Your Letters – Friday February 21, 2020

Some bright sparks...

Letter of the Week: Colin Auty, Dewsbury

As I write I am fuming. I took my dog for its evening walk (7.00pm) and as we walked along the pavement (Dewsbury/Ossett border near Leeds Rd end) I noticed an electric power box.

It was the size of a sink unit, torn from its base and laid on its back, doors off and the inside consisting of what looked like fuse boxes (one lit up) and other electric components, along with power cables which went underground, open to the heavens.

If it had been raining on this God knows what could have happened. I collected the doors and put them back on top of the unit making it as safe as possible. 

The danger now was if the wind blew strong enough to pull the unit from the power cables. I went straight home to report it to the police because there was no ID on the unit. 

After automised ballyhoo and what not, I was at a loss – you could report a crime, or as another automated response instructed me, if I had suffered ‘regarding skin colour, religion or gender abuse’ what I had to do. 

But anything dangerous to report like a power unit with volts pushing through it waiting for rain? 

No. So I waited, eventually a voice came through, I told the person why I was ringing and we got somewhere when I said it was a green unit.

He said that sounds like the National Grid – you should ring them.

I almost fell off me chair! 

No, says I, my duty is done, I’m almost 70 years old and time’s precious, I have no idea what or where their number is! I’ve done my community service. I was finally asked the address of said dangerous unit. 

Phone down and a brew. I can really understand why a lot of the public walk on and don’t get involved.

I also realised how police priorities are questionable – had I been reporting a homophobic name-calling I guess a patrol car would have been on the scene in minutes.

Sorry but it’s true – 1,000 volts sticking out of the ground in wet windy weather takes second priority. Wifey asks: “Why bother?”

Because I don’t want anyone hurt!

Population puzzles

From: Derek Cartwright, Batley

Is immigration a bad thing? I do not know. Yet, I expect it to continue as we have skill shortages and want more nurses, doctors, maths teachers and tradesmen for construction.

However, I get concerned when I do not hear the media tell people that the population of England & Wales in 1600 was an estimated 6m and in 1750 7m and 9m in 1801 (first census) and then 32m in 1901 and now over 60 million. 

Yet that previous century saw a lot of people leave this country – indeed a lot of people left here in the last century. 

If we double this in next 100 years where are all these people going to live? 

Where are we going to get the houses from – especially now when we hear there is a shortage of ‘affordable houses’. 

Kirklees left out of pocket

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

I’m glad local people are so pleased with the NHS these days that they voted to elect Conservative MPs in two areas of Kirklees. Perhaps we are a very healthy bunch and don’t need doctors. 

It’s just as well. Instead of the 5,000 extra GPs promised by David Cameron, there are 1,000 fewer than when he promised it, so where the new babies are going, to see a GP, I don’t know. 

NHS bosses who buy services in for us in Kirklees, are still talking about ‘Care Closer to Home’ which was promised in 2013. They find that there’s still not enough of it! They’re discussing plans for the NHS to fund Kirklees Council for social care as well as medical care. 

This is a huge shift in national life. The government used to fund councils to provide social care, but it is now cutting money. 

Next year Kirklees Council is likely to lose £6.5m from what it gets this year. We need to ask our MPs to make the case with their fellow MPs, to get us more money in Kirklees.

A fond farewell

From: Wendy Storey

Re: Mirfield Team Parish Pantomime. I would like to thank everyone who attended our 71st pantomine ‘Rapunzel’ last week which was a sell out every show and a huge success. What a pantomime it was – one of the best ever.

We are a communitybased group and we have all ages from four years to 70 plus involved. Not only performing but painting scenery, wardrobe, tickets, sales, publicity, lighting and helping on show nights. Almost every person is a volunteer. It was especially poignant for me this year as after 20 years of tickling the ivories and being chair of the group for five years I have decided to hang up my panto tights. Oh yes I have!

It has been a difficult decision to make but at 73 I feel now the group needs younger blood and new ideas and we have some very talented people now involved.

I will miss the fun, the camaraderie, the dramas of which there have been many but most of all the people and especially the children.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the 20 years and I wish you all the very best for the future.

Now take us seriously...

From: Cheryl Tyler, chairman  of Save Mirfield

Further to my recent correspondence regarding Granny Lane in Mirfield, after the recent storms, Ciara and Dennis, Save Mirfield and GLAAG decided that they could not give up the fight on Granny Lane. These storms demonstrated the issues that the residents have been trying to get taken seriously for many months.

Everyone by now knows that our concern is with the loss of the flood plain, that the so called plans for drainage may be shown to be ineffective. 

A Planning Advisor at the Environment Agency in a recent letter to a member of GLAAG, said that they would request a condition to ensure no raising of ground levels in Flood Zone 3, which they had been informed would only be in the public open space, in order to “protect people and property from flooding and to prevent the transfer of risk elsewhere”.  

Sadly this is exactly what is actually proposed because contrary to what they were told, the access to the site is in FL3 and it is proposed to raise the ground levels! 

A letter has been sent to the councillors on the Strategic Sub Committee and to the leader of the council Coun Pandor, asking them to take this application back to committee so that it can be reviewed again in the light of recent events and the mistakes that have been made.

This can be done if they are minded to do so because final permissions have not yet been granted. The application was approved at committee with incorrect information. The independent Flood Risk Assessment commissioned by residents pointing out errors was completely ignored.  

Coun Pandor has been quoted recently as saying that he will not let Kirklees residents down – so we need him to show that these were not just empty words. 

This should not be about saving face but doing the right thing. The local elections are coming up in May and Kirklees residents are watching carefully what is happening in Mirfield with interest and with some incredulity that the proposals for this site could have got as far as they have.

Well done to Save Mirfield

From: Brian Watson, Mirfield

Congratulations to Cheryl Tyler and the Save Mirfield group, who time and time again toil away at ridiculous attempts to make Mirfield into a non-eco sustainable urban metropolis.

The latest attempt to save areas around Granny Lane from greedy speculators and planning officials has failed. 

With the USA, China, South America and South East Asia doing little to curb carbon emissions it looks like global temperatures are set to rise further. Eighteen degrees celsius was recorded in Antarctica last week – warmer than Spain at the time. 

Storm Ciara has caused untold damage to businesses and infrastructure in Mirfield once more. Rail travellers were unable to access the station due to flooding. Walls and barriers were knocked over by the sheer volume and force of the mighty Calder. The flood alleviation measures in Hebden Bridge have marred the problem further downstream. It’s evident there’s been no communication between Calderdale and Kirklees – it seems  more a case of ‘I’m alright Jack’. 

I urge one of our three local Conservative councillors to rip the door off its hinges at Mark Eastwood’s office and drag him screaming all the way from London to take another look. 

Yes his boss (Boris) wants to build more houses, but that doesn’t mean they have to be built in areas prone to flooding. 

Come on you politically motivated planners! History tells of great mistakes, we have to learn from them. Have another look, Mr Eastwood etc.

Planning for accidents

From: S Crossley, Hanging Heaton

Not only should our MP get Kirklees Council to have another look at their decision to build on the flood plain in Mirfield. He should look into planning granted to the east of High Street, Hanging Heaton.

To build an estate which exits on to an already hazardous bend shows how little caring and awareness councillors have for people, especially the children.

We now find this was granted 12 months ago but has only just come to light with the land going up for sale – and we wonder why was it kept quiet.

Over recent years we have seen the traffic on High Street steadily increase as the traffic on Grange Road increases. High Street has become a notorious rat run with at least three serious accidents in the last 18 months.

To create a situation where traffic coming round a blind bend confronts traffic pulling out from a junction asks for trouble. This has been passed and it shows how much our councillors think of the people they represent.

It seems councillors are keen to reap rewards from building on every blade of grass possible instead of acting responsibly. They’re acting like a gang of land grabbing cattle barons from a John Wayne movie.

If these developments are allowed to go ahead any mishaps which might happen  will solely be down to Kirklees Council.

Finding where to clear the air

From: Colin Walshaw, Scholes

Re: The religion of The Thermageddonites.

I look forward to Fridays, mainly due to the publication of Ed Lines. They always make me smile and sometimes, as per last week, laugh out loud.

Don’t worry Danny, we “vile apocalypse deniers” are not alone, you just need to know where to look.

I suggest anyone with eco-anxiety look on line for the alternative view.

“The Great Global Warming Swindle” is still available on YouTube, this was made some years ago on Channel 4, but it still covers the major issues. 

More recently access to the web pages ‘wattsupwiththat’, ‘clintel’ (Climate Intelligence Foundation), ‘thegwpf.org’ (Global Warming Policy Foundation), and ‘The Heartland Institute’ are all very informative, but beware, they can be addictive.

I love the quote from The Times, November 19th 2019, from ‘Saint’ Sir David Attenborough. 

“The mathematics of what the dangers are going to be are something that I am not capable of doing, and I take what other people tell me. I am not a climate scientist.”

Well I wish he would stop banging on about it. This, from the man who is the architect of Greta Thunberg’s fallacies. Apparently, she believes every word Attenborough utters and sees him as some sort of Messiah (as do some here). 

His misleading pictures of starving polar bears, has been discredited by the photographer as being ones of a probably cancerous animal (they like us die of natural causes). Attenborough does the voice overs and had never questioned his sources, neither has Greta. 

Both are out of touch with what is really happening in the Arctic, Polar bears are thriving and some Canadians are culling the growing numbers. 

Attenborough is no better informed than poor 17-year-old autistic Greta, who is now being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

As far as CO2 is concerned, our atmosphere is made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% Argon, some trace gases and only 0.04% Carbon Dioxide (CO2), the gas most often blamed by alarmists for the supposedly ‘existential’ climate change threat. 

There is no way that this minuscule volume of life-giving gas (the only reason along with oxygen, we can inhabit the Earth) is a threat to life as we know it today. The Earth is growing greener because of increased CO2.

So-called climate scientists ignore the real existential factors of clouds, ocean currents, solar effects, etc, mainly because they cannot accurately predict them, so they concentrate on something they can measure – CO2 concentrations.

There is no climate emergency. I just hope I live long enough to say “I told you so”. 

Thanks to MP Brabin

From: Dave Wood, by email

Perhaps I am now a moaning, miserable old g*t? For so long now I have despaired at the service companies and organisations give me. 

Customer care? Now there’s a laugh. Signs abound telling us they will not accept any behaviour or tolerate any action THEY consider bad. What about us, the clients – the customers keeping the company and staff working? Ah well, as I say put it down to my age! 

A little while back I had HMRC after me for what they said was unpaid tax. Despite several communications we were still at loggerheads and getting absolutely nowhere. 

So I turned to the office of our MP who took the matter up, resulting in a letter from the tax people informing me the matter was sorted. 

Also Ms Brabin MP, with her hard-working staff, have more recently helped family members and very quickly replied to their request for assistance. 

I’m currently reading ‘A Yorkshire lass at the court of Thatcher’ written by a former MP, and an excellent one at that, Mrs Elizabeth Peacock. It has opened my eyes to many aspects of the life and work of our MPs. 

I have always wanted our MP numbers halved, and also our councillors, but reading this book makes me grudgingly accept there is more to the roles than I want to give credit. So thank you Ms Brabin and your colleagues. As I say, put it down to my age!

Closing cop shop criminal

From: Janet Stewart, Birstall

I can’t understand why our police station is being sold off in light of what has gone on in Batley over the last few years. 

Jo Cox; the body found in the bank; the old bank getting blown up; people being assaulted and all the ‘wacky backy’ factories around here. It’s just not on. When our council tax bills come through we shouldn’t have to pay for the police because we don’t have any in our area! 

How can those who run Kirklees Council (the worst in the country in my opinion) agree to close a police station in any town centre? And why have the police agreed when Batley covers such a big area?

What they should have done is close Kirklees police station in Huddersfield – nine miles away from us. They don’t have a clue what goes on in Batley. I think it’s a case of you scratch our back and we’ll scratch yours. There’s something fishy going on. 

Any drastic crime that happens from hereon in is on their head. The Government have allocated more money to the police and we haven’t got any. 

We need to get out of Kirklees and run our own towns. Batley and Dewsbury were once great places. 

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