We need to get the basics in order
Letter of the Week: Andrew Barker, Batley
I refer to the letter last week suggesting that The Press focuses too much on the state of Batley and surrounding areas and their decline instead of positive events in the community.
Whilst such events celebrating inclusion and community are superb and to be applauded, I think it’s also handy to be practical and understand the reality of the neighbourhoods we live in, the lack of action from various authorities within those neighbourhoods and equally to be concerned about future direction of our communities at this rate.
Twice in recent weeks I’ve rung West Yorkshire Police to complain about off-road nuisance bikes on the public highway in Batley.
On both occasions I had to wait over 15 minutes to get through.
However, last week took the biscuit.
After waiting 21 minutes to get through to someone I explained the situation to be asked “what exactly would you like the police to do?”.
I asked the call handler to repeat the question to make sure I hadn’t accidentally mis-heard such a ridiculous question, only to be asked again “what would you like the police to do?”.
If I now have to explain the best course of action to the police on how to remove off-road bikes from the roads around here, then I think we’re at a bit of a realisation point in general with the police.
In short, it would appear West Yorkshire Police have now become a liability to themselves and others.
“Do you know their names?”, “how fast are they going?”, “where are they now?” (an attempt at humour by WYP I think given that I had waited 21 minutes to be able to get through to them) were just some of the questions I was asked before being told that it would be passed on for “someone to deal with”.
I won’t hold my breath.
I could list out another several issues to be dealt with by the police and council and I’m sure each reader can do the same from what they see on a daily basis around here – and whilst I’m very much for community events and celebration, we need to get the basics in order first if we stand a chance of actually trying to improve our area for all.
MPs represent the people
From: Mr G Dennis, Birstall
As predicted on numerous previous occasions by myself, the current collapse of the Conservative Party has made a complete mess of the Brexit negotiations.
However, I totally place the blame on all of the self-obsessed UK political parties and in turn their elected MPs who have totally watered down the wishes of the UK people who categorically voted to leave the European Union by a legal referendum.
When will these egotistical MPs realise once and for all that they represent the UK people’s wishes not themselves?
The UK voted to leave the EU and that’s what we need to do and in turn possess the confidence to stand on our own two feet and negotiate all necessary future political/trade deals with the rest of the world so that we can all move forward.
I hope housing bid is denied
From: Harold Laycock, Mirfield
Further to the news that planning consent for the Mirfield 25 project had been granted and that Bellway Homes were once again seeking planning approval for a development on land at Balderstone Hall, Wellhouse Lane/Greenside Road, Mirfield.
As one of the original protestors against both of the proposed schemes, I retained a copy of the planning inspector’s rejection of the scheme at Balderstone Hall.
My objection to this scheme would be on the following grounds:
Traffic and Highways Issues
At the time of the last application, there were approximately 10,000 vehicles a day using the main road between Roberttown and Huddersfield Road at the bottom of Church Lane.
Today there must be considerably more.
The main roads affected are Sunnybank Road commencing at Roberttown, leading on to Greenside Road at Old Bank Corner, Dunbottle Lane down by the Dusty Miller public house leading on to Church Lane and down to the main Huddersfield Road and Wellhouse Lane, which can be entered from Greenside Road by the One Stop Shop is only a narrow country lane, which leads to the top of Shillbank Road.
This road commencing at Roberttown is a convenient route down to the trading estates in Ravensthorpe and Mirfield for traffic entering from the motorways at Birstall and the Brighouse road.
The further complication is that of on-street parking in Greenside Road for the residents who don’t have access to garages.
The complications are further exacerbated by the traffic transporting children to and from local schools in the mornings and afternoons, at which time there is serious road congestion.
There are five schools which either directly or indirectly effect this problem; Crossley Fields, Castle Hall, Mirfield Free Grammar School and Old Bank JI&N.
The resulting problems for residents from inconsiderate and illegal parking would be unacceptable.
Loss of amenity and visual aspect
The community can’t afford to lose vital amenity such as the playing fields at the old Gilder Hall Club.
I played football at under-16 and 18 levels at Gilder Hall and my father built up some very successful teams, such as the one which beat Huddersfield Town Juniors in a knockout cup.
Within the clubhouse there were changing rooms with showers, a woodwork room, a canteen, snooker and table tennis facilities.
The visual aspect would be seriously affected. At the present time there is a much softer landscape, more appealing to the eye.
The overall effect of a continuous hard landscape would be brutalising to the eye.
I just hope that the planning inspector will identify with the inherent problems and reject the Bellway application.
Thanks to the St Mary’s team
From: Peter Moreland, Heckmondwike
Through you may I thank St Mary’s Theatre Group in Batley for putting on a special showing of their recent production, Saturday Night At The Movies, to help raise funds for the refurbishment of Holy Spirit parish room.
A large turnout saw the group on top form, with ageing rockers Steve Walker and Arthur Lockwood who seem to get better with age belting out the hits!
We can learn from the kids
From: Ms A Rawat, Batley
I have just been on a quick visit to Dewsbury Hospital to donate some books and magazines and took the opportunity to look at the children’s art display in the main corridor.
They are based on uniting people and giving love and care.
Each one is wonderful and I was blown away by the imagination put into them.
I particularly loved the one with the planets, but then I moved on to the next one which just got me crying.
It showed our world split in two and there were embroided stitches trying to bring the two together. Oh bless. Who can look at that and not be moved?
Children and young people must be allowed to interact with our adult world a lot more.
Yes, we know the constraining realities but they can perk us up with their freshness and enthusiasm and even bring us new solutions that we never thought of.
Questions that I can’t answer
From: Chris Thorne, Dewsbury
I, and I’m sure many more residents, will be interested in the answers from Kirklees Council regarding the unregulated building work being carried out in people’s back gardens.
My concern is the ‘enforcement officers’ are totally neglecting their duties to protect us from this type of eyesore building work, in fact in my experience the only skills they possess are that of putting concerned people down in a condescending manner.
The meeting is as follows: Monday July 16, from 7pm to 8.30pm (arrival from 6.15pm), Dewsbury Town Hall, Wakefield Old Road, Dewsbury, WF12 8DG.
Our dogs need more protection
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
This summer’s heatwave has lifted my spirits, so hot that I could probably fry an egg on my head!
But it’s no fun for dogs left baking in hot cars, it’s dangerous and if left too long could kill them.
A car can become as hot as an oven, and leaving a window open or parking in the shade doesn’t make much difference either.
Most offenders only get off with a warning because under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act a dog has to die or be taken ill before action can be taken.
The law needs strengthening and we should also introduce signposts in car parks to help dog owners from breaking the law.