Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever
Letter of the Week: Mark Eastwood, chairman of Chidswell Action Group
On behalf of the Chidswell Action Group, I would like to update your readers on our fight to protect the beautiful unspoilt countryside located on green belt at Chidswell and Shaw Cross.
Following on from the fundraising quiz we held in March and the response to our leaflet appealing for donations, we were able to raise more money than needed to pay for legal fees to enable our planning lawyer to put forward statements and to attend the relevant planning hearings relating to Chidswell.
We were overwhelmed by the generosity shown by residents in the area, and again on behalf of the group, I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all those who have supported us with donations thus far.
I must also make a note of thanks to neighbouring Morley Town Council and their independent councillors, Robert Finnigan and Jim Aveyard, for arranging a special donation of £500 to the cause and for attending the final stage planning hearing, alongside our appointed lawyer and members of the group.
We are now waiting to hear from the independent planning inspector as to whether the Local Plan goes ahead as a whole, or with Chidswell included within it.
Should we be successful in defeating Kirklees Council, then the surplus money raised will be given back to the community in some form or other, after we have properly consulted with residents for their suggestions on how it should be spent.
However, should the planning inspector proceed with the Local Plan with Chidswell included, then we will continue with our legal battle against the council, including looking at the possibility of a judicial review.
Make no mistake, we will continue the fight to the bitter end to save the green belt at Chidswell.
Remember, once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
Thank you for your kindness
From: Name and Address Supplied
May we through The Press thank the lovely lady in Heron Foods who on Wednesday March 28 very kindly paid for our mum’s shopping when she left home without her purse.
Mum was a little confused that day due to starting some new medication. Your kindness is really appreciated and we will pass on your good deed.
From grateful daughters.
A real Good Samaritan
From: Eileen Wilson
My son and I wish to thank the very kind lady who came to help me when my leg collapsed whilst tending my late husband’s grave in Batley Cemetery on Good Friday.
If it had not been for this lady we would have been stranded.
She went out of her way and even took us home. God bless you, and thank you once again.
Together we can win battle
From: Coun Robert Finnigan, Morley Borough Independent Councillor
I am writing to you to pass on my thanks to the Chidswell Action Group and their spokesman Mark Eastwood for their support at the recent public examination by a planning inspector at Batley Town Hall.
The action group and Mark Eastwood has worked tirelessly to prevent the destruction of green belt at Chidswell and its replacement by greedy developers with large numbers of houses and a gigantic industrial estate.
As an independent councillor I was delighted to attend the public examination – along with Mark Eastwood and other members of Chidswell Action Group – to speak against the proposal because of the negative impact it would have on local roads, schools and health centres which are overwhelmed with demand from the communities already living in the area.
Indeed Woodkirk High School is full, as are Hilltop and Westerton primary schools, with waiting lists for Tingley children who want a place.
The local health centre at Leigh View can barely cope with patients already on its lists with waiting times measured in weeks, not days.
The A653 and Junction 28 of the M62 are already congested with traffic at peak times and the overdevelopment at Chidswell will make a bad situation worse. As an independent councillor on Leeds City Council it was interesting to see the total lack of support we had from local Labour politicians from either side of the Leeds/Kirklees Council border.
Morley and Tingley Labour councillors – who claimed to be campaigning against the Chidswell proposal – failed to turn up to the hearing.
Our relationship with Chidswell Action Group has been a positive one and shows what can be achieved if the community organises against Kirklees Council and greedy developers who put profits before people.
Together we can win this planning battle!
Get to know candidates
From: Harold Laycock, Mirfield
They sought them here and they sought them there, however, when they were needed, they were never here.
A recent letter in a local newspaper caught my attention.
It was the name of the author rather than the topic that caught my attention.
The name of the author was Michael Hutchinson.
In the 1970s I was a member of the Mirfield Sports Council, with Helen Armitage, who was secretary.
The sports council at that time organised a number of sporting events including five-a-side football, athletics and tug of war competitions.
Michael Hutchinson, a local councillor at that time, was always available and ready to help with his sleeves rolled up.
Michael would always be around at election times, knocking on doors and drumming up support for the Labour Party.
It would be most unusual, if not unlikely to see present-day councillors electioneering.
Is it just laziness, complacency or contempt for the electorate?
So I would advise Mirfield residents, particularly in the Old Bank/Sunny Bank areas of Mirfield, get to know the faces and names of potential candidates, as you are unlikely to see your elected councillor in your area following the election. Some time ago, I was a member of the local Old Bank/ Sunny Bank area forum.
I eventually resigned due to what I considered to be the lack of attendance/support from local councillors.
In past years I have had to request the help of Simon Reevell and Paula Sherriff, both members of parliament for Dewsbury and Mirfield, in order to resolve local problems.
I was grateful to them both for their support!
Leave through and through
From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge
I refer to Steve Oliver’s comment on my rant about the supposed influence social media has on us all?
This was prompted by the gleeful reporting in my favourite leftie luvvy rag, the Guardian, about the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal influencing the Brexit result.
And alluding that because of this, the referendum should be re-run or the result be null and void.
I’m afraid I have grown up with Spitting Image, Jim Davidson, Bernard Manning, Monty Python (remember the Life of Brian?) etc, influencing my take on the world.
As such, I often tend to resort to irony to get my point across.
However, I think irony has now been banned, and you can go to jail if it is reported to the authorities.
So, hands up to being an irritating smart arse, but I do draw the line at being labelled a Remoaner.
A look back at historic correspondence, originating from pre-referendum days, would confirm that I am a Brexiteer through and through.
The harder the better.
How to save us millions
From: ‘Harry’, via email
Politicians of all parties (and their brainwashed acolytes) have one thing in common!
They all whinge from the same moan sheet: “We’re underfunded!” I have read that the majority of NHS and foundation trusts are breaking even or have a surplus balance.
If this is so, then – as usual – it is the small minority who are causing the problem.
The solution is, therefore, to put those trusts under close control of auditors who are capable.
Start by sacking the trustees of those trusts as being not fit for purpose.
This will save millions from the deficit! Too often the minorities are pampered by the politicians and the vast majority of us have to suffer unduly!
There are many other areas where taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being misappropriated by ‘yah-boo’ party politicians, but of course they will always ensure that they increase their remuneration packages before they condescend to allocate the leftovers to the areas where the money should go!
You can make a difference
From: Tim Wood, the Old Colonial, Mirfield
Do you fancy doing something a little bit different this Saturday, April 14?
We are hosting a general knowledge quiz and a play your cards right round, to raise funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The air ambulance, which is funded by public subscription, plays a vital role in getting people quickly to hospital, in many cases from remote areas inaccessible by normal ambulance crews and has helped save hundreds of lives.
The quiz starts after 8.30pm and costs £5 to enter. This includes a hot supper which we shall be donating free of charge, which means that all the £5 entry fees go directly to the fundraiser.
We have put on quiz nights on quite a few occasions and they proved to be popular. If you would like to come along and take part let me know on 01924 496920.
The only polite concession we ask is that mobile phones are out of the ‘arena’ during the quiz, we don’t want to attract the Google geeks. Please come along, your efforts can make a difference.
Action on crime and police numbers needed
From: Anthony Doyle, via email
I read with interest this weekend and saw on TV that the rise in crime could possibly be linked to the fall in frontline police numbers.
How much did this report cost to come up with this gem?
This statistic was concerned with crime against the person to be specific but I feel is common to all categories.
It is not rocket science to see the figures are directly affected by the ratio of police officers policing our areas to the crimes committed.
The police are not patrolling our streets, they are not keeping us safe from crime, they are paying lip service to victims and generally employing a close the gate policy when the horse has bolted.
Our area of North Kirklees I am sure is typical of many other areas in Britain, it is a sad state of affairs when residents impose their own curfews and stay indoors at night for fear of going out or having their homes burgled.
Time for change. Anarchy awaits should action not be taken now.
Yellow bin cuts make life difficult for users
From: Tony Kelsall, Green Party candidate, Dewsbury East
Cuts to social care affect vulnerable members of society the most, particularly sick and disabled people but have a knock-on effect for everyone else.
For example, the weekly collection of clinical waste of yellow bins in Kirklees stopped last year.
This has made it difficult for users to empty their waste into a bin which had been at an appropriate height for people with mobility problems (particularly wheelchair users) and also means clinical waste is collected every fortnight with other rubbish, which is detrimental to the environment.
A sad loss to the sporting world
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
I’m sad to hear of the death of former world champion darts player Eric Bristow, who died from a heart attack in Liverpool at the age of 60.
Eric did much to make popular this working class sport by bringing it to our TV screens during the 1980s.
I’ve seen him a number of times over the years doing exhibitions in our area and always seemed a gentleman.
His prodigy of course was Phil Taylor, the greatest of them all.