Sports centre changes should be embraced
Letter of the Week: Simon Findlay, Liversedge
I read with interest last week your story on the changes due to take place at Batley Sports Centre.
Whilst I understand the tennis club members’ noses being put out of joint at the loss of a couple of courts, do they not see the benefits the wider community could get from the new facilities?
An obstacle course and soft play area could attract new folk to come and use the centre, keeping more people fit and securing the future of the whole place.
What would they rather have – a large number of courts at a sports centre that closes down due to lack of use within two years, or a smaller number of courts at a thriving centre that remains open for the forseeable future?
The changes might even encourage new members to join the tennis club – while their kids romp about on the obstacle course the grown-ups could be serving and volleying on the nearby courts.
Change is often resisted as people fear the unknown, but starting a petition to block what could be a life-saving measure for the sports centre just seems a bit petty to me.
Is it also not a bit selfish to hoard precious community facilities that could be put to better use?
Tennis is a great game and I applaud anyone who wants to get out and keep fit, but come on, the wider population needs this space too!
Parking chaos around schools
From: Mr Walker, Mirfield
The chaos and congestion caused by vehicles waiting for students in the vicinity of Castle Hall School is now dangerous.
Vehicles parking on corners of junctions, often on pavements, blocking residential driveways or just randomly stopping in the middle of the road are now a concern which I think our councillors should not ignore any longer.
The vehicles are not from Mirfield, very few are from Ravensthorpe.
No, the majority of vehicles head back home to Savile Town, Thornhill Lees and as far afield as Batley, Morley and Huddersfield.
I know some of them.
Why are so many students being brought into Mirfield from outlying districts? I can only assume that a lot have managed to wangle an accommodation address within the catchment area.
Our three Kirklees councillors (Conservative) have a cushy humber in a ‘blue’ town, but wait until we start to see another colour at the next election, and I will be here to remind the electorate again and again.
A similar poor parking and headless chicken mentality can also be seen at Crossley Fields School, where Wellhouse and Crossley Lane are made impassable by the ignorance and lack of common decency of out-of-area vehicles.
You’ve got to see it to believe it. Buy some specs and have a look you three, and see what the locals think – not a lot.
Colin was a talented man
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
I thoroughly enjoyed Mike Popplewell’s article and his revelation in The Press, October 6, that Cleckheaton RUFC’s ground was used as the setting for Colin Welland’s TV drama ‘The Wild West Show’ during the 1970s.
Welland may have been a Lancastrian but he loved filming in West Yorkshire.
He used the former Brighton pub in Heckmondwike for some of the scenes in his ‘Play For Today’ TV episode ‘Kisses At Fifty’ in 1973, about a 50-year-old factory worker who leaves his wife of many years for another.
The drama featured the late Liz Dawn, who also played a striking textile worker in ‘Leeds United’ which was also written by Colin Welland and based on the true story of women tailoring workers who went on strike in Leeds in 1970 for equal pay.
It’s only when you hear this news that you realise what a talented writer Colin Welland was, and this was all before he won the Academy Award for his screenplay of Chariots Of Fire.
Fly-tipping is an own goal
From: Anthony Doyle, via email
Having recently moved home and having lots of jobs to do and consequently lots of rubbish to tip, I was left dumbfounded by just what I could not tip at Nab Lane.
No rubble, plaster board, brick, broken tiles, soil, turf!
I think it would be easier to list what can be tipped. Small wonder Kirklees kerbsides look like tips.
It’s an open invitation to flytip! Another own goal, Kirklees Council.
How do they sleep at night?
From: Name and Address Supplied
I congratulate Dr Ashraf for his stance at Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group’s meeting on Wednesday, October 11, when he was the only member of the governing body to refuse to support the Full Business Case for the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary reconfiguration plans.
He explained that GPs and community health services did not have enough staff or resources to take on extra patients that would be created by closing the infirmary and replacing it with a 64-bed site at Acre Mills.
To reduce acute and emergency medical admissions as planned, Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Groups would have to be in the top 25 per cent of CCGs, which Dr Ashraf said was unlikely.
The target is to reduce acute and emergency medical admissions by 3.5-4.5 per cent each year for five years.
But over the last five years Greater Huddersfield’s reduction has only been 1.7 per cent, and Calderdale has increased 0.9 per cent.
Dr Ashraf felt it was “a big risk” to expect GPs and community nurses to be able to pick up the extra workload or have the skills to do so when GPs are leaving in droves, and the plan’s targets were “aspirational” so “not certain”, both in reducing hospital admissions and in the financial forecasts.
I applaud Dr Ashraf and would ask others, who ignored his comments and supported the plans, despite their responsibilities to make sure Kirklees people’s health care needs are met, how they can sleep at night?
How many slip through net?
From: John Kellingworth, Dewsbury
Regarding the letter about Kirklees Planning in last week’s Press.
It appears to me that last week’s letter to the Forum would suggest a complete lack of enforcement on the part of the planning and building regulators.
If so, it seems a little unfair on those who have paid for plans and building control to ensure everything is not only safe but does not impact the immediate locality.
Why is there a planning committee if they don’t serve the local community?
Makes you wonder how many other projects ‘slip through the net’.
A big thank you for concert
From: Bill Robinson, local resident
A concert at Dewsbury Minster last Friday evening freely was given by the choir of Aysgarth School.
The evening was to celebrate the re -ordering of the worship area and to celebrate 10 years since the new organ was installed by Malcolm Spink.
The evening began with everyone joining in song with the hymn Jerusalem, after which the audience sat back and enjoyed a very mixed programme by the choir of 13-year-olds and under.
The highlights of the evening were a solo organ piece, Toccata & Fugue in D Minor BWV565 by Johann Sebastian Bach, played from memory without the aid of printed music by a 13-year-old, a piano solo by a 12-year-old, a solo by a 13-year-old playing the trumpet voluntary and a Pirates of the Caribbean piano solo by a 12-year-old.
It was a wonderful evening of music by a very talented choir and Matthew Atherton, director of music and organist at the school.
It would be only right to thank all those responsible for this special event in the town.