I WONDER how many readers share my disbelief at the recent revelations about Kirklees Council.
Clr Mehboob Khan gets a free ticket to the Cup Final and free travel and refreshments. He claims this is a great opportunity to “promote Huddersfield and attract new investment.’’
Yes, but how much promotion did he do and how much new investment did he actually attract?
It was a good day out, Clr Khan, and that’s all. Why not admit it? Why do we have council chambers if our councillors prefer ‘away days’?
I object to my rates being spent on tea and biscuits in Cleckheaton and hiring rooms elsewhere.
If I wanted to contribute to a political party, I would join one and pay my contributions accordingly and, as for the suggestion that sending Clr Pinnock to Bournemouth is a “cost effective way of getting policy information’’, I despair! Has she never heard of the telephone?
The sad fact is that for all the bluster, Kirklees councillors have not been practising what they preach.
‘Do as I say not as I do’ seems to be the new motto of Kirklees.
As a Yorkshireman I want value for money.
Save on the tea and biscuits and away days and then we might get our bins emptied and roads resurfaced.
Money for public service
WELL, what a surprise. Our councillors are spending ratepayers’ money on party politics (Examiner, January 3).
All three party leaders, Mehboob Khan, Bob Light and Kath Pinnock, think it is right to spend council tax on party politics. I have news for them – it isn’t right.
It is no more right than when Kath Pinnock was spending council cash on Lib/Dem letters and postage. She had to repay the money. How dare they claim that it is ‘good for Kirklees’?
Party conferences attendances should be paid for with party funds and I call upon all such funds to be repaid immediately. How can Clr Khan claim that going to the Cup Final created investment? What investments were made as a result of his trip? Zilch. Pay the money back.
Bob Light, I don’t care how hard your away days are, they are Conservative Party away days. Pay the money back. The same goes to Kath Pinnock – pay the money back.
Green councillor Andrew Cooper states it is wrong for councillors to make such claims but it didn’t stop him claiming £99.10. Pay the money back.
Having been handed over £1m last year to 69 councillors it is high time they started respecting the public who put them on the council.
Council Tax is to pay for public service, nothing more, nothing less.
Finally, another unnamed spokeswoman stated that councillors must produce receipts for costs more than £8. Why do they not produce receipts for every penny spent like everybody else employed within Kirklees? Is it one rule for them and another for everybody else?
As far as I am concerned, the unions have every right to go on strike while such immoral practices are being allowed.
HARD UP AND FED UP
Councillors’ cash claims
THE gall displayed by certain councillors justifying their expense claims is staggering.
How dare they, for instance, use my money to attend party conferences? And do they really think that if they do not personally attend they will have no idea what policies have been decided by conference?
I can think of numerous more cost-effective ways of obtaining such information, Clr Pinnock!
As for ‘away days’, is it necessary to look for premises in Cleckheaton when there is a perfectly suitable venue in Huddersfield? It is known as Huddersfield Town Hall with its council chamber, recently refurbished at great expense, having tatty-looking but no doubt ludicrously expensive individual stations, each with electronic communication devices and sumptuous reclining – yes, reclining – chairs, each costing as much as a sofa.
Calm down over homes
AT last a sensible comment on future housing need and allocation of land for 26,000 new houses (David Griffiths, Jan 3rd).
The numbers are not set in tablets of stone forever, but, as DG points out, are estimates based on the best information currently available.
If changes to the variables mean that more or fewer new houses are required, this will be picked up and the plan reviewed.
Either way, there is no need to fear rapid development in the green belt.
Anyone who takes time to read the consultation document will see that less than 15% of the land for new houses is in the green belt and that it will only be developed if genuinely needed. Green belt is one of the greatest achievements of postwar planning and long may it remain so. However, I don’t believe that the boundaries should never be reviewed or that every square inch of green belt is of equal value and worth defending so let’s have a sensible debate rather than one dominated by nimbyism.
My particular concern is the quality of new development and the provision of adequate infrastructure – school spaces, health and community services, transport and open space – to support it.
Our rugby heroes
I AM currently researching for a forthcoming book which I’m calling Hunter, Cooper, Devery ...Three Fartown Aussies.
The book will be my third, following on from 100 Greats – Huddersfield Rugby League Club and Images of Huddersfield Rugby League Club.
I am hoping supporters who remember the three Australians who played at Fartown from the end of the Second World War to mid-1950s, can provide me with any reminiscences and thoughts while the Australians were with the Huddersfield club.
Their professions during their stay in Huddersfield, notable matches remembered, personal recollections, etc – in fact, anything that cast light on the heady days of that Fartown era.
Supporters can write to me at 66 Bourn View Road, Netherton, Huddersfield, HD4 7JZ, or contact me via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
People who forward me items of interest will be duly acknowledged in the book.
Need for training
IT is only sensible that councillors should seek out and receive training plus information in order to be able to advise individuals or groups in their wards.
A further reason is to develop ideas and systems to benefit the people they represent.
As to what councillors claim, it is a matter for their individual circumstances and ethics to decide.
For myself, I am fortunate in that I do not need to claim.
Clr Roger Battye
I HAVE never been against a man earning a wage but £9 to ride from one end of Scar Lane to the other is taking the Michael.
On New Year’s Eve, Junction One in Golcar to Market Street, Milnsbridge, a journey time of no more than two minutes, gives an earnings possibility of £100 an hour.
At that rate this taxi driver will be able to afford his own security camera.
The Christmas buses
I’D like to thank everyone who helped out on the Green Party’s Boxing Day and New Years Day Bus Services.
Clr Derek Hardcastle drove the Flockton /Grange Moor/Lepton/Huddersfield Service on Boxing Day which attracted over 70 users.
The Berry Brow/ Newsome/Town/Huddersfield Royal Infirmary service attracted over 40 passengers.
Our service run by volunteers has now been going in the Newsome area for the last 18 years and so a special thanks to those who consistently give up some of their holiday to help others get about to the shops and to visit relatives in hospital.
Clr Andrew Cooper