Playground politics could run and run...
Letter of the Week: Carol Wagstaff, Dewsbury
When I saw that Kirklees are planning on getting rid of play equipment in The Press last week, I had mixed feelings.
I have a strong feeling that this could be a story that will run and run, as the play strategy is set to take place over the next three years.
Whilst there’s no malice in what Kirklees are doing (who wants to take away swings and slides from kids?!), the fact remains that some communities will feel hard done by if their rickety playground equipment is taken away.
I suspect we’ll have a few ‘Save Our Playground’ groups set up in the next few months, and fair enough, if that’s what communities want to do.
I’m not usually one for supporting the powers that be, as a lot of times they rightly come in for criticism from all sides.
But when you consider the facts of what they’re proposing, it actually makes a lot of sense. Who wants their kids to risk injury or worse on knackered old play equipment?
Kirklees has way more council-run play areas than you’d think, far more than Bradford or Leeds councils have to look after.
And with very little money to do what they want to get done, it makes sense to focus on bigger, more popular playgrounds and make them really attractive places to play.
The smaller play areas will still be places kids can go, there just won’t be old bits of health and safety nightmares for them to come a cropper on.
I’m not a Labour supporter, but in this case I want to say I’m behind what they’re trying to do.
What do I do about this car?
From: Mr J Allott, Dewsbury
By law for a vehicle to be on a public road it must be taxed and insured.
Two years ago this coming May two young males parked a Vauxhall Corsa car on the road opposite where I live.
Since that day the vehicle has never moved nor has anybody been to it.
This vehicle, according to the DVLA is neither taxed or insured.
I have written to the police and the DVLA about this vehicle but never had a reply. I had thought about contacting my local councillors but soon disregarded this because knowing the circumstances they would not want to be involved.
As a last resort I wrote to my MP and to be fair she passed my concerns to the DVLA and they replied to her.
However I am no further forward. In the letter the DVLA state they are serious about tackling vehicle tax evasion but go on to say that when they are notified about an untaxed vehicle on a road it does not guarantee that it will be clamped or removed.
It further says that under the legislation they work under: “This vehicle is not suitable to take enforcement action on. We are unable to disclose the circumstances due to the Data Protection Act.”
However when they are in the area they will put a sticker on it to encourage the keeper to tax the vehicle.
So this vehicle could be here forever.
We are inundated with driving schools in this area and this parked vehicle is used every day of the week for learner drivers to reverse around, they are nearly queing up to use it.
A cynical person could form the opinion that this vehicle was left for that
To rub salt in the wounds a few weeks ago a road sweeper with a cart, who are as rare as a police officer in this area, turned up and cleaned the road under this vehicle and took away sacks of rubbish.
How do I get this vehicle removed lawfully?
The final curtain
From: Anne Jessop, via email
On Saturday night the curtain came down on our production ‘Holiday At Home’, and unfortunately it was the final curtain for our drama group as we know it.
The Ebenezer Methodist Drama Group Hanging Heaton was founded in May 1963 by Mr Eric Giles.
It has continued successfully over the years, led by to a great extent by his daughter Dorothy Cape, Mary Glover and many others.
We have entertained our faithful audiences with many plays, pantomimes, musical halls and even musicals.
Many of Eric Giles’ family have been involved in the group and his granddaughter Allison Pollard directed our last production.
We, as a group have many, many happy memories and hope that our audiences have enjoyed themselves as much as we have.
Hopefully in the future we may be able to re-form in a different guise to continue some kind of local entertainment.
No action over tree removals
From: Name and Address Supplied
A story in the national press last week tells of a man in Dorset fined £1,200, plus £15,000 costs for chopping off 12ft-long branches from an oak tree subject to a Tree Preservation Order, in order to give him more sunlight on his balcony, albeit the tree still stands.
Compare that with total destruction and removal of several TPO-designated trees in a garden in Dewsbury, to make way for a proposed mosque – without even a slap on the wrist from Kirklees Council, let alone enforcement.
What a difference a county makes.