Your Letters

No outcry when other pubs and clubs closed

Letter of the Week: Arthur Stonehyrst, via email

Dear Sir,

How sad it is that taxi drivers are likely to lose custom if the Frontier club becomes a gym.

For many years, customers of the Frontier used to go there by taxi after a few pints in other pubs and clubs around the region because beer was cheaper in the pubs. Over time many of these venues have closed down and turned into, among other things, places of worship, teaching establishments and private residences.

I don’t recall such a vociferous outcry when these establishments were closing down.

As for the proposed change of use, given the national problems with obesity, diabetes etc, perhaps another gym is preferable to counter the effect of the number of restaurants and takeaways in the area, which I believe is around 67 per cent higher in Kirklees than the national average.


Americanisation of the NHS

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

I was on the picket line with the junior doctors recently when a man approached saying, “I don’t think it is about the end of the NHS”.

He went to speak to the junior doctors. He did not explain what he meant by “the NHS”.

If he meant its current incarnation, as a funding stream enriching companies and shareholders, he is correct.

Too many multi-nationals and shareholders now have their feet under the health service table to let it stop it now and are ratcheting up the costs! They’ve even got their own supposed grassroots pressure group.

However, if he meant a universal, publicly-provided, comprehensive service delivered in a timely way for those in need, which happens to be free at the point of delivery, he is sadly wrong already.

Too many hospital trusts are missing their targets for cancer waits and A&E handover times for it to be a coincidence.

Publicly provided services face another cut with the Sustainability and Transformation agenda.

North Kirklees CCG is in the forefront of the US import ‘Right Care’ programme, which uses the language of insurance companies’ ‘cost and quality improvements’ and ‘risk stratification’ etc.

The saddest thing is there is no political opposition to this expensive Americanisation, unless the public presses for one.


Film celebrates Charlotte’s life

From: Imelda Marsden, life member of the Bronte Society and fundraiser

Dear Sir,

On Thursday, April 21, we celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday and the 200th anniversary of novelist Charlotte Bronte’s birth.

There was a re-enactment at Hollybank School, (formerly Roe Head school, which Charlotte Bronte attended in 1831 as a pupil before returning as a teacher, and where also her two sisters Emily and Anne went to school.

We filmed at Hollybank with two Bronte descendants, with Joanne Catlow playing the headmistress Margaret Wooler.

Thanks to Mirfield farmer Richard Haigh for providing a horse and cart for the filming.

We had on film the Mirfield coat of arms with the Mayor of Mirfield and the Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees and the vicar of St Mary’s church.

Thank you Hollybank for your help in filming.

After that we filmed at Healds Hall Hotel, where Reverend Hammond Roberts lived. Charlotte Bronte portrayed him in her novel Shirley.

David Pinder dressed as Hammond Roberts and Hillary Wainwright as Miss Pryor in the novel.

We had a superb lunch with the Deputy Lord Lieutentant of West Yorkshire and toasted the Queen’s birthday and Charlotte Bronte’s 200th anniversary. One big thank you to the staff at Healds Hall Hotel, Liversedge, and all who helped on the day, with another big thank you to Roy Plum, who filmed on the day.

Thanks also to the Dewsbury Photographic Club, florist Sue Bentley of Mirfield and Joyce Sugden. Also those who are sponsoring the filming of the documentary over the next couple of months.

We will follow the descendants of Charlotte Bronte in Thornton, Haworth and North Kirklees (Mirfield, Dewsbury, Spen Valley, Birstall and Clerkheaton). All who are sponsoring will be on the film credits and funds from the sale of the DVD will go to Hollybank School Trust.

The DVD will be shown in Haworth, Mirfield, London, Brussels and New York.

If any business or person would like to be a sponsor, please contact The Press newspaper. A big thank you to those who already have sponsored.

I am looking forward to Sally Wainwright’s film on the Brontes. We in the Society knew about the BBC intending to film. They are to film at Red House Museum in Gomersal, thanks to Joanne Catlow. The film crew have built a replica Bronte Parsonage on the moors at Haworth and are to film in Haworth on the main street.


Lack of parking for store visitors

From: David Evans, Gomersal

Dear Sir,

In reply to David Miller’s article, ‘Mums demand action’, published on May 6 regarding the empty shops on Spen Lane, Gomersal, I would like to say that I totally agree with the GMU branch leader Trees Fewster that these empty shops look unsightly and should be opened up for business use.

But my main concern is the lack of customer parking space.

Spen Lane is a very busy main road and bus route and McColls is a very busy convenience store and newsagents, even more so now that Gomersal Post Office has moved into their premises.

There is a layby outside the shop which can accommodate six cars.

The people who live in the flat above the shop have three cars and the residents of Woodlands View, which is opposite the shops and consists of 24 flats, have to park there because there is only room for six cars in the little car park outside these flats.

So half of the time and more so on an evening and weekends, the layby is full.

The shop has regular deliveries that arrive in large vehicles that cannot always park outside, so they park half on and half off the pavement, either adjacent to or opposite, thereby narrowing the road and making it very hard for pedestrians to get past, and then push their goods across the main road in trolleys.

I have witnessed many times vehicles parking on the zig zag lines of the nearby pedestrian crossing. This act of stupidity mostly happens at school run times and early evening and there are regular sessions of screeching brakes and horn-blowing.

In short, this area is very dangerous and is an accident waiting to happen and what’s more, unfortunately it will most probably involve one of the many children going to the sweet shop, who are allowed to cross the road without parental supervision.


Thanks to all who voted for us...

From: Mark Eastwood, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

Following last week’s results, I am writing to thank all the people who voted for me in the local elections in Dewsbury East, particularly in areas like Bywell, Hanging Heaton, Shaw Cross and Eastborough, where I received a great deal of support.

I would also like to thank all those supporters who helped me deliver leaflets, knock on doors and put posters on lamp posts.

Congratulations also to my Labour opponent on winning the seat. His party ran a fair and formidable campaign.

Now that the elections are finished, I shall be focusing my energy and spare time campaigning on the EU referendum, which gives the people of Dewsbury the most important decision for generations as to whether we stay in or leave the European Union.

With this in mind, I would encourage everyone in the town to put to one side their party political allegiances and vote ‘Leave’ so that we can take back control of our country on June 23.


From: Coun Fazila Fadia (Lab, Batley East)

Dear Sir,

I would like to sincerely thank everyone in Batley East who came out and voted for me on May 5, which resulted in getting me elected with the highest number of votes in Kirklees (3,487).

I’d also like to thank all those who supported my campaign. I had such good support from my agent Coun Shabir Pandor, who worked tirelessly, as well as party members and activists who helped get a fantastic result.

Batley has shown me so much support and I am greatly honoured and humbled by this. I will endeavour to live up to their expectations.

I am looking forward to serving you.


From: Coun Shabir Pandor (Lab, Batley West)

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank everyone who voted for me in last week’s local elections.

The result within Batley West was remarkable. We had a fantastic turnout and we secured 62 per cent of the vote and maintained a massive majority.

It’s a real privilege and pleasure to be able to represent your interests in such a remarkable town like Batley for a further four years.

I remain optimistic despite the many challenges all councils are facing up and down the country.

The results are a clear warning to the Conservative government that they need to have a serious re-think about their national and local policies.

The next four years will be very challenging as we are forced by central government to reduce our budget further,  despite having already cut millions of pounds from our budget.

Finally I’d like to thank all of the people involved in my election campaign; the counters, tellers, polling agents and my supporters and anybody else who gave their time to get me re-elected.

I would also like to thank my election agent, Coun Gwen Lowe, who has been with me in fighting campaigns for Batley West and its residents since 2002, when I first stood as a candidate.

As always, if you have any local issues or questions, you can contact me on 07916 261 595 or email me at


UKIP supporters deserve better

From: Aleks Lukic, chairman, UKIP Dewsbury, Batley & Spen

Dear Sir,

On behalf of all our candidates, I would like to give a big thank you to everyone who voted UKIP in our area on Thursday.

We beat both Labour and the Conservatives in Cleckheaton for the first time. We also came second in Batley West and Heckmondwike.

As always, the Kirklees staff involved in administering the poll deserve our recognition for a job well done.

Around the country we have gained nine Assembly Members for the first time, seven in Wales and two in London.

I might point out that the first of our team in London is an openly gay man and the second is a black man.

We put merit first, and this leads to great opportunities for all sorts of people.

Real change doesn’t happen overnight but you can mark my words, we will get a UKIP councillor elected in Kirklees next time.

Tens of thousands of supporters sorely deserve to be represented by now.

At the moment we are working hard on the Vote Leave referendum campaign in a big cross-party effort.

The support we are seeing for leaving the EU is remarkable; indeed it is hard to find people who support staying! If anyone thinks they might be able to help before June 23, they can get in touch with me by emailing aleks@, or by writing to Aleks Lukic, 6 Boundary Terrace, Moorend, Dewsbury, WF13 4PN.


Watch out for the Martians!

From: Colin Walshaw, Scholes

Dear Sir,

Mr Cameron, Dave, come on you can do better than that – a third world war? What next, a Martian invasion, the 10 plagues of Egypt, which include blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, plagues on livestock, boils, thunderstorms of hail and fire, locusts, darkness for three days and death of the first-born?

The US and the UK in NATO hold the majority of the cards and anyone threatening NATO members will be dealt with under its terms.

Around six months ago you were telling us, “If I cannot get the reforms this country needs, then I will campaign for us to leave the EU”.

We know that he failed to obtain at least 10 such reforms and that the handful he did get, effectively a few crumbs to allow him to say he’d ‘won’ something, are not enshrined in EU law, so another u-turn.

They can and probably will be repealed by July, a week after the referendum, if we make the error of saying ‘remain’.

Today he is saying that voting for Brexit is both unpatriotic and destructive.

Not only is “Call me Dave” saying it, but he is persuading other world leaders, like Barack Obama, to repeat these words parrot fashion in the hope that we British will fall for this ‘Con’ trick!

There can only be one reason for such a u-turn. Tell us Dave, just what bribes have you been offered to keep us in the EU? High EU office, naturally, and a pension worth perhaps millions via Brussels, just like Neil Kinnock, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair?

We, your bosses by your own admission, demand to know the truth.


Grateful thanks

From: Michelle Sullivan

Dear Sir,

May I take this opportunity to thank the people of Dewsbury and the Heavy Woollen district who were so supportive during our family’s recent loss.

The funeral service for my dad Mick Sullivan at Dewsbury Minster was an overwhelming occasion and the tributes paid to him will be remembered forever.

Dad would have been as proud as punch and as much as these times are never easy, we will always be grateful for the support that was shown from both near and far.

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