Your Letters – Friday May 18, 2018

Credit where it’s due to NHS

Letter of the Week: Mrs D Aspinall, Westborough

We often read and hear about people who have had bad experiences in the NHS, but I would like to praise the staff at the local hospitals for my treatment.

I had a planned operation which had to be cancelled with the problems over Christmas, but I was seen within three weeks and had my procedure at Pontefract General Hospital.

My follow-up appointments were at Pinderfields and I cannot fault the care and the treatment I received from absolutely everyone.

When I was home and recuperating I got a call from Dewsbury Hospital on the Friday for a follow-up appointment on the Monday.

I just think it is important to give credit where it’s due for the professionalism and care of our health service staff.

Two schools, two outcomes

From: ‘Concerned Cleckheatoner’

Whitcliffe Mount Foundation Building is mentioned as being of architectural significance by Nikolaus Pevsner in the architectural guide ‘Yorkshire West Riding’ (2017) and was built by a well-known Edwardian architect who had many buildings listed.

Wyke Manor is a former school built in the 1960s, now demolished. Both towns now have much-needed new schools – shown in the third and fourth pictures. 

We know that buildings do not make a school, but most teachers say that good facilities do help with achievement and ethos of the school.

Another difference between the schools, apart from the obvious, is that Appleton Academy has a sixth form.

Whitcliffe Mount school has not had a sixth form for a number of years. You may be parents or grandparents of children who have had to struggle to the sixth form colleges at the other side of Huddersfield at your own expense, or go to other sixth forms or colleges outside the town.

Often with a significant journey on several buses at the start of the school day, it is hardly motivating for our young people.

Free buses seem to be discontinued after the first two weeks of the first term.

The people of Cleckheaton area also sacrificed their much-loved sports centre for the new school. Sports facilities have been built for both new schools, the difference is that Appleton Academy opens up and rents out sports facilities to the local community outside school hours.  Many schools up and down the country do the same, Whitcliffe Mount does not.

This letter is meant to present the facts and it is for the reader to draw their own conclusions but it would be very interesting to hear from the head teacher, the governors and trustees of Whitcliffe Mount.

It is also worth mentioning that Whitcliffe Mount’s new school is funded via PFI (private finance initiative), which means the people of the area are paying for the school for the next 25 years.

How did they do it again?

From: Phil Haley, Liversedge

Thanks for the thanks, Coun Mahmood and Hussain. It wasn’t really necessary, but it’s there! 

Not much of a contest for you really though, was it? What I am at a loss to understand are the gains made by the Kirklees Labour Party to allow them to get their hands on the council.

They had a great gimmick, I’ll grant them that, with the £45m lucky find with which to bribe the part of the electorate which gave them those extra seats around Tinseltown, oops sorry, Huddersfield. 

Cultural quarter eh? Whose culture? What about the culture of people outside Huddersfield who can’t actually get access to any because you’ve shut down their libraries etc? 

They can’t organise much as it is, they keep messing around with things like bin collections and the type of waste which can be taken to the disposal areas.

I decided to redecorate the bathroom in my 80-year-old council bungalow, resulting in half of one wall falling down with the deterioration of the plaster and under-render, resulting in around 50 tiles falling off the wall.

But guess what? “You can’t bring them here, ring the council!”

Okay, where does the council take them after they pick them up from me at a cost? 

So why can’t I take them personally to the same place? 

Anyway, I digress! Kirklees Labour Party, which has forever and a day berated successive governments for spending caps, and which can’t manage on the cuts made by this nasty, austere Tory government, can find £45m!

Do Labour voters not realise WHY there are currently budget cuts? Who bankrupted the country in 2008? 

Who left a cheery note to the incoming Chancellor in May 2010 saying ‘Good luck, there’s no money’?

Does it not strike home that as it has taken eight years to put things anywhere near right, there lies a clue to the size of the hole left by The Comrades? 

Not a few quid missing out of the office cookie jar, was it? 

Yet you have handed the further demise of local government to the likes of the above mentioned gents, who won’t give two whistles for your Batleys, Dewsburys, Heckmondwikes and Cleckheatons.

They won’t actually use the brains that they believe they have to think and work for YOU, it will be solely a following of leftist dogma, that which believes that they are owed instead of earning, spending instead of frugality. 

Why be frugal when you can conjure up a £45m bribe every time you need one?

Fly-tipping is so depressing

From: Rita Holmes, via email

I read with interest the letter this week about furniture dumped in Westborough.

I can add a dumped mattress, car seat, toilet pan, freezer and strangest of all, a large pine kitchen table neatly left in the middle of a pavement to the list!

If someone is setting up home on a budget, they can furnish it with cast-offs from Westborough. 

Has anyone not heard of ‘Pass It On’ in Heckmondwike? Anything in good condition will be taken by them for re-sale; and the table at least looked in excellent condition.

This has become a wide-spread problem in all areas since Kirklees started charging for the removal of large items; so people dump them and Kirklees have to remove them eventually anyway.

In the meantime the rest of the residents paying council tax have to put up with the depressing sight of other people’s rubbish.

My dedication will continue

From: Coun Gwen Lowe (Lab, Batley East)

Through your newspaper I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all the residents of Batley West who voted for me in the local elections on May 3.

I would like to thank all our members and supporters for helping and supporting me during yet again a fantastic campaign. 

My particular thanks go to my agent and hard-working ward colleague Coun Shabir Pandor; Mike Williams for being out there with me whatever the weather threw at us; my wonderful husband Ken and family – yes I know, I’ve been a real pain!

For many years I have worked hard for all the residents in Batley West with my wealth of knowledge and experience of this area. 

We’ve already experienced difficult times as a council due to cuts by central government of £197million and the next four years will bring further challenges.

Please be assured that my passion and dedication will continue for you all.

I’m Batley born and bred and I want Batley to flourish and regenerate itself and the quality of life to improve for everyone where we can feel better within a coherent and cohesive community.

Can I just say thank you to Garry Kitchen, the Pirate Party UK candidate, for his kind words.

I always say that despite what political colours we may wear on our sleeves there’s some nice people out there. 

Garry, you are one of those nice guys!

We jolly well do not...

From: Karen Pickard, via email

I have a question – do we actually get good vue for the amount we pay in council tax?

My own answer to this question is definitely no. 

Especially if you live in Dewsbury, Batley or Heckmondwike.

We pay for police, the majority of whom are based in Huddersfield. 

If you see the police in Dewsbury, Batley or Heckmondwike you know they are either lost or on their way to Huddersfield. 

Our bins are emptied every other week if you’re lucky and it’s not a Bank Holiday. 

If your bins are emptied on a Monday and it’s a Bank Holiday, you have to wait a month for the bins to be emptied. 

So you take your rubbish to the tip because if your bin lid doesn’t close, again your bin won’t be emptied, even though due to a Bank Holiday you’ve already waited four weeks for it to be emptied.

So you get to the tip and you have to be registered to use it. This is not an easy or simple process if you are not computer/internet savvy. 

As you enter the area where all the skips are there is a list as long as your arm of things you cannot tip. 

However if you bag this rubbish up the council will send someone out to remove this rubbish, providing the bags don’t burst. There is a charge for each bag they take. You have to pay for mattresses, fridges, and all other soft furnishings. 

Then the council wonders why there is so much fly-tipping in Dewsbury, Batley and Heckmondwike. 

Even people with a Blue Badge have to pay for parking at Dewsbury District Hospital. A minimum of £2 is paid by those who have an appointment or are visiting. 

Those who have children or loved ones who are seriously ill have to pay extortionate amounts to park at a time when paying for parking should not be a worry or a concern. 

Gone are all our local fire stations, so if you are in desperate need of the fire brigade and you live in say, Heckmondwike, tough, you have to wait for them to come from another town. 

Roads – where do you start? Many major or minor roads have large potholes or are sinking where the gasboard has dug it up and not repaired it correctly. 

What is Kirklees’ answer to the poor state of our roads? They send a team out to fill the potholes with some tarmac, which by the following day is no longer filling it but is now at the side of the road ready to be swept up. Which won’t happen because we don’t sweep roads clean any more.

I could go on and on about the state of our towns, but what’s the point, not one of our newly-elected councillors care. 

No-one seems to care that Dewsbury, Batley and Heckmondwike are in a terrible state. Our towns are lawless, crime is rife and we have no police to stop this tidal wave of crime. 

Our streets and roads are full of rubbish and fly-tipping, long with potholes that are increasing at an alarming rate. 

So do we get value for our council tax? No we jolly well do not.

I’ll work for all of our constituents 

From: Coun Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East)

I writing to say a big thank you to all the voters who re-elected me as their councillor to represent Dewsbury East in the local elections held on May 3.

Throughout my campaign residents have taken the time to share with me their ideas, concerns, and aspirations, which I really appreciate.

Kirklees Council faces many challenges in the coming months and years and I now take the responsibility of speaking on their behalf. 

I believe we need to rise above politics to do what is best for Dewsbury, making it once again a place where people of all ages can count on a future.

May I also take this opportunity to thank the other candidates for the fair and honest way they conducted their campaigns, and wish Mark Eastwood all the very best for the future. Despite the different politics he has always been friendly and polite.

Be assured that I will continue to work hard for Dewsbury East and its people, whether they voted for me or not.

Other people’s rubbish

From: H Smithson, via email

Much comment has been made recently regarding fly-tipping.

I am having problems with tipping of a similar nature, but on a smaller scale in Mirfield. 

It appears that one of my neighbours, unknown to me, thinks that it is within their rights to dump excess household litter in my wheelie bin during the night and before the morning collection. 

On several occasions I have had to relieve my bin of household rubbish which is so high that the lid is almost vertical. 

On one occasion they filled my green bin with polystyrene packaging which, again, is not recyclable, taken from a flatpack kitchen.

Last week, also in the green bin were the remnants of a party, again rubbish which is nor recyclable, ie beer cans and discarded takaway cartons covered in sauce.

This rubbish filled two bin bags which had to be sorted quickly before the collection.

I only wish to make this complaint, and notice, through your paper as a matter of public concern.

A Kirklees fairy story ends in Huddersfield

From: D Hirst, Dewsbury

It has finally happened. The end of the rainbow has been found in the Garden of Eden – Huddersfield.

That long sought pot of gold is worth £45million and will be used to refurbish Huddersfield town centre. Surprise, surprise.

Why didn’t the Royal Family (Kirklees Council) start the story of this money with the words ‘once upon a time’ then when they have spent it the story can be finished with ‘they all (emphasis on the all) lived happily ever after’.

Now Dewsbury has its own fairy story. A uniformed police officer has been seen in town, that’s what is called a fairy story.

How to win friends and influence politicians

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

New research shows that over the last five years MPs have enjoyed almost £700,000-worth of luxury flights and hotels paid for by regimes with appalling human rights records.

House of Commons figures show that MPs have had lavish international trips paid for by the governments of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Oman. 

By far the largest spender was the Saudi Arabian dictatorship.

MPs from all parties have taken part, although more than 80 per cent of those participating in the tours were from the Conservative Party.

The regimes spent an average of nearly £4,000 per participant on perks including first and business class flights and five-star hotels.

This is a blatant attempt to win friends and increase their influence in Westminster.

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