We need Kirklees officials to preserve our towns' history
Letter of the Week: Vivienne Ballico, Berkshire
As someone born in Batley, worked in Dewsbury, lived in Liversedge and now residing in Berkshire, I’m grateful to belong to a Facebook group called Dewsbury Pictures Old and New.
It gives me joy to see some of the photographs the members have kindly posted – it brings back good memories!
However, some of the old photographs of amazing Victorian buildings that the members post are sadly no longer with us, and this sad affair leaves me absolutely incensed!
Batley and Dewsbury were once affluent rich towns and featured amazing and the best Victorian architectures money could buy.
It had stunning and ornate buildings that would have been the envy of London and other major cities in the UK.
Sadly the majority of these stunning old beacons of prosperity have been demolished to make way for utter concrete blocks of ugliness that are not even in keeping with the area and have no pretence of even blending in.
The gems that are still standing have been allowed to crumble, or are just boarded up – it’s heart-breaking.
Systematic handling by clueless councillors and equally clueless town planners have, for over the decades, destroyed the very essence of once-prosperous and beautiful northern towns and they should all be ashamed of themselves.
I even hope some are spinning in their graves! Lack of money could be a feature, but the way I’ve seen the council throwing taxpayers’ money over the years, it makes me conclude that they haven’t a brain cell to share between them.
Can the good people of Dewsbury and Batley please elect public servants that know how to maintain historical towns and to help it regain its regal identity once more?
Also, why are there so many councillors? You can’t throw a stick without hitting one it would seem, and they are on very high salaries – that would explain where some of the money is going I suppose!
I despair that a total wipeout of these buildings, with them being replaced by generic tat (if at all), will only cheapen our towns and bring in nefarious people that will use it for their heinous crimes.
Judging by recent news events, the nefarious people have already leached onto our once beautiful towns and reduced them to havens for criminals and sadness for the good people still living there.
Remember: a prosperous town brings in new prosperous people and their money and investments.
No joined-up thinking in plan
From: David Parry, Mirfield
On Thursday night my wife and I, together with some friends went to the Cooper Bridge upgrade exhibition at Bradley Working Men’s Club.
We arrived 20 minutes before the finish at 7pm. Some of the information had already been packed away and the maps were being removed before we left at 6.55pm.
Looking at the three plans, there appeared to be no improvement planned to help the congestion or the flooding under the railway bridge at Cooper Bridge on the A62.
I was told they were aware of the problem, but the bridge is actually in Calderdale and the problem of flooding is on Network Rail land, “Who are notoriously difficult to deal with”.
Surely it makes more sense to sort a problem the planners are aware of and have been for more than 20 years, before spending millions of pounds on new roads.
I also notice that funding for the project has been granted to improve employment and housing – no mention of helping with congestion.
System failed this children
From: Chris Stoner, Dewsbury
Kirklees once again at the centre of a grooming gang scandal. This time Dewsbury and Batley.
This is a problem that went on for years, with victims being ignored. They complained to social workers, to schools and even to the police, all the time still suffering abuse.
My heart bleeds when I imagine what they went through and only thank god my children are safe – however, enough is enough.
Not only must the perpetrators be brought to justice but so should those who failed the system we trust to protect our children.
The social system in Kirklees let them down. These children deserved more than our children at home. They had already been let down to be in the care system in the first place.
Once in care they should have been protected and given better opportunities than other children.
Our authorities acted as their parents and we should expect those authorities to act as we would with our own children, with love, compassion but most of all an overwhelming desire to protect them from evil.
We need our heroes back
From: Jack Cosgrove, Norristhorpe
Recently my mind has been going back to the golden days of the 60s, never ever to be repeated again.
Although my favourite groups were The Who, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, The Byrds and Fairport Convention, I recall the words of a Rolling Stones/ Chuck Berry song: “A man comes on the radio, telling me more and more of that useless information.”
Never in British history has that been truer than over the last two Brexit years.
The fact that the European Union is in complete turmoil, with countries like Italy, France, Greece, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary totally sick of being ruled by the antics of an unelected, self-seeking rabble wanting to protect their five-star lifestyle, hasn’t been hammered home.
Instead, we see the BBC giving airtime to Remainers like Peter Mandelson, Soubry, Major and Blair.
The likes of Winston Churchill, Guy Fawkes, Maggie Thatcher – where are you when we need you?
Crunch time for Brexit
From: Mr G Dennis, Birstall
As totally anticipated and such an utter disgrace! A crushing Brexit defeat for our stubborn PM, who has been an acknowledged Remain supporter, with total closed eyes and ears despite all the warnings from the country, fellow ministers and advisors.
She has utterly failed to negotiate, almost by her own single hand, an acceptable deal on behalf of the UK, and she therefore must take some responsibility.
By the same token the UK public must not allow the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Vince Cable and Nicola Sturgeon to exert any power over the UK.
Enough is now more than enough for the UK, people. It is now crunch time and it is either a more acceptable deal with the EU or no deal!
MP should put us to the fore
From: Ian Fitton, Liversedge
I have recently discovered that my local MP Tracy Brabin was one of the 200 MPs who signed a letter to Theresa May trying to prevent a No Deal Brexit. At present the UK government is in the process of trying to negotiate a withdrawal from the EU.
The greatest fear for the EU is that the UK will leave with no deal, as this would not only increase pressure on the EU from the European businesses it would also mean a loss of a £39billion leaving payment from the UK.
To inform the EU that the UK will never leave under a No Deal situation will greatly reduce the bargaining power of our negotiators.
Also, the referendum gave a Leave instruction to the British government and any move to undermine this is an attack on British democracy.
Not only did the people vote to Leave, parliament also agreed to ratify Article 50 which stipulates the timeframe on leaving. We also had a general election in which both major parties’ manifestos supported Leave.
All parties and MPs should stop the political infighting and jostling for position and provide the people with the result for which they were promised and which they democratically won the vote for, and on which both major parties fought the last general election on.
So come on Tracy, carry out the promise which your party and your constituents voted for both in the referendum and the general election, put your own and your party’s political manoeuvrings to one side and put the people’s will to the fore and support Brexit.
From: Steven Whitelock, via email
I’m getting my say in before the vote on Tuesday has happened. I have a simple approach to the way in which our MPs decide the outcome.
Consider this: The Referendum result was in favour of leaving. Of the total constituencies in the UK, 270 voted to leave, 129 voted to remain.
Therefore my MP, and all other MPs should vote the way their constituents voted.
This means that the result on Tuesday will be 270 to Leave and 129 to Remain - a majority of 139. See, it is simple.
The difficulty is making MPs see this and accede to the will of the people.
Democracy in action?