Your Letters

Judgement day for health service

Letter of the Week: Dr H Thimmegowda, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

The General Election campaign is getting into shape and is at its peak.

There have been many arguments regarding the campaigns by all the parties, but an important issue is the National Health Service, both locally and nationally.

I, as a GP for over 35 years would not be serving my patients if I did not speak up against the outrageous changes locally to downgrade Dewsbury Hospital, and creeping privatisation in general.

The Health and Social Care Act by the Coalition Government of 2012, which allows private care to be awarded to any qualified bidder, is worrying for many people, thus causing concern of eroding the very principle of the National Health Service.

Local commissioning groups have a free hand to commission from any qualified bidder and there is a dearth of accountability all around.

The funding of the NHS is also worth looking into. We in the UK spend around eight per cent of GDP, which is far less compared to other countries, eg France, which spends around 11 per cent, and in reality we spend less than Spain and Portugal in spite of the UK being the second biggest economy in Europe.

All the parties have promised to improve funding to the NHS, amongst other promises on the economy, housing and education etc.

The NHS was created by the Labour Party and they have inherited the principal to support the National Health Service.

The campaigners trying to save Dewsbury Hospital petitioned with over 30,000 signatures, and all the local councillors in Kirklees and Wakefield, as well as the MP for Batley and Spen, supported the campaign against downgrading the hospital.

But the MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield on the other hand failed to support the local people in their campaign.

When the people were asked, many of them did not know the name of the Dewsbury MP or which party he belongs to.

People are sceptical about the current MP, saying he has been in office for five years and that they are not sure what he has done for Dewsbury.

Therefore May 7 is judgement day, and let the people make the decision regarding a change of direction for their local MP.

I am sure that the majority of people agree that the NHS must meet the needs of everyone from cradle to grave, that it be free at the point of delivery and be based on clinical need and not the ability to pay.


No point in voting for the Big Three

From: Name and Address Supplied

Dear Sir,

A couple of weeks ago your front page headline read ‘We’re all to blame’, which I understood as an ironic reference to the claims emanating from Savile Town to the effect that certain political, social, and cultural aspects of living in Britain were the primary catalysts that propelled Dewsbury teenagers Hassan Munshi and Talha Asmal to travel to Syria to fight for the ISIS cause.

And I can see where you were coming from.

That said, isn’t it the case that we really are all to blame?

Britain (and the rest of Europe) isn’t as it is by accident. Of course not everything can be predicted, but if not ourselves, who else should we blame for our refusal to learn the lessons of history?

Britain is as it is because politicians have made the decisions they’ve made; we are in this sorry state because this is where successive governments of whatever shade since 1945 have been leading us.

It gets more obvious with every week that passes – isn’t that why now there’s nothing of substance separating the three main parties? Isn’t that why now they are increasingly known as the LibLabCon?

It’s no good complaining about the decline of our country and then voting for those whose actions have brought about that decline.

Talk about turkeys voting for Christmas – with the emphasis on the turkeys!

It really is impossible to take seriously anyone that favours one faction of the LibLabCon over another.

The Labour Government under Blair and then Brown was a disaster for the British people, as was the Conservative/ LibDem government under Cameron.

The reality is there for everyone to see – what makes them think anything will be different under whatever LibLabCon permutation is given the responsibility for governing the country on May 7?

I’d no more put my trust in the establishment parties than I would in a rattlesnake. They’ve been given our trust and abused it every time – and it’s time for a change.

That’s why I’ll be voting for UKIP come the general election. It is time for a change.

We’ve had enough of the duplicity, incompetence, and crookery of the big three – they’ve had their chances and they’ve failed miserably.

And whatever criticism can be levelled at UKIP, they certainly cannot be blamed for the mess that Britain has become.

That’s the responsibility of the Lib Dem, Labour, and Conservative Parties, otherwise known the LibLabCons.


Reconsider plans

From: Alison Chambers, Thornhill

An open letter to the North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group

Dear Sir,

I’m writing with regards to the proposed downgrading of Dewsbury and District Hospital A&E to a minor injury centre.

On Friday April 10 at about 3.30pm in the afternoon, I had to avail myself of their services.

Whilst playing football in my front garden with my son, I had the misfortune to have an accident which resulted in me dislocating my left shoulder.

This accident left me in a lot of pain, to which my family had to ring for an ambulance as I was unable to move for my husband to take me in our car.

When the ambulance/paramedics arrived, I was so relieved due to been in so much pain.

All concerned were marvellous, they treated me with dignity and care and reassured me.

Because they couldn’t administer drug relief I had to endure the journey to Dewsbury Hospital in a lot of pain.

If I’d have had to gone to Pinderfields A&E in Wakefield, as is the proposal, then my journey would have been more stressful on top of my injury.

When I arrived at Dewsbury A&E, again the staff there were marvellous, I couldn’t have wished for better care.

They were all kind and considerate to my needs and kept me informed as to what would be happening and dealt with me quickly and efficiently, I couldn’t praise them high enough.

The reason for this letter is to ask why should residents of North Kirklees, ie Dewsbury, Batley, Mirfield and the Spen Valley districts, have to travel to an A&E out of their area (as is the proposal) when we have a very good one on our doorstep.

I resent the fact that, as I live in Kirklees and we have two hospitals and both are linked with other hospitals out of the area, we may have to travel miles away to Wakefield or Halifax, as is the case with the Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals.

Please can this proposal be reconsidered for the safety and wellbeing of all North Kirklees residents and let Dewsbury and District A&E continue doing the fantastic job they are doing.


Trio are a sad loss

From: Pat Crisp, Batley

Dear Sir,

We’re losing three local figureheads in our community this month.

It’s devastating they’re moving Insp Neil Money after all these years, he’s so well-known and respected by everyone in the area. A first-class policeman. No problem’s been too big or small, he’s there directing his staff to your needs.

Mike Wood MP is retiring, he’s worked so hard for our community also a gentleman.

Coun Peter O’Neill is also retiring, again he worked hard for Kirklees. We haven’t always agreed on local issues but we stayed firm friends thoughtout.

I would like to thank them all for their help and support they gave me as a community activist with the neighbourhood watch and other groups I’ve work with.

It’s a sad day, we will all miss them.

I hope their replacements will work just as hard and get out and about in our community. They’re hard acts to follow.


Market needs help

From: Paula Dyson, via email

Dear Sir,

It’s no wonder stall-holders are leaving Dewsbury Market, have you seen it?

How much money was spent on it years ago, but it’s been left again to ruin.

It has no soul so it’s not attracting the public. The rents are far too high for the stalls. A good example of that is the curtain man leaving. He can get a shop with parking for a third of what he’s paying in a dead market.

Surely Kirklees Council wants people to shop in Dewsbury, but the market is putting us off. The rents for stalls are too high so there’s going to be no traders.

They can’t pay the rent if they are not getting the customers. The only half-decent stalls on there are the Print & Frame and the pet stall facing.

Give your heads a shake, Kirklees Council, and try to earn a honest living by trying to run a market stall before Dewsbury turns into a ghost town.


Full-timer is needed

From: Andrew Hutchinson, 2010 parliamentary candidate 

Dear Sir,

What attributes make for the best Member of Parliament?

Honesty goes without saying, one would think.

I would suggest that firstly, the best candidate should be just that, regardless of gender or ethnicity. I do not agree with being given a choice that was based on the best woman or member of an ethnic minority who may have been imposed on a local party from on high, in this misguided politically correct world.

Secondly, I would suggest the prospective MP should be in their 40s, in order that they have lived a reasonable measure of adult life, hopefully worked outside of politics and lobbying and preferably had a family, so they understand the needs of parents and children.

Thirdly, I would ask that within reason, the MP should put the people of the constituency before party politics.

Fourthly, I say that we need a full-time MP who is dedicated to the needs of his/ her constituency, above often petty party politics and personal profit.

I recall that during a political debate at Shelley College between me, Shahid Malik and our current MP, Mr Reevell was drawn into a heated exchange when challenged by Mr Malik to ‘go on, admit it Simon, you’ll still be a barrister and a part-time MP, if you win.’

Mr Reevell, clearly flustered and in front of the audience, answered that he’d be ‘a full-time MP and put the people of Dewsbury first’ or very similar words to that effect.

I am adamant that a constituency like ours needs a full time MP. I don’t accept the argument that the MP might lose his seat and therefore needs to keep a toe in the water, let alone match his pay almost pound-for-pound, working in the private sector.

Let’s not forget the gold-plated resettlement allowance that provides an MP with a year’s pay in order that they can go look for another job. Which other job gives a redundancy payout of that proportion?!

When voting, please look for the best candidate who states unequivocally that he or she will be full-time and put the people, not private profit first.

And if they let us down? Show them the door and they’ll pick up a generous golden goodbye payout. Simple.


Staggered so far

From: Aleks Lukic, UKIP parliamentary candidate for Batley and Spen

Dear Sir,

When I decided to stand in the upcoming election I had little idea what to expect.

All I knew was my thirst for real change, my uncompromising attitude to integrity and my dedication to these towns and villages.

To make a stand in politics I could never settle for less than UKIP. No other party believes in a free and independent Britain governed by and for all its people.

But I have been utterly staggered by the sheer number of people telling me they too aren’t settling for less any more.

This hunger being awakened knows no boundaries. It crosses the old Labour/Tory class divides. It inundates all corners of the constituency. We are taking our country back from this political class, and we are doing it together.

As I write this message on Anzac Day, I am moved to remember the half a million Commonwealth forces from overseas who made the ultimate sacrifice during the two world wars.

These men and women stood shoulder to shoulder with us having come from Australia, New Zealand, the Indian subcontinent and other seemingly far-flung places.

Without their valour we simply would not have all the things we love and the things we love to hate about our great country today.

The peoples of these lands deserve our unending recognition and loyalty.


Your vote counts

From: Peter Moreland, Heckmondwike

Dear Sir,

It’s the most important election in years, but who do you vote for?

Labour? The wrong brother and the man you would not buy a used car from.

Conservatives? Dodgy Dave and Gormless George.

It is unlikely either will get a working majority and that we will have another coalition with either Liberal Democrats or UKIP.

Apart from the non-manifested same-sex marriage bill the Liberal Democrats have been effective in preventing the Tories from introducing any controversial legislation.

UKIP are the real unknown – they swept the board at last year’s European elections and in Nigel ‘mine’s a pint’ Farage have a leader who many voters can relate to.

It’s vital though that everyone goes to vote, it does count.



From: Name & address supplied

Dear Sir,

It appears that whilst canvassing in the Shaw Cross area recently the Labour candidate, Paula Sherriff, has been giving the impression that unless Labour is elected locally Dewsbury Hospital could close.

In view of the pressure on Pinderfields Hospital, and the amount of money spent on Dewsbury over the past few years, I feel this is very unlikely.

However, if Mrs Sherriff has any evidence that any party has plans to close Dewsbury Hospital, then she should make it public; this type of scaremongering campaigning does nothing for the credibility of Mrs Sherriff, the Labour Party, or indeed politics in general.


Town council row

From: David Pinder, Independent Mirfield Town Council candidate

Dear Sir,

For the last two elections the Mirfield Labour Party has declined to present candidates for the town council, because it does not believe the town should have a town council.

This is of course the view of the Kirklees Labour councillors (and several of the senior non-elected officers) who see town and parish councils as unwelcome and awkward obstacles to the vision of a Greater Kirklees.

Kirklees Council has a so-called cabinet system. This undemocratic nonsense means that a cabal of nine Labour councillors take all the decisions – despite Labour not having an overall majority.

Initially, when Kirklees was pressed on devolving powers, chairman Sheard went on record to state that, where town and parish councils existed, the powers would come to them.

However, realising that Labour did not control a single one of those councils, the idea was quietly dropped in favour of reorganising the area committees so that all but one of them was dominated (and chaired) by Labour.

Typically when these new larger area committees first met they had no idea what they were supposed to do – but neverless their first act was to vote the new chairs a whopping increase in their ratepayer-funded allowance!

Mirfield Labour Party’s renewed interest in Mirfield Town Council has nothing to do with democracy or working in the interests of the town.

It is a blatant attempt to muzzle democracy and ensure that a Labour-dominated Town Council quietly obeys the instructions of the Kirklees politburo.

If you want the high street to resemble Dewsbury; if you want to lose Mirfield facilities and amenities to fund Huddersfield and Dewsbury - VOTE LABOUR!


Stand up and be counted

From: Ms Aisha Rawat, Batley

Dear Sir,

The white community can get any councillor or MP they want. They are in the majority.

However, political analysts say that it is the Asian vote that matters in this area because they go out to vote, in masses, and in the majority vote for the party that their ‘community leaders’ tell them to vote, for which results in block votes.

Why else are the MP and council candidates, Jo Cox and Amanda Stubley particularly, schmoozing the ‘leaders’ for all their worth and making outrageous promises that only benefit them and their community and no-one else.

Once voted in, they will do their bidding to say thank you no matter what the issue are. This unhealthy relationship need to be broken.

I am urging you not to vote for the Labour Party, the Conservative Party or the Liberal Democrats.

They are all involved in this unhealthy relationship with Asian male ‘leaders’.

These are practices brought over from the sub-continent. We need our politicians and our council officers to be hard-working, transparent and promote the law and council policies that are good for us all and protect us all.

We worked hard to establish them and we do not need people who work behind the scenes trashing them.

You could vote for any of the smaller parties and if the majority that are out there who didn’t vote did, there could be a coup.

Apparently, 50,000 did not vote last time. They alone could determine who gets in.

Do they not know that they have the power? Do they not know that this is the only time that they have any power in reality?

Please get up, stand up, be counted. Otherwise the bad status quo will carry on and you will have no right to complain.

Unfortunately, it is likely that Labour will still get in but if the majority has been decreased, at least it will let them know that we are watching them.


Brown’s fault

From: Maureen Scatchard, Batley

Dear Sir,

May I point out to Jo Cox, our Labour candidate, that “disastrous Tory cuts” were not responsible for Dewsbury Hospital debts.

Gordon Brown, the Labour Chancellor, is responsible for arranging PFI financing.


It’s unsustainable

From: Alec Suchi, Bradford

Dear Sir,

Mr John Appleyard expresses concerns that Europe seems reluctant to accept refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya, and certainly relief must be provided for those rescued (The Forum, 24/4/2015).

Unfortunately western involvement in Libya, Iraq and Syria has caused instability, as the secular rulers who had ruthlessly provided law and order have been overthrown.

The power vacuum had allowed disparate groups to seek control, including radical Islamists.

Ironically the many Christians who have lived in the Middle East for centuries, had lived in relative safety under the secular rulers, but now face great dangers from the Islamists, including Islamic State.

Meanwhile we will be confronted with increasing numbers of refugees.

It would seem that people like Mr Appleyard favours open borders and unlimited immigration and would gladly accept all the refugees, irrespective of unsustainable demands on our infrastructure, either in furtherance of an absurd Marxist ideology or an unrealistic sense of responsibility.


Immigration is key

From: Graham Turner, via email

Dear Sir,

On May 7 it is time to have a say on who run our great country, so please go out and vote.

You don’t have to vote for the political elite who never deliver.

I voted in 1975 to join the European Common Market, it is now a political union, in which over 50 per cent of laws, rules and regulations are made by unelected bureaucrats, not our own 650 MPs.

Most parties would like to control immigration, but while we are in the EU it will not be possible.

Two of the parties will not give the the electorate a say in a referendum on Europe, they know best.

The other will try to renegotiate a better deal and promised to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands.

Well last year, taking into account people retiring and working abroad, net migration was 300,000, which is unsustainable for this country.

Migrants have made a huge contribution to this country, and with their skills will always be welcome, but it must be controlled, using a points-based system, similar to that which Australia uses.

Put the Great back in Britain, BELIEVE in BRITAIN.


Keen to share my expertise

From: Nick Whittingham, Green Party candidate for Mirfield ward and candidate for Crossley ward (Mirfield Town Council)

Dear Mr Lockwood,

Thank you for promoting me in your column (Ed Lines, April 24).

You have pointed out that 25 years ago I was campaigning against the Poll Tax, and I’m proud to have done so – now with this government I am campaigning against the Bedroom Tax.

You also pointed out that I am a lawyer who stands up for people suffering discrimination – you mentioned a well-known case relating to religion/belief and I have also assisted clients who have been bullied because of their race, gender, sexuality or disability.

I run a free local advice service which helps some 20,000 Kirklees people each year.

As you have done your research on my time in Birmingham, you will also know that in Moseley, which is similar to Mirfield in size, I set up a farmers market and craft market to bring people in to the town and use local shops, and a community development trust to support local community groups and businesses.

This is exactly what Mirfield needs and I am keen to share my expertise if elected.

You might not like our politics, but Green councillors get things done, and I would suggest that my skills and experience make me the best candidate for Mirfield.

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