Your Letters – Friday April 26, 2019

Unfair to expect elderly to use service

Letter of the Week: Sandra Pickles, via email

The letter from Mrs E Walker of Mirfield, in The Press last week showed very clearly how some older people have been let down by both Arriva and WYCA (Metro) with the recent bus changes.

Is it fair or reasonable to expect elderly people, who need walking sticks or walkers, to hop off one bus and onto another to travel a matter of a few miles? 

The answer is obvious, although seemingly not to Arriva. 

It is now impossible to get one bus from the Sunny Bank Road area to Dewsbury, only a few miles away. 

We no longer have a bank with counter service in Mirfield, so Dewsbury is the nearest option. 

West Yorkshire Bus Strategy 2040 states that their policy is “… to create a modern, low carbon bus system which contributes to improved air quality.” 

I think we can all agree with that. 

I believe WYCA (Metro) is providing money to Arriva to clean up exhausts, but wait a minute, it also states that “just one bus can take 30 cars off the road.”

If the reverse applies, then by withdrawing two bus services (253 Bradford to Dewsbury and 221 Leeds to Mirfield) how many MORE cars is it putting ON the road? 

As Julia Mitchell said in the Letter of the Week: “The answer – improved public transport systems and fewer cars on the roads.”

In reply to Paula Sherriff, Dwayne Wells from Arriva said: “I would like to emphasise that the public transport network locally is most certainly not in decline.” 

I am not the only person locally to disagree with that. I also obtained the names of the five directors of Arriva Yorkshire and wrote separately to each one, almost five weeks ago, explaining the difficulties people had encountered following the changes.

Not one has replied or acknowledged my letter, but it seems it was passed on to Dwayne Wells to reply to me. 

We have been promised that some 261 buses will actually go as far as Cleckheaton in May, but still no further than Mirfield in the opposite direction.

I’m afraid that is still not going to satisfy the bus users in the Sunny Bank Road/ Roberttown area or help with Sunday (or Bank Holiday) or evening travel. 

Shame on you Arriva and WYCA (Metro).


So much for us to be proud of

From: L Hirst, Mirfield

For years I have collected interesting paper cuttings and photographs. While disposing of a lot of them I have been surprised by things printed in past years and things that happen nowadays.

Nothing seems to change, especially where government and councils are concerned.

In 1910, Thornhill, Ravensthorpe, Earlsheaton and Shaw Cross threw their lot in with Dewsbury. One year later the town was awarded the status of County Borough and an enlarged population of 54,411.

By 1974 every citizen took pride in the achievements of Dewsbury and the world-beating establishments within its boundaries.

On the first of April 1974 (note the date – April Fool’s Day) Dewsbury as a local authority disappeared and its place came the monster Kirklees Metropolitan Council. 

The high standards that Dewsbury and surrounding towns and villages’ councils provided disappeared.

Dewsbury has had many sons and daughters that have achieved eminence.

Space permits me to name two of them.

Henry Ellis, later Sir Henry, who became the principal librarian of the British Museum.

Clifford Allbutt was the son of the Rev T Allbutt – he was knighted and became a member of the Privy Council. Four of his uncles and a great uncle became medical men and physicians.

There is much more history of the great town of Dewsbury in my old papers to write about and make the people proud once again of where they live.


Use your vote carefully

From: Harry Teale, Mirfield

The moment of truth is upon us! After 12 months of suffering under a council dominated by one political party, we must be careful in our tactical voting!

We have witnessed the effect of single party domination – especially in North Kirklees – and so must ensure that we do not accidentally allow that party to ever subject us to that kind of ‘secular’ treatment again.

In the six wards currently tenanted by that party, we must not allow our resentment against the pathetic national government to permit the ‘local government’ to retain its stranglehold over us!

It is therefore imperative we record our vote on May 2 and remove the members holding those six wards from their cushy additional incomes!


Bewildered on how to vote

From: Colin Walshaw, Scholes

Voting in the council, EU and general elections. If you are as angry as I am with our useless and disobedient politicians, particularly if you voted to Leave, you may be tempted not to vote at all, as they only ignore our wishes. 

However I am more determined than ever to vote, if only to show them the error of their ways and give them a bloody nose.

We should be aware there is a difference between council, general and EU elections. However the council elections have now been weaponised and become party political, particularly by the Liberal Democrats with Vince Cable pronouncing in his party political broadcast, their determination to stop Brexit.

Bolstered by our own Baroness Pinnock voting against the Government in the House of Lords. They maybe Liberal, but certainly not Democrats?

I am totally bewildered on how to vote. Obviously the Conservatives have totally failed to get us out of the EU, similarly with the Labour party and the Greens blocking progress and wanting another referendum, and again our disloyal, disobedient, local MPs being ardent Remainers.

Depending on the offering at the council election, vote for ‘none of the above’, any Independent, UKIP or even the Monster Raving Loony Party will be preferable. 

Failing these offerings I would spoil my vote, thus showing displeasure with the major parties (they will see the amount of spoiled papers and maybe get the message).

In the EU elections similarly ignore the major parties and vote either the Brexit Party or UKIP, again depending on the offer.

In the referendum we voted for sovereignty of the people, NOT the sovereignty of parliament, it was our decision not theirs, so let’s show them where they went wrong.

Remember a Labour government has never left office with a surplus, who could forget the 2010 letter, “No money left”?

What ever you do, vote, even if it’s a protest, these are in fact mini referenda.


Songs from a bygone era

From: Michael Stott, Ossett

Your correspondent recently created a nostalgic image recalling her recollections of singing ‘The Sunshine Of Your Smile’ around a pub piano. 

I suspect she was referring to the First World War ballad that Mike Berry revived in 1980 with producer Chas Hodges’ harmony just audible over the understated chorus.

However I recall habitually attending the ABC Minors gathering in the Playhouse Cinema each Saturday morning during the early 50s and between the serials, cartoons and cowboys someone had the innovative idea of transcribing the lyrics of popular tunes of the day on to the big screen to encourage a sing-song. 

One I clearly recall was the similarly titled ‘I Love The Sunshine Of Your Smile’, a 1951 American recording by the Four Knights. 

Unusually comprised of just one rousing verse reprised over and over and lacking a chorus, it just begged a sing-a-long so maybe that too could have been the one your correspondent referred to. 

I know of no other similarly titled songs.


Mural looks more like Simon Callow to me...

From: Dunbottle Fine Arts Society

Call us pedantic, while not supping Pimms at the Tate Modern, the recently commissioned works of modern street art under the railway bridge on Station Road, Mirfield, depict an electic view on Mirfield’s fine heritage and local life. 

The picture of Mirfield’s very own luvvie Sir, Jean Luc Picard of Trekkie fame complete in uniform and out-of-character stubble.

We may be being pedantic by asking the question, has the commissioner to this modern art sent the artist a picture of a non-local luvvie actor Simon Callow by mistake instead of our own Sir Patrick? 

Or do I need to go to SpockSavers?

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