home crisis as Letter of the Week.

I naively thought this would draw some attention to the matter. I had copied my original letter to the two local MPs (Paula Sherriff and Jo Cox). I have left things a couple of weeks but have not noticed any response from either local councillors or MPs and have had no direct communication from the MPs.

Then in last week’s Press I saw the article – Dementia care home rated as inadequate. This referred to the home Ashworth Grange, which was deemed inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and put in special measures.

On a personal note this caused some concern as we had moved my mother (96 years of age) from the closed Oxford Grange to Ashworth Grange in the belief it was a much better home. We do not want to put her through the stress of moving again.

When are we, and in particular our local and national politicians, going to acknowledge the seriousness of this situation and do something about it?

Direct care provision by local authorities will be the exception because of austerity and the significant cuts imposed on their budgets by central government.

We therefore have to make private care provision work and improve the quality of provision, preferably before CQC inspections identify significant issues (which is their safeguarding role) and increase the likelihood of a further decrease in the availability of care home places.


Confidence that Kane will sort town centre

From: Name & address supplied

Dear Sir,

I want to agree with Coun Kane about the need for police in Dewsbury town centre.

About 18 months ago, I actually spoke to Paul about the drunkards in the town centre, because I was met with abuse and bad language as I walked through the town.

I spoke to Paul, who I know was speaking to Keith (the coffee man in the town centre), and Paul organised a public meeting in the town hall.

We all told him and the police about the problems, and they ceased for a bit.

Paul did say at the time that unless the town was policed properly the problems would come back, which they have, only now it’s shoplifting too. These people, mostly Eastern Europeans, don’t seem to have the same respect.

I have every confidence in Paul and ask the police to listen to his request; he has a record of helping everyone.

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