I hope I can make a difference to the fight
Letter of the Week: Carole Lutz, NSW, Australia
You may all be wondering why would someone in Australia be so interested and feel it important to join the campaign to save the original Whitcliffe Mount school building.
I am an old student when it was a grammar school who emigrated to Australia in 1969.
I have memories which I hold dear from my time at Whitcliffe Mount.
I feel strongly that the historical original building ought to be preserved as a heritage site for future generations.
It could become a museum, a cultural centre, or an art gallery for local artisans.
I appeal to those who want to demolish it to rethink the destruction of a magnificent building, a landmark at the top of Whitcliffe Road.
A significant place of learning for over 100 years. It was built with great skill and workmanship and has stood the test of time.
I read that the community raised the funds to build the original building, therefore it should be handed back to the community for prosperity for future generations for its historical significance.
It ought to be a listed building and should never be demolished. I would like to see my five children and 12 grandchildren travel back to their roots to Yorkshire and see the school I attended and where I grew up.
I visited in 2008 and was overwhelmed with nostalgia when seeing Whitcliffe Mount School. If the building was to be demolished then we would all have a huge sense of loss and disappointment.
When I saw there was a petition to save the building I didn't hesitate on going on line to do so. However the format didn't recognise my Australian postcode and so I was unsuccessful.
I contacted the campaigners on Facebook and asked if they could register my name on the petition on my behalf.
I feel so strongly about saving the building I want my voice heard. I sincerely hope I can make a difference and save Whitcliffe Mount original school building from demolition.
Tennis Centre needs support
From: Diana Franklin, Wakefield
I am writing to ask you to help the people (of all ages) who play tennis at the Batley Sports and Tennis Centre as its future is very much under threat.
I first went to the centre in 1998 to refresh my tennis skills after a gap of 35 years and have, since then, been a regular attender at the ladies’ coaching sesesions and also for a while was a member of the independent Batley ITI Tennis Club based there – the members of which play matches in the local tennis leagues.
I, along with others, travel quite a way to do this – such is my/their devotion to the tennis centre.
Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) is a company which runs several facilities for Kirklees Council and, as far as I can see, it is determined to change the use of the tennis centre in spite of our pleas at meetings with them and a petition signed by nearly 1,000 people to ask them to keep it for tennis.
We understand that one proposal is to use it as a soft-play area, but the people who play tennis are children, women and men.
KAL says that it does not earn them enough money, but to us that is because it is not managed or promoted as it was when I first came to play.
As far as I can see KAL is not listening to us and has made up its mind to carry out its plan in spite of our efforts and whatever we do.
I ask you to help by bringing this all to the notice of the Batley public. I feel that Kirklees Council should not let the company KAL ride roughshod over us in this way.
Thanking you in anticipation – on behalf of the enthusiastic and long-term players at Batley Tennis Centre.
Not a desirable place to live
From: R Holmes, via email
I read with interest the recent letters concerning Westborough and I must agree with the author.
I moved away from Westborough last year after living there for several years, and I left because the area was becoming an unpleasant place to live.
I had problems with new neighbours who left their property to deteriorate, and was worried that as others followed suit house prices would be affected.
As it was I did struggle to sell my home and got nowhere near the asking price, and I suspect that was because of the surrounding properties.
I visited an old neighbour in the area recently and noticed all the litter lying in the streets, and yes, Back Brunswick Street is an absolute tip!
It’s a great shame because Westborough used to be a desirable and safe part of Dewsbury to live, but not any more, in my opinion.
Unit closures are not good enough
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
Shocking new figures show the deep damage done to the health service by Tory austerity.
Some 44 per cent of hospital trusts responding to Freedom of Information requests said they had turned away pregnant women due to lack of resources, and the crisis appears to be intensifying.
Across England, hospitals said they had temporarily closed their maternity wards to new admissions 382 times last year, this is not good enough.
You can’t overturn Kirklees decisions
From: James Roberts, Scholes, Cleckheaton
First rant: I read in your paper that the Batley Tennis Centre continuation is in doubt and the hallowed Graham Turner – who is classed as responsible for asset strategy and resources – states that “Any decision will take into account the impact on the health and well-being of our residents.”
It’s a great shame that he didn’t hold the same values when he sat on the council committee that decided to knock down the Whitcliffe Sports Centre.
As to the people who wish to retain the Whitcliffe school building, I wish you all the best but I am afraid that the steamroller called Kirklees will prevail.
Kirklees will state that they have utilised the consultation process. It’s a joke, the decisions are made and you cannot overturn them.
Note: I do hope the new cladding on the new school Lego building has passed the required fire safety standards.
Second rant: Can anyone explain to me what the people do who are placed on community service?
All I read is that some haven’t turned up and are issued with another term. Can I suggest that these people are employed clearing our streets and footpaths of weeds and rubbish.
I know we have street cleaners but they would not be put out of a job because the task is never ending.
Third rant: Kirklees should be ashamed of itself. I have seen signs saying ‘Welcome to Kirklees’. Well, when you leave the Chainbar roundabout on the A58 going to Halifax the central reservation is appalling. If you cannot maintain it Kirklees, concrete it over.
Travelling further up on the other side of the same road the footpaths are badly overgrown, the bushes overhang and nearly force you into the road.
Public weren’t at vital meeting
From: Wendy Senior, Dewsbury
It saddens me to write a letter like this after reading Carly Senior’s positive letter about Dewsbury Hospital.
Yes, if you have a clinic appointment you will not notice the difference at the hospital, it is when you need emergency surgery or A&E.
For intensive care or high dependency care you will be sent to Pinderfields, there will only be prebooked surgery at Dewsbury Hospital in future.
On August 3 there was an extraordinary governing body meeting with Kirklees CCG and Wakefield CCG for recommendations to consider changes to Dewsbury Hospital services.
This is the last part of ‘Meeting the Challenge’, which started with meetings in all areas of Kirklees so the public could share their views on these changes.
I attended most of the meetings which were advertised in local papers so they were well attended by local people, who came along to try to save services at Dewsbury Hospital. I cannot remember anyone supporting these plans.
The extraordinary governing body meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall was not advertised in our local papers but only on the CCG website.
Dr Kelly, chair of North Kirklees CCG, said he was not obliged to advertise the meeting – there were only four people from the public there.
After watching the commemorations to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele on television and also seeing Dunkirk at the cinema and realising what our elderly people went through in those dark days, I feel the elderly should be better looked after in our local hospital, which was paid for by local people.
Over the past few years when ‘Meeting the Challenge’ discussions have been going on I have seen elderly people sent to Pinderfields hospital after being turned away from Dewsbury Hospital as emergency surgery is not available there any more.
I heard yesterday of an elderly lady saying: “Don’t say I have to go to Pinderfields Hospital – I am not going there.”
I have seen over the past six years a massive deterioration to these services. This should not be happening.
The CCG board have not agreed the final changes yet as ambulance services are safely ready for this.
We still have divides in UK
From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge
It is 70 years ago this year that India was partitioned following the British exit.
This triggered the Hindus and Muslims to turn on each other and resulting death toll was two million men women and children butchered.
The world has seen similar civil wars ever since, from Cambodia to Rwanda to Bosnia to name only a few notorious ones.
All conflicts are driven by politicians exploiting the difference and incompatibility between various groupings: ethnic, cultural, religious, political or social.
The UK is not immune from these basic differences.
We have major economic inequality between the haves and have-nots.
London has become, for all intents and purposes, a city state, dependant on cheap foreign workers to service its population. It drains resources and talent from the rest of the country, hence creating the North-South divide.
We have North-South inequality in career opportunity, expectations, life quality and longevity.
We have certain areas of the country where cultural incompatibility is becoming a problem. This being caused by a misguided politically-correct multicultural policy.
We have a polarised political system.
And now we even have the Momentum loons trying to set the young against the baby boomers!
The UK has an economy whose growth is driven by consumer debt.
This is fuelled by banks lending against property values, which, by virtue of this economic model, must increase in value. This precipitates a house price boom.
The rental sector is driven by the selling-off of council houses and the resulting buy-to-let boom.
This has been exacerbated by companies opting out of decent pension schemes, which has driven the better-paid middle class to use buy-to-let as their pension pot.
So, Momentum, escalating house prices and rentals are a result of government policy from both left and right and not some nefarious plan by baby boomers to fleece the young.
Papering over the fractures in society with a mixture of platitudes, rhetoric and new age affirmations rather than tackle head on the root causes is no answer.
This just stokes up deep seated resentment which can easily be turned into violent conflict for political ends.