Your Letters

Let’s take our estate back from riders

Letter of the Week: Name and address supplied

Dear Sir,

I write as a concerned resident of Batley’s Wilton Estate.

The anti-social and illegal riding of motorbikes and quad bikes has become a major issue.

What should be quiet and peaceful evenings are blighted with the noise and nuisance of these vehicle being ridden dangerously.

No lights often, no helmet and almost certainly no insurance.

There are safety issues to the riders themselves, other residents, and a risk of accidents affecting the law-abiding vehicle owners on the estate.

These occur with an atmosphere of intimidation and threat that prevents people from reporting incidents to the police, for fear of being targeted afterwards.

We residents have a decision to make.

Do we simply say nothing, do nothing and let a tiny minority ruin the estate with their illegal and dangerous behaviour; or work together with the relevant agencies to eradicate this menace and let ordinary people get back living their lives quietly and peacefully?

To the parents and relatives of those riders – are you happy that your family members are behaving like this? Owning bikes takes money, and they need to be stored somewhere, so others must know what is going on.

I know that the offenders doing this are known to many people.

I’ve spoken to people who are near neighbours and they know who own the bikes and who rides them.

However, they are reluctant report information.

Of course, the police can’t watch every road on the estate 24/7. What they need is intelligence. They need to know who are riding these bikes, and where they live.

With information they can then target the offenders swiftly.

I appeal to anyone with information to contact the police directly, as it can be given in confidence.

Alternatively, information can also be given to Crimestoppers (0800 555 111) which is totally anonymous.

Let’s get our estate back to what it should be – a place where families can live in peace and safety – by helping to stop the actions of a tiny minority wanting to destroy this.

Decline in night life is a joke

From: P Andrews, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

A lot of the laughs and humour that keeps us happy are going out of British life.

It may sound strange, but successive governments may be a reason for this decline.

They have allowed commercial and business rates and taxes to go into orbit, the effect being the closure of pubs and clubs.

Moreover, allowing foreign companies – from Germany, France, and Russia – to control our energy supplies doesn’t help.

They are clearly intent on getting money from the British public.

We went out to Wakefield, that used to be heaving at night.

The simple formula seemed to be nice and cosy – plenty in; no heating – no-one in!

Before political correctness reared its ugly head, we had comedians like Ken Dodd, Charlie Williams, and a Scouser who used to say ‘The Germans bombed our chippy’.

Now, we get an outcry from some newspapers because David Davies MP wanted to kiss Diane Abbott – a joke in itself.

Remembering Mary Taylor

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

Thanks to Mike Popplewell for reminding us of the centenary of Mable Ferrett’s birth on April 30 of this year.

I certainly would recommend Mable’s book ‘The Brontes in the Spen Valley’, last time I was in Cleckheaton Library they were selling the book at the reduced price of £3. Get it while you can!

May I also bring to the attention of your readers that Sunday February 26 is the 200th anniversary of Mary Taylor’s birth – a feminist, businesswoman and friend of the Bronte family.

Mary is buried in the graveyard at St Mary’s church in Gomersal and the Kirklees and Calderdale Bronte Group will be laying flowers at her grave on the morning of the 26 February

Finally, in response to last weeks letter from Mrs A Rawat and the possible reduction in the numbers of Kirklees councillors, this is a matter for the Government, not the council.

Recently the Government announced that the city of Leeds could keep all of its 99 councillors without any reduction in numbers.

As the Greek philosopher Aristotle is supposed to have said, when people say something, do something and be something, they will always be open to criticism.

By and large I think councillors do a good job under very difficult circumstances, that’s why there isn’t a queue a mile long to do the job!

If we are not happy with the way our councillors perform, at least we have the chance to vote them out of office.

Owners are anti-social

From: D Johnson, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Following on from the letter by Kathleen Hodge last week regarding dog poo bags, I would like to widen the debate to dog ownership in general.

Twice in the past two weeks I have stood in dog excrement whilst walking the local pavements, so I would like to invite a response if possible through this publication as to why dog owners think it is okay to allow their pets to foul not only our public highways, but also parks, sports fields and grass verges?

It is bad enough behaviour to do this, however the cretins who collect the poo into those little black bags and then discard them into the hedgerows leave me speechless.

Add to this the smell of dog wee which permeates many public footpaths and the noise nuisance created by barking dogs leads me to believe that dog ownership is becoming anti-social.

I have yet to see someone offending, perhaps they sneak out under the cover of darkness or have trained the pet to look both ways before depositing a fresh batch.

Anyway, perhaps it is time to re-introduce the dog licence scheme which could be used to fund dog wardens and give the courts a workable way of banning ownership for those who have offended.

So come on dog owners, stop this disgusting, selfish behaviour.

Thank you all for a lovely day

From: Mrs B Senior, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Through your paper I would like to say thank you to St Vincent De Paul Society at Mirfield, who provided a very good meal for nearly 60 people at Crossley Fields School, with entertainment; also picking people up from their homes and taking them home.

I would also like to thank the ladies who picked me up when I fell. They are angels.

I am looking forward to the event next year.

I would also like to thank all the helpers, and people who donated for us to have a lovely Saturday afternoon. God bless.

Little yappers are everywhere

From: Mrs R Barker, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I totally agree with the article last week commenting on how dog ownership is becoming anti -social and I also thoroughly enjoyed the piece by Mr Spreadbury about litter.

However I was wondering have other readers noticed the profusion of Shih Tzu dogs which seem to have become the latest must-have accessory.

It is difficult to walk out nowadays without tripping over one of the little yappers.

One can observe all manner of folk from fragile old ladies to large bearded men with tattoos (or should that be the other way around) tottering along with their little darlings.

I hear that the main local source of these pretend dogs is someone who is churning them out for profit, so I was glad to hear that the Government is proposing to restrict this practice by forcing such

breeders to be licensed.

Well said, Mr Spreadbury

From: ‘SN’, Cleckheaton

Dear Sir,

I just have to write and say how cheered I was to read R Spreadbury’s letter on the rubbish thrown down by thoughtless people.

I could have penned something very similar myself, though not quite as eloquent.

I would like to see a political party/government with quite a few R Spreadburys in it, but unfortunately for communities everywhere, the ones who put their hand up for the job seem to be either well-meaning but ineffective or vocal but ‘only here for the beer (wine, lucrative financial opportunities and social life).’

Common sense isn’t high up on the must-have list of required attributes to make much-needed effective legislation.

No pride in our neighbourhood

From: Mrs M Wilson, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

What happened to ‘Keep Britain Tidy’? It was drilled into us when we were children, both at home and school.

Ravensthorpe is a disgrace; there’s bags of rubbish thrown everywhere; even the gardens are full of rubbish, old sofas, mattresses, old cars.

What has happened to the council?

When we were younger they used to come round checking the houses and gardens.

Nobody takes pride in anything any more. It’s a disgrace!

Parking woes at hospitals

From: Mr M Holmes, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I would like to tell you a true story.

On Sunday February 19 I had to rush my wife to Staincliffe Hosptial at midnight with a suspected blockage in her abdomen, so an operation was required.

At 4am it was agreed to transfer her to Pinderfields, so I left her in the capable hands of the nursing staff.

She actually arrived on the ward there at 10am!

That wasn’t the end of it; normally I don’t carry money or cards as my wife usually has both, but I slipped some cash and a note in my pocket for the car park.

Fine, was it not? Arriving at the car park exit £6.90 was required, so out comes the brand-new £5 note. Frontways, backways, even tried sideways, there was no chance would the machine take it.

Plan B was cash – £7 – good, it worked. By now it’s now four o’clock in the morning, no-one about. What if I hadn’t got the money or one coin hadn’t worked?

Moorside gave me a real insight

From: Ms A Rawat, Batley

Dear Sir,

The Moorside TV drama could have been a three-parter and included the involvement of more people.

In my opinion, it would have been wonderful to have shown the broad diversity of people who were willing to come and help, and would have provided even more interest to a national audience, and I bet there has been an international audience.

It had the potential to have been an even better drama as there were so many elements to it.

It could have gone on for weeks exploring the wider impacts.

Real life and real people are far more interesting than any made-up dramas.

But, it was only a two-parter and had to be concentrated and was centred on three women; the acting on all sides was brilliant.

Should the drama have been made? Yes, I think. It gave me the opportunity to get to know Karen Matthews better, other than the woman who wore that hideous jacket with the large lapels.

I loathed her before and was disgusted by her, but her character, as displayed in the drama, showed her not to be so much a monster as an inadequate, immature individual with a mental illness (a learning disability).

She will always be inadequate, she will always be immature, deceptive and manipulative.

The trick is to know this in a person, and to contain the damage that they can do.

They will always damage themselves but, people close to her, and others like her, need to see this and to help, but also protect themselves.

Because they seem so inadequate, people like Julie Bushby, and I have experience of this too, can so easily be taken in.

We want help, we want to be practical, put their lives right but they are always planning other things.

I am not angry with Julie, as some seem to be; I think she is just one of those people who sees a problem and wants to get in there with the message ‘as a community we can sort this’.

She was only trying to look after her community in the best way that she knew how – come together, search around you, raise morale.

In a crisis you would want a Julie Bushby around you; she may not always do the right thing, but at least she will be there and not leave you on your own.

But what of Karen and Shannon, and the rest of the children?

It is such a shame that a wrong can’t be put right eventually, and everyone back where they were before with some control orders and assistance put in.

They have all lost their home and a community that they knew and had friends in.

Poor Shannon was never allowed to come back to her home and her room where she had left all her things. What a nightmare.

In the picture that was used for the search, she looks lovely with sparkling eyes, and a big, happy smile. I have a feeling that she is going to be alright, and is going to make a better life for herself than her mother did.

I have another experience of changing my feelings towards a person on getting to know them better, other than how they are portrayed in the media.

Some years ago, a young Asian woman was arrested with her partner for the neglect and death of her young daughter.

I wondered how she could be so cruel and felt a lot of anger towards her.

I went to the court case in Bradford, primarily to deal with my feelings about this woman, but as I heard her back-story of her childhood neglect, I understood that this was more a case of a person being feeble, immature and damaged, rather than being cruel, and I began to feel more sorry for her.

The partner, who was the main culprit, had his family in court to support him, but she had nobody, absolutely nobody.

Her barrister’s wife was also there to observe the case, and me and her sent the woman a message, through her barrister, that there were two people in the gallery who sympathised with her, and were wishing her well.

Until we know the bigger story, it is difficult to judge people accurately.

Moorside, the drama, helped me to deal better with my feelings of the whole saga.

 

Do you know any D-Day veterans?

From: Nichola Rowlands, Remembrance Travel

Dear Sir,

I am Head of Travel for the travel arm of the Royal British Legion, Remembrance Travel, and I’m currently on a mission to find every single surviving D-Day veteran.

The Treasury is enabling a series of free-of-charge tours for D-Day veterans to return to Normandy and pay their respects to their fallen comrades.

The tours are being funded by the Treasury from LIBOR fines, and will enable a D-Day veteran to return with a family member and carer on a six-night tour.

The 2017 tours will take place in March, April, May and September and will give Normandy veterans – now mostly in their 90s – the chance to revisit the Normandy beaches, cemeteries and memorials.

The tours will be accompanied by a medic and a guide from the Royal British Legion.

The tours will depart from London and will include Eurotunnel from Dover to Calais, accommodation, visits to Pegasus Bridge, Juno, Sword, Gold beaches, Arromanches, and war memorials, plus visits to personally specified cemeteries too.

Sadly, there is no database of D-Day veterans so we’re calling on the goodwill of the media and general public to spread the word.

So, if you do know a D-Day veteran, please do let them know about our free tours.

Normandy veterans wishing to benefit from this tour need to apply to our tour operator, Arena Travel on 01473 660800, or visit www.arenatravel.com/ journeysofremembrance.

Nothing to watch until they’re back

From: Disgruntled from Pudsey

Dear Sir,

As I settled down in the hope of a nice cosy evening in front of the TV on Saturday evening I couldn’t believe just how much entertaining television there WASN’T on to keep us interested and amused.

It’s no wonder that as from next Saturday Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returns and that more than probably most of the United Kingdom cannot wait to see the return of these two lovely lads.

Not surprising that they are top of their tree.

Not surprising we welcome their return with open arms – some light relief will be more than welcome after  long winter months of boring and nondescript programmes.

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