CONGRATULATIONS to Kirklees Council. They’re proposing to close the Huddersfield tourist information centre just when the Yorkshire Tourist Board have launched a multi-million pound “Welcome to Yorkshire” campaign.
That really is great timing. Had we known right from the outset the real reason why the council wants to close the centre and transfer its activities to the library and the town hall we might have felt a bit more sympathetic towards them.
They never mentioned Oldgate House and the fact that they need to find alternative accommodation for the education departments that are housed there once the lease runs out in the autumn.
We now believe that the plan is to move one or more of those departments into the tourist centre which is being sacrificed. If they are honest the council must surely concede that however hard they try they will not be able to maintain the centre’s standard of service at the library where there is not enough room.
Why not use the top two floors of the old Co-op building?
It is an eyesore with boarded-up windows and would convert easily into office space for those leaving Oldgate House.
In any case this vision of delight with its boarded up windows is not a good advert for Huddersfield and steps should be taken to make the people who own it maintain it to an acceptable standard.
So the question I would like to ask the council is: Have you explored every possible avenue to prevent the closure of the centre whose closure will badly hit the many organisations which use it?
The loss of the two windows which look out on to the street and in which local music societies advertise their shows and concerts will, we are sure, result in a considerable loss of income for them.
A number of organisations have already booked window space. How are those contracts going to be honoured if the centre closes?
Those of us who are campaigning against the council’s decision appeal to them to think again. Meanwhile I would ask your readers to continue to write to the council and the Examiner and to attend our protest meeting at the Methodist Mission on Thursday, April 23 – St George’s Day – at 8pm.
IN THE debate over the future of Huddersfield’s Tourist Information Centre (TIC), what worries me most is the number of unanswered questions.
So far, I am unconvinced that the proposed alternatives will provide the same standard of service as the present facilities.
In principle, I don’t object to ticketing being relocated to the Town Hall, as I tend to book tickets by phone, and collecting them from the Town Hall box office is as easy as collecting them from the TIC.
However, will the Town Hall box office act as a booking agency for regional theatres and concert halls as the TIC does now, and will it keep the same wide range of information leaflets on regional arts events – a service I find invaluable?
The moving of the other services to the library raises other questions. Quite apart from the problem of disabled access, which is complicated and inconvenient – where exactly in the library will the services be relocated to?
Will they have a spacious room to themselves, with plenty of space for displaying posters, leaflets, maps, souvenirs, etc – or will they be crammed into the information booth in the entrance lobby?
If the latter is the case, visitors will infer that the town isn’t really interested in them, and they won’t come back. That would be a disaster, as in these tough economic times, Huddersfield needs all the visitors it can get.
So, Clr Stanfield, please can we have some answers? You will doubtless be criticised whatever you say – but you will be criticised even more strongly if you say nothing, so you and the council might as well come clean.
William A Kirby
Parking misery ...
REGARDING Huddersfield Royal Infirmary’s bid to end parking misery: about time too.
A couple of weeks ago I had a hospital appointment for my three-year-old daughter so I decided to arrive early at hospital to try to get a space.
After seeing about 10 cars driving around also looking for spaces without any luck I had no choice but to park quite a way off the hospital and walk.
It was raining heavily that day and I was quite fed up by the time I reached the hospital, especially as I am eight months’ pregnant.
... and parasites
THE Examiner article (Thursday April 9) regarding Nick Hirt’s parking fine for overstaying his shopping trip to PC World reminded me of the time I received a similar fine in Comet’s Leeds Road car park.
On receiving my parking notification I did all the things that Nick Hirt did. I remonstrated with the store manager and received exactly the same response. I appealed to the parking company. I should have known better.
Leaving your car anywhere has now become a bit of a lottery as to whether you have committed an offence as the parking companies along with our local council use very ambiguous parking signs. It is a little like being a sacrificial lamb.
My way of getting back was that I have never returned to the Comet store and never will until these parasites who run this scam are thrown off the site.
There are more electrical warehouse stores than you can wag a stick at and they now receive my custom.
So, Nick you have options. You can keep using PC World, the firm that did not appreciate your business or take your money elsewhere until changes take effect.
R J Bray
The true knights
I ATTENDED a Goldwing open day in Keighley last weekend. There were hundreds of motorcycles and enthusiastic parties attending on what was a very pleasant day.There were several stalls including the White Knight stall.
The White Knights are an emergency voluntary service who provide a free of charge urgent/emergency out-of- hours transportation service to hospitals in West Yorkshire. (www.whiteknightsevs.org registered charity number 1124510)
I was at first very interested in learning more as I am a keen motorcyclist looking for something new and exciting to fill my time, and then I was told what would be expected.
First, the volunteer has to be an advanced driver/rider, and then the hours are from 7pm to 7am throughout the year.
The volunteer would also have to buy a new crash helmet that met the relevant standards, although, a properly maintained motorcycle and insurance would be provided.
I was told sometimes there are no calls for two or three days.
I gave my utmost respect and gratitude to the two chaps I spoke to but then declined.
These are the people who deserve knighthoods. Anyone who has ridden a motorcycle in winter at night knows the commitment, not to mention building the skills and time spent becoming an advanced driver/rider and then providing their own helmet.
I struggle to understand the need to give people from business and finance a knighthood who already get paid very handsomely and receive bonuses and pensions that would choke a horse and leave people as described above with arthritis to show for their contribution to society.
The White Knights and the many other silent people like them should be the ones who receive our country’s gratitude long before the people from the likes of business, finance and the civil service.
Time for change
I AGREE with Ian Brooke, we do need a new party to represent people in the UK, as the similarity of the three biggest political parties is ridiculous.
However, from a quick browse of his previous letters to the Examiner, he seems to be more for a different kind of change than I am.
I do belong to a party that cares more about people, their freedoms, liberties and rights, than government power and control.
The Libertarian Party is worth a look for anyone who is sick to death of all three major parties.
In addition, whilst going through the letter archive, I found a short piece by Mr Brooke asking whether the taxpayer will once again have to bail out private enterprise.
The taxpayer bails out private expense only when those in charge make it so. Question Kirklees Metropolitan Council and the national government as to why taxpayers’ money constantly goes to private enterprise.
Libertarian Party UKNewsome
That’s our money
AMAZING. Kath Pinnock knocks the Tories on council cash again. Her record of spending council cash on herself isn’t very good either. She has in the past been criticised for spending on letters and stamps for private use).
Why, when more than £102m stashed away in banks and building societies, have ratepayers faced an above average hike in yearly payments?
Roads are disintegrating, public amenities are being lost and beautiful parts of Huddersfield destroyed (St George’s Square for one).
How can any councillor justify such large amounts of cash being stashed? That is OUR money paid from hard-earned wages and pensions.
May I remind this council and its councillors that OUR money is for spending on making our lives bearable.
Get a grip Clr Pinnock, stop trying to score points and do what you are paid for. You are not a banker playing with OUR money, you are councillor employed to work on OUR behalf.
HARD UP AND FED UP
Newsome’s raw deal
I CALLED in at the planning office today at the Civic Centre in Huddersfield to discuss the Local Development Framework (LDF) and its impact on the village of Newsome.
The lady I spoke to confirmed that a large proportion of land in Newsome has already been ‘put aside’ for development (this looks to be in the fields around the area behind High Lane and the Queen Victoria), but that Green Belt land would also be needed to house between 600 and 1000 houses, depending on whether plan 1, 3 or 4 was adopted.
If the council is correct in estimating that Green Belt land will be required for about 7,000 properties, it seems Newsome is getting a rather raw deal.
Ten per cent of the required Green Belt land is to be taken from Newsome alone, on top of the land that is currently ‘green space’ which has already been earmarked for development.
I have seen articles in the Examiner recently about people in Fixby and Slaithwaite who are also opposing the LDF proposals, but it seems to be all quiet around Newsome, which I find strange considering the scope of the development which could take place in forthcoming years.
I am very concerned!
Mrs Lee Millington
Hall Bower, Newsome