IT was good to see Barry Sheerman and Jason McCartney’s views on the alternative voting system in the Examiner – but I felt both of them were looking at it from the point of view of an MP rather than a voter.
As a voter, I feel that AV would be a vast improvement on ‘first past the post’. Yes, it’s going to need a bit more thought putting all the candidates in order, but it will give us far more power to express what we really want and have this taken into account.
For example, you might want to support a small party but still have a voice if the election comes down to a battle between the main parties. Only AV will allow this.
Just rank the small party first and put your preferred main party above the other main parties. If the small party doesn’t do well, no problem, your vote will be transferred and you’ll still influence the election.
Or, suppose there’s a party you definitely want to keep out. Again, easy – just rank that party below all the other parties and your vote is bound to go against that party whatever else happens.
Or again, suppose you’d like one of the three main parties to win, but you’ve also got a preference between the other two main parties? Same again – impossible with first past the post, dead easy with AV. Just put the three of them in order and if your favourite doesn’t do well you’ll still influence the battle between the other two.
In conclusion, AV will be a big step forward for democracy and should give us a Parliament that reflects voters’ views much more accurately.
I WAS pleasantly surprised to see in Saturday’s Examiner the photograph of High Street Methodist Chapel and also the print of it at Sainsbury’s.
It brought an old memory back. I took wedding photographs for the first time in the centre of Huddersfield as a professional. What’s more, it was the same chapel that the film star James Mason mentioned several times in his memoirs.
It has to be said that the Examiner at that time was like a family of old Huddersfield and, of course, holds the family heirlooms in their archives for us to enjoy.
I QUITE agree with Mr J Croft about the ambulance service and its misuse (Mailbag, December 29).
About eight years ago my sister’s husband had Alzheimer’s. A taxi took him to a home once a month so she could have a rest. As he deteriorated he needed to lie down on the way to the home.
My sister enquired about an ambulance to take him and found it would cost £300 from Scholes to Newsome.
But on Friday and Saturday nights ambulances seem to be lined up in town centres waiting for customers free of charge.
j c ward
Reasons to strike
I WOULD like to comment on the letters that have criticised Kirklees Council workers electing to strike and asking for a reduction in the Council Tax that they pay because they won’t get their services.
What sort of services do they think they will be getting after the loss of thousands of jobs? And how do they think that will effect the local economy?
I would like to point out that the majority of us are frontline service workers just earning a living wage. Some of us are only just financially better off than claiming state benefits. We too pay Council Tax!
Maybe people’s letters should be directed towards the non-payers of Council Tax who have cost us £23m, then no cuts would have to be made.
The result of the ballot showed that a small majority voted for strike action. It shows that it has been a difficult decision for everyone to make. People seem to forget that it wasn’t ordinary working class people like us who caused this large deficit, but the banks and the government.
Now we are facing rises in VAT, fuel duty, inflation, tuition fees and mortgage interest payments. It is about time ordinary people in this country united, not just students, and protest publicly about these deep cuts. That will, after all, mostly affect us ordinary folk.
Kirklees resident and worker
Those UFOs again
I ALSO witnessed the UFOs on New Year’s Day morning. The time was about 12.30am.
Many were travelling over the Dalton area coming from the west. Large orange lanterns I thought and obviously they had been released to celebrate the New Year.
Due to having flu symptoms I had kept off drink that night. Thousands must have seen them – they were quite a display.
As for them being UFOs, which means ‘unidentified flying objects’, well, if you don’t know what they are that is exactly what they were.
As for visitors from outer space, they would rather find somewhere nice and warm to live, rather than freeze to death in Kirklees sub-arctic temperatures.
SKY AT NIGHT
A waste of money
SO the councillors on Kirklees council have got their way and against public opposition have elected to install the crackpot £1m bus lane on Manchester Road at a time of supposedly great economic hardship.
The council will, of course, argue that the money will not come from council coffers but from central government. Well, what difference will it make. It’s still the taxpayer who pays the bill for this useless white elephant and for what gain, just to shave two minutes of a bus journey.
What’s even worse, the bus lane will be in operation 24 hours a day.
It beggars belief that traffic will not be able to use this £1m stretch of road off peak, Sundays or during the night when no buses run at all. Madness! I predict there will be traffic chaos down Chapel Hill when Manchester Road is closed for the construction of the bus lane and also when it is completed traffic will back up onto the ring road making it impossible for buses to access the new bus lane anyway.
I HAVE noted the ‘curse of traffic islands’ letters and stories in the Examiner recently.
It’s all very odd. The council liberally sites traffic islands throughout the borough for, no doubt, road safety reasons, but it apparently finds it impossible to replace light bulbs on these traffic islands or keep them clean and tidy.
So the islands become a traffic hazard (for instance, the A62 to Leeds) as I found to my cost last week on a very dark and foggy night.
Bus pass thanks
I WOULD like to thank the person who handed my bus pass in on January 3 at the Huddersfield Town match at the Galpharm. Once again, a big thank you.