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Examiner Mailbag, June 28, 2011

ONCE again our council leader has attempted to defend the indefensible.

ONCE again our council leader has attempted to defend the indefensible.

Clr Mehboob Khan informed the monthly council meeting that, because it is ‘common practice’ in local government it is perfectly acceptable to spend over £275,000 of Kirklees council taxpayers’ money on wages for nine full-time union officers.

He even said that this actually saves us money by ‘simplifying negotiations between management and workers.’

What a load of rubbish. We should not have to fund a single full-time union officer from local council tax, let alone nine of them.

If there is a genuine need for these positions then they should be paid for by the unions themselves, not by hard-pressed local taxpayers. If the union can’t afford to do so, then they should increase their members’ subscriptions to cover these costs.

The members would soon say whether or not they wanted to keep these nine non-jobs, and the council could use the £275,000 to help preserve much needed frontline services.

Will this happen? I doubt it, especially while we somehow allow such behaviour to go unchecked. After all, this is the same man who refused to apologise for incorrectly claiming that a council staff member had been punched in the face by a demonstrator at a Town Hall public meeting and the same man who obstructed truthful answers to legitimate questions of concern from the public (Kirklees council taxpayers) under the Freedom of Information Act.

How much more of this do we have to put up with?

Colin Bateson

HOLMFIRTH

Lunatic government

I FIND it inexplicable that anyone can support ‘Europe’, as advocated by Mr Vant (Mailbag, June 15).

While it may benefit French farmers, the Irish economy and the Italian Mafia, what does Britain actually get out of it?

Is it the opportunity to pay in billions a year? Or perhaps the chance to bail out various ailing economies (ie, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and no doubt numerous Balkan countries)?

Or perhaps the hundreds or thousands of East Europeans anxious to avail themselves or our benefits system, housing, health etc to which they haven’t contributed a penny?

To my dismay I read that Croatia wishes to join which will cost UK taxpayers £200m and waiting in the wings are Serbia and Albania, those stalwarts of democracy and financial probity.

Even more terrifying is the eventual accession of Turkey with its backdoor to the shambles of the Middle East.

It’s time to get out, but will we be allowed to? Not a chance of a referendum on this – alas, as we are governed by lunatics.

BARRY FOWLER

Berry Brow

We smell a rat

IT is understood that massive changes are sweeping through Kirklees Council following the recent removal of Roland (the rat) from the Civic Centre (Examiner, June 10).

An anonymous ‘whistle blower’ said that the situation was ‘tense’ following the banning of the word rat, which has been replaced by FLTC (furry long tailed creature).

An undercover reporter overheard a conversation where a prominent councillor commented that the use of all spoken words within Kirklees Council are to be banned in the next few years, to avoid possible misinterpretation, or the more serious offence, of ‘talking common sense’ which has to be outlawed recently as being against the best interests of abnormal working practices.

The newly appointed Director of FLTC Liaison, Communication and Compassion (£150,000 per annum salary) and a support staff of 50 people are understood to be working on the creation of a new FLTC friendly dialect, which is understood to be a combination of Welsh, Inuit and Chinese to promote better relations with the FLTC community.

It is anticipated that thousands of Kirklees employees are expected to return to work in the coming months, having been successfully treated for ‘post FLTC removal anxiety’ and stress-related side effects. The ineffective running of this organisation has not been affected by the recent mass absenteeism.

A statement from the Director of Financial Misappropriation denied that the multi-million pound FLTC initiative would be funded by the ‘usual method’ of cutting services to elderly and vulnerable people.

After heated discussions at the recent council meeting it was agreed that essential public services such as the FLTC strategy must be protected at all costs. A sub-committee has been elected to consider if FLTC activities can be expanded to replace waste/refuse collection.

Unfortunately further troubles are facing Kirklees Council, as a mouse (FSTC) ‘furry short tailed creature’ was recently spotted at an unnamed location.

anonymouse tax payer

Holmfirth

The mess we’re in

COSTS of energy, food, petrol etc are rocketing with wages not keeping pace. The latest figures show a drop in the retail and food sector.

Despite an increase in inflation, the Bank of England is deliberately keeping interest rates on hold, affecting households and those savers who rely on interest from their investments, currently receiving the worst return in living memory.

We are now being told to work for less money with increased hours of work and overtime and beyond state retirement age of 65 with a deflated pension to look forward to, resulting in impending strikes.

Government is voted in by the public who are never listened to but who could easily sort all of this out, rather than politicians who seem to live in another wold.

Am I bovvered? Too right I am.

ROBERT ZUBALY

Longwood

Rights ands wrongs

THE teacher shortage is all down to unruly children. Teachers have their hands tied and no way can a pupil be punished if they do wrong.

So who can blame teachers for drifting out of a profession that does not give them encouragement to teach children the rights from wrongs?

In the old days we got three of the best if we stepped out of line – it didn’t harm us. So bring back the old system and you will find it will bring back the teachers.

h barrowclough

Waterloo

Scraps from the past

WHAT happened to the good old rag and bone man?

When I lived in the Midlands, around the time when the TV programme Steptoe and Son was broadcast, we had the real McCoy coming round asking us for old clothes and any bric-a-brac that we wished to sell them.

My mother and father would often sort something out for them which was no longer required and they would give us a few shillings for it which was better than nothing.

I suppose the rag and bone men had their set times for each area so we knew when to expect them. I wonder how many people can recall giving goods and receiving a few shillings from them.

Colin Vause

Marsh

Blot on the landscape

SITTING in my car waiting for the lights to change on Chapel Hill, I happened to glance at the building works of the Kirklees College. At the base of the building is what I can only describe as grey kitchen tiles being fixed to the concrete skeleton of the building.

What is going on? This cannot possibly be what the exterior of the building is gong to be clad in. Surely someone has insisted that Yorkshire stone is used for the cladding. Have they not learned from previous mistakes of the hideous building built on the ring road that they are vacating?

I keep seeing articles of councillors and others involved with the project patting themselves on the back as this monstrosity grows day by day.

The building is already a blot on the landscape looming large over the buildings in its vicinity.

Why hasn’t anyone ever questioned the height of this building and its impact on the landscape?

I hope that someone can allay my fears that the whole of this building is not to be clad in this highly inappropriate material.

G E Beaumont

Taylor Hill

The demon drink

I SINCERELY hope that the Red Square mini market in Fartown does not get a 24-hour drinking licence (Examiner, June 21).

I’m still seething at a recent decision taken by the Kirklees Licensing Committee allowing a new Nisa store at Six Lane Ends, Heckmondwike, to sell alcohol from 7am to 10.30pm. There is nothing to stop this store in future applying for a 24-hour licence.

There is little room for parking and next door to the store is an unattended launderette so locals are concerned that it will be turned into a drinking den.

I could not believe how easy the licensing officers and councillors accepted this application. I’m also disappointed that the Heckmondwike councillors and the local member of parliament did not offer any objections. In this instance Kirklees Council displayed a serious lack of social responsibility.

Have they not heard of binge drinking and the damage that sales of cheap alcohol do to people? Last year a million people entered hospital with alcohol related diseases. Over 100 pubs a month are closing because they cannot compete with supermarket sales of cheap alcohol.

Kirklees Council needs to get a grip.

JOHN APPLEYARD

Liversedge

 

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