Is our GDP really more important?
Letter of the Week: D Johnson, Mirfield
I really do worry for the future of this country when I read articles like last week’s response to Stephen Cass and the effects of immigration.
Mr Appleyard does not answer the basic question asked by Mr Cass, what does immigration do for this country?
It is a ridiculous argument put forward by Mr Appleyard that we should not question immigration just because the ancestors of some of these people fought on our side in two world wars.
He mentions China, India and Africa amongst others. Has he any idea how many billion people actually live in these countries, and if only a tiny percentage of that population were to come here, we would be absolutely swamped?
Add to that the population of the EU, who have the absolute right to come to Britain, and many have.
Oh! and not to mention the North Africa problem and the hoards massing at Calais, surely some of their ancestors fought? Open the gates, eh, Mr Appleyard?
Anyway, back to the sticky question. Successive Governments have for years been spinning the same old yarn that immigration has a positive effect on the economy, without producing any evidence to back up their story.
Even if it is true I believe we need to ask ourselves another question. Is a small percentage point increase in our GDP really more important than quality of life and a way of life?
When I say quality of life I mean things like good NHS care, not seeing it used as a world health service. Quality of life means not having a massive housing shortage so that average working people can’t afford to buy their own homes and we all see the ever-worsening traffic congestion.
All these things are directly affected by mass immigration.
When I say way of life, I mean a country that controlled its own borders and did not allow in time-served murderers who then commit the same crime here, a way of life where police did not need specialist units to deal with FGM, honour crime and forced and arranged marriages, and a way of life free from the increasing terrorist threat and cultural problems now facing us.
I would like to make it perfectly clear that I am very much in favour of limited and controlled immigration which, in my opinion, would have led to economic benefit without most of the problems we are now experiencing and would have led to better integration rather than having the current large concentrations that we now have.
So I would urge readers, Mr Appleyard included, not to give our clueless politicians any more excuses to leave the floodgates open.
Move with the times, Danny
From: Julie Austin, via email
I have just picked up your newspaper and read your Ed Lines article ‘The naked truth about sexism in 21st century UK’.
I can only say that it is a good job your newspaper is delivered to my home free.
I would never pay good money to hear the ramblings of the editor (Note: Danny Lockwood is publisher of The Press – ed).
Using irony or tongue in cheek does not work to cover up insulting sexist racist remarks.
I have on the odd occasion read your paper and felt annoyed but this takes the biscuit.
It is a shame we no longer use newspaper as toilet paper. I would be busy tearing this paper into squares to hang on the nail at the back of the door.
Get a grip Mr Lockwood and move with the times.
A fine mess...
From: Stephen Crossley, Hanging Heaton
Congratulations to our two local councillors Laurel and Hardy; another fine mess they have got us into.
Had they got involved in the Chidswell protest movement from the start, instead of using it as a vote-winner, they would have realised that not all the protesters lived on Leeds Road.
A lot attended from Hanging Heaton which, thanks to the new planning application, could suffer substantially.
What you have done is betray a lot of people you are supposed to represent.
Everyone, including myself, hopes the Chidswell development is always a non-starter, however, at least it is more practicable than the Grange Road site.
We are led to believe that a study by a council group highlighted Hanging Heaton as one of the areas most affected by the Grange Road site.
It’s already a rat run; if the current proposal gets the go-ahead it could become, at certain times, busier than before the relief road was built.
These times would cover school leaving times, but as long as it’s not on our councillors’ patch, sod it.
How can planning applications formatted years ago suddenly be brought up without a complete restudy of traffic volume etc?
If a study by a group did take place, we need to know about it.
In fact, the whole case of how the Grange Road site resurfacing needs looking at.
It’s not good enough that a councillor puts on his election manifesto ‘vote for me, and I will try to move the site from Leeds Road to Grange Road’.
If this was at Westminster questions would be raised.
Mind you, we could suddenly grow a magical, historical wood overnight.
From: Mr G Camponi, Batley
After suffering with a leg injury for a few weeks, my GP referred me to the musculoskeletal (MSK) department at Dewsbury Health Centre on April 1.
On April 8 I received a letter from MSK Dewsbury informing me that I would receive a letter in about four weeks’ time giving me an appointment date to see a specialist.
The letter received also read that the waiting time could be over 10 weeks.
On June 1, having not received any letter regarding an appointment, I went to the health centre with the letter I had received on April 8.
I was told the waiting time to see a specialist was now over 12 weeks, but someone had phoned to cancel an appointment on June 29, so I could have that date.
When I went on June 29 to the MSK department there was a notice board which read in April/May/June a total of over 140 people had failed to keep their appointments, and had not contacted MSK.
I believe this also happens regarding hospital and GP appointments.
These lost appointments could have been filled with other people on the waiting lists. I have now been twice to MSK and received first-class service.
From: Michael Hutchinson, Mirfield
Mr Burton is correct (Forum, July 10) in thinking I would have been able to find Mirfield Town Council’s email address online.
I did not try to do so because it was the town clerk’s legal duty to inform me of meetings.
The council’s standing orders require members to be notified by email and I believed the first meeting of the town council would be held after I returned home.
The town clerk should have been able to find an email address for me before the meeting that was held earlier than I expected.
I never said that I could not find the council’s address. I understand why Coun Burton thinks I might have done so but I thought a statement to that effect, which appeared in print last week, was a minor error that was best ignored.
That Town Councillor Burton has seized on it to try to spin an issue out of thin air just goes to show how petty these Tories can be.
Even so, perhaps we should be grateful for Coun Burton’s letter. It shows that the Tories are going to try and blame me for their own decision.
Let us be clear, it is the Tories who will be responsible for any by-election.
Town councillors often make late declarations of acceptance of office and there is no good reason why I should not have been invited to do so in Mirfield.
The Tories were not slow to ensure three of their members retained their seats by making late declarations after the 2011 elections.
They should have known the rules and applied them in a fair and even-handed manner in 2015.
Mr Burton bemoans the cost of a by-election. He and his colleagues should have thought of that before rushing to prevent me from taking up my seat.
However, when it comes to meeting the cost, have the Tories been so negligent as not to include an item for ‘Contingencies’ in their budget?
If they have been so negligent, they can always draw on the council’s 80-odd thousand pounds’ worth of reserves.
If appropriate, the amount can then be restored at a later date. No project need suffer because of any impact a by-election might have on this year’s budget.
A by-election was unnecessary until the Tories decided not to invite me to make a late declaration.
That a by-election is likely to be held is regrettable but the responsibility for it lies squarely with the Tory group on the town council.
Indeed, they are best placed to prevent a contest being held.
Care will suffer
From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury
Recently North Kirklees NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), whose motto is ‘For longer, healthier, happier lives’, hosted an ‘engagement event’ in Batley Town Hall.
Who is happier? Who is the NHS for these days?
Not for patients who suffer from coeliac disease, (a life-long auto-immune disease). Gluten-free staple foods cost the NKCCG £100,000 in 2014/15 and they want to stop providing it.
Not for folk needing ‘prescription’ painkillers, which they want to stop.
Where is the NHS money going that should pay for those treatments?
Commissioning Care Closer to Home services must have cost the two hospital trusts, the mental health trust, the hospice, the two CCGs and the community provider Locala hundreds of thousands of pounds, spent on contract support services from management companies, lawyers and financial contracting experts – plus modelling software and IT support to process ‘engagement’ results.
Because NK CCG has to dance to the tune of NHS England.
This quango is imposing new ‘models of care’, copied from American private health companies, that aim to cut £30bn a year from the NHS’s budget. Patient care will suffer.
I propose we support the National Health Service Bill 2015 in Parliament. The NKCCG’s AGM is in Cleckheaton Town Hall on 2/09/15. Tell them what you think.
Kirklees trying my patience
From: John Sheen, Dewsbury
I wrote to my three local councillors for Dewsbury East ward over four years ago with regard to the appalling deterioration of Sugar Lane (off Leeds Road) in Dewsbury.
As always, I received a polite reply which stated that the road would come under the consideration of the highways department.
As no action was taken I wrote, yet again, to the same three councillors some two years later.
My concerns must have hit a chord as not only did I read that Kirklees had received a £1 million grant for road repairs but that Sugar Lane was now on the agenda. We would finally see a road fit for purpose.
Work commenced, albeit in patches, but the potholes and general damage was being repaired.
After years of danger trying to avoid these potholes we could now count on the council to complete this long-awaited programme.
No, it wasn’t to be. After completing the top straight part of Sugar Lane the work stopped. The most dangerous lower hill section, especially in winter, has been abandoned.
Why? I intend to raise the matter at the next council meeting because, yet again,the local residents have been severely let down.
I know our councillors do work hard but fighting the might of the Kirklees bureaucracy must try their patience. It certainly tries mine.
Local connections in every corner of art gallery
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
I attended Huddersfield Art Gallery to view the wonderful art of Tom Wood, who is now in his 60th year. Tom was educated at St Patrick’s in Heckmondwike and recently gave a talk at the Holy Spirit Church.
His portraits are so life-like and a selection of his work includes abstract, still life and animal and nature subjects.
As I walked round the gallery I was impressed by the ‘see red women’s workshop 1974-1983’ which was a silk screen printing collective that produced posters, illustrations and conducted service printing for the women's liberation movement.
Downstairs is a short tribute to the miners in Kirklees with a photograph of the former Gomersal colliery, which was the last pit to close in the Spen Valley in 1973.
The exhibitions can be viewed through out July and August.