Your Letters – Friday November 10, 2017

Has anyone thought about our infrastructure?

Letter of the Week: Lesley Bell, Mirfield

I read with dismay about the plans to build 33,000 homes in our area in the next 15 years, including the 2,300 proposed in the Thornhill Lees, Ravensthorpe and Mirfield development.

Even now, it is almost impossible to get out of our cul-de-sac at school run time, due to the constant stream of cars delivering children to Mirfield schools from Ravensthorpe.

Also, it is equally challenging to get a doctors’ appointment. Just getting through on the phone took me 20 minutes and almost 200 redials on one recent attempt.

In all the articles I have read regarding the housing plans, I have seen absolutely no reference to building a new school, or doctors’ surgery, or hospital. 

On the contrary, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary is under threat of demolition – demolition, and Dewsbury Hospital is being run down, despite the authorities trying to convince us that it is not.

Where are the people who move into these new houses going to get medical care, or education for their children?

Has anyone even thought about it? 

Penny for your thoughts

From: Stephen Cass, Mirfield

Is it just me or have others also come to the conclusion that fewer people than ever are celebrating Bonfire Night? 

I heard about ‘street parties’ in Harehills in Leeds, but closer to home things were much more muted. 

What’s up with folk? Anyone would think they’d forgotten that Bonfire Night is a celebration of the foiling in 1605 of the plot to blow up the Palace of Westminster and everyone in it? 

Or maybe they remember all too well.

But think of all we’d have lost had Guy Fawkes and his gang succeeded. 

For starters, we’d not now be enjoying the latest House of Commons farce, starring absurd randy old goats masquerading as leaders. It’s a real laugh.

Danny Lockwood missed the point in last week’s Ed Lines. Whether or not the accusations/revelations are true or false or exaggerated doesn’t alter the fact that it’s good to watch the political correctness these hypocrites in parliament have forced on the rest of us being the cause of their own downfall.

That’s justice, irony, and hubris all rolled into one.

Roll on the next episode.

24 hours on Turnsteads

From: Name and address supplied

I recently visited a relative on the Turnsteads Estate in Cleckheaton. 

This was my first visit to the area since 2012. I must say, I am stunned at the dramatic deterioration of Turnsteads since I was last there. 

Has some kind of feral community been installed on the estate? 

During my 24-hour visit, I made the following observations: some houses had their windows boarded over – obviously covering glass damage; there were smashed beer bottles on the roads; obnoxiously loud music was blasting out from several of the houses during the day; there were small groups of 20-somethings looking ‘out of it’ and just wandering around; cars were being driven recklessly on the narrow roads by young men; there was even someone yelling obscenities at passers-by from a top floor flat. 

In addition, I saw several men walking the streets with cans of beer, glaring balefully at passing cars. 

On one occasion a 'dirt bike' tore along the tarmac; its rider seemingly unfamiliar with the Highway Code or with the concept of wearing a crash helmet. 

Is Kirklees Council aware of the decline of Turnsteads, or has it been forgotten about? 

Some of the older residents looked quite frightened and depressed as they trudged along through that dismal place. Does Kirklees Council actually expect people to pay rent to live in an area like that? Really? 

Homes for school places

From: Name and address supplied

I have been reading articles in your newspaper regarding vehicles from well outside the Mirfield area blocking off people’s driveways, junctions, pavements etc.

I witness this each day as I am a Mirfield resident.

For obvious reasons I will not name my previous employer. But I worked for an estate agency which operated in the local area and elsewhere.

We offered a local letting service; we had a steady stream of clients wanting short-term property rentals within the area.

That was fine, the client would pay up front, collect the keys and quite often never move in.

I had friends in other estate agents far and near who experienced similar events.

In other words, a registered local address that would then allow the tenant to have access to Mirfield schools for their children via the WF14 postcode.

Not rocket science, just totally dodgy, but not looked into. You could tell our clients were happy, you could see the smile in their eyes.

EU’s food for thought

From: Colin Walshaw, Scholes

In this week of Remembrance, mainly for the fallen in two world wars, maybe it is also appropriate to remind our European partners during a time where it is not politically incorrect to “mention the war” of a number of factors.

These conflicts left the UK with massive post-war debts, not least of which was our American Lend-Lease Bill, which impoverished this country for the rest of the 20th century and possibly is still responsible for much of our current fiscal problems.

During the eight years following 1945, severe rationing was imposed on Britain in order to help feed the war-torn countries of continental Europe, mainly Germany. 

During this period the effect here was far more severe than during the war itself, due to our supplies being redirected.

Further to this we did not receive any post-war reparations from the defeated countries, whilst  German industry was rebuilt with the aid of us and the USA, to become the powerful force it still is.

I suspect many people under 60 are probably unaware of the above.

I doubt these issues are being factored into the negotiations with the EU in respect of their outrageous demands for a £100 billion Brexit separation bill.

I also doubt they are being taught in our schools and Europhile universities.

Further cause indeed for Remembrance?

Smacking ban is ridiculous

From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge

I note that Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland is going to ban smacking, and not surprisingly there are calls from some quarters in the UK to follow suit.

To me this is yet another example of the lefty luvvie slowly ruining our society.

We are told that there are alternatives to the short, sharp, shock of a smack on the legs in order to instill into a child in its formative years, that adults are in charge, and they are not the centre of the universe.

These alternatives consist of the withdrawal of privilege (for the terrible twos?) or isolation from the family group (the withdrawal of love and affection?).

Basically, this is the model for psychological bullying, controlling inmates in prison who have lost the plot and for child grooming.

So who, in their infinite wisdom, decided that psychological manipulation was somehow a better role model for disciplining the majority of children than the short, sharp, shock of the smack?

I suppose the justification for this policy must be the fact that the banning of corporal punishment in schools has seen a vast improvement in child behaviour and discipline. Just ask any teacher.

Or, the lefty luvvies have watched too many reality TV programmes where a Mary Poppins nanny figure is parachuted into a family in order  to control the undisciplined, spoilt, feral child from hell. 

Either way, another do-gooding “not living in the real world” policy.

Just for a change!

Harassment is nothing new

From: Name and address supplied

Re: Danny Lockwood’s comments on sexual harassment. 

This is not new, but trying to sue everyone is. I am aged 82 and worked in a Dewsbury bank for 15 years.

All the men there should be in prison if today’s silliness applied. 

We thought nothing of someone patting our rears as they passed by. 

At least it was a happy office and we all got on laughing and joking and working harder than bank staff appear to do today.

Well said, Danny!

A breath of fresh air

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

I love listening to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ on Sunday morning, presented by Kirsty Young and its wide range of guests and music.

This Sunday was no exception, with guest Phil Scraton, a working class man from Liverpool who progressed from bus conductor to become a professor in criminolgy.

Scraton has acted on behalf of political prisoners and deaths in custody, he has advised the families who have been campaigning over the Hillsborough football disaster as well as offering support to the residents of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.

His choice of music was good too, selecting Gerry and the Pacemakers’ ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, Labi Siffre’s ‘Something Inside So Strong’ and Joan Armatrading’s ‘Love And Affection’.

Phil Scraton is a breath of fresh air at a time when Parliament and accusations against a small proportion of its members are under a cloud.

Our toxic plastic legacy

From: Robert Cowan, Sandal

I am of a sufficient age to have fond memories of long-gone days when local shops operated a deposit refund scheme for glass bottles.

For many children, myself included, the few pennies earned by returning bottles provided a useful supplement to meagre pocket-money. It also involved us, although we did not realise it at the time, in an activity that was a precursor of present-day recycling.

Sadly over the years such refund schemes were abandoned, but their re-introduction and extension to include ubiquitous plastic bottles would go a long way to improving the state of our streets and countryside which are often blighted by litter in general, but plastic food and drink containers in particular.

On a wider scale, even remote Arctic beaches have shockingly been found to be heavily polluted with plastic. 

The damage caused by plastic items to the world’s oceans and its myriad forms of sea life is well-documented by scientists whose research has suggested that by 2050 the ocean will contain more non-degradable plastic by weight than fish. 

As we are all now aware, this toxin-bearing plastic is now finding its way into the food chain.

Is this really a legacy we want to leave for future generations?

There is much that we as individuals can do to improve this lamentable situation, beginning perhaps by trying to rein in our craze for bottled water.

Is much of it really any better than considerably cheaper tap water? But commercial companies too have a vital role to play, especially in reducing the amount of hard plastic used in packaging goods.

The government could also play its part by introducing a tax on the sale of single-use plastic bottles, similar to the very effective levy imposed on plastic carrier bags. 

Another straightforward measure would be the reintroduction of deposit return schemes which would provide a financial incentive for people not to jettison their empty plastic bottles which all too often end up in landfills where they may take centuries to degrade.

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