Your Letters

What a wonderful gesture

Letter of the Week: Roy Parry, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

As one who received a gift from the town’s Christmas Appeal, I must register a huge thank you to Helen McKechnie and her wonderful team which, it must be recorded, included the children of many schools in the town who designed and produce Christmas cards for all recipients of gifts.

My wife and I have run a weekly social club (Mirfield over-50s) with over 80 members meeting every Friday throughout the year for the last 14 years.

When Helen delivered three huge boxes for us to distribute at our Christmas lunch we knew how much members would welcome such thoughtfulness.

It would be wrong to say there are no poor pensioners, riches are not measured in money.

I cannot describe the joy my wife and I saw on the face of one of our house-bound members as we gave her the town Christmas gift, or the tears in the eyes of the daughter of a member confined in hospital as her mother’s gift was presented.

As two 80-year-olds we are fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends, but many of our age are not so rich and have little social contact.

Helen’s initiative ensures at least one day in the year there is a smile on the face of a lonely person.

God bless you.


Numbers just don’t add up

From: Derek Cartwright, Soothill, Batley

Dear Sir,

For many years now, I have written to the paper around this time of year about employment in Kirklees, from their official figures.

I was not going to do so this year, but...

1) A man was speaking to me the other week and he was telling me that there is plenty of work out there, and any unemployment is just that people don’t want work.

He then said that even a builder’s labourer wants £100 a day. You might be thinking what rubbish, but the chap was partially correct – bloody wrong though.

2) I bought your paper – come on, do not muddle opinion up with facts. You say that more than 30,000 homes need to be built in Kirklees before the year 2031...

The Local Plan looks at the population in 2011 and then projects the figure forward.

One essential element of the plan was that it had to be sustainable. It is this that makes the 30,000 homes questionable, because with that figure, it was estimated how many jobs would have to be created to match the homes ‘need’.

Roughly, the council’s employment projection was made in 2008.

Observation tells me there must be a lot of employment out there, is that true?

Don’t forget there is a time lag in Kirklees Fact Sheet figures.

My base is 2002, when the employment figure was 151,995. Yes, the new figures show 153,100, but that is not as high as the 2003 figure of 153,273, nor as high as the 2004 figure of 160,900, but the low was in 2012 at 145,700.

Let’s get to the bright side and why that chap was right last week. Construction in 2002 was 5,997, the latest figure was 8,300 – that’s a big leap in employment in that sector.

I keep hearing and reading that public services are getting worse. What I find odd is the figure for local  government, education, health, other services which in 2002 was 49,495. The new figure Kirklees have given me is 49,700 ... more people, poorer services?

The big rise in employment has been in the service sector when in 2002 it was 57,667 and the latest figures 69,500.

The latest figures for immigration stated 176,000 people came from Europe looking for work.

There may be a lot in the south of England, but these figures don’t explain why we hear so many European languages around here because we are not seeing job growth.

There is another point to this. You may keep reading of the Local Plan, and I have a 2008 baseline here, when Coun Mehboob Khan, the then leader of the council, was stating that due to the projected population we would need 30,000 more jobs, and the figure was an aspiration.

Based on those two factors we would need many more houses in Kirklees.

The Local Plan also stated that local employment would be 22 per cent in manufacturing in 2026. It’s 16 per cent on the latest figures!

We are on nearly 10 years now and can we see 10,000 or 20,000 jobs being created?

Can we heck. I did not believe it in 2008, so who was right, me or the council?

But if there are not the jobs, you won’t need all the houses. If Brexit takes place we won’t have the current level of immigration – or will we?

I would say pass the plan for the 240 homes, get on with building to the south of Dewsbury, build new industrial units, you can then demolish any eyesores left vacant as the new units are taken up. Could a new housing bubble be created in Leeds and Kirklees?


Let’s get back to protesting

From: Robert Yates, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

Peace and goodwill to all men and all that, but are we all just going to sit back and let Kirklees hand hundreds of acres of green fields to housing developers?

Were Miller Homes thinking that Christmas would be a good time to sneak through plans for 240 houses without anyone noticing?

We’ve formed protest groups before when our green land was threatened, so we need to re-double our efforts and stop this theft of our environmental legacy.

There are plenty of brownfield sites that we can build on before we even consider bulldozing these fields in Dewsbury South.

So come on residents of Dewsbury South, let’s get protesting again!

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