Your Letters – Friday May 11, 2018

I’ll continue to fight for change

Letter of the Week: Aleks Lukic, leader, Dewsbury Borough Independents

I would like to thank everybody who supported the Dewsbury Borough Independents at the local elections, we had an impressive first result with over 1,000 votes across Dewsbury East and South.

Our Labour councillors now have a majority in Kirklees, but things will not change for the better.

They have chosen a new Leader who admits he will promote people based on ethnicity or gender rather than ability, so it will be business as usual for Dewsbury and we will only get the crumbs from the table.

I understand that Mark Eastwood will no longer be standing as a candidate in Dewsbury East. 

We have had our personal differences in recent weeks, but I would like to highlight the vast effort he has put in over the years both on local issues and when we campaigned together for Brexit. 

The Conservatives have a difficult task ahead finding someone to fill his shoes.

We will continue to grow our campaign on local concerns over the coming months, with a bigger team fighting for change in Dewsbury.

If any readers would like to be involved then they can write to me at Aleks@AleksLukic.co.uk.


Thanks for your support

From: Coun Mahmood Akhtar (Lab, Batley East)

I am writing to thank everyone who voted for me in last week’s local elections.

The result in Batley East was excellent.

It’s a real privilege and pleasure to be able to represent your interests in such a remarkable town like Batley for a further four years.

The results are a clear warning to the Conservative government that they need to have a serious re-think about their cuts to public services.

The next four years will be very challenging as we will face further cuts by central government, despite having already cut £197million from our budget.

Finally I’d like to thank all of the people involved in my election campaign to get me re-elected.

I would also like to thank my election agent, Coun Shabir Pandor, who has been with me in fighting campaigns for Batley East and its residents for many years.

As always, if you have any local issues or questions, you can contact me on 07528 988810 or email me at mahmood.akhtar@kirklees.gov.uk.


Taking some time to think

From: Mark Eastwood, Dewsbury

I am writing to say a big thank you to all those who voted Conservative at last Thursday’s local elections in Dewsbury East. 

To receive 1,437 votes and only fall short by 463, in what has always been considered a safe Labour seat, was a remarkable achievement and something I’m immensely proud of.

During the election campaign we had a small but dedicated team of volunteers helping in all parts of the ward and again I’d like to thank them for their passion and enthusiasm in trying to help me gain the seat.

Congratulations must also go out to my Labour opponent, Coun Cathy Scott, who ran a very efficient and positive campaign. 

Although we differ politically, I’ve always found her to be friendly and respectful, which is very important particularly at a time when politics seems to be coming more personal and divisive. 

Following the result and the sheer intensity of the campaign, it is now time for me to reflect on whether to continue the fight in Dewsbury East, and with this in mind, I intend to spend more time with my family who have been so supportive in my absence whilst out pounding the streets over the last 12 months.

Whatever my decision, I can reassure the residents of Chidswell and Shaw Cross that I shall continue as chairman of the Chidswell Action Group in the battle to protect unspoilt countryside and green belt against Labour-controlled Kirklees Council, the church landowners and the greedy developers hovering like vultures over the site. 

As a Leave campaigner and chairman of Dewsbury Conservatives, I shall also continue to pressure the Conservative government to respect the will of the people and follow through on what the overwhelming majority of people in Dewsbury voted for in the EU referendum.

Thanks again for all your support.


I’ll work as hard as I can

From: Coun Mumtaz Hussain (Lab, Dewsbury West)

I would like to thank the Dewsbury West community for voting for me in the local elections, and putting their trust in me since 2006.

I would also like to thank my members and supporters for all their hard work and help.

Thank you once again, I will continue to work to the best of my ability in the interest of my ward and Kirklees Council.


Hustings would be a great idea

From: Garry Kitchin, Pirate Party UK candidate for Batley West

I am writing to congratulate Coun Gwen Lowe on her win on May 3 in Batley West.

Gwen has been a long-standing councillor for Batley West, and I know she will continue her work on behalf of its residents with the passion and dedication she always gives.

It was the first time the Pirate Party had stood in Kirklees, and while I couldn’t get round the whole ward, in the areas I did I got a good response. 

I personally thank everyone who put their trust and me, and voted Pirate Party for the first time. 

I certainly hope to build on this first foray in future years.

Additionally, I would like to thank all the candidates as a group for a positive campaign. 

Every candidate was committed to representing local people, offered a positive manifesto, and this created the sort of campaign atmosphere that local politics should be about.

I am convinced whichever candidate had come out the winner would have served Batley West well.

We did have an online hustings on Twitter, and it was a great success. 

Good questions were asked, and both electors and candidates enjoyed the experience. 

I am firmly of the view that in future elections, a proper hustings should be arranged. 

They are a fantastic way to see each candidate more fully that 200 words on a leaflet could ever allow.


Remarkable Ann Ellis

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

This year we remember the 100th anniversary of the women who won the right to vote.

One local woman who seems to be overlooked is Ann Ellis, a power loom weaver born in Batley in 1875 who was involved in a hive of women’s suffrage activity.

She campaigned and protested for women’s right throughout her life.

She held cottage meetings to organise women and strikes, protested against the Factory Act and was involved in establishing several women’s trade union league branches in Yorkshire as well as lobbying the government for the vote.

A remarkable woman!


They should be ashamed

From: Denise Smith, Dewsbury

Litter has been a problem in Westborough for some time; but the items of litter seem to be growing in size.

On Clarke Street for example, there is a large sofa in one front garden and an expanse of carpet in another.

I spotted them a few months ago and assumed that they were waiting for council collection, although the back garden would have been more appropriate.

However, several months later they are still in situ. If these houses are rented the landlord should be making the tenants remove these eyesores; and if the houses are owner-occupied then the householders should be ashamed. 

Not only are they reducing the value of the surrounding properties, they are also reducing the value of their own biggest asset; which makes them not just selfish but also very stupid ... which seems to be the main characteristic of many people in Kirklees at the moment where litter is concerned.


My thoughts on actor’s opinion

From: John Jennings, Dewsbury

So the other ‘local paper’ has promoted the views of Sir Patrick Stewart in which he suggests that there should be another vote on Brexit. 

He even suggests that a fictional character from one of his films would vote Remain. One needs to be in showbusiness to understand such a theory.

Not only did The Reporter make his opinions known in an article thet also published a letter from him in the same issue pleading the same Remain cause.

Sir Patrick should, or ought, to know that the British public were led to believe that we were joining a free trade area, not a federal Europe.

We abandoned our Commonwealth links and were further inveigled into closer ties with the Brussels conspirators by successive British politicians.

I am constantly told that the ‘intellectual liberal elite’ are promoting Remain, ignoring the will of the majority of the British people. 

One is surprised that The Reporter should be associating itself with such a movement.

I know a number of people with the highest possible IQs who have more experience of life in general and in dealing with Europe than the individual in question and yet voted Leave.

All existing problems could be solved by reverting to a free trade area, what we were led to believe originally.

It is the EU negotiators that are preventing such an outcome and I believe they will regret such intransigence.

We are told that Europe is our biggest market when about 90 per cent of those countries are bankrupt. Perhaps we should be allowed to trade elsewhere.


Hardly heavenly prices

From: Mel Sullivan, Mirfield

Last week we took some visiting friends to York. They were looking forward to seeing the Minster and the view from the ramparts over the city, when they found that it would cost them £10 each and another £5 each to go ‘up above’. They gave it a miss!

At the weekend, I mentioned it to a friend who was visiting Canterbury at the same time that we were in York.

They said they were asked £23 for two to enter the cathedral.

What is the CofE thinking? If they charged £2.50 each they would have 10 times the income!

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