THE nefarious planning decision relating to Lindley Moor, to which hundreds of residents registered their opposition, obliges us to resort to direct action through our elected politicians to uphold the people’s views and our communities’ wellbeing.
We have contacted Jason McCartney MP and colleague Simon Reevell MP to ask them that when the Localism Bill comes into force they consider the first ‘local referendum’ to be enacted in the valley communities (that is, from Lindley to Skelmanthorpe) to resolve once and for all our future relationship with Kirklees Council.
We believe that the people’s views, especially on the Local Development Framework (LDF), are being completely ignored.
The aim is to restore true planning democracy within our villages and send a clear and unequivocal message that it is time for change.
Our view is that the district of Kirklees should be split into two – East and West – so we would have a chance to appoint council representatives who would not dare to repeat the Lindley Moor saga which many view as a betrayal of public trust.
The people of the valleys need the opportunity to register their votes demonstrating their total opposition to the building of 28,000 new homes and the desecration of our beautiful countryside.
Can I respectfully ask the leader of Kirklees Council Clr Mehboob Khan to take a journey up the Colne Valley via Manchester Road where there are houses are for sale or to rent every 300 metres.
Local estate agents are awash with hundreds of available homes. In addition, there are 4,500 empty council properties suitable for ‘affordable housing.’
In Slaithwaite alone the Globe and Crimble Clough Mills have been empty for years and are capable of being developed for commercial and industrial use.
There are 11 years’ worth of building land waiting to be developed on brownfield and other suitable sites.
Clearly the LDF is now totally out of date. A cross-party committee must now be formed to assess the valleys’ and, indeed, all of Kirklees’ genuine housing needs if we want to avoid our green fields and the valleys becoming a sea of concrete.
Lingards Community Association, Slaithwaite
Supply and demand
FOR house-building to become really ‘fired-up’ there needs to be an enormous, unsatisfied demand for houses.
There may be some demand in London but not in the rest of the country where demand and prices continue to fall. So the policy will not work, no matter how much of England’s green and pleasant land Mr Cameron is prepared to sacrifice in order to try to make it succeed.
It is all the wrong way round putting the cart before the horse. If there was a huge, pent-up unsatisfied demand then there could be a case made for carefully considering the possibility of releasing a small amount of previously-protected land – but not before.
The same myopic vision afflicts the Government’s thoughts on making more credit available to small businesses.
But small businesses only want more credit when they can see it yielding a profit. Without the profit more borrowing equals bankruptcy – as any small businessman knows.
Castle Hill views
FURTHER to Robert Bamforth’s letter headed Grabbing The Land in Monday’s Examiner, as well as signing the National Trust’s general petition against the Government’s planning free-for-all (https://www.planningforpeople.org.uk/), all those who care about Huddersfield’s Castle Hill should also consider signing the online petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/protectcastlehillview/signatures.
This concerns the land, directly overlooked from Castle Hill, which is planned to be built on in the LDF.
How many more Lindley Moor Planning fiascos are we willing to tolerate?
The local Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Newsome councillors are beavering away to get this land protected, but the more pressure the better.
Sign the petitions, badger your local councillors. Let’s tell those who represent the best interests of the people of Huddersfield what we think.
Thanks to searchers
ON behalf of my family I would like to express gratitude to West Yorkshire Police Dive Team.
Their dedication to the search for Steven Cooper was quite remarkable even after travelling hundreds of miles to Loch Laggan and back, not to mention the miles travelled in between.
They really did go above and beyond what was expected of them.
To Insp Andrew Leonard, who was with us all the way through the search, he really could not have done more for us from the beginning of the search to the end. We are all extremely grateful.
Huge thanks also go to Liquavision who worked tirelessly on 10/12-hour days to cover every inch of the Loch by sonar. They did everything they could to ensure we were all kept informed and not just while the search was being undertaken.
Last, but by no means least, to everyone else who was involved in the search from the Huddersfield Examiner to the Scottish TV and press and our local TV networks.
We have received so much support from friends and strangers and will never forget what you have done for us.
This search was a huge undertaking for everyone involved and we sincerely thank you all.
Mum of missing Steven Cooper, New Mill
An impossible dream
IF you were building an extension to your home and the household budget ran out of cash or you fell on hard times, most responsible people’s first reaction would be to halt work on the extension until they had recovered financially enough to resume work.
Not so the EU. The politician’s answer is to carry on expanding as normal and increase taxes, even though most of those queuing up to join will be takers, not contributors.
There are a number of countries who see the EU as a free meal ticket and, on past performance, who can blame them?
The warning signs of failure on all fronts are ignored, rules are changed to fit the scenario the politicians want to see rather than reality.
The financial books don’t balance? Ignore them.
Countries such as Greece can’t meet the so called criteria set for membership? Alter the rules.
Can’t afford the repayments? Cancel the debt. A dead horse? Keep flogging it.
Of course anyone riding the gravy train doesn’t want it to stop. Rather than admit the EU is and always was an impossible political dream which has turned into a nightmare, they have decided to save face by draining even more from the exhausted milk cow even though there isn’t enough money left to feed it.
I have to say, as one who after listening to our MPs at the time, voted in favour of joining the European Common Market in a referendum, I think since it all changed into an empire building project it has been a disaster.
The idea that the prosperous nations such as Germany or Britain and France, who had built themselves up for decades by hard work and vision of their manufacturers and workforce, should carry forever the nations who are not willing to face reality and cut their cloth is both flawed and farcical.
We have a dwindling workforce having to prop up an increasing number of dependants, too many of whom haven’t the slightest intention of cutting back themselves while the hand-outs keep coming.
Finally I would like to say how disgusted I am with our Prime Minister when he declares, ‘there will be no referendum.’ This is from a man who promised one when in opposition and likes to strut around the world from photo shoot to photo shoot, enforcing on defeated enemies the holy grail of ‘democracy’.
This, when it suits, is the mantra of politicians, mantra being ‘an expression or idea that is repeated, often without thinking about it’.
I shall remember those words in future every time I hear an MP speaking about democracy.
Winter’s on its way
I WELCOMED the Indian summer, but after reading the weather warnings from our local weather expert Paul Stevens all I would say is take note of what he says.
Mr Stevens is a top metrologist and he is usually correct with his predictions which means it is time to think ahead and start storing grit. There can be no excuse for untreated roads this time around.
Ungritted roads are a threat to health and safety. We pay our council taxes to have the roads kept clear of snow and ice and we have a right to expect a first class service.
Let’s think ahead please. Health and safety is important to us all.