Your Letters – Friday, July 26 2019

I hope I have made a difference
Letter of the week: Dr K S Hamid, Ravensthorpe

It is with deep regret and extreme sadness that I have had to close the dental practice at Ravensthorpe. 

I have worked under unfavourable conditions for five years having to partially fund the practice from my own personal finances and unfortunately now, due to circumstances beyond my control I am unable to continue. 

Behind the scenes, I have been extremely active in trying to procure appropriate resources for Ravensthorpe. I have lobbied numerous elected public servants, none of whom have done anything to retain dental services for Ravensthorpe. 

I am unable to comment about the role of NHS England in this matter at this time. 

In 2014, I identified a great need for dentistry in Ravensthorpe and observed a crisis in child dentistry, hence I employed a ubiquitous open-door policy for all children.

I wish all of my 2,666 patients all the best in securing NHS dentistry for the future. 

Please remember to:

• Avoid giving your children sweet juices. This is the single most important contributing factor to child dental care in Ravensthorpe.

• Keep flossing and ensure you have regular check-ups and gum treatment. The damage from gum disease never gets better. 

On a personal note, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to serve the community, many families I have got to know on a personal level.

I hope I have made a difference; not only through providing dental services, but also by having trained five young ladies from the community to become GDC-registered dental nurses. I wish them all the best in their careers.

I am as always available to the community in assisting to try and secure appropriate dental services for Ravensthorpe.


There is no Planet B
From: Caz Goodwill, Cleckheaton

Our children are right – we must halt the destruction of our planet urgently. 

Start with the Kirklees Local Plan – more and more housing built, particularly in the Cleckheaton area. Yes we need housing, but we are human beings, not battery hens.

The density of housing has been increased – this means more houses in the same small space – even the minimum size of rooms has been reduced, so more and more humans are crushed into a reduced area.

Yet here, next to the second busiest motorway in the country (M62), next to the busiest junction (J26, Chain Bar), 298 houses are planned on Merchant Fields.

What about pollution, you may ask? Three people die every day due to asthma-related illness in the UK – let it not be our children or grandchildren!

Kirklees experts tell us the pollution ‘dissipates’ – does it really? 

So why seven miles down the M62, at Ainley Top do we have an area of ‘Air Quality Concern’ and yet not at Chain Bar or Hartshead Moor – just more and more houses to be built?

In the US, artificial trees have been invented to take CO2 out of the atmosphere. Why not have real trees – particularly round all the new housing developments? This would protect the people living there and reduce the carbon footprint in the area. Kirklees planners and planning committees please note!

Section 106 money is another important matter for planners and planning committees. This is money paid by the developers to fund additional education places, recreation spaces and highways alterations required due to the influx of additional people in the new housing.

What a good idea! Apparently a development near Birkenshaw has agreed to pay a considerable sum to the local secondary school – and rightly so.  This must be extended to all housing developments.

The new Whitcliffe Mount secondary school, only two years old, is already apparently too small. What will happen when all the planned new houses are built in the area?

Section 106 money is vital to provide education, recreation and highway facilities for the sake of the long-term health, sustainability and social cohesion of our town.

Section 106 money is not a luxury – it is a necessity and must be agreed with the developer at the point of the planning agreement.

What can YOU do? Email your local councillors, many of whom are on planning committees, and insist on S106 money for the area.

Contact Kirklees’ head of planning and your local MP, also contact the ‘Climate Emergency Working Party’ at Kirklees Council due to report back in September. 

We can save our town but we must act now.


Cut success
From: Judith Greenwood, vice chairperson, Batley Cemetery Support Group

Further to the discussion about the state of Batley Cemetery, visitors will have noticed that the grass has been cut in all areas.

This was done on Wednesday July 17. On Friday July 19, the council’s gardening the team continued the work, cutting and strimming the grass and applying weedkiller in various areas. 

I was advised by the team that it will take at least two cuts to restore order, as some of the hay in the trialled areas is now 3’-4’ high.

The work will continue, to make sure the cemetery is maintained as a traditional burial site.

The council responded to the dismay and anger which many people have expressed on seeing the state of the cemetery.

In fairness to the various departments involved, it is important to remember that this period of letting the grass grow was always going to be a trial: it was never a council policy. If there is one thing which a community needs to be agreed upon, it is the way in which we respect and remember our forebears.


Your say on bus services
From: Sandra Pickles, Mirfield

I write following the letter from Barbara Schiff (The Press, July 19) about the ‘secret’ bus. 

I understand WYCA (Metro) is responsible for bus timetables. In mid-May changes were made to the times of the 261, as well as changes to the route. 

Unfortunately many of the timetables in Mirfield, including the main stop at Ings Grove, weren’t changed. 

The once-an-hour 261 left nine minutes earlier than previously, so people who didn’t know of the changes were missing the bus. 

I notified various people at Metro several times, throughout late May, June and early July, that this needed rectifying. It was eventually changed on July 15, two months later.

Another ‘secret’ bus seems to be the 263. When the 253 was withdrawn, much to the disappointment of many people, Metro funded the 263 service to run once a day on the route served by the missing 253. 

It only runs in school term time, but is still a useful service for people who miss the old 253. I often catch it out of Dewsbury. 

Why then is there no mention of the 263 bus on the timetables along the route? Another of Metro’s errors. 

So many buses have been withdrawn from Mirfield in recent years, we don’t want to lose any more. 

More people would use it if they knew about it. Come on Metro, get your timetables sorted!

Metro now wants to cut out paper timetables and ‘consultations’ are taking place throughout July and August. Again, not very well publicised, but if you look hard enough, you might see a poster in Dewsbury Bus Station. 

There is a drop-in session in Dewsbury Bus Station on August 14 between 10am and 2pm if you want to have your say. This is your chance.


What price democracy?
From: John Sheen, Dewsbury

After recently returning from holiday, I immediately headed for my favourite missed copies of The Press.

Danny’s Ed Lines are always a pleasure, along with the excellent letters from other readers. However, I’d only got to page 3 of the July 12 edition to be, yet again, extremely annoyed at the unbelievable actions of our elected members of Parliament, Paula Sherriff and Tracy Brabin.

What price democracy when the regions represented by these puppets of the undemocratic Labour Party, which voted, overwhelmingly, in the largest turnout in our political history, to leave the European Union see our MPs, unilaterally, deciding to support their southern colleagues in a campaign to remain?

Tracy Brabin actually said: “The Brexit process is in a mess and responsibility for that lies with the Conservative government”.

Yes, I put much of the blame on the Conservative government that betrayed not only the electorate but Brexit negotiators David Davies and Dominic Raab.

Ollie Robbins and his Whitehall mandarins were undermining their efforts by working on the highly unpopular ‘Chequers Plan’. Both committed Brexiteers resigned as the plan was Brexit in name only.

However, Ms Brabin, the total blame rests with an undemocratic parliament that just don’t want to carry out the will of the people who put them there.

Apparently 148 of Labour constituencies voted to leave, against 84 remain. Some 247 Conservative constituencies voted to leave, against 80 remain. Yet, amongst our elected representatives, 248 support leaving the EU against 400 who wish to remain. 

Clearly, MPs are the problem and Labour must share much of the responsibility. Keir Starmer in particular has wanted not only another referendum but ‘remain’ on the ballot paper from day one. MPs from all parties have frustrated the wishes of 17.4 million people who just want you to do the job we pay you for.

Paula Sherriff says she was elected on a pledge not to see a ‘no deal’ exit that would damage the country. 

No, you were elected to support the will of the majority of your constituents to leave the EU, not to campaign for another referendum, or indeed, the opportunity to remain.

I sincerely hope the good people of Dewsbury, Batley and everywhere else in between remember your betrayal and that of a Labour Party that was built on democratic values but has now polarised beyond all recognition.


Merry melody of England
From: Heckmondwike Hector

England swings like a pendulum do

Bobbies on bicycles, two by two

Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben

The rosy-red cheeks of the little children.

These were the lyrics of a nostalgic novelty song sung by Roger Miller in the mid-1960s. 

The merry melody that went with it sprang to mind instantly when I saw two uniformed bobbies cycling through the rush hour traffic in Heckmondwike.

Their presence was a reassurance that anyone up to mischief was likely to be met with the words “ello ello ello, what’s all this then?” And in all probability the unfortunate culprit would end up having their collar felt.

As the bobbies cycled by, a cheery voice called out “good morning Hector.” 

“Good morning Constables,” was my elated reply. Then off they went whistling merrily as they circled round the clock tower.

If you would like the full account of this story along with numerous other fairytales, then don’t forget to pick up a copy of this year’s ‘Hector’s Bumper Book of Fun’.

Where was I? oh yes ‘Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben.’ Great attractions both of them, but mind as you go. Some wailing wannabe might be lurking in the shadows waiting to press a button and disappear in a cloud of smoke.

These nefarious nutcases fantasise about collecting their heavenly pension early and meeting up with the next influx of burka-free beach beauties in so-called paradise. You have to strain the imagination to fathom such absurdities.

Finally in the song, ‘The rosy red cheeks of the little children.’ I won’t even go there.

When I reminisce about England, and the land that was, it is sometimes suggested that I view the past with rose-tinted spectacles. 

Now that makes me curious. Are they similar to the ones worn by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman when he views the present? The answer could be yes when we listen to the views of journalist Mobeen Azhar, who presented the BBC six-part documentary ‘Hometown.’

In talking to a newspaper Mr Azhar relates how he had “been perplexed by the response to Hometown from Barry Sheerman MP.”

The journalist further stated that: “The priority for Barry Sheerman MP and some vocal sections of the Pakistani community has been on ‘reputational damage control’.”

I would like remind Mr Sheerman that you can put icing on a cowpat, but it is still a cowpat. To the Pakistani community, spoken of by Mobeen Azhar, I would like to stress that a community’s reputation is fashioned by its behaviour; not how fast it can wiggle its way out of awkward truths. 

Perhaps we should send Mr Sheerman the front page of The Press, (Friday, July 19) with the headline ‘Under Siege’ with the accompanying report about the destruction of Chickenley. 

For good measure, we could remind Mr Sheerman in the words of Danny Lockwood, (Ed Lines) of how this behaviour is “echoed across towns and cities the length and breadth of the land”.

So where are the police in all this? Many it seems are busy attending ‘equality and diversity’ lectures.

Today, the perceived ‘enemies of the state’ are those who are deemed to be in need of ‘political correction,’ those who are considered to be speaking out of turn.

The objective is to suppress everyone who dissents from the political orthodoxy. Like it or not the Orwellian rattlesnake is slithering its way towards the door.

I was hoping to finish this article in the same humorous way that I began, but I have to scarper very quickly, folks. I have just caught sight of those two bobbies cycling furiously in my direction.

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