Fight cuts, not each other
Letter of the Week: Wendy Senior, Dewsbury
I am usually a Conservative voter, and I am also on the committee of Save Local Hospital Services.
It does not stop me, whoever joins our group. Politics are never discussed.
The reason why we have more Labour and Socialist people in our group, it seems, is they are the only people who care – all the other parties have been invited to every meeting but have never turned up.
Simon Reevell, our MP, has been invited but says leave it to the clinicians.
He will not support Dewsbury people in this cause.
Save Local Hospital Services Group held a meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall on Monday April 29.
Someone said when Dewsbury Hospital services like A&E, critical care, vascular, midwifery and the children’s ward have all been downgraded or lost, what will be left?
A rehabilitation hospital – it will not have foundation status so it will be closed like Batley Hospital and Mirfield.
Dewsbury people who bury your heads in the sand and blame politics for not getting involved, why don’t you come along to our meeting at the Women’s Health Clinic on Wellington Road, Dewsbury, on Tuesday May 7 at 7.30pm?
See for yourselves. I cannot do nothing, if our hospital does close at least I know I have done everything I can to save it.
It would be good if the Reporter and Press stopped reporting about our demonstration being hijacked by the left, all other towns who are fighting the same hospital cuts are being well supported by their local newspapers.
Does Coun David Sheard want to be remembered for selling out hospital?
From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike
It seems our three Heckmondwike councillors intend to keep their views regarding the running down of services at Dewsbury District Hospital a closely-held secret.
I feel some sympathy towards Coun Kendrick as I have been told by a very good source that her husband is quite ill, but a short letter or press release to the local paper would not take up too much of her time.
As for Coun Hall, well, words fail me.
How can he campaign to keep a travel agents open, and stand by without a word of protest as our local hospital is being turned into nothing more than a drop-in centre?
Then we have Coun Sheard. When David Sheard was first elected to the council, he was an inspiration to me.
He would have been in the front row of protesters leading the fight for the future of DDH.
Where is he now?
He is on a committee for the Mid-Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust which is hell-bent on the running down of the services we need to keep at our local hospital in Dewsbury to keep it viable.
I will ask David this – does he want to be remembered as the hard-working councillor he has been for many years, or does he want to be remembered as the councillor who let much-needed facilities go to Pinderfields?
Get it off your chest, Jack!
From: Jack Bunn, Hanging Heaton
So this is top-class soccer today? This is not the way my generation used to play it in the old Dewsbury Red Triangle League.
Today, fouling and shouting at the referee is common practice, and he then throws yellow cards around like confetti at a wedding.
Last week I watched a match on TV, one player had a mask on his head another had a pair of rugby lug caps on, another a kind of glasses on, two of them wore gloves and one had a scarf around his neck.
As soon as a player gets the ball his objective seems to me to pass it as quickly as possible, instead of dribbling past an opponent.
Shots at goal can be counted, in some games, on one hand.
To quote an old saying “half of them could not hit a cow’s backside with a shovel”!
Compared with the old days, soccer today is becoming boring to watch.
Also, Danny Lockwood’s lot needs sorting out. It appears to me rugby league referees spend more time shouting “held”, “move”, “release”, than they do looking for forward passes etc.
Also, what has happened to the yellow cards and 10 minutes in the sin bin these days?
Also, who passed those silly little waste of time scrums?
As for the referees, what about Eric (Sgt Major) Clay? Nobody answered him back. I do not think there is a good ref in rugby today.
Minister took time to listen
From: SJ Newlove, Dewsbury
On Thursday April 25 I, along with other local residents and protest group leaders, met with Mr Eric Pickles (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government), to put forward our objectives to the Local Development Framework (LDF), which has been submitted to him for approval by Kirklees Council (as reported by yourselves on Friday April 26).
Mr Pickles listened to our objectives carefully and with interest and, hopefully, he took on board some of our concerns.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Pickles for taking the time to meet with us, and also thank Mark Eastwood and our MP Simon Reevell and his office for organising the meeting.
It’s not very often that one is able to meet a Government Minister face to face to express your opinions.
LDF fight has a way to go
From: Rod Lilley and The Chidswell Action Group
I wanted to express our sincere thanks to Dewsbury MP, Simon Reevell, in arranging for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, to meet both Chidswell and other Kirklees residents groups in his constituency to take onboard our views on the proposed Kirklees Local Development Framework.
Whilst we understood Mr Pickles wouldn’t be able to discuss the specific plans, we were delighted that he took time out to engage and carefully listen to us whilst understanding our opposition to these plans.
If more of our elected officials within Kirklees Council had done the same, then maybe there wouldn’t have been a need to go to the very top.
Whilst 9,441 representations were made to Kirklees Council through their LDF consultation, 9,279 representations were submitted objecting to the council’s ill thought-out plans, equating to an overwhelming 98% level of opposition.
Both elected councillors and council officers are supposed to listen to residents, but these statistics alone clearly demonstrate that this never been the case here.
The next stage for Chidswell Action Group is to present our objections in front of the planning inspector, which we will be doing shortly.
In the meantime, we will continue to fight the council and church landowners’ plans to decimate what little green belt we have remaining in Chidswell.
You still share book’s glory
From: Margaret Watson, Hanging Heaton
Several people have asked how my book Dewsbury in Food and Photos fared in the recent World Cookbook Awards in Paris.
Unfortunately, the book didn’t win (its category was the Charity Cookbook section) but it was an honour even to be nominated.
As I wrote in a previous letter to The Press, it had already won the national award for best charity cookbook in the UK, so at least everybody who bought a copy can say they’re the owner of an award-winning Dewsbury book!
Many thanks once again to everybody who supported the book in any way.
Please, come join the battle
From: Don Burslam, Dewsbury Moor
Though I have no political axe to grind, I gladly attended the demo in Dewsbury last Saturday to protest about the NHS cuts.
In my view, a reliable local health service is absolutely essential for all.
The service is NOT free, as we pay contributions, council tax and income tax for it.
It has been common knowledge that Dewsbury Hospital has been deliberately run down for years, and the current ‘consultation’ is therefore a sham, as the decision was taken years ago.
When the hospital was built, the site was carefully considered from the view of the number of people who would be served which, undoubtedly, included a large percentage of the elderly, the vulnerable, the disabled and the poor, and the area, indeed, includes many of these.
What has changed since? The only change has been an increase in building, so the catchment area is even larger.
I am afraid this is a classic case of people being forced to fit in with buildings, rather than the other way round.
Because a political decision was made to build the white elephant at Pinderfields, local folk are being forced, though sick or ill, to traipse to the other side of Wakefield.
There isn’t even a direct bus service there!
I urge everyone to fight this tooth and nail.
Don’t poison our wildlife
From: Betty Goodwin, Earlsheaton
Walking the canal towpath at Savile Town I was disappointed to see so much rubbish in the water and on the banks.
There are some large new houses on Leamington Terrace which back onto the canal.
I watched as two people in one of the back yards tossed a considerable amount of rubbish through the railings which landed onto the reeds in the water.
I appeal to all who have premises in the vicinity and visitors to the area not to pollute the waterway with rubbish. The canal is a fish and wildfowl habitat – this is their home!
Spending still not answer
From: Alan Carcas, Liversedge
Almost as if on cue, following my last letter about the way our politicians continually want to tax us more and more, comes the Labour leader Ed Milliband echoing his shadow Chancellor Ed Balls in promising to “spend more than the Tories.”
As if messrs Brown, Blair, Balls, and even Miliband himself, hadn’t already tested that policy to destruction.
It isn’t as if the policy of spending more and more taxpayers’ money actually works.
As a recent report by Deloitte, a firm of international accountants, has shown, it doesn’t.
Produced for the Department of Education, the report shows from studying the records of half a million pupils, taking into account ethnicity, post codes, etc, no matter how you analyse the figures, “there is no correlation between the level of per-pupil spending and educational outcomes.”
So Gordon Brown’s policy of throwing more and more money at education didn’t work.
But then, discerning parents already know that it is the ethos of a school that is much more important for their children
And what is true for education is just as true for the NHS, housing, and state spending in general.
The Labour Government’s policy of throwing money at problems, and indeed individuals, has been shown to be a failure.
It has left us with the after-effects of sub-prime mortgages, plus a recession that is seven-years long – and still counting.
This is what Labour is promising us even more of – more borrowing, more spending, and, as I concluded last time, absolutely no thought.
I would be much happier if George Osborne wasn’t, seemingly, following the same path.
However, he doesn’t have a Conservative government to work with, but a Coalition, in which the Lib-Dems are in the driving seat.
And after the next election they might be in Coalition with Labour.
What was that about things can only get better?