Learn the facts before voicing an opinion
Letter of the Week: Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton (Con, Mirfield)
I email in reply to Mr G Robinson’s misinformed letter in The Press.
As a councillor I am told that I must treat people with respect. If only that was a two-way street.
Mr G Robinson’s misinformed letter is disrespectful to all the volunteers who serve on Mirfield or any other town and parish council.
We all give up our time for free. We print our own agendas and minutes, we pay for our own broadband and phone calls.
As to my record as Town Mayor and my chosen charity the Safe Anchor Trust. Safe Anchor Trust had a cheque issued for over £900 after my last term as Town Mayor.
The latest monies that I have raised for Safe Anchor Trust still have to be weighed in and counted before I can issue the trust with a final cheque.
If Mr G Robinson really would like to get the full facts before issuing his ill-informed opinion, then I suggest that he actually attends a meeting or two.
In fact if he had attended the annual town meeting then he could have asked any questions he had, he also could have inspected our accounts and the annual report.
In short, I am weary of people who form an opinion before ascertaining the real facts.
As to the closure of the town council offices, Mr Robinson clearly does not read the newspapers he puts his ill-informed opinion in, because if he did actually read them he would know that we have not left the building without a fight.
He would be aware that the town council have had their own survey done and at no cost to council tax payers.
He would also know that the town council have put into Kirklees for an asset transfer of the building and that Kirklees are doing all they can to delay this process.
So in short, before anyone gets an opinion please get the facts first. That’s the way things should be done.
What matters to us is Mirfield
From: Coun Sean Guy, Mayor of Mirfield
Firstly can I say what a great honour it is to be selected to be the mayor of our town for the coming year.
You, the people of Mirfield, put your faith in the 16 councillors at the general election and they in turn have given me their confidence in making me the chairman of the council.
Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton has done a wonderful job for the previous three years and continues serving on the council.
It is through the long-term commitment of people like Vivien that Mirfield goes from strength to strength and her mayoral charity, Safe Anchor Trust, has received hundreds of pounds since 2013.
I have chosen not to have a traditional mayor’s charity but, in light of the threat to our green spaces from the Kirklees Local Plan, have decided to use your suggestions to get protected Listed Status for our heritage; indeed Coun James Taylor has already put in motion our application to get the Cenotaph in Ings Grove Park protected in perpetuity.
Through the precept we are able to act as a catalyst, supporting many fantastic events and projects in the town.
Every group we grant money to, or sponsor, has to meet a number of criteria and apply in person which is a matter of public record in the council minutes.
The town council does not presume to take credit for the success of these events.
Just as we 16 unpaid volunteers put in 100s of hours, the volunteers on the Round Table, Rotary Club, Hopton in Bloom, Mirfield Show, Battyeford Football Club, the Christmas lights switch-on, arts festival, beer festival, Queen’s birthday beacon, Remembrance Parade and many more that we support, put in as many, if not more hours and they deserve the public plaudits for their success.
It is depressing to see the town council offices closed by Kirklees and whilst we continue to fight to get an asset transfer to bring them back to a former glory and look for a variety of future uses, I can’t help but think that had the landlord, Kirklees, acted on defects brought to their attention by the tenants, Mirfield Town Council (just as any domestic tenant would) then it would not have got to the situation we now find ourselves in.
Finally, last year we made a start at making Mirfield safer through the installation of defibrillators on the high street.
Some of the groups supported by the town council reciprocated by using money raised specifically to spread this throughout the town.
I hope that I can take Mirfield Town Council forward over the next 12 months, working with as many people as possible, with the full backing of the other councillors as, to paraphrase a well-known social media site, what matters is Mirfield.
Is nothing sacred to Government?
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
My late grandfather served in the Durham Light Infantry Regiment during the First and Second World Wars, and more than a million men died or were injured in 141 days in the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago.
Many of the men who returned didn’t like speaking about their experience. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars, but it didn’t as our leaders repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
The Durham Light Infantry Museum which remembered these brave men is now closed.
Is nothing sacred with this Government?
From: Steve Cass, Mirfield
Leaving the EU won’t spare us from the chaos stalking Europe and relative to this the in/out debate is a side issue – which is not to say I’m not finding the panto entertaining, because I am.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the thought of all those lefties and Labour luvvies tucked up in the pro-EU bed alongside the multinationals and the big banks.
Strange bedfellows indeed.
Having to travel to A&E is not on
From: Michael Clarke, Batley Carr
Re: the A&E downgrade.
What bad news, no A&E in Kirklees when both Dewsbury and Huddersfield hospitals close their A&E departments down.
We all pay our council taxes, we want A&E in Kirklees; and not have to go to both Halifax or Wakefield.
Pinderfields will be overloaded with patients, say if someone has an accident on Halifax Road, Staincliffe, and they are rushed to Pinderfields to get treated at their A&E; it’s not on.
I give Councillor Paul Kane (Labour, Dewsbury East), 10 out of 10 for his letter you printed in a recent Press .
The government want to get off their backsides and tackle this very grave issue.
With Kirklees having no A&E, I know that both MPs Paula Sherriff and Jo Cox are doing their best in Parliament, and they are coming up against a brick wall.
I hope that the A&E departments get sorted soon.
Windows upgrade was a nightmare
From: Kathleen Field, Dewsbury
Has this happened to anyone else?
Last week a box appeared in the middle of my computer screen stating ‘30 seconds to Windows 10 downloading’.
Despite frantically pressing the delete button offered within the box, the process continued. Windows 10 was forced onto me.
I did not want it. I had not asked for it. I could not get rid of it.
It seemed alright for a couple of days, then my computer shut down. It would only allow me to use the internet.
I put in ‘Windows 10 problems’ and found page upon page of enquiries, people asking how to solve problems associated with Windows 10.
I had to take my computer to the ‘doctors’, who told me this had happened to several people.
It cost me £20 to have my computer cleaned.
How big is this problem? What can be done? How do I get my money back?
Let’s play leading role in the world
From: Ednan Hussain, Dewsbury Liberal Democrats parliamentary spokesperson
Over recent weeks the Brexit camp have tried to push the idea that leaving Europe will make the UK a more influential country.
But this claim could not be further from the truth. Leaving Europe would seriously and irreversibly dent our influence on the world stage and reputation as a truly internationalist country.
Whether it is putting up barriers to a market of 500m, walking away from an institution where UK government ministers meet their European counterparts every week, or fighting climate change, global insecurity and tax avoidance, retreating from our closest allies and trying to go it alone puts us in a weaker, less influential position.
On June 23, the choice is stark: shut ourselves out of decision-making in Europe for good or make the most of our EU membership and reaffirm our intentions to play a leading role on the world stage.
Who do you want to be ruled by?
From: P Rhodes, Mirfield
The European Union is a busted flush, thought up just after the war by top German industrialists (Krupps, Mercedes, BMW etc), as an alternative way to make Germany ‘King of Europe’.
The union’s top unelected leaders are chosen by other top unelected leaders! It is supported by British politicos, such as Tony Blair, whose ambition was to be its president, and David Cameron, who wasn’t allowed to get anywhere near what he’d promised the British people in recent negotiations.
It is also supported by Peter Mandelson – enough said – career politician turncoats like Theresa May, Philip Hammond and Jeremy Corbyn, and Prime Minister-seeking failures like Neil Kinnock, who, with his wife in tow, made £8 million for his stint as a European Union bureaucrat – well they would, wouldn’t they?
The question the public must answer on June 23 is do you want to be governed by unelected, foreign, unknown bureaucrats in Brussels and Strasbourg, who are still making a hell of a mess of things, or in Westminster by a British-elected government, preferably without Cameron and Osborne?
Tough decisions must be made
From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge
I saw the emotive pictures on the news the other night of small children in the refugee camps.
I am not sure how these made their way unaccompanied to Europe, so I assume that these are all orphans.
Who would not give them a home?
This despite the fact that the UK has a crisis in the fostering and adoption of its indigenous children. Not alluded to in the news report.
Then the true picture emerged.
The bulk of these “children” will in fact be traumatised teenage boys from an alien culture.
I further assume they have not walked all the way here, so have been trafficked, so their parents had some money to send them on their way, unless they had some savings of their own in their piggy banks.
These young adults I suspect, will be almost impossible to place into foster care.
I assume that the authorities will try to match cultures so I am not sure how the Asian community views adoption and fostering, or what their record is in this field.
So the end result, council care homes for them, which have a somewhat chequered record in child protection.
A 12-year-old Muslim Afghan who has travelled unaccompanied to Europe is a completely different kettle of fish in terms of outlook and street wiseness than a 12-year-old Xbox-playing English boy.
In reality they, and their future offspring (unless they have take an oath of celibacy), will probably need a lifetime of care and intervention to prevent them from slipping into alienation, isolation, unemployment, desperation, drug use and a life of crime.
This support will be provided by the state and Social Services, who, unless everyone has forgotten, are seeing unprecedented cuts to their funding and can’t protect our own vulnerable people anyway.
Have we all gone mad? Is all policy made up to catch votes?
Repatriate them back home to their extended families, into a culture and society they understand and have bought into.
Construct and staff care homes in their own community. Pay local families to foster them etc.
Thus sending a message to all, that trafficking will not get anyone into Europe.
In case no-one has noticed, we are slowly losing the east/west clash of cultures. We didn’t start it, or did we (Bush, Blair)?
Our whole western democratic way of life is under threat, exacerbated by the inability of Europe’s rulers to get to grips with a very difficult situation.
Some unpalatable decisions have to be made which will be massively unpopular with the concerned middle classes who are mostly isolated from the practical effects of their self-righteousness.
Not many takers for Muslim refugees in Chipping Sodbury or Harrogate, methinks.
The hidden costs of the EU
From: Graham Turner, Gomersal
Britain’s gross contribution to the European Union has topped £491billion since the country joined the Common Market in 1973.
After the rebate and other deductions, the net contribution is £175.8 billion.
But what about other costs?
There are currently 4,171 European criminals locked up in this country, which costs the taxpayer an estimated £169million a year.
Britain is supposed to be able to compulsorily deport European nationals who are jailed by the UK courts, just 73 have been sent home in the past four years – despite David Cameron pledging to intervene to end the scandal of EU convicts clogging up our prisons.
What cost to police budgets and our courts to put them behind bars?
Figures showing there were 475,000 births to mothers from other EU countries between 2005 and 2014, the cost of providing NHS services to those families, could be more than £1.33billion.
They also pointed to statistics showing that GP registrations had increased by 1.5 million in the past three years alone.
Not to mention the billions paid out in child benefits.
Britain along with the other EU countries have to pay a small percentage of all VAT collected towards the running of the EU Commission, I wonder how many millions that will cost?
Believe in Britain.
Contradictions from our leader
From: Colin Walshaw, Scholes
Dear Mr Cameron, Dave,
We the great unwashed, unintelligent and stupid public are terrified once again by your crystal ball predictions of poverty and pestilence after Brexit.
You are really pulling in all the old Europhile cronies with vested interests, those who were wrong about the European Exchange Mechanism, the Euro and ‘clean’ diesel.
Who next, Neil Kinnock and Peter Mandelson, whose EU pensions depend on keeping the faith?
My fear is the Armageddon when the EU implodes, you and your pals will be long gone to lucrative positions and we the public will be left in the mire.
With only 9.7 per cent of the vote in the EU parliament and 3.6 per cent of the Commissioners (both will reduce when the other queuing Balkan countries join), we have little influence over future legislation.
I have just re-read your January 2013 Bloomberg speech, and I am struck by just a few of your comments which are in direct opposition to your speeches on Monday of this week. Quotes:
“I understand the appeal of going it alone, of charting our own course. But it will be a decision we will have to take with cool heads.
“Proponents of both sides of the argument will need to avoid exaggerating their claims. Of course Britain could make her own way in the world, outside the EU, if we chose to do so. So could any other Member State.” So much for those two then.
“If we leave the EU, we cannot of course leave Europe. It will remain for many years our biggest market, and forever our geographical neighbourhood. We are tied by a complex web of legal commitments.” Where is your leap in the dark?
“For example, it is neither right nor necessary to claim that the integrity of the single market, or full membership of the EU requires the working hours of British hospital doctors to be set in Brussels irrespective of the views of British parliamentarians and practitioners.” Well done there again!
“While there are some countries within the EU which are doing pretty well. Taken as a whole, Europe’s share of world output is projected to fall by almost a third in the next two decades. This is the competitive challenge – and much of it is self-inflicted.
“Complex rules restricting our labour markets are not some naturally occurring phenomenon. Just as excessive regulation is not some external plague that’s been visited on our businesses.
“Competitiveness demands flexibility, choice and openness – or Europe will fetch up in no-man’s land between the rising economies of Asia and market-driven North America. More of the same will just produce more of the same – less competitiveness, less growth, fewer jobs.” Well you were and still are correct there, so why deny it now so vociferously? All the above are your words verbatim, there were many more contradictions, sorry no more space.
We all know the Euro is in trouble, IF it survives, it will require members to move to full fiscal and political union – leaving the UK in an anomalous position, a permanent junior partner.
If the Euro collapses, we’re bound to be caught in the crossfire.
We can’t rely on promises that we won’t be involved in a bail-out. What if Brussels simply increases the EU budget to cope with the crisis?
In the event of a Euro collapse, we would be better placed if we were outside the EU. Oh, and our partners will not have the money to buy our goods, but by gum we would have some crazily cheap cars, wine and holidays.
If we vote to stay, I only hope I live long enough to say “I told you so!”.