Your Letters

Online world is killing our traditional British pub

Letter of the Week: Brian Dobson, ‘local to Batley, Dewsbury and Mirfield’

Dear Sir,

How far do you have to travel these days to find a traditional English pub?

Can you remember one of those, where the licensees were ever-present behind the bar, not on the golf course or in Magaluf half the time?

Where good beer, food and conversation flowed; no bad language, no stag and hen parties rolling in half cut from the nearest rail stop.

Where the only music you heard was from the pub’s juke box, or sound system, not a cacophony of ringtones from people pretending they have got the finger on the trigger of up-to-date cyber gossip.

What’s killing the local pubs is not the price of ale, it’s the fact that people don’t have to go out as much to catch up on the local goings on.

They can find out what’s on anywhere just by their internet access on their mobile phones, and that makes all the ‘hot goss’ from their friends, via Facebook or Twitter.

I remember when the right arm was used for lifting pints, but now the mighty right thumb is attached to the arm and the mobile, tablet and computer, stuck in cyber land.

Don’t kid yourself. Look how many pubs have disappeared in Kirklees in the last 10 years, almost 200, and in the next 10 years there will be more to follow.

The traditional pub has been an accepted part of our culture and society for centuries, so don’t let your curiosity be solved via the internet; come down to the local pub and support a truly British tradition, you just may enjoy it.

Symbol of faith removed

From: TW Beattie, Thornhill Lees

Dear Sir,

For many years our politicians and church leaders have constantly told us that the Muslims coming to this once great country of ours are here to integrate into our society.

Some of them may have this intention, but we ordinary citizens know that for a percentage this is not so, and that it is their intention to create an alien culture to the one that has served this country for many hundreds of years.

My local Methodist church here in Thornhill Lees was purchased on its closure by a man for, I believe, £270k.

His intention was supposedly for it to be developed into a home for himself and his family.

His application to do this was refused by planning officers.

Yes, the planning committee that serves North Kirklees was not involved in making this decision, but instead, decided by unelected officers in Huddersfield; once again diluting the democratic process that this country was once so well regarded by others.

Immediately on this refusal, the property then began to be developed into (yes, you’ve probably guessed) another mosque.

For those of you not familiar with this building, along the front, a cross displaying the Christian faith was built into the wall.

Two weeks ago, with the use of hammer and chisels, men began to remove the symbol of faith of this country.

Why do we allow this to happen to our religious symbols?

People have been dismissed from their place of work for wearing a crucifix, expressing their faith of Christianity, whilst we allow others to profess their faith by openly wearing the niqab.

If someone paints graffiti on a mosque, it becomes a major incident to those concerned, but here we have supposedly religious people openly destroying a Christian symbol, and not caring for the distress that it creates for local residents.

This former church is now known as the Masjid Noor and Education Centre, and the trustees (I assume that they are trustees), are now appealing from the worshippers, for £350k for the purchase of the building, and renovation costs of £100k.

Call for action

From: Mrs B Flowers, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

Would you please find space in your paper for this letter, as any complaints to councillors seem to be falling on deaf ears.

1) At the beginning of summer last year (2013), four of us reported a footpath from School Crescent into School Lane as being in need of repair, as it is the only one not repaired round here and we have lived here 39 years.

All that has been done to it is cut a flag stone in half at the top of the steps,  and that hasn’t even been finished off.

2) We have people living on the street who put things out on the pavement instead of asking the bin lads, who are a decent crew, to put them on the wagon.

3) These same people sit out on the pavement and watch the kids kicking footballs onto garage doors, which are under the houses, and it is just like a clap of thunder.

Around this area it is just like shanty town, with dog poo on the pavement in School Lane, in particular, drinks cans, lottery tickets, cigarette packets etc, and if you try to tidy up, some people (the ignorant ones) just laugh.

I have written this letter on behalf of myself and some decent people of this area.

Even when they come to cut the grass it is trailed on the street, and the chap with the blower doesn’t use it.

We think and say it is time the councillors and Housing got out and looked around these areas.

It is no good saying there is no money. They have money for everything but necessity, this council.

Great service

From: Adele Latham, Soothill, Batley

Dear Sir,

Being a big believer in buying local and supporting local businesses whenever possible, I always refer to The Press newspaper to make my choice.

I would like to say a big thank you to MT Gas & Heating who recently carried out a job for me. They were prompt, efficient and courteous, and charged a fair price. This I find refreshing when there are so many rogue tradesmen around. Thank you.

Just join a union, Jane!

From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike

Dear Sir,

The letter from Jane Farrah last week, re public sector strikes.

She says she hasn’t had a pay rise for six years, and has next to no pension.

Why hasn’t she and her fellow workers done something about the situation?

The public sector workers are striking to keep the pay and conditions they have fought for in past years from being eroded by this Tory-led coalition government.

They’re not demanding anything new, but only to keep what they have from being taken away.

There is no need for new money to be found, as the strikers are only asking to keep the status quo.

As for the country being on its knees, that lies squarely at the door of the greedy friends of the Tories, the bankers and the super rich tax avoiders.

The benefit cheats need to be sorted out, but the amount they get away with fades into insignificance when compared to the amount the tax cheats get away with.

Come on Jane, don’t condemn your fellow working class for fighting for their future.

Be brave, get your workmates together. You don’t need to be bolshie, just get talks organised with your employer.

Put your case forward for a pay rise and a company pension fund. And the best advice of all, do what the public sector workers have been doing for years – join a union!

Tendering questions

From: Christabel Hopesmith, North Kirklees NHS Support Group

Dear Sir,

Last Thursday (July 10) Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group rubber-stamped the sell-off of wheelchair services to a private provider.

These services will be for Kirklees in addition to Halifax, so Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs will have been involved at some stage. The price Calderdale CCG offered is the same as they would have given to the NHS provider, who continues until the new contract starts in September.

This does not include the cost of tendering the contract, then re-tendering because of a complaint (lawyers, contract writers, possibly referral to ‘Monitor’, a hugely expensive quango set up to monitor competition).

The new provider’s name is a secret for 10 days apparently. What we want to know is 1) How much did it cost to go through the process of tendering?

2) What are the new providers going to cut to make a profit on a service with an increasing number of customers and a fixed tender price?

3) Is Calderdale Hospital Foundation Trust, the current provider and facing a £20m shortfall this year, going to match the £4m it has just lost to a private provider, with private patients in Halifax?

By not redistributing the NHS’s £2bn surplus in 2012/13 this government is engineering the degradation of the NHS and regional privatisation at an alarming rate.

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