HOW sad and disturbing to see a young woman’s life cut tragically short. Our hearts must go out to her family and friends, especially her children.
Marie Stewart’s murder has shocked and saddened the community but I hope that as a result of her untimely and horrible death we can at least learn something.
Sadly, she is not the first person to lose their life at the hand of someone close to them. On average, two women a week die because of violence in the home. Their neighbours will also say that they were a nice quiet couple in a good neighbourhood where nothing like this ever happens.
The fact is that family tragedy can happen to any of us. Rich or poor, well educated or not, drunk or sober, some people deal with anger and disputes by resorting to increasingly violent behaviour. Often they find their own behaviour shocking, but can’t or won’t stop.
We can help.
Be the first to interfere. I’ve been berated for being a busybody in my time. Better that than a tragedy. Phone the police if you think someone is at risk, even if you think it’s a waste of time or that it might be a false alarm.
I’ve campaigned for years for cross departmental and multidisciplinary teams to help families but I also think there’s a place for the good neighbour.
Of course I don’t say that anyone knew what was happening in this case as I don’t know the circumstances – and it’s always wrong to prejudge any case.
I do want all of us to be reminded that other families are struggling in our community right now and as pennies are squeezed we know pressures on families can lead to more domestic violence.
Before anyone writes in about women assaulting men, I know that is true and also a problem but that rarely leads to murder.
In both circumstances the children are suffering, witnessing the harsh words as well as the abuse and they badly need our help.
I hope local authorities and government don’t think that domestic violence units are an easy cut to make in these cost-cutting times. The vital work they do really can save lives.
Look who’s talking
FOLLOWING the madcap rhetoric from some councillors regarding the LDF, what is noticeable when inferring that the public do not know what they are talking about is the lack of one tangible job/business associated with this project.
If the public do not know what they are talking about – I don’t believe for a moment that is the case – this may in some part be because very little information has been forthcoming to the public from the council.
This does beg the question why we have been left in the dark. Could it have something to do with the fact that the people do not feel that this project will benefit the populace?
The claim that the LDF will create jobs and businesses is unfounded.The only certainty from the LDF is housing developments which very few people see as desirable or necessary. The sole beneficiaries appear to be the developers.
Why does it appear that when we have a contentious development there looks to be behind closed doors dealings and very little public information? We had a preferred option vote on our St George’s Square re-development. We did not get the public’s preference. We got a expensive patio with an extremely public urinal (water feature) and excuses from the council for ignoring the public’s preferred option.
Are these people accountable to the public or not? I thought there was a clue in their title, ‘Public Servant’. What goes round comes round. So let us wait until the local elections and then remember the times we were not listened to.
R J Bray
Lack of leaflets
CAN Clr Peter McBride say why 8% of Kirklees households didn’t receive an LDF leaflet?
I am assuming the distribution company delivering the leaflets only received 92% of the contract fee? Also is it true that out of the 6,050 new homes for Huddersfield, approximately 40% (2,400) are situated in one ward, Crosland Moor/Huddersfield?
No shame in U-turn
I DO hope that Kirklees Council and its leader, Clr Mehboob Khan, have taken notice of the Government’s swift response to the public outcry against its proposals to sell forest lands.
It would be good to see our representatives taking the same action regarding the LDF – accepting that the plans have been rushed, are flawed and deeply unpopular and withdrawing them immediately.
This would not leave a planning vacuum since the UDP remains current and could easily and lawfully be extended after 2012. What it would do, though, is demonstrate that our council is, after all, prepared to listen to us.
It is no disgrace to recognise a mistake and take appropriate action. It is disgraceful to attempt to force an unpopular and unnecessary policy through.
Come on Clr Khan, listen to the people and do the right thing. To halt the LDF process now would be a sign of strength and effective leadership, not of weakness.
THE Examiner printed a story on February 17 about people on Moor Side Lane at Pole Moor.
Grahame Walker said that the £60,000 being spent on sandstone hardcore for the path around Pole Moor would pay the wages of at least two council workers for a year.
Also, to the front of the photograph was a pile of sand and mud washed down from the lane behind which leads up to Pole Moor. This has been happening ever since a small amount of sandstone hardcore was put on the lane a few years ago.
The pile of sand and mud covers a grate and drain which is on our land, which Grahame has to dig out every few weeks. There are usually two wheelbarrow loads to remove from the drain and up to four barrow loads around it. As it is our drain that is filled with silt, the council does not clear it, we do.
There is some hardcore which is called ‘clear sandstone’ which has no loose sand within it. This would therefore not wash away and would stay there longer. If the hardcore must be put down this would be cheaper in the long run and would not create as much mess.
Parents speak louder
AS the councillor responsible for the schools in Kirklees, Ken Smith has made a string of statements regarding various educational establishments, but his pronouncement on whyŠFartown failed to retain pupils must be challenged.
The only reason why Fartown is now virtually half empty is because parents choose not to send their children there. Clr Smith can blame various factors for this but is he saying he is a better judge of which place their sons and daughters will be best educated?
Fair play to the parents of the Fartown/Birkby area, getting together to do something about it. The local education authority had, in their opinion, failed them. Acting collectively was probably the best way to solve the situation. I think people from all sections of the community will welcome this action.
Ken Smith comes across as not having empathy with the people who have theŠdesire to continue secondary education in the Ashbrow ward.
NOW that the zebra crossing has been installed outside the Co-op in Meltham this seems to have encouraged more and more people to feel obliged to utilise the ‘zig zag’ markings as a parking zone.
How can people be so thoughtless, not to mention idle? There is an ample car park but this would involve some walking so it is not an option for some.
One night recently there were five parked cars within the marked crossing All of them had their headlights on and were double-parked.
In the middle of this someone actually had the audacity to attempt to cross on the crossing. I bet that person will think twice before they do that again. An accident just waiting to happen!
Non zebra crosser
Pot calling the kettle?
I MUST take task with the comments of June Jones (Save Our Services, Mailbag, February 19), when she claims this government will take us into illegal wars.
Has she already forgiven, or conveniently forgotten, Blair/Brown for doing just that? Those two spent more time stage managing the parliamentary debate on fox hunting than permitting time to debate either Iraq or Afghanistan.
Both should be put in front of a people’s court to determine their culpability and, if needed, stripped of their gold-plated pensions.
June should also note it was Gordon Brown who, with his constant tweaking and manipulation of the tax system for political reasons, managed to permit footballers to set up image rights companies as a means to avoid – legally – paying their due tax.
He also permitted the likes of the banking sector to take grotesque pensions, even where the taxpayer has bailed the same banks out to prevent failure. And last weekend we learned of a bank paying Corporation Tax at a rate of less than 3%. All of which is the work of Comrade Brown.
The Tories may well have friends in the corporate sector, but then how do these few examples explain the approach of Labour when in government?
IN contrast to my last correspondence (the lovely job done on Varley Road, Mailbag, February 18), what a nightmare it is driving on the ring road from the top of Outcote Bank right through to St John’s Road.
The drains have all sunk in the lane nearest to the bus station. The lanes are narrow enough so avoiding these sunken hazards is nearly impossible! Come on Kirklees, sort it out, before April when your funds are stopped!
Warmth of feeling
I DON’T know if it is my age or not but this global warming is getting to my bones. I’ll be glad when we get it all over with and get back to some decent weather.