Your Letters

Put GPs’ surgery before new store

Letter of the Week: Mrs Mariana Law, Hopton, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

LISTEN! Is that the sound of Mirfield jumping for joy at the prospect of yet another supermarket?

No, I thought not.

A petrol station would be quite useful but a fourth supermarket all within a few hundred yards of each other ... God help us.

But someone will suffer and I suspect it will be the hard-working local shopkeepers who strive to serve the community.

Who is the non-shopper who stated that a full weekly shop cannot be achieved in Mirfield? I beg to differ.

We have coffee shops, homewares, sweet shops, card shops, clothes shops, greengrocers, butchers, bakers, maybe not candlestick makers but you get my drift.

Not so long ago the doctors’ practice was looking for larger premises to cope with the ever-increasing population of Mirfield.

Would this not have been an ideal site?

The bottleneck on Doctor Lane due to lack of parking spaces would disappear and the practice could expand to meet demand.

Getting out of Hopton is, at times, a challenge, with traffic backing down Station Road as far as the bridge, and getting out at the top of Station Road with traffic backing across from the lights at the top of Newgate can in itself cause frustration with nothing moving.

We will be attending the meeting to meet the representatives from St James, but I fear, as in most cases of this kind, that all the decisions have already been made and this will just be a formality.

Finishing off Mirfield

From: Frances Thompson, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Having read the news item regarding the proposed development of a new supermarket with petrol station, I am so horrified that I feel I have to respond.

If Kirklees Council give the go-ahead for this absurd proposal, they will have finally completed the task of destroying Mirfield for good.

Mirfield is a place where people choose to live for what it is – not for what greedy developers think it should be.

Mirfield is a highly residential small town with lots of rural outlets, ie the woods, canalside and riverside and does not have the infrastructure to accommodate a large development of this kind.

Who do these greedy bully boys think they are telling us what is good for us and what we need? I think we can decide for ourselves.

I was born in Mirfield and have chosen to stay here for what it is now – definitely not what the greedy developers think it should be.

Who are they to say Mirfield itself will benefit and give us a choice of where to shop? Actually there is plenty of choice: three Co-op stores, a Tesco – which no-one wanted anyway, a Lidl and a Londis store. There is a petrol station in Ravensthorpe and one at Cooper Bridge, so we don’t need another one.

Posh parking a vote-loser

From: Nobby Parkin, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I wonder if any of your readers got the same impression as we did whilst attending the polling station on North Road, Ravensthorpe?

As we approached the polling station, our way to the gates was blocked by a large posh Range Rover, parked on the pavement, with posters of a smiling Shehzad Hussain, the Conservative candidate, plastered all over it.

We took our pram, and my father’s disability scooter onto the road and then back onto the pavement, in order to access the polling station.

We were incensed by this inconsiderate and illegal parking, so we cast our vote in favour of another candidate!

It’s all very well pretending to be the ‘big I am’, and man of the people, but this PR exercise clearly had the opposite effect.

Perhaps for your next PR stunt Mr Hussain, why not borrow the State Crown, and lord it up a bit around the ‘blue manor’ of Mirfield.

Get your facts right, Mark 

From: Stephen Smith, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

As someone who follows local election results, I had to chuckle to myself after reading Mark Eastwood’s letter in last week’s paper.

The letter was littered with inaccuracies and contained smacks of desperation from a candidate who trailed in a sorry third place after trying to convince local people he was going to win.

Even our part-time MP was tweeting about a Tory upset and Mark winning in Dewsbury East, but as he rarely sets foot in Dewsbury it’s hardly surprising to see him get that one badly wrong.

I like to think of Mr Eastwood as the ‘Stan Laurel’ of Dewsbury politics, stood there scratching his head, and let me tell you why.

His letter talks of Cathy Scott having a reduced vote and a reduced majority whilst his vote held up compared to Labour’s. Strangely, the reality is very different when you look at previous election results.

According to Kirklees Election Services, in her last election of 2010, Cathy Scott secured 34.1 per cent of the vote and in 2014 40.1 per cent, an increase of six per cent with a similar majority.

In 2012, Mark Eastwood polled 30.5 per cent of the vote and in 2014 24.3 per cent, down six per cent and some 300 votes. As political chairman for the Conservatives and someone who purports to be running the Dewsbury area campaign for the Conservatives in the run-up to the 2015 general election, I suggest Mr Eastwood needs to better understand previous election results rather than just making things up to save face.

Take your bags of poo home!

From: Mrs Lesley Bell, via email

Dear Sir,

I frequently walk around Mirfield, and have to keep a constant lookout for dog mess on the pavements, in parks, and on playing fields.

It baffles me that any dog owners think it is acceptable to allow their dogs to foul without cleaning it up, but I find it even more mystifying that some of them pick it up, then leave the bag of excrement on the path, or hang it in a tree or on a fence.

Are there any dog owners out there who could explain to me just why they think this is socially acceptable and the right thing to do?

I don’t suppose any of the guilty ones will have the guts to explain themselves.

Plan for local branch of UKIP 

From: Greg Burrows (UKIP Dewsbury East)

Dear Sir,

First of all I would like to thank the 1,310 people who voted for me in the Dewsbury East ward local elections.

To build on our increasing support I hope to have a Dewsbury, Batley, and Spenborough UKIP branch in operation before the next election, so anyone interested in UKIP will have the opportunity to become more involved.

A more local branch would increase our presence and hopefully match the Conservative and Labour campaigning strengths, ultimately providing more choice to the electorate. However, being a smaller party with limited resources, this will be a challenge.

I would also like to extend my thanks to those who voted UKIP in the European elections – the vote for UKIP resulted in us being the first party other than Conservatives or Labour to win a national election in 100 years.

I would like to congratulate Cathy Scott (Labour) on winning the Dewsbury East seat.

It has been suggested that UKIP takes votes from the Conservatives and splits the Conservative vote; this myth, I hope, has been dispelled with our recent wins in Labour heartlands in the north.

The votes in Dewsbury East also confirm this. Since the last local elections in 2012, Labour lost 458 votes, the Conservatives lost 264, the Lib/Dems lost 125, the Greens gained 29 and UKIP gained 895, with turnout only up 2 per cent to 34 per cent. Also, the Conservatives achieved roughly the same number of votes this time as in 2011.

I was most dismayed to read in The Press about the alleged Labour activist in one polling station who had to be moved away from his close proximity to the voting booths.

Such behaviour can be intimidating to the voters and should not be tolerated.

I commend Mark Eastwood (Conservative), who had to go to the extreme measure of calling the police to intervene, and would like to congratulate him for his resolve in settling this matter.

I am disappointed that the Conservatives have not carried on with their 2012 campaign to create two separate authorities, Greater Huddersfield and Dewsbury, Batley, and Spenborough. I am in full agreement with this goal, which would be of great benefit to the Dewsbury area.

Now that the local elections are over, and have returned Labour to Dewsbury, I fear we will have much of the same, with Dewsbury left as the junior partner to Huddersfield.

Wrong priorities at bus station

From: Richard T Brompton, via email

Dear Sir,

Metro have spent thousands putting two speed cameras inside Dewsbury bus station, yet for the last three years I’ve been trying to get them to put two benches next to stand 17 for us disabled and pensioners to sit down while we wait for the free town bus.

The drivers complain of a 10mph speed limit, so which Metro boss has a new car this year?

They still haven’t solved the problem of people smoking in the entrances and the drivers still don’t, on average, lower the air suspension and park nearer the kerb so us disabled and pensioners can get on and off the bus safely.

Some of them are so far away from the pavement I ask them for a taxi to the bus.

Capital letter!

From: M Hartley, Batley Field Hill, on behalf of the Community Rights Group

Dear Sir,

I would like to congratutate Ms A Rawat on her Letter of the Week last week, re voting. It hit the nail right on the head about our councillors. Looking forward to reading more of her letters.

Vintage Day was a winner

From: Malcolm H Haigh, Batley

Dear Sir,

I just wanted to congratulate the many people who took part in Batley Vintage Day in the Market Place last Saturday. It was superb.

I and many other people were bowled over by the way so many people entered into the spirit of the occasion by donning clothes from many different eras and displaying them as they moved around the mass of stalls selling all sorts of old and fascinating curios.

There were games in the Memorial Gardens, exhibitions of vintage cars and vehicles, artistic activities in the library, some marvellous close-to-home films made by the Kirklees filmmakers in the Town Hall, the amazing Spitfire flypast and a stupendous non-stop parade of talent on the stage, with an amazing musical show compered by the irrepressible Paul Harper, which featured the outstanding talents of Natasha Harper, the Honeybirds, Jayne Darling and Ricky Hunter, among others.

The Batley Business Association deserves wide acclaim for all the work its members have put in to make the event such an outstanding success.

Let’s hope this is the start of an annual tradition.

Thanks very much for such an entertaining event.

Realism, not racism

From: Philip Haley, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

With regard to the proposed march on Batley: why is it automatically assumed that the EDL are intent on being violent?

Did they arrive in Dewsbury with a car boot full of bombs?

Why is it that everyone who expresses concern for the best of intentions is always labelled a racist?

This country must be one of the freest in the world for allowing its foreign population to follow traditions, unlike say France and more recently Greece, but those freedoms are often treated like a blank canvas onto which certain sections of the community feel they can write their own agendas and laws to the detriment of the statutes of this country.

They are allowed their freedoms. Why is the British man and woman denied that same freedom to comment and protest?

I have no doubt that this march will be banned and that Islamist activists will see this as another step in the winning of the war on the infidel in his own land.

But this is only storing up more trouble for local harmony and for the country as a whole.

Realism, not racism.

Assisted dying open to abuse

From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike

Dear Sir,

Patrick Stewart, in last week’s issue, supported by Coun David Pinder, made the case for making assisted suicide legal.

Though I am not famous, I wonder if you will afford me the same privilege?

Sir Patrick is in very good company, with the likes of Professor Stephen Hawking coming out in favour of mercy killing, among many others who share his sentiments. I am sure they are all genuine, well-meaning people.

But I could not disagree more with Sir Patrick. I can fully understand where he is coming from and it would be someone with a heart of stone who could not feel compassion for people suffering unbearable pain and dying from an incurable illness who ask for help to bring their agony to an end.

I have had to helplessly stand by watching my own mother slowly die from liver cancer, my sister died from breast cancer and an auntie and uncle died from stomach cancer.

Their slow, lingering deaths, as well as bringing them blessed relief from their agony, released us, their helpless family, from our own feeling of despair.

It is very easy to be sucked into thinking assisted suicide is the way forward, but if euthanasia was made legal, who would be the first section of society allowed to enjoy this new-found freedom of choice?

It could be argued the terminally ill should be first in line, or maybe dementia sufferers or anyone with a debilitating condition.

And of course there would be stringent grounds and criteria to be met to ensure the new law could not be abused. But abused it most certainly would be.

People in pain, or not fully aware, could be easily manipulated into signing their life away. And please don’t say it would not happen.

The 1967 abortion act is the most abused legislation, where we have descended to abortion on demand. I am sure David Steele did not envisage this when he introduced his infamous act.

The same would happen again if this law was changed and made legal. The strict criteria used at first would start to be relaxed, and over the years the abuse would grow.

Assisted suicide, mercy killing, euthanasia, call it what you will, MUST NOT become the accepted way of ending life.

Now it’s PC in our time

From: Eric Humphrey, Birkenshaw

Dear Sir,

Depicted in a famous painting, Don Quixote tilts vainly at windmills away in the distance. In the foreground, his faithful servant Sancho Panza is raising his eyes to heaven and wringing his hands in despair.

Weighing carefully the situation now facing our society, I feel rather like that.

Watching the Spitfire over Batley last Saturday only seemed to me, in some way, to hammer home what a growing problem we now face.

But, you know, we’ve been here before. True, the nature of the threat is different, but the fundamental reaction of the powers that be is much the same.

Below that Spitfire’s wings, it’s virtually the mid-1930s. We have the same blinkered, inept politicos, unable, or rather, unwilling to face up to the situation.

Appeasement still rules ok, peace in our time! PC in our time!

But, you see, when the full, true extent of the danger is finally realised, there will be no ‘few’ to save us.

In 1940, the scenario was simple: We were here, they were there, some 21 miles away across the Channel.

But now. Remember the legend of the Wooden Horse of Troy?

So, just what is finally going to alert our fearful, cringing deferential councillors and others in authority? Sorry, but I don’t know.

Another Churchill? There isn’t one on the horizon – only rank upon rank of mediocre politicians, heads buried firmly in the sand. Oh well…

Do you remember that song from the musical Gigi, “I’m glad I’m not young any more”?

I am, truly, I am!

We don’t need more houses

From: Name and address supplied

Dear Sir,

The proposition for several new housing developments in Mirfield is ludicrous.

One only has to take a drive or walk around Mirfield to see untold numbers of homes for sale, many of which have been on the market for a very long time.

Surely this is proof enough that there is no need for more houses to be built.

One can only assume the zest for such developments is pure greed on behalf of the property developers and Kirklees Council, who will be happy to rake in extra revenue from council tax.

A dearth of TV talent

From: Jack Bunn, Hanging Heaton

Dear Sir,

So, this is ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. If this is the best they can find, God help the rest.

For a start, the panel of judges are, in my opinion, not fit to judge.

Some of the acts reminded me of the New Zealand rugby team’s war cry, the Haka, and I think the Haka would win hands down.

Now that UKIP has sorted the Government out a bit, maybe they can turn to the TV and do the same there.

Where are all the proper acts like barbershop singers, man and woman duets and ventriloquists? If you haven’t seen Ken Dodd talking to Sonny Boy, you have missed a treat.

There are hundreds of acts appearing in WMCs without these so-called talent show misfits. And if anybody thinks there is no north-south divide, they want to think again.

Things need to change soon

From: Robert RB Mallaband, Hightown, Liversedge

An open letter to the Prime Minister:

Dear Mr Cameron,

I voted UKIP in the European election and am happy to say that many of my fellow countrymen did the same.

We are trying to tell you that we are not happy with the way you are guiding the country. I am really annoyed that, because we voted UKIP we are automatically labelled as racist and that voting UKIP is a protest vote.

Have you not realised that if that is true, you and your party and the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats are making it so?

Anyone who comes to live in this country should be prepared to try to understand our culture and our laws, NOT change them.

I have friends who are Muslims and family members who came here from Eastern Bloc countries.

It is no wonder that the indigenous people of this country are up in arms when there are no houses they can afford and children are having to live with parents long after they should be out on their own.

Hospitals are crashing under the weight of numbers they have to deal with, not enough nurses, not enough money and constant re-organisation which makes things worse not better.

I wish you could tell me how closing the A&E department at my local hospital is better than having the nearest A&E department a 45-minute drive or three bus journeys away.

When I took my wife to our local A&E recently the department was struggling, having to take patients from the A&E department of the hospital which will be our nearest A&E when the changes are implemented, because they couldn’t cope. Tell me how they will cope when they have all A&E cases going into the one department.

Water, gas and electricity will all become a problem if nothing is done to stem the flood of people making Britain their home.

It is not just people like me, whose family can be traced back in the history of this country; even the third and fourth-generation Asian families are worried.

They too can see what is coming if nothing is done and they too feel betrayed. People are becoming more nationalistic, you need to look to history to see what will happen. You can only push the people so far, then they will turn on you.

Listen to what the people are trying to tell you. They don’t want to be told what to do by Brussels.

As adults we make decisions daily about our lives, our safety and wellbeing. We elect a government to run the country; why should we then have to have the EU telling our elected government what to do? The worm will turn.

Finally, I have to tell you that in the local elections I did vote Conservative purely because David Hall, who is our Conservative candidate, has done so much to help our local community. You should be proud of him and the work he does.

Please don’t just ignore what the man and woman in the street are trying to tell you.

Things need to change and soon.

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