UNDER Kirklees Council’s latest Local Development Framework (LDF) plan 1,850 houses are to be built at Newsome, mainly on fields running from Newsome Road up to New Laithe Road, from opposite Plantation Drive up to Lady House Lane and from High Lane over to Fanny Moor.
Many local residents seem to be unaware that the two-month consultation is ongoing. This begs the question how can people have their say on such an important issue if they have not been effectively informed?
A cynical view might be that the months of December and January are a good, tactical choice for the council to launch its consultation as many people are otherwise engaged with Christmas and New Year celebrations and not as likely to lodge objections.
One of the few articles I have seen on this matter was in the Examiner on December 1 last year.
In it, Clr Kath Pinnock said: “It’s not necessarily those who shout the loudest who will have the biggest impact’’ and “I hope there’s a measured response and not just a lot of concerns about small areas which people want to keep as they are.’’
I presume she is referring to the many protest groups that sprang up against the thoughtless LDF proposals in 2009 and also to the many letters of concern. Well, Clr Pinnock, we still have the right for free speech in this country – just about, anyway.
People speak out ‘loudly’ because they are angry and indignant about injustices. Silence can be construed as consent.
Green spaces are immeasurably important to our wellbeing, a fact that we might not fully appreciate until they are gone for good. Green spaces delineate village from village and give our communities their identity.
They are an invaluable wild place for our children to play in and develop and, of course, green spaces allow us all to see the beauty of nature at first hand.
Isn’t it ironic that in their Together magazine and other local government publications, Kirklees Council extols the virtues of walking through the very same land they intend to build on?
A trip to Castle Hill ‘with fabulous views for miles around’ might not be so attractive when the panorama includes lowlands crammed with houses.
Believe me, land earmarked at Newsome for development does not constitute a ‘small’ area. The village will provide 18% of the total amount of 9,600 homes for the Huddersfield area.
Some may argue that we do not have the infrastructure in place to support such an increase – 1,850 houses could mean 7,600 more inhabitants. This will not matter. Without green spaces to define us, Newsome will merge with other areas, including the town centre, and then we can all share the existing infrastructure.
Yes, of course we need new housing for the population increase and changes in the way we live and yes, developments will be gradual between 2014 and 2028, but the decision as to where the houses will go is to be made now and once that is done I, for one, doubt if there will be any U-turns.
Are nearly 2,000 houses too many for Newsome? Yes, it certainly is – way too many.
We have until February 6 to make any concerns known to the council. A word of warning, though. If you do venture down to the planning office to view the proposals for yourselves remember it is a zero tolerance area. They will not put up with funny business, especially ‘loud’ protests of any sort!
AFTER reading about poor little Sanam, I felt I must put pen to paper.
I am 86 years old and was adopted at the age of seven by a loving family member. I was taught to go to Sunday School as well as day school, not a social worker in sight.
A member of the NSPCC used to visit periodically to make sure I was being cared for. I think I turned out very good with the help of loving guardians. I have some very good friends and neighbours who visit me regularly.
I feel sorry for social workers these days as they must have a difficult job to perform, but what about the parents?
More dog wardens
DURING the summer Kirklees told us it would soon be imposing fines on all dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.
What I and lots of other people would like to know is why are these pet owners still being allowed to walk away without cleaning up after their dogs?
The filth that is left on our streets and in our parks is disgusting and Kirklees should do something about it.
The problem has got worse and Kirklees should employ more dog wardens. Only 10 out of 444 local councils in England and Wales have poop scoop schemes, yet the cleaning up and disposing of dog mess would virtually eradicate toxocariasis with the added benefit of leaving streets and public places cleaner and more pleasant for all.
So wipe out the dog dirt peril. Over the past three years we have had over 60 children blinded by careless pet owners. We demand to see Kirklees put action into this problem.
Not so cheap skates
I CANNOT understand the thinking behind the decision to provide an ice rink at a cost of about £100,000 for about four weeks when money for the council budget has been drastically reduced.
Although giving much enjoyment to users of the ice rink, I think the money would have been better used trying to save jobs.
Now that it has been dismantled, how much more will it cost to renovate the site? Or are they considering mud-wrestling contests?
As far as income from the venture is concerned, a figure of £70,000 has been quoted for bringing extra trade to the town. Even if correct, the extra money will have gone to multi-national stores and large supermarkets with no benefits to council taxpayers.
PRO-ABORTION MP Chris Bryant launched a Bill in September 2010 to force all schools to teach sex education. This Bill comes up again in February.
I believe this is a critical issue for the sake of our children and grandchildren, for their actual wellbeing as children is at stake.
The anti-life, anti-family lobby is single-minded about sex education. They want to compel all schools to teach young children how to engage in sex and how to get contraception and abortions even without their parents’ consent.
This, at a time when sexual transmitted disease stands at epidemic levels.
The question is, why do they want this in schools when young people can find out these things from magazines or websites?
I am sure it is because hearing the message in a school classroom is a stamp of approval!
The school setting would be giving moral and social approval to immoral, harmful, and deeply anti-social, and even illegal, actions. Children will think these things are all right.
Underage sex, confidential advice services and abortion services are all officially condoned. In this way the anti-life lobby aims to destroy our children’s instinctive sense that sexual relations are special and that nurturing new life is a great responsibility and a great privilege.
Many primary schools are being told that they must use lurid, explicit sex education material like Channel 4 ‘Living to Growing’ videos. Children in secondary schools are being offered a qualification in ‘Sexual Health Awareness.’ Schools may be threatened with losing their Ofsted ‘Healthy School’ status if they resist sex education.
Surely we need to protest the innocence of our young children. They deserve so much better than what is being proposed.
Support in illness
FOR many people there have been indulgences over Christmas – and the New Year is often time to make resolutions to eat more healthily and take more exercise.
For people with diabetes these things are not an option – they have to manage their diet and exercise all the time in order to stay well. We know this can be difficult.
Many Examiner readers will have diabetes and as a charity for people living with diabetes, we have found that many people need support and often feel they do not have enough information to understand and manage their condition. The Insulin Dependant Diabetes Trust’s free January Newsletters for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes contains articles about exercise, diet and carbohydrates and how these can affect the condition, as well as other useful articles.
We are happy to send your readers these publications free of charge in addition to our booklet ‘Understanding Your Diabetes’. We are always here with a listening ear to offer support and understanding.
Readers just need to contact us on 01604 622837, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to IDDT, PO Box 294, Northampton NN1 4XS.
Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust