Housing battle scars still smart
Letter of the Week: Adam Hutchinson, Chickenley RAGE member
I read with interest your letter from Jack Bunn in last week’s Press and agreed with nearly everything he said.
The one thing I didn’t agree with was his comments about people not recognising Coun Cathy Scott.
I first recognised Coun Scott at election time in 2010 when she came round knocking on our doors and made the right noises about our fight to stop a housing development on a green field at Chickenley Heath.
I also recognised her when after her election as Labour councillor for Dewsbury East, she did her damndest to have the development pushed through in the face of huge opposition from Chickenley residents.
I understand Coun Scott made a similar u-turn with the Chidswell Action Group in relation to their fight to save Green Belt land near Shaw Cross.
She couldn’t wait to vote that one through as well, against the wishes of the people she supposedly represents.
Fortunately, we received a lot of help and advice from Conservative council candidate Mark Eastwood and local MP Simon Reevell who supported our campaign throughout.
Since their involvement, the developer pulled out but the land is still under threat, no thanks to Coun Scott and her Labour colleagues.
Same as Jack Bunn, I hope local people wake up to the fact that our local Labour councillors are useless (look at the state of Dewsbury) and go for somebody new.
Best of luck to Mark Eastwood. I hope he wins.
Night a village turned out
From: ‘Tewit Lander’
If you are walking down the High Street in Hanging Heaton, opposite the old post office on the grassy mound is a seat and a tree which is now in bloom, and also a memorial stone.
Not many people know this is the ‘Christine Tree’. It was planted years ago by Jack Bunn’s Hanging Heaton Residents’ Association.
It was at the request of Mrs Anderson, who was the post office owner at the time.
She had a terminal illness and died in Cookridge Hospital in Leeds.
When she was desperately ill on Christmas Eve, Jack Bunn, who was president of Hanging Heaton WMC at the time, arranged for a phone to be brought to her bedside and brought the entire brass band down from the club to play carols for her.
Most of the village turned out to join in and there were that many people the road was blocked, the bus stopped and everyone joined in.
The tree was bought from the council for £8 and permission to plant it was given.
Mrs Anderson died later, and the whole village mourned. Later the post office closed for good.
Firth’s always been helpful
From: ‘Illegible Name’, East Ardsley, Wakefield
I have to put pen to paper in response to comrade Jack Bunn’s latest letter, ‘Time for them to walk’, referring to Couns Eric Firth and Paul Kane.
Personally I have not had much to do with Paul Kane, but what he says about Eric Firth is derogatory to say the least.
He has always been as helpful as possible if approached on any genuine problems and will do all he can to help you sort out your troubles wherever possible.
I know this as fact, not fiction, having known Eric since we were kids to the present day.
So please Mr Bunn, don’t let old age turn you into a bitter man, no disrespect to you heroes.
Time to vote for change
From: Beth Prescott, Earlsheaton
It was very interesting to read Jack Bunn’s letter in the paper last week.
I was glad to see he has come out backing Conservative candidate Mark Eastwood, I take my hat off to you sir!
As a young person I have come to the same conclusion, Mark Eastwood is the only candidate to secure the future of Dewsbury and has already proven he will stand up for local people’s concerns and work tirelessly to help residents.
In comparison, I have no idea what Labour’s agenda this year is and what they are standing on in the local election. All there has been so far from them in the paper is finger-pointing as to who’s fault the degeneration of Dewsbury is, the standard personal insults to anyone who dare stand against them and the usual “oh well it’s the national government’s fault”.
I don’t know about anyone else but I am getting fed up of this.
I am a resident and I want to see my councillors representing me and helping the town, not sitting there moaning and blame-shifting. Perhaps they’ve been taking a leaf out of Ed Miliband’s book.
In the meantime the Conservatives have proven themselves to be leading the way once again.
They have once again announced their proposal to split Kirklees in order to ensure Dewsbury gets the attention it deserves, something all local people want. Mark Eastwood is also fighting for fairer parking charges and business rates in Dewsbury town centre.
No-one can say this is not needed to help attract more business and residents to the town.
As a young person, now 21, I desperately think it is time for change for Dewsbury.
It’s time to give Labour the wake-up call they need and remind them that they are only in their council seats because we put them there.
They have taken said seats for granted and coasted along for too long now. It is time for change and a fresh face for Dewsbury.
It’s time to take back our town and stop settling for second best. It’s time to take action as I want my future children to grow up in a town they can be proud of.
That is why on May 22 I will be voting for Mark Eastwood and I am pleased to see others like Mr Bunn will also being doing so and I urge the rest of Dewsbury to do the same.
Numbers do not add up
From: Derek Cartwright, Soothill, Batley
Apparently, someone threw eggs at the Labour leader, a reminder that under the coalition the national price of eggs have fallen, then another one of the yokers reminded us that energy bills are up.
Odd that SSE (utility firm) cut prices in March and froze them for the next two years, but then my bills are down on last year, because of the more usual (temperatures not rain) winter we just had. Then I am still paying for the previous more severe winters.
So Labour is shooting at the wrong targets, but they don’t want to focus on our real problems, because they in part caused it – and that’s European immigration.
The headline employment figures look as if everything is on the up, with 28.6m in employment. Yet the total available workforce is 38.6m. In 1997 the latter figure would have been 35.2m with 25.3m in employment. That’s what a coalition gives you!
However, what we really have here is jobs going to immigrants. Let’s go back to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures for 1971, it happens also to be the year I started work, so I’ve followed these ... if not only for examination reasons.
The total available figure for the workforce then was only 31.8m, with 23.8m in employment, with less than a million out of work (958,000), but with 7m inactive.
That’s 8m either unemployed or inactive in 1971, in 1997 the figure was 9.6m and in 2008 9.5m, but now it is 10m. This starts to tell us that more and more of us under 65 are not working.
But there is more, and this is the real story. In 1971 the total number of males unemployed and inactive was 1.3m, but by 1997 it was 4m, in 2008 4.1m, and in 2014 it is 4.6m.
According to the ONS the available male workforce has risen by 3.6m, but we have 3.3m men unemployed and inactive. That suggests that it is immigrants who have taken the jobs whilst people born here have paid the price.
So the next time someone says there is work out there if you want it, remind them of the 3.3m who are out of the workforce and who have paid the price for immigration.
Why immigrants have got the jobs is another matter: skills, education, and youth? Or is it that you as an Englishman who is just lazy, sick (on disability) and does not want to work?
There is another factor at work here as well, in 1971 there were 6.2 women inactive in the economy, in 2014 there were only 4.5m, that’s 1.6m extra women now working.
I know this is all complicated, but it is also important to us locally as our employment is going down, and the council want to build more houses ... yet from the above, they would be for immigrants.
Is that a genuine need for us? Tell the council what you think. If you don’t, don’t complain when we have more houses for European immigrants!