Your Letters – Friday November 17, 2017

I think voting age plan is just a cynical ploy

Letter of the Week: R Spreadbury, Liversedge

I note in last week’s Press that our two local MPs have come up with a solution for our dysfunctional, polarised, two-party state which is the result of our first past the post voting system. Wait for it...

To give votes to easily-manipulated naive schoolkids!

This is the politically savvy group who, thanks to Facebook, Google and the National Curriculum, have the individuality of a school of fish.

Who will subscribe to any cause or fad so long as it gets lots of Facebook likes.

Who slavishly follow the recommendations and pronouncements of their favourite media luvvy, pop idol or internet blogger, no matter how outlandishly stupid.

To me, there is a strong argument in raising the voting age back to 21. 

At least by this age, there is a chance that potential voters have experienced something of real life. Where not everyone will like you, and visa versa. 

Where your work colleagues will be a mixed bunch of individuals, from saints to sinners. Who will have a range of abilities, social skills and ages. Who will hold world views not necessary compatible with your own.

In this environment, hopefully, there will be the slow realisation that in order to get by in life, compromises and disappointments have to be faced and an idealistic Utopia cannot be created whilst the world is populated by us flawed humans.

Having said that, this idea could actually be the saviour of our democracy by preventing no more stupid Brexits. 

Or, to an old cynic, just another thinly-disguised ploy to garner more Labour voters of unquestioning loyalty.

Time will tell.

So many near misses

From: Stephen Bird, Dewsbury

RE the Dewsbury town centre crash on page seven of last week’s Press.

The junction of Union Street and Bond Street is dangerous. Many similar collisions have occurred.

Motorists, new to the town centre, miss the give way sign. It is often hidden by parked vehicles. Instead they perceive a narrowing of Union Street and a junction to their right.

Drawn to Union Street’s one-way signs, they drive into the middle of Bond Street – completely oblivious to fast moving traffic to their left.

On the afternoon after the latest crash an estate car drove slowly across in front of me as I was driving up Bond Street.

The driver was looking up Bond Street confused, then continued into the Union Street one-way section.

I was about to turn into the same road so there was no danger of collision. So for each collision there must be many near-misses.

Something needs to be done before a pedestrian is killed at this junction.

The Union Street parking could be moved to the uphill side of the road – forcing motorists to turn right into Bond Street, then left into the narrow one-way section of Union Street. No-one could then miss the give way sign.

A 20mph speed limit within the ring road might help too.

Many thanks for your help

From: Natasha Briggs, Soothill, Batley

After what started as a bad week I would like to offer my sincere thanks to a kind man, Gary, who helped me with my flat tyre at Tesco petrol station last week.

Despite being dressed in a suit and clearly on his way to work, he went out of his way to replace my flat tyre, despite getting dirty in the process. 

From a truly grateful ‘damsel in distress’.

Have you been consulted?

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

At the meeting in public of 11 West Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Brighouse last week, delegates accepted a proposal to ‘help’ potential patients ‘understand’ the ‘relationship between wellbeing and the services in their area’. 

If the present trend continues, which it will, unless the Five-Year Forward View is stopped, there will be no hospital services local to many people. In spite of having to eat food contaminated with plastic, glyphosate and neonicotinoid pesticides or breathe polluted air, the NHS will blame them for their illnesses. 

The ‘healthier choices’ initiative is not about choices in healthcare but about a spurious agenda to withdraw elective surgery from people who smoke or are obese in the first instance and have two eyes in the second, as some areas are already only offering one NHS cataract operation. 

And if you need a medicine which is high cost, forget it. The middle classes with cars will be able to travel within the West Yorkshire area.

Those identified at risk of a stroke will be given drugs to achieve the CCGs’ goal of 100 per cent prevention, says Jo Webster of Wakefield CCG! 

Never mind the risks of drug side-effects. Has Parliament debated this? No! 

Have you been consulted?

Bonfire battle

From: Name and Address Supplied

In response to Mr Stephen Cass’s letter last week, obviously you do not own any pets, I do.

From the moment fireworks are on sale for Bonfire Night to after New Year’s Eve celebrations my dogs are petrified of the loud noises. 

I even have to get sedation from my vet.

My animals are well cared for and kept away from bonfires, but the noise is awful.

Thinking of this, what about animals in fields – horses, cows, sheep and all other small animals outside? 

Think again Mr Cass, before you advocate Bonfire Night celebrations.

What have we got left?

From: Wendy Senior, Dewsbury

I was at Dewsbury Hospital on Friday November 10, and I thought I would ask people how they felt things were going there after the downgrading last month.

I came away from the hospital sad as usual after seeing a quiet emergency department and knowing there were 11 ambulances and an eight-hour wait to be seen at Pinderfields Hospital last week.

I was told ambulances were going to Dewsbury, but it depended on the condition of the patients.

I was talking to someone who told me on the evening before, the engineering and domestic staff services had been sold to a private company and they were worried about what was going to happen.

Dermatology services  were sold off a few years ago to Virgin, and Locala now run part of the emergency department.

After Dewsbury people years ago paying for Dewsbury Infimary to be built and to pay for services, what have we got left? A cottage hospital.

I have written to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, and he says in his letters back to me that it is the  commissioning group who have the money to decide what happens to our hospital, so it is about time after six years of downgrading our hospital they stood down.

Numbers game

From: Michael Stott, Ossett

I refer to Janet Black’s review in The Press last week of Lulu’s show ‘All About The Music’ at Bradford Alhambra. 

I’m afraid the chirpy chanteuse is prone to exaggeration if she really has given the impression that with her brother they wrote a number one hit in America for Tina Turner. 

With input from prolific composer Steve DuBerry they did indeed contribute to ‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’, which ultimately peaked at number nine in 1993 in both Billboard and Cashbox chart data, then the United States’ most influential trade publications, and incidentally rated top 10 status in the UK too.

All very laudable in the world’s biggest market place of course, but most definitely not number one.

Sprinkler cash

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

The Government is to spend £1.3m on sprinkler systems for Parliament as a precaution against fire.

I have no problem with that, but I do object to the government denying thousands of families in UK’s high-rise property’s the right to have sprinkler systems in their buildings.

Independent research has shown that sprinklers are highly effective – extinguishing or containing 99 per cent of cases.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, the government should give the necessary money to local authorities to carry out this vital work.

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