Your Letters – Friday September 8, 2017

Kirklees have stripped the town centre

Letter of the Week: D Hirst, Dewsbury

I have recently read two items in The Press.

The first one was regarding a group of old Dewsbury Borough residents getting together to bring the town back to its original status. 

I am afraid that if the ‘Royal Family’ in Huddersfield (Kirklees Council) keeps its grip, the chance of that happening is remote.

Kirklees Council is like a swarm of locusts, swarming over Dewsbury at various times over the past years, to strip of its assets. 

Examples are the Town Hall silverware, the Mayor’s regalia, the selling of buildings and even the Yorkshire stone paving slabs.

The next item related to a combined swoop on Dewsbury town centre by various services to stop traffic offences, drug matters, anti-social offences etc.

I was a town beat officer in the 50s and it would never have got that way. 

My armoury was a whistle and a chain, handcuffs and a staff. My biggest protection was respect from the public. 

I had no need to look over my shoulder while giving the drunk and disorderly chap his ‘goodnight kiss’. In many cases it brought a round of applause from the passing public. 

Finally, the cost of rates on the market stalls and shops has driven long-standing stall-holders away and lots of shopkeepers. 

It does not take a genius to understand that an occupied shop with lower rates is better than an empty shop that has no rates to pay. 

If the situation worsens it will only take a strong wind to blow up the piles of dust outside the empty shops and we can rename the town ‘SHANTY TOWN’.

I accept and respect the result

From: Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley & Spen

(In response to Aleks Lukic’s open letter in last week’s Press)

Dear Aleks,

Thank you for contacting me recently about Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Unfortunately, I have no record of receiving correspondence from you regarding the Single Market during the election campaign. 

However, as a candidate yourself, I am sure that you can appreciate that there were several forums in which to highlight issues during the campaign and I hope that you felt that you were listened to.

As you will know, I accept and respect the result of last year’s referendum. 

The Government must now secure a good Brexit deal to safeguard jobs, security, and rights and protections.

You are correct that at the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto that said that ‘freedom of movement will end when we leave the EU’. 

I believe that as part of leaving the European Union, we must leave the Single Market. That’s why, prior to the Summer Recess, I voted for the Labour amendment to the Queen’s Speech that called for the same benefits as the single market because I believe that we must be a partner who benefits from, but is not a member of the EU.

You refer to the recent announcement by my colleague, the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union that it is Labour’s position to seek a time-limited transitional deal on the same basic terms, including in relation to the Single Market, we currently have. 

This is a decision taken in the national interest because it seeks to avoid the economic cliff edge that we would face if we were to leave the EU without a deal in place. 

Put simply, it would allow a transitional period where we amicably arrange our ongoing relationship, thus providing much-needed certainty for British business and consumers. 

We recognise that a transitional arrangement does not deliver all of the changes that we require from the final deal, including with regard to management of migration. 

That is why Labour is clear that the transitional period must be time-limited and that transitional arrangements will not frustrate or reverse the process of leaving the EU. 

It is a sensible and responsible way to protect jobs and the economy and ensure that Britain and the EU reach a mutually beneficial final deal.

Please be assured that, as I have been very clear about, I accept and respect the result of last year’s referendum. Britain will leave the European Union, including the Single Market.

Thank you once again for writing to me. I am always grateful to constituents who take the time to share their views with me. 

• In response Mr Lukic said: “I’d like to thank Tracy for her commitment to leaving the EU’s Single Market, even if not as soon as we would like. 

“Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson said on BBC Newsnight they might still keep us in permanently, and we will need Tracy to stand up for us against any move in that direction.”

It makes sense to improve line now

From: Stephen Bird, Dewsbury

Two things need to happen prior to the electrification of our railway.

1: A new station at Thornhill Lees so we can get on the diverted trains between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester.

2: The line speed upgrades between Stalybridge and Leeds. These major civil engineering projects, on a line with many tunnels, will likely close the line for weeks at a time.

It makes sense to do these upgrades prior to electrification.

We should remember that ‘HS3’ was a rebranding of these upgrades to our existing railway.

The trains don’t need to go faster than 125mph to get between Leeds and Manchester in less than 30 minutes.

Convert some of our empty buildings

From: Colleen Hinchliffe, via email

Dewsbury could be any town in the UK, with people sleeping rough.

We are forever being told we are the fifth richest country, so how come we can house and feed the world but are unable to take care of our own?

Dewsbury, like most towns, has empty shops and buildings. Why then don’t they turn them into bedsits and get them off the streets?

They would then have an address, would be able to access benefits and hopefully find employment.

Is this not something councils and MPs ought to be sorting out, or are they too busy filling in their expenses?

More understanding is needed

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

I listened recently to a radio phone-in where a woman called to say that many years ago she was refused entrance to a grammar school because she was epileptic.

Under the Matrimony Act of 1937 a person could not marry if they suffered with epilepsy because they were not deemed to be of sound mind.

Both cases highlight the discrimination that existed against those with epilepsy.

Over 40 years ago I worked with a woman who had epileptic fits, and it was not a pretty sight to witness one.

There is no cure and in some cases medication is not effective.

In the UK 1,000 people a year die from epilepsy-related causes, many are young and in the prime of their lives.

To understand epilepsy I would like to recommend to your readers a book I borrowed from my local library, called ‘A smell of burning’.

It’s a memoir of epilepsy written by Colin Grant whose teenage brother Christopher was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Many famous people were epileptic including Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Edward Lear, Van Gogh, Lenin, Neil Young and many more and Colin pays tribute to the pioneering doctors who helped give an understanding of how the brain works, and, through the tragic tale of his brother, he considers the effect of epilepsy on his own life.

Beware of some scrapping adverts!

From: D Lodge, Birstall

My Ford Mondeo failed its MOT badly, so I decided to dispose of the car. 

Phoning up adverts that said they’d pay cash for MOT failures, two firms said they could collect the car, but couldn’t give me anything for it because the price of scrap metal had gone down.

A friend of mine, who is a mechanic, said he’d tow the car to a waste trader in Morley. 

Surprise, surprise! We towed it onto the weighbridge and they transferred £145 into my bank account the next day. 

Good result. So beware of some adverts.

Plenty to talk about 

From: Ben Marshall, Liversedge

I would like to comment on three letters in last week’s edition.

1: Mr Appleyard, (I’m sure Mr Lockwood will reply in his own unique way to your views), if Danny’s observations are so disagreeable, dont read The Press! 

However as a keen reader I note Mr Appleyard is a regular writer – this seems odd! 

I do agree with what Danny says generally, he’s the only local to speak up! The ‘Guardian’ hasn’t been ‘local’ for years.

2: Samantha Lloyd-Gray is correct, a terrible shame that a Dewsbury tradition, in particular Baileys, has been left to wrack and ruin, my family have wonderful memories of great food and lovely staff.

3: Finally, Mr McFadden is right regarding speed, Diana’s inept chauffeur and security staff who didn’t notice he was drunk. But certain things don’t sit right to me, like many other high-profile accidents/assassinations.

See the Diana pregnancy stories and amongst many others ‘umbrella man’ on Deeley Plaza, Dallas 22/11/63.

Lack of taxi phone

From: Tony Page, Mirfield

For many years my wife and I have been regular Lidl customers and have just had our first experience of the new store.

We are senior citizens, happily married for over 60 years, but with age there comes disadvantages. 

Mobility is a major problem as driving my own car has not been possible for some time – hence our dependency on taxis.

The old Lidl store, like the Co-op, catered for people like ourselves who rely solely on a taxi service, and both stores provided a free phone service for direct access to the taxi service.

As with many people of our age, we do not have mobile phones and rely solely on being able to order a taxi to get us back home and still allow us to remain independent. 

The new store however, does NOT provide this service which I feel strongly is not fair and a big mistake for people like ourselves who are left in a situation whereby we must either pre-book a taxi to pick us up at a pre-determined time or to request a member of staff or a member of the public to ring up on our behalf.

Come on, Lidl. Look after your loyal and long-standing customers and we, in turn, will patronise your store more often.

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