Your Letters – Friday May 4, 2018

Policing problem not solved

Letter of the Week: Anthony Doyle, via email

Reading your piece last week following David Exley’s letter to the Kirklees police chief.

Do the police chiefs think one constable and three volunteers are going to be the answer to the plethora of crime and anti-social behaviour plaguing our town?

We had more police in Birstall in the 60s when Birstall was just a village.

Can anyone say they have seen anything of these ‘officers’?

It is simply not good enough to say manpower has been deployed, as the deployment is ineffective.

It is like saying I will buy you a Rolls Royce but only giving you enough to buy a Mini!

The truth of the matter is West Yorkshire Police are not making us feel safe and are not protecting our property.

If the police chiefs were in business they would be watching their backs waiting for the tap on the shoulder and the visit to the MD’s office.

Too many cuts, too many police stations closed, too long to attend incidents if at all, time for a rethink. Pretending never helped anyone.

Voting must prove it?

From: Harry Smithson, via email

Perhaps I am missing something, but have the offspring of immigrants who came here as Commonwealth citizens in the Windrush years been accepted onto the electoral roll?

Or is this something that has been completely overlooked by the Government and the opposition?

I cannot imagine that all these complainants have not been able to vote as British subjects for the last 40 or so years without realising that their citizenship had not been recognised.

Back and forth with my MP

From: Paul Goldthorpe, Batley

At the beginning of April I wrote to your newspaper expressing concern about a lack of response from the member of parliament for Batley & Spen regarding a planning development in Batley. The Press got in touch with Ms Brabin, who stated that if I re-wrote to her, she would ensure a response was forthcoming. 

I have re-written to Ms Brabin, and as of this moment I have received no form of communication. 

This is the third time I have tried to communicate by letter with the member of parliament for Batley & Spen. 

If Ms Brabin finds it easier, then I am quite happy for her to print a response in your newspaper to the proposed planning development of houses on Lady Ann Road in Batley.

I am sure the residents that live here and on Primrose Hill would appreciate Ms Brabin’s input on a planning development that is going to have a significant effect on this part of Batley, along with the neighbouring parts of Soothill Lane.

• A spokesman for the office of Tracy Brabin MP replied: “Thank you for resending your letter to the constituency office. We received your letter dated April 18 on Monday April 23 and a response was sent out earlier this week.

“Please contact my office on 01924 900036 if you do not receive this response in the next couple of days.

“Thank you again for sending your concerns to me and please do not hesitate to contact me again in the future if you need any further assistance.”

Support our prickly friends

From: Ruth Yates, Gomersal

It’s Hedgehog Awareness Week, from May 6 to May 12. 

Hedgehog numbers are dropping because of many issues including loss of habitat, and the use of pesticides. 

Those who have been fortunate enough to survive the long, hard winter in hibernation are emerging and will have lost weight.

Please consider putting out food (meaty cat or dog tinned food or biscuits, peanuts) and a shallow bowl of fresh water. 

This will help enormously and get them fattened up and ready to mate and swell their numbers!

But there is another hazard facing our hedgehogs known as the ‘A24Trap’. The trap is used in New Zealand to kill hedgehogs which are non-native and considered to be a pest. 

The trap is now being sold, unaltered in this country where it can kill 24 times without the need for checking or replacing the CO2 canister (hence its name).

A petition was started last year to persuade DEFRA to withdraw approval for this trap but was cancelled (with 29,613 names already on it) when the General Election was announced. 

All signatures were declared void. If you care about our prickly friends, please look for more information on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s website and consider signing the petition yourself.

100,000 signatures received by June 1 will mean there is a good chance it will be debated in parliament. 

You may also write to your MP or to DEFRA (Dr Therese Coffrey, DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, LONDON SW1P 3JR) asking them to withdraw approval for the trap.

Please do all you can to support our iconic, prickly little animals.

Parking row a victory for common sense

From: Carol Curtis, Liversedge

After learning of my concerns about the rumours going around that our local council was planning to introduce parking charges in places where there were none, Tom Kowalski, the local Labour Party candidate for Cleckheaton had the courtesy to contact me on the matter.

He reassured me that the council is not intending to do that as it may adversely affect trade and business in the area. 

I view this as a victory for common sense and a desire to do what is best for our community, despite austerity cuts.

The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has this week resigned for “inadvertently” misleading parliament. This may or may not be another phrase for being dishonest.

However, the local candidates in Cleckheaton, Gomersal and other local towns who have perpetuated the myths of local parking charges in their election literature are not about to resign. They have not been elected yet. 

We need to let them know that we reward honesty and do not reward misleading information (inadvertently or deliberately given) by the way we vote in the council elections.

‘Creep’ composer was a real local hero

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

While I may share some of the political views of singer Billy Bragg, I don’t have the same affection for his vocals!

However, he has written a well-researched book called ‘Roots, Radicals and Rockers’, which covers 1950s music with the emergence of jazz, big bands, skiffle and rock & roll.

One of the great big band leaders of the time, acknowledged by Bragg, was Liversedge-born Ken Mackintosh.

He played with the likes of Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Matt Munro and also composed his own music such as ‘The Creep’ which hit the charts in 1954.

Teddy boys were associated with rock & roll, but before Bill Haley and the Comets had been heard of in the UK, they were smooching with their girlfriends to slow dance music.

The popularity of ‘The Creep’ gave the Teds’ crepe-soled shoes the nickname of creepers.

In the Britain of the early 1950s dancing was strictly ballroom.

Ken Mackintosh died in 2005 and had he lived he would have celebrated his 100th birthday next year.

His contribution to music was enormous and he is honoured by the Spen Valley Civic Society’s Fame Trail plaque number nine near the home where he was born on Halifax Road, in the Millbridge area of Liversedge.

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