I WRITE in response to the article published in the Examiner on July 9 about Lonsbrough Flats.
As a long term resident of the flats I was in agreement with much of the article. However, there are a few things that angered me – the biggest being the accusations against the security service.
Having had a few problems over the years – mainly with noisy neighbours – I have always been able to count on the security service to assist me where needed, even more so since my son was born.
During the latter part of last year I was having particular problems with a new neighbour for noise and the security service gave me their direct telephone number for assistance as our intercom system was down.
When I was threatened in the lift by the same neighbour after I had complained about the noise again, they responded instantly, having seen the episode on CCTV.
The police, whom security had called, responded within minutes. Surely this is a perfect example of security doing their job? As for the allegation that they do not perform their nightly patrols, I wonder how soundly the gentleman who reported this sleeps.
As I mentioned, I have a young child who I’m often up with and I am unfortunate to live right next to the stairwell where I very often hear the concierge checking each floor at night.
The concierge do their best to make Southgate flats a safer place for all the tenants, often at personal risk. I wouldn’t do their job!
I so agree that these flats are a state and demolishing them would be the best thing that could happen.
I and many other tenants feel that we have been forgotten about. Major work here, including the Better Homes scheme, was overlooked and the reason given was that the flats were due to be refurbished or demolished in 2011.
Our kitchens and bathrooms are seriously out-of-date, we have a poor heating system that isn’t cost effective, the fire alarm system is faulty and the flats are shabby and in a state of disrepair.
The launderette that used to be housed in Richmond Flats has been closed for at least four years and with few of the flats having the basic plumbing and space for a washing machine this has personally caused me problems.
When I queried the issue, I was told that it wouldn’t be re-opened “as the flats were being knocked down.’’ The same theory applies for most major repairs to the flats.
I am now over-crowded – my son is two-and-a-half – and face a lengthy application process to be housed.
These flats are no place to bring up a child.
The lack of space and general disrepair of the flats adds to the general feeling that Kirklees needs to act, now.
We have been fobbed off for long enough.
Tenant of Lonsbrough Flats
Right to list building
MR Broadbent (Mailbag 18 July) obfuscates the significance of Thomas Broadbent’s amenity block.
In November 2009 The Secretary of State listed the amenity block because of its national importance. It was designated at Grade II because it is a very rare, possibly unique, example of a purpose built bath house for foundry workers. Its continuing function as a bath house has preserved its original purpose in both its layout and its fixtures and fittings as well as its design. The design of the building manifests inspiration from both W Dudok and Frank Lloyd Wright and achieves a high standard of accomplishment in its interpretation of contemporary architectural influences, the use of local stone for external walls distinguishes it from brick built pithead baths of similar style and the imaginative use of finishes lends further distinction. The interior survives almost entirely intact, with original wash basins, shower and tap fittings, lockers, floor and wall surfaces, doors and light fittings.
Geoffrey Rowe, was an Abbey Hanson architect and was the project leader.
However, he was not the design architect for the amenity block. That honour belongs to Andrew Buck. That is explicitly stated in the Secretary of State’s decision.
Andrew Buck was, and to this day remains, an enthusiast of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Lloyd Wright’s influence can be seen in many of Buck’s executed works.
Peter Stead, of Law Stead & Sons Ltd, who built the block, was entranced by Buck’s amenity block drawings and he went on to become an Associate professor of Urban Design at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, where he witnessed the entrusting of Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The work of the late Peter Stead is admired by Mr Buck.
The amenity block has long been recognised as being of interest. The Journal of the RIBA Yorkshire Region July/ Aug 1973 stated: “This is only a part of a complex, but the use of coursed stone, ashlar stonework and the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright makes this small building interesting.’’
In October 1955 Thomas Broadbent was proud of its new £17,500 building – and made that clear in a Huddersfield Examiner story, saying that: “Employees in the foundry can now go home as spick and span as the office worker. All the rooms are air conditioned and temperature controlled.’’
The building was occupied and used by Broadbent’s in July 2008 when Huddersfield Gem photographed it and may well still be used. New windows to the south elevation were installed in 2011.
Should Mr Broadbent feel the building should not be listed he may take advantage of the procedure that allows for buildings to be removed from the list if the listing is shown to be in error. However, state of repair is not deemed to be a relevant consideration for listing.
I hope all stakeholders will take a responsible attitude to this important building.
Go through bodyscanner
WHAT is the matter with people. I went through the bodyscanner at Manchester Airport last month and didn’t think twice about it.
I really think with all the terrorists that everybody should go through it. After all, they wouldn’t be able to hide anything then, would they?
mrs c clelland
Don’t slaughter badgers
FARMERS, badgers and the whole country have been badly let down by plans for trials which effectively legitimise the slaughter of badgers.
Government proposals for pilot culls are the worst possible outcome and will do nothing to halt the spread of bovine TB. All the facts state that culling will not reduce TB and farmers will be forced to pay twice for this cull – once for the cull and again for its failure.
No-one is disputing that bovine TB must be controlled, but the Government has ignored the science and the wishes of the public – only 16% of whom support a cull – in favour of botched plans which will have serious repercussions.
Allowing the killing of badgers in our countryside will result in thousands of wounded badgers and could, in fact, add to the spread of this disease as they disperse.
Culling is not the answer and, sadly, it is not only the badger which will pay the price of this mistake.
Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports
Stop overseas aid
IS it me or am I missing something here!
India has a nuclear programme and also has a space programme.
Pakistan has a nuclear programme too and we send them millions of pounds in aid. Nuclear programmes are very expensive.
Wouldn’t it be far simpler to stop sending millions and millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money to other countries in aid. Let’s use that money to sort our own problems here in Britain first.
That money could sort out most of our own problems like the proposed police cuts. It could help create jobs and much more.
The analogy is a family sending part of their home income to help fund a cats’ home, leaving them not enough to pay the mortgage and utilities at home.
That’s how stupid it is.
Murdoch and his power
I’M not sure who Jason McCartney is referring to when he says “I am not interested in media driven lynch mobs, I am not interested in the politically motivated settling of personal vendettas” (Hansard July 19) as the chairman of the Culture Media and Sport select committee is a member of his own party and both that and the Home Affairs select committee have a majority of Tories.
That aside, I agree that other issues such as the collapse of the Greek economy and famine in East Africa should command attention. Surely he is not saying that the committees which are set up to look into such matters should not do so?
Many have argued for years that the Murdoch empire was too big and their stranglehold was unhealthy and potentially corrupting.
Previous Chairs of that committee have said as much. When actual evidence emerges of people’s worst fears it would be a dereliction of duty not to investigate.
More than that, newspapers are not elected, Governments are and it cannot be right for one man and his family to seek to influence events improperly in any country through the media by having a supremacy in it and perhaps by any impropriety with police officers.
If these things are proved to be true the impact is very serious indeed and reaches far beyond the appointment of Andy Coulson and affects all political parties. This is not a game. It’s grown-up politics and about responsibility.
I hope that this Tory MP does take an interest in a fair, free and incorrupt press. It is central to our democracy.