DR David Hill writes of the Local Development Framework (Mailbag January 6), and makes several salient points. This scheme is based largely on guesstimates which have been overtaken by events.
Whether or not there was any substance to these guesses prior to 2008 is debatable, but Dr Hill makes it clear that the whole issue should be revisited on a current facts basis.
As for the present ‘public consultation’ exercise, which ends on February 6, this is in danger of becoming a farce – the documentation available from Kirklees is fragmentary, vague and contradictory. There is insufficient evidence to allow us to draw proper conclusions.
If the LDF is so flawed as to be unlikely to be fulfilled, as Dr Hill argues, we are left with the question ‘Does it really matter?’
The answer is a resounding yes – even if not a single new house is built or industrial unit started, the LDF will have a massive impact on residents.
For example, in Ashbrow there are provisions for the building of either 800 or 1,000 houses (Kirklees has not yet responded to my pre-Christmas request for clarification) near to Bradley golf course.
If these proposals are endorsed, and before a single house is built, the plans become part of the public record. Prospective purchasers of a house in the Bradley Road/Park Hill/Redwood Drive area will discover these plans during a conveyancer’s search.
Many will then either look elsewhere or demand a large discount on the asking price – disastrous for any would-be seller.
If the Ashbrow plans were actually to go ahead, the effects on residents would be horrendous. Roads would grind to a halt, and education and health facilities would be swamped. Hardly a blueprint for a prosperous future for Ashbrow, and a veritable recipe for disaster for Bradley.
I HAVE read with interest the Examiner debate over the Local Development Framework (LDF).
Now the Christmas period is over it is time to raise public awareness to the fact that on February 6 we pass the deadline for public response to this planning Armageddon of 27,891 new Kirklees homes.
Dr David Hill, prospective candidate for Golcar in May 2011, is among many hundreds of citizens who are totally against the provision of another 400-plus homes for his designated constituency.
Indeed, Lingards had similar 2009 views, with 98% of residents angrily against further village expansion. Meanwhile, our social and economic village infrastructure is crumbling, and if not checked is set to continue, parking alone becoming increasingly problematic.
Needless to say, the further provision of 750-plus homes in Slaithwaite/Linthwaite, more than 800 in Holmfirth, an additional 300-plus in Marsden and so on, cannot be in the public interest.
I urge ALL Kirklees citizens to write to the Council at (LDF) PO Box B 93 Civic Centre 3 and say NO to the building of homes on green belt/green open spaces.
The prudent step would be to keep the status quo – full utilisation of homes/industry on brown belt land and former industrial sites and completion of those projects already planned.
Meanwhile, let true democratic choice decide the LDF outcome. Let’s have a simple Yes/No referendum at the next local elections.
Lingards Community & NHW Association
WE see the tip of the iceberg with the latest revelations regarding our local councillors’ claims.
One thing which was apparent was that once again, Labour councillors were the top spenders/claimants of public money.
Those councillors who went to watch the Huddersfield Giants should hang their heads in shame.
Some true supporters of the Giants were unable to go either because they could not afford or were unable to get tickets – yet we have councillors going for free.
Well, they did not go for free: you and I paid.
They probably thought that it was a perk of the job and they deserved it. Or they used a lame excuse like they were promoting the town.
It is extremely difficult putting into words just how I feel regarding this matter which I see as an abuse of public position. It shows that the freebie culture is endemic throughout politics at every level of government.
Once again it is the general public who are having to tighten their belts. The powers that be have again forgotten why they were elected to office.
They asked us to vote for them because they said they could make a difference. Well as yet I have noticed nothing.
A lot of people in our area are still unable to find work. What is the council’s answer to that problem?
They propose building thousands of homes for these and others who cannot afford a home.
What we really need, of course, is jobs, lower rates/rents for town businesses, and cheaper or free parking to encourage people to come into Huddersfield to shop.
What we get are high business rates/rents, high parking fees, no manufacturing work creation programmes and lame excuses for a crumbling town. It does mean, however, that there will always be money for the councillors’ away-day treats.
Isn’t it good enough for councillors to provide good, reliable, essential services and promote businesses to our town for the people’s future? Is that too much to ask?
R J Bray
IN a recent Examiner report on changes within Community Healthcare Services we were told of an opportunity for a ‘totally patient-focused service’.
Perhaps someone could explain thisŠbitŠof managerial propaganda, or, if it cannot be explained, impose a ban on its use.
JASON McCartney MP should indeed be congratulated for listening to the views of his constituents and voting against his government on the question of tuition fees.
The question now has to be asked as to whether he will hear the voice of those who through no fault of their own are under the threat of losing their jobs through the spending review or those who have had to endure wage cuts and shorter hours through an economic crisis not of their own making.
Is he attuned to those, who in the midst of this inclement winter, risk debt or ill health to heat their homes while the private utility companies profit from their discomfort?
During the election campaign in May I heard him declare that the country was ‘skint’.
Will he now concede that the country is not skint as far as the directors of the banks are concerned or the fattened executive salaries of the NHS and local government, and that big companies who persistently avoid tax demands are doing very well out of the nation’s misery?
Save Our Services
IF I was elected as an independent councillor for Kirklees and decided to hold my ‘party’ conference in Crete, would I be able to claim expenses for sitting on the beach talking to myself?
AFTER a visit to The Great Northern Retail Park on Leeds Road by my wife and three-year-old son on New Year’s Eve, I feel the need to pen a letter of warning to all its present and future customers.
The extensive car park at this retail outlet is managed by UKCPS and, apparently, as soon as you drive in you are entering into a contract with this company (who on their website describe themselves as a ‘totally ethical car parking management service’) with regard to the way you park your car.
Through lack of awareness, we parked in an area that would have restricted a disabled driver from parking next to us. We were there seven minutes.
The penalty charge for this seven minute misdemeanour was £100
(One hundred pounds, for those who think I may have made a typing error).
My indignation was little eased after reading this charge would be reduced to a mere £60 if paid within 14 days.
Now, I am not against car park management or, penalty charges where necessary, as clearly chaos would ensue if a ‘free for all’ was allowed. But please let’s have a penalty that fits the crime.
One hundred pounds is excessive by any standards and seems more to do with raising money than offering a genuine and fair solution to parking problems.
I’d be interested to hear if any of the retailers at this site, or the management/owners of the Great Northern Retail Park are able to justify UKCPS ‘ethical’ approach to parking problems.
At present they are complicit and condoning these business practices by employing them, and it does them no credit.
My meagre protest is never to use this site for my shopping needs again and advise others to do the same, or be extra careful with your parking to avoid an un-budgeted £100 being added to your bill.
Talk to me ...
AN Examiner story on January 5 highlighted the problem that one of your readers was experiencing with her gas supply.
I have every sympathy – I’ve been without gas since Monday, led to believe that someone would come on Tuesday then told ‘possibly’ Wednesday, compounded by electricity failure on Wednesday evening from 5.45pm to 3.30am on Thursday.
I’ve just spent 50 minutes hanging on to get through to United Utilities in an attempt to find out when (if?) I can expect service from them.
During that time I completed the Examiner crosscode and both crosswords but still didn’t manage to speak to anyone.
Whilst I can appreciate their workload, it’s clear that they need to beef-up their customer service and start to communicate with customers as well as making it possible for customers to communicate with them.