Standing up for Heckmondwike
Letter of the Week
From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike
I agree fully with the letter from Norman Walker in last weekâ€™s Forum (April 12) regarding the Fountain Clock in Heckmondwike Market Place.
But has Norman and your other readers noticed the deafening silence of our Heckmondwike councillors on the issue that affects every single one of their ward members?
I refer of course to the threat to services at Dewsbury District Hospital.
Our local hospital is being turned into a second-rate facility, A&E, childrenâ€™s services and maternity all being downgraded, right in front of our eyes, and yet our councillors seem to be sitting by and watching it all happen.
I personally attended the â€˜Meeting the Challengeâ€™ nights at Dewsbury Town Hall and Morley TH, I also went to the CCG meetings at Cleckheaton, Dewsbury and Bradley Business Park.
At none of those meeting did I see any of our elected representatives. Are they just not interested in our hospitalâ€™s future?
Have they given up the fight or are they in favour of the proposals being put forward by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust?
I am sure all three of the Heckmondwike councillors will have plenty to say when re-election time comes around, but we need to know where they all stand on the DDH issue, so we can put our â€˜Xâ€™ in the right box when the time comes.
Great at spending othersâ€™ money
From: Alan Carcas, Liversedge
The phrase â€œif it (the government) had maintained public spending...â€ at the heart of the letter from Sarah Cook, self-styled â€œcampaign co-ordinator of Mirfield Labour Party,â€ tells us all we need to know about these people.
No thought about where the money might come from. Or has she forgotten that it was a Labour Minister who joked, yes joked, when he lost office at the General Election, â€œthere is no money left.â€
And, God help us, he was right! Gordon Brown had blown the blooming lot, and had only the worst recession in 80 years to show for it.
But, of course he was wrong. There is loadsa money left! The only problem is, it belongs to people like you and I, the poor bloody taxpayer, who is forever being rooked by Labour politicians, amongst others, because every second politician you hear from these days seems to have a new wheeze for spending the taxpayersâ€™ money.
It must be great in the public sector, worker, or politician.
You donâ€™t actually have to do anything, make anything, provide a service, in other words actually earn the money you are going to spend. Unlike everybody else who works â€“ get that, works â€“ in the private sector, they are in a business, factory, system, that actually has to earn the money before it can be spent, and that includes actually being paid their wages and salaries for doing that work.
In the public sector, and particularly that includes any branch of government, the gravy train is the taxpayer. They want more money, the sucker in the street will provide it!
Public toilets? It was Labourâ€™s dear old Barbara Castle who, many years ago, caused a furore about paying for toilets.
â€œFree wees for womenâ€ I recall was the slogan that did the rounds. But since then, of course roadside public toilets have become very dangerous places, venues for anti-social behaviour.
I would imagine that most sensible people avoid them like the plague. Would you let your child use one unaccompanied?
But, there is an answer. Letâ€™s use councillorsâ€™ allowances to provide the money for public toilets.
Time was when councillors were volunteers. Now itâ€™s a second income, and in too many cases, a main, very lucrative, family income.
I recall many years ago, a Kirklees councillor complaining that they had to get up at 6am to get to Huddersfield for a 9.30am meeting. There must be millions of people who get up at that time and go out and do a full dayâ€™s work, rain or shine.
They are the taxpayers that the likes of Sarah Cook thinks should provide the money for â€œpublic spending.â€ You see, no thought!
Councillors are a pathetic bunch
From: Pat Crisp, â€˜community crime activistâ€™, Batley
Itâ€™s pathetic that the councillors have sat back and let our public toilets close. We were told early this year they would be kept open.
Mirfield has fought to keep theirs open. Over the last week, weâ€™ve seen eldely disabled, young mums with children, and lots of other people trying the gates.
I went into the town hall and so did a young mum, to ask if we could use their toilets and was told NO, they donâ€™t want people using them.
This is a major heath and safety issue. The public have a right to toilets.
Iâ€™ve been told that theyâ€™re building new ones in Batley Park. Thatâ€™s a half-hour walk away. So what do people do?
Itâ€™s time the people of Batley had a say in where their rates go and stop people on the councills having extra allowances when other people are losing benefits andÂ wages.
They wanted the job, so they should be happy just with the honour. There are lots of volunteers around that work hard and donâ€™t get paid or get grants.
Lucky we have a few councillors that do their job because they want a better Batley.
Itâ€™s time all parties work together, people would think a lot more of them.
Kirklees, expert in wasting cash
From: Gordon E Glazebrook, Dewsbury
Your article (Ed Lines) on Margaret Thatcher was most interesting and what seemed to me a balanced view.
I only ever agreed with her on two things, the Falklands and bringing the unions in to line.
Her quote regarding â€œthe trouble with Socialism...â€ should now be applied to public services!
Kirklees is a prime example â€“ closing toilets, care centres and libraries yet spending (another) million pounds on Dewsbury Town Hall. Work only finished on it last year!
If it is for new furniture it must be gold-plated!
What a waste of taxpayersâ€™ money!
The real cost of this PFI scandal
From: Gerald Jarratt, Tingley
â€œTaxpayers face a bill for almost Â£220,000 per property for 40 new social housing units in Kirklees, built under a 20-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) dealâ€ as reported in The Press, April 12. The total cost of the scheme is Â£102.5m.
A council spokesman said: â€œPFI is a well-established way of enabling the council to work with the private sector to develop and improve their stock of affordable housing.
â€œWithout it we wouldnâ€™t have been able to build these new homesâ€.
The Private Finance Initiative was forced upon the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, by our masters in Brussels, under Article 104c (2) of the Maastricht Treaty.
This restricts the money which the government can borrow (at very reduced rates of interest), on the financial markets, thereby curbing the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement (PSBR).
The only way to get round 104c (2) is to involve private money in contractual â€˜build now pay laterâ€™, at very high rates of interest.
PFI is credit card debt, and future generations will have to pay off the enormous debts incurred since March 2001.
PFI does not appear in the Governmentâ€™s balance sheet: the last figures which I have, show that up to March 2001 it was a mind boggling Â£5,233 billion. It is now April 2013!
One of the financial problems facing our NHS is the cost of interest payments on hospitals built under PFI.
Article 104c (2) effectively dictates how many schools, roads, hospitals, etc can be built. This is just one more reason why we should leave the European Union and manage our own affairs from Westminster.
A referendum in 2017? Poppycock! We need one now, this very minute!
Church is worthy cause for all
From: Peter Moreland, PC chairman, Heckmondwike
Someone asked me if it was okay to make a donation to our centenary fund as they were not a Catholic â€“ certainly!
The Holy Spirit Catholic Church is an important landmark in Heckmondwike and there cannot be many people who have not either been to or know someone who has been to either St Patrickâ€™s or Holy Spirit school or attended weddings, baptisms, first communions and funerals at Holy Spirit Church.
As such everyone is part of the church and we need all the help we can get to raise the Â£275,000 needed to preserve this historic Listed Building.
So, yes, donations are welcome from all sections of the community and can be dropped in or posted to 18 Cemetery Road, Heckmond-wike.
Is it a plot to free illegals?
From: Mark Oâ€™Hara, via email
Last weekâ€™s edition had a small article (but itâ€™s a big issue), enititled, â€˜Immigration Raidsâ€™.
Do you really think that the Government wants to catch these people? Iâ€™m not so sure.
The system of arrest; then bail; only leads to the majority of the â€˜illegalsâ€™ skipping and going into the ether somewhere else in the country,Â swelling our already over-populated areas and stretching our services beyond limit.
I know they skip on a vast scale as an officer from a â€˜holding centreâ€™ told me this a while ago; and that it frustrates the proverbial out of the officers who arrest these individuals.
Maybe someone on the inside is making sure they have the opportunity to abscond?
You never know, do you?
This Government has demoralised all of the other public institutions: teachers, police, fire service and NHS workers etc.
It seems ludicrous to me that they canâ€™t arrest then deport them immediately, instead of release and going â€˜missingâ€™.
I feel there is a hidden agenda here so I say â€˜Out of Europe and down with the Human Rights Debacleâ€™.
I urge you all to vote UKIP, even if they put up a carrot as a candidate; they just canâ€™t be any worse than the lot we have got in power now.
Nor I dare say the other alternative. I mean, who wants an individual in power who allegedly â€˜stabbed his brother in the backâ€™?
We have got to build morality back into the UK.
Will they jeer Labour lot?
From: Roger Stansfield, Cleckheaton
With all the Lady Thatcher protests, I wonder if there will be similar acts of disrespect for Lord Prescott, Ed Balls, and Gordon Brown, who all have wasted millions upon millions of taxpayersâ€™ money with their ill-thought out schemes?
No protests? Thought not!
It proves, once again, which side of the political spectrum are the most ignorant and nasty members of our â€˜societyâ€™.
Most of those protesting canâ€™t even start to imagine how the country was on its knees when she took control, much worse than in 2010 when Gordon Brown and his merry men left us in a right mess.
Come join the hospital fight
From: Wendy Senior, Hanging Heaton
May I remind people of what they are about to lose from Dewsbury Hospital, with the removal to Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals by the downgrading of Dewsburyâ€™s A&E to a minor injury and illness unit, removing consultant-led maternity services from Dewsbury medical wards, intensive care, childrenâ€™s wards, vascular and trauma surgery, and others.
We are calling for the maintenance of full services across the hospitals.
Our Group â€˜Save Local Hospital Servicesâ€™ think money could be better saved in other ways, and call upon the Trust to open up the accounts to public scrutiny and full consultation.
At a recent Dewsbury council meeting where the Trust, CCG members were present, someone said they were aware that the Bronte Tower building was going to be demolished.
This will mean more of Dewsbury hospital money being spent on Pinderfields Hospital.
I did ask Mr Eames about this. He replied that he did not know.
Please come and join us at our demonstration outside Dewsbury Town Hall tomorrow, Saturday April 20, at 12noon.