OH dear! Some of our elected representatives appear to have lost their sense of perspective regarding their fellow citizens.
Consider the Examiner report on the protest by carers and disabled people against proposed cuts in services to vulnerable children and adults.
A group of desperate people, representing many others in similar situations, made their voices heard at Huddersfield Town Hall.Š According to councillors they were “rabble”, “loons’’ and “scaremongers”.
No! They were decent people driven to take desperate measures because of the threats to their health and sanity which any reduction of official support will create for them.
No-one likes to pay more for council services,Šnor to receive less from them, but we cannot avoid the present financial crisis.Š
Nevertheless, no-one will die because kerbside collection of bottles is stopped. No-one will be in physical danger because library services are cut.
It is not scaremongering to point out that the health and sanity of carers and those they look after are at risk if their support is cut.
Councillors who make a living from what used to be selfless public service and who resist any threat to their own financial benefits should beware of calling their fellow citizens “rabble”, “loons’’ or “scaremongers”.
These are the tactics of dictators.Š We should beware councillors who despise the voters who elected them.
Power to the people
I WENT along to Huddersfield Town Hall to join the protest against the cuts planned by Kirklees Council. There was a noisy but good humoured protest outside until 5pm.
The protestors, including myself, went inside the building in the hope of being able to watch the councillors make £31m worth of cuts in spending – cuts that will devastate services for the most vulnerable sections of our society.
Once inside the lobby we were stopped from going upstairs to watch the councillors speak in favour of cuts, by security.
The people of Kirklees should take inspiration from the protests going on in the Middle East.
People power can make a difference and stop these immoral and unnecessary cuts in public spending. The government should chase up the £70 billion in unpaid taxes owed by big business before they start attacking essential services and the living standards of ordinary people.
Dr Dylan Murphy
Cuts are so wrong
KIRKLEES Council voted through the budget cuts. Shame on them!
Do they know who they represented when they did this? They did not represent the majority of people who live in Kirklees.
They bowed to the interests of the rich and powerful and I hope their ‘yes’ vote will remain on their consciences for the rest of their lives.
This vote will mean extra hardship and misery to the poorest and most vulnerable in Kirklees.
They referred to the protest outside as ‘anarchy’.
Those of us outside Huddersfield Town Hall know we will have to resist these cuts all the way because it is clear we cannot rely on our representatives to stand with us.
Our collective resistance locally and nationally is the only way we have to defend against this Tory onslaught on our public services.
This was not anarchy. It was about taking responsible action on behalf of working class people in Kirklees.
This will not be forgotten. It is just a beginning. Those councillors who voted for these cuts showed a lack of intelligence, compassion and forgot what they were there for.
They should have done the decent thing and voted down these cuts.
Their stupidity will not help the economy one jot but it will help the ConDem Government plan to destroy public services.
The watchword is resistance! Get down to London to the TUC Demonstration on March 26. Contact your union for details.
Kirklees save Our Services
I REALLY feel for all the families who care for an adult with disabilities after their hard fought campaign to save the services they so desperately need.
I take no comfort in the fact my daughters left home at 18 to go to university and the only hands-on care I had was to do their washing once a term. I consider myself very lucky.
But I wish the councillors could also feel for the families. What I’ve tried to do when reading the stories in the paper from the families who understand is put myself in their shoes.
I do not have to bathe my adult daughters, I do not need to take them to the toilet or attend to their toilet needs. I don’t have the life-time responsibility for their daily wellbeing. If needed, I would do it all immediately like these families do. But because my daughters are able-bodied then they do those things themselves.
I’ve been heartened to read the stories from all the families because its made me realised that there is a lot of support, but that’s within the families and those who truly understand.
Sadly, the extra support these families need is being taken off them by people who have shown little consideration for the hundreds, if not thousands, of carers.
Why has our council gone to such expense for a consultation, only to go against the needs of the majority?
It shows that the councillors, in fact, have little say over what services the public receive. Either that or they’re too gutless to stand up for the public who they represent.
I hope every one of them hangs their heads in shame at turning their backs on the adults with disabilities and those who care for them.
Collect unpaid tax
KIRKLEES Council is to make drastic cuts to services for the most vulnerable people in the district, ie people with a learning difficulty.
Why does the council not take major steps to collect the millions of pounds in unpaid Council Tax. If they did so, services could be maintained at the present level.
W J Britton
Stop the ‘greed culture’
THE time is long overdue for someone to grasp the nettle and make the cuts where they will have the most effect and affect the fewest people.
The ‘greed culture’ must be removed.
With regard to the Big Society, the too obvious starting point should be the return to unpaid politicians who are there to make decisions when required, not seek out ways of finding full-time employment. Civil servants are employed to do the donkey work.
We need people who know how and have made money to prove how it is done.
During the past 50 or 60 years those in power have abused the percentage pay increases by giving themselves too generous rises, so creating an ever widening gap between highest and lowest paid. These are the ones, particularly in the public sector, who should bear the brunt of the cuts while still being generously rewarded.
The current practice is to look at the lowest paid and say, ‘how can we save half an hour of these workers’ time?’
Looking at the pay triangle, with the chief executive at the top and the lowest paid across the bottom, there are two ways to rectify the problem.
Instead of the present way of reducing the pay of those at the bottom, a slice should be taken from one side, going as far as is necessary to achieve the required result, starting with the Chief Executive and his assistants who are largely responsible for the over expenditure by being overpaid.
In the private sector, if you cannot pay your way, everyone loses their job. The other way is to compress the whole pay triangle so that the overall cost meets the need.
Obviously you cannot wave a magic wand and make these changes overnight.
It will take time, but an immediate start is definitely needed.
With the present pension arrangements, most of the higher paid who might lose their jobs would still be able to retire on above average pensions, even when the pension scheme has been reorganised which it surely must be, along with pay.
It is generally agreed that, as a nation, we have overpaid mainly the higher paid and correction is essential.
Money numbers mean nothing. It is what the money you have will buy that matters, regardless of how much.
The time is long overdue to bring back the sign of yesteryear Made In England with the government providing the incentives to let local councils retake the running of trolley bus services, with the required equipment being home-made.
This would provide a double saving in emissions by taking oil burning buses and many cars off the roads if a sensible service was put in place, at the same time rejuvenating town centres.
Another source of finding employment would be to sort out the water situation by making ways of moving surplus amounts by whatever means, so that flooding is avoided.
Clearing out existing waterways and laying additional drains in vulnerable places would be a worthwhile start.