Your Letters

Kirklees so wrong on ‘complex care’

Letter of the Week: Bruce Illingworth, via email

Dear Sir,

Re the recent letter of the week concerning homecare changes.

My wife also received this letter without any consultation, letting her know that Kirklees would be withdrawing her longterm highlytrained and dedicated caring staff.

The very people that have taken months if not years to understand my wife’s complex caring needs, to a standard now when they can recognise any slight change daytoday in her condition, as she suffers from MS which differs with every individual. She is totally dependent on her carers and myself which puts her in the complex, high dependency, category of care.

For Kirklees to withdraw these carers is just going to exacerbate my wife’s condition. She is also losing weight through worry.

Eighteen months ago Kirklees changed the hours and shifts of the carers again without notice, which caused a massive impact.

The head of homecare said their reason for this was to improve continuity and to give service users choice.

I wrote to complain, my wife’s consultant MS nurse wrote and I eventually got some stability through sheer doggedness and the help of my MP. 

Kirklees said this would be a change that would stay but now they have changed the criteria of ‘complex’.

In your letter Kirklees’ typical answer is to totally ignore Mrs Noble’s aunt’s concerns. They seem to think that if a carer of some sort is attending, that is all that is needed.

A lot of these people will not be in a position to speak up for themselves, some like my wife will be totally immobile, some could be bedridden, have dementia or be paraplegic.

Apparently there will be petitions to sign  but Kirklees has forbidden carers to take a form into the service users’ home if requested.

It seems Kirklees doesn’t want the service users to have a say. I thought this was a democracy and we had the right to freedom of speech. It seems to be if it’s in Kirklees’ interest only.

Where has all this socalled choice and continuity gone?

Driving habits no different

From: Robert Cowan, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

I was interested to read in last week’s ‘Drive’ section of The Press that, apparently, one in five people are giving up cars because of soaring fuel prices, according to research carried out by Green Flag.

The same study also showed that almost 60 per cent of drivers claim to have reduced their average speed in order to conserve fuel.

Although I have no doubt that there are people who have had to sacrifice their car for economic reasons, I must say that my own onroad experience does not bear out either of the above two findings.

Firstly, neither I nor any of my family and friends know personally of anyone who has given up a car, and, strangely perhaps, I have had the overwhelming impression that since the price of petrol began its dramatic and inexorable rise there have been, if anything, more and more, and not fewer, cars on the road.

Demand at the petrol pumps seems to me to be as high as ever it was, if in fact not greater, and our roads just seem to get busier.

The truth is that for very many people running a car is not a luxury but a necessity, and giving it up is not a viable option.

As for drivers reducing speed as an economy measure, I have failed to witness it. On each of my frequent motorway journeys countless vehicles zoom past me at speeds that can only be guessed at, and which make the legal limit of 70 mph seem distinctly pedestrian.

In urban areas, too, I have noticed that speed reminder signs are regularly activated by approaching speeding drivers, who then often fail to respond appropriately.

Am I, I wonder, the only person to be at such variance with these two results of Green Flag’s survey? 

Our Jack’s not entertained

From: Jack Bunn, Hanging Heaton

Dear Sir,

I do not expect everyone to agree with the contents of my letter but, nevertheless, it is my opinion.

Like Prince Phillip said recently, I am approaching my sellby date but I am just running down a little.

Having watched Britain’s Got Talent on TV recently, I must admit if this is the best talent we have got, there isn’t much hope for our future entertainment on TV.

When I think of artists and comics we saw at the Dewsbury Empire, and on stage at our Working Men’s Clubs, I wonder what has happened to all the proper talent.

Oh, of course there weren’t any Simon Cowells or Piers Morgans or dolly bird panelists in them days.

I can only think they are what we used to call the ‘Mr 10 per cents’, in other words booking agents in it for their own vested interests.

I suppose, like Prince Phillip, I belong to a society which is rapidly declining to my dismay.

I feel for our grandchildren in years to come. In the old days we hadn’t much money but we were happy.

Today we have not got the goodwill and neighbours like we used to have, and to quote Margaret Thatcher, “noone helps lame ducks these days”.

The ‘cuts’ are no such thing

From: Derek Cartwright, Batley

Dear Sir,

Before Labour left power they recklessly increased public sector employment by 300,000 knowing that the finance sector’s taxes were no longer going to be there to pay for the jobs.

They were reckless with the economy as anyone who worked in manufacturing would surely have said.

So how reckless has this government been so far? Public sector employment decreased by 24,000 (seasonally adjusted) in the first quarter of 2011 to 6.162 million. That’s 0.00039 per cent, good grief! That’s deep not!

The cuts are too fast and too deep? Sorry, central government employment increased by 4,000; employees in the Civil Service increased by 7,000 to 513,000. Cuts?

The government is getting borrowing down? No, borrowings have gone up!

Labour is talking about reaching out to the wider community, whilst being heavily dependent on one trade union. 

Yet how representative of the population is the trade union movement? In 1979 they had 13.2m members and by 2008 7.6m members who are largely in the public sector. 

The toofast and toodeep cuts have hardly started yet, so when would Labour have them start?

If this is ‘fast’, Labour would not be running a fourminute mile, but an eightminute mile.

Anchor mess wasn’t ours

From: Malcolm Harrison, DM Harrison Building Maintenance

Dear Sir,

You ran an article last week on the demolition of the Old Anchor Public House.

In it the owner Ismail Laher states that he blames “builders and architects for letting him down” and that “a building contractor who he paid to carry out work vanished”.

My company DM Harrison has worked for Mr Laher and he has never had any issues with any of the work carried out by us.

In fact I have attended meetings with him and Kirklees and our relationship is good.

However, people who know that I have worked on this site have asked me if I was the builder in question. I would be grateful if you run a little piece stating that DM Harrison Building Maintenance is not the builder with whom the owner has issue.

Editor’s note: We’re happy to set the record straight on this matter.

A great day for Mirfield

From: Tim Wood, Combined Services Parades, Old Colonial Club, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

May I take this opportunity to thank all those who took part in, and the organisation of, the Armed Forces Day parade and celebrations held in Mirfield last Saturday.

As usual parades and displays take a lot of planning, preparation and execution.

The Air Cadets Corp of Drums of 868 Sdn ATC led the parade, followed by various standards, veterans and members of the Town Council. 

The rear was brought up by WWII American vehicles.

The salute was taken by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Major Stan Hardy and the Mayoress of Mirfield Mrs Pat Sutcliffe.

The parade was dismissed in the agricultural showground after a short drumhead service. 

The rest of the day continued at the Old Colonial Club with a classic car and military vehicle display.

All the vehicles were turned out immaculately by their owners, who provided their pride and joy free of charge.

Wakefield city Morris Men gave a vigorous display of regional ‘clog banting’. 

This was followed by a drum display by 868 Sdn ATC.

The whole day concluded by Black Tie Combined Services Mess night.

Each hour of the day was planned out and ran to clockwork precision.

So, many thanks once again to everyone who took part from the manning of the Help For Heroes stand, to the cooks, waitresses, car and vehicle owners, dancers and musicians, and all who made this another special day in the history of Mirfield.

D shop idea

From: Mick Tyrrell, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

The ‘D’ Shop on the Longcauseway has had, in my view, some misguided events in the past.

Why not have the ‘D’ Shop do some real good? Let’s have it as a ‘Help for Heroes’, shop for all those fighting in all parts of the world for our safety back here in Great Britain.

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