So thankful that he’s ours!
Letter of the Week: Susan White, Secretary, Batley History Group
I’m sure I speak for many people in this area when I say how delighted we all are that Malcolm Haigh has been awarded the British Empire Medal.
It is long overdue and so well deserved. His commitment and dedication to the town and people of Batley is an inspiration.
His knowledge and enthusiasm shine through in everything he does, whether it’s an historical walk, a talk about the past and its people or just simply teaching school children to respect what we have and should always care for.
Malcolm has a long history of committee work in this area and has always been an asset to the town. How many others could have rallied the troops to protect and save our library and its services in a few weeks and actually made a difference?
He showed that petitions and peaceful protest can and do work.
Every town should have a Malcolm, but I’m so thankful he belongs to us.
So far, so good with roadworks
From: Kadie Foxcroft, Cleckheaton
It’s not often I say this, but hats off to those responsible for the planning of the major gas works in Cleckheaton.
Northern Gas Networks are currently carving up Westgate, which looked likely to cause massive disruption, but all appears well – very well.
As a local resident myself and I imagine thousands of others was mortified upon hearing that one of the town’s main roads would be close until at least the end of August, but what on earth were we all so worried about?
I was particularly concerned about the diversion routes, the main one being along Park View and past Whitcliffe Mount School.
From Waltroyd Road, the way is already narrow enough so the thought of hundreds of cars passing by for the next three months was concerning to say the least.
But it seems others have had similar thoughts and have taken action to avoid the route, leaving only the usual amount of traffic during peak times.
You can’t please everyone and this was never going to be ideal, but needs must and it is very much a case of so far so good!
It’s the officials to blame
From: Mick Stevens, Liversedge
I write with regard to the shambles that is the Local Development Framework (LDF) and how our councillors may have been let down.
It’s Labour’s plan and the elected cabinet take ultimate responsibility for the fact the LDF is such a mess that they have to think again.
It seems there was a lack of consultation with other councils and too much greenbelt land set aside for housing.
But I accept councillors aren’t professional bureaucrats. They may have other jobs or families to look after, nor are many of them skilled lawyers.
The ones who should have ensured everything was okay are the officials, Kirklees Council’s own tier of “Sir Humphreys”.
These are highly paid civil servants whose job it should be to make the council run effectively and within the law.
As we’ve seen from stories in The Press recently, some of these people are paid at least £100,000 a year, others more than the Prime Minister.
So what on earth are doing? Are they incompetent? And do taxpayers get value for money from these fat cat “directors of change management”?
Based on how LDF has been turned in such a failure, I think we all know what the answer is.
Parking woes in Dewsbury
From: Press staff member
Having recently moved premises from Dewsbury to Batley I have to say what a pleasure it is to park in the town without fear of traffic wardens, pouncing on our vehicles.
Just this week, following a recent Dewsbury town centre feature in our newspaper, I returned to Dewsbury to give out copies of our newspaper, and found myself having to park on the edge of town and staggering in with heavy newspapers, due to the threat of being ‘booked’.
A colleague has also commented how she was waiting in Dewsbury for a bank to open and counted no less than five wardens ready to pounce at exactly 9am.
I feel very sorry for the traders in their struggle for customers.
Surely this has got to be one of the main reasons that Dewsbury is on its knees.
Where will the savings come?
From: Shaun Newton, Healey, Batley
After reading the reports on the peace settlement between the hospital trust and the union staff who were threatening to strike, I had to put pen to paper.
It’s the same old story with the rest of the supposed deep cuts that the Government are supposed to be implementing.
Everyone agrees that we have no money, that cuts are coming, but when the axe swings people start to complain and protest, so the blade is put away and the proposed savings are never made.
The health trust is in a dire financial position, as is the present Government.
But the massive budget cuts are nowhere to be seen, we’re just tinkering around the edges and the huge debts and deficits remain.
I have no problem with the workers wanting to protect their own positions and standard of living, that’s natural but sooner or later we must bite the bullet and start to make the really hard decisions to get our books balanced again.
More than enough already
From: Rachel Senior, Chickenley
I noticed that the old Dewsbury Court is up for redevelopment as flats. Hasn’t the town got enough one-bedroom ‘on the social’ bedsit places already?