It’s time to leave Dewsbury and fast
Letter of the week: Leslie Galert, Batley Carr
Dewsbury is the town time forgot!
What on earth has Dewsbury done wrong? The decaying town is terrible!
I’ve lived here all my life and never been so ashamed of it, until now.
We read that council leader Mehboob Khan is paid £68,000. For what? The town is a disgrace. Spending thousands on one building, the Town Hall, when it could have been spread across the whole town. I only pay my council tax there. That’s it, end of story.
The Pioneer building rotting away. The courts look likely to close.
The hospital job losses looks likely to close. Old Dewsbury Library rotting away. Police Station, ha! Half empty.
Cafe Continental at the bottom of Daisy Hill rotting away.
And to go to Sainsbury’s, the stench coming from the scouring mill near it, is disgusting.
Still, we’ve got a free bus to take us to that disgusting smell, eh!
Not all bad then?
We are all losing patience or have lost all patience for something to be done to stop the rot and decline of our town centre.
Leeds has a nice water feature in City Square, Huddersfield a new water feature outside its rail station, even Wakefield has a new water feature on the old Bull Ring.
What have we got The good old Samaritan, which is just a lump of concrete.
Who’s in charge of all this rot? Who’s doing what, or rather not? Questions need to be asked.
And who is Stayton? Don’t even let me go there.
No. I now say there is only one thing to do in Dewsbury town centre, and that’s to get out of it, fast.
The Old Turk
From: Maureen Carter, Musselburgh
I know this is a long shot but I wondered if any of your readers could help me.
I am looking into my family history and have always wondered why my great grandfather who had the surname McFadden was called ‘The Old Turk’.
When I saw Dewsbury had a pub of that name I thought perhaps someone in the town might know the origin of that name or the reason behind someone being known by that nickname.
My great grandfather originally came from Ireland.
I’m only beginning on this search so I don’t have any of the Irish details yet.
Since he was Irish and from the Donegal area I can’t understand why he would commonly have been referred to as ‘The Old Turk’ and not the more usual nickname of ‘Paddy’.
It is a mystery to me and there is noone left in the family to give any explanation.
The Old Turk may have been a term used about some people for a particular reason, I really don’t know, but it appears since Dewsbury has a pub of that name that it had some meaning that locals could relate to.
Maybe someone interested in Dewsbury history may have the answer.
Anyone with information can write to me at: 27 Windsor Park, Musselburgh, EH21 7QL.
Do you care?
From: Lawrence Conlon, Dewsbury.
I am writing regarding the announcement by Kirklees Council of the imposition of an 11 per cent increase in the charges for home care.
What is the Labour Party policy of dealing with cuts in Local Government?
The trade unions are planning days of action but what is the Labour Party doing?
The traditional view that Labour will protect the most vulnerable does not appear to be the policy in Kirklees.
The 11 per cent increase they have imposed on home care is a savage example.
Most of the people affected must have help to get out of bed, to dress and prepare meals. They have no choice. They cannot cope without help.
Neil Kinnock once warned people not to grow old or become sick under a Tory Government. A similar warning can now be made of Kirklees under Labour.
I would urge the Kirklees Labour Group to have another look at this cruel decision.
From: Name and address supplied
I refer to last week’s story about Kirklees Council cutting out sandwiches at meetings.
So, that’s a £120,000 saving of food provided during working lunches and outside hours meetings. Well done Kirklees!
And the “council spokesman” says this was the equivalent of each member of Kirklees’ 11,000 workforce having had (a rather miserly?) £11 per year per person, spent on food.
This doesn’t quite ring true. Some of us start thinking ‘spin’, others may say purposely disingenuous.
So the lads on the bins (and other actual workers) attend regular meetings and working lunches as part of their normal duties?
Would we not be better assuming that these costs are actually incurred by a lesser number of key office workers and that the real ‘per employee’ costs are likely £500 (or more) per head per year?
And while we’re ‘spinning’: our council executives now seem to be on a mission to tell us the heavy job cutbacks are also applying at their stratospheric management level and how they will also be sharing the economic pain.
One assumes therefore (unlike some of our more deviant and disreputable Southern councils) that the self same, high level, incumbents suffering redundancy, will not therefore be turning up again in the guise of freelancers/sub contractors/agency workers.
Perhaps a Freedom of Information request in a few months?
From: Trevor Whitehead, Mirfield
For his efforts over the past weeks in saving Knowl House, a giant public thank you to Coun Martyn Bolt, a rock for Mirfield and a role model for Kirklees.
We are told that having walked away with the threat that it might be back, Kirklees has revealed that a QC has told it “a covenant agreed to by the Walker family” does not prevent a selloff.
The property can be sold if it so wishes “because the conveyance did not create an expressly charitable trust for the inhabitants of Mirfield” and that is the council’s position.
I can now offer an alternative position pro bono.
The covenant agreed to by Mirfield Urban District Council (UDC) and with the Walker family (to put it the right way round) to hold the property in trust for the people of Mirfield does not fail for want of form.
The UDC was the public body governing Mirfield at that time and the covenant to which it agreed forms a public trust equal to, and with the same weight as, a private charitable trust.
The UDC was expected to go forward in perpetuity and did keep the covenant through the rest of its existence (that’s what gentlemen did).
The one difference is that the Charity Commission is not an intermediate and the covenant is therefore protected directly by the civil courts.
If thought necessary the court will impose a “constructive trust” on people who have not consciously created one (“express trust”) in order to remedy a legal wrong.
Covenants stand up in their own right in law. These enduring, legally binding agreements have protected our properties and interests for centuries, some no more than a clause in a conveyance document, and it is an absolute fact that Kirklees has used them itself.
Courts do not approve of the deliberate breaking of covenants and there are exacting penalties including restoration.
Judges are very reluctant to remove covenants. The bar is set so high that I do not believe Kirklees would be able to bang its head on it even if it used a trampoline.
The price of accepting the property was to obey the covenant. Remove it or annul it and far from a selloff we return to the 1943 position with what that implies.
Of course, Mirfield Town Council could crosspetition the court. The benefaction has been so sorely stretched that the court could decide that justice and the spirit of the covenant might be better served if the property was handed over to it.
Mr Mayor could then have a real parlour.
Rail at council
From: Jack Bunn, Hanging Heaton
Everyone knows Kirklees is awash with money. Council leader Mehboob Khan must be one of the country’s highest paid councillors on £68,000 a year.
There are also top pay cheques for the top officials, grants for all and sundry and offices filled with more staff than is required to run them.
But still they do not appear to want to replace the handrail which thieves stole from the wall at the side of my house a month ago.
I, and other disabled people, have difficulty getting up the steep slope now.
I have made about 12 calls to different departments at Kirklees and have been fobbed off from one to another.
Finally in despair I rang my MP Simon Reevell. His office told me, after speaking to Kirklees, that they cannot replace it for another 14 weeks!
I am 90 and a Second World War veteran and I should just like to say to these bureaucrats that if it wasn’t for me and my generation you would not be in your wellpaid jobs.
If there is anybody out there who can help replace this rail before winter me and my neighbours would be most grateful.
Your LettersFriday 13th August 2010