THE impression I get through letters published here is that the majority of Huddersfield people feel that decisions are being made regarding the LDF which are not truly democratic.
Of the 4,000 plus empty homes in Kirklees some have been abandoned and repeatedly targeted by arsonists.
This is no longer tolerable in view of spending cuts to all services and increased insurance premiums for everyone.
The time has now arrived for the council to assume ownership, renovate and let out abandoned properties.
This will not only create much need new homes but also generate a lot of work for the renovators. It will also remove eyesores which are blighting whole neighbourhoods and reducing house values.
Of course, a rightful owner could reclaim by reimbursing the renovation and service costs, possibly from its sale or retail income.
Unreclaimed homes will provide much needed income for the council in that they can be sold on after a statutory period. This will help to reduce future rises in Council Tax.
The majority would prefer to see a total upgrade of our rundown areas – including the town centre – instead of building new homes on our green spaces which the majority will find unaffordable in any case.
Of course, a minority will think otherwise, such as the landowner who wants to increase his wealth from £6.5 million by building homes, unaffordable to the majority in Grimscar Valley.
This would included commercial units which would further devastate the town centre.
Some commercial units are still vacant at Bradley Park in any case.
The neglected upper storeys of our town centre buildings could be converted into dwellings, enhancing the appearance of our listed buildings in the university, Springwood, St George’s and St Peters Quarters.
Businesses to attract would be specialist retailers, coffee shops and international cuisine as well as the usual service trades.
Town centre living is not for everyone, but I find the convenience of having all facilities within a short walk superb and so would many others once they had tried it.
Central heating bills are minimal in such multi-occupied buildings and so are transportation costs in that, for many, a car would be unnecessary.
The majority living next to green fields at Linthwaite agree with the majority living in Milnsbridge that Milnsbridge should be reinstated as a thriving community instead of becoming a crumbling backwater of Cowerslthwaite.
The same is true with Fartown and Fixtrick, Aspley and Bowerhouses and Lockwood and Meltherton.
They would prefer to see residential development along the canal corridor utilising brownfield sites first before having to consider green fields in the M62 corridor and elsewhere.
In it together?
I READ in the Examiner’s Motoring Section something that exemplifies this Government’s, ‘Big (we are all in it together) Society.’ Apparently Rolls Royce announced a 30% increase in its UK sales last year.
I wonder which section of the “We are all in it together Society” brought them ...?
New scrapyard rules
HOMES, churches, schools and businesses in Yorkshire are all suffering increasing levels of metal theft with lead roofs, copper piping and electronic cabling all considered fair game.
Even manhole and gully covers have been disappearing from our roads, costing the taxpayer hundreds of pounds for each replacement.
Metal is a tempting target, not just because it is worth so much but because it is so easily converted to cash.
The costs of replacement often run to tens of thousands of pounds, not to mention the effects of further damage to the inside of buildings exposed to the elements.
Thieves now even resort to stealing metal name plaques from churchyards and war memorials in exchange for a few pounds from unscrupulous scrap metal dealers. The existing situation where anyone can sell anything to scrap metal dealers for cash with no questions asked has to be challenged.
We have been lobbying the Government to amend the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 so all scrap metal dealers are licensed, cash sales of scrap metal are prohibited and enforcement powers and penalties are enhanced so metal thieves face the full consequences of their crimes.
I would encourage anyone actually or potentially affected by metal theft to write to their MPs, asking them to support MP Graham Jones in his Metal Theft Prevention Bill and I would urge readers to report any thefts to the police.
They might think it’s not worth it, but the police cannot allocate resources on the basis of hearsay – they need statistics.
Let’s thwart the thieves in 2012.
Charles Forbes Adam
Chairman, Country Lane and Business Association, Yorkshire
Sorting your waste
EVERY person and company in this country is responsible for producing waste in one form or another and the waste has to be disposed of be it by landfill or incineration.
People moan about landfill sites on their doorstep, but the waste has to go somewhere! When I was a lad it all went on the coal fire. There was hardly any rubbish or waste then.
J A Hammond
MY 14-year-old son is a season ticket holder with Huddersfield Town and attends every home game with friends and family.
Having read about the planned protest at the Brentford game over the Galpharm shares I have taken the decision to stop him from attending.
Internal politics should remain just that and a deliberate attempt to stir up trouble from fans is unethical and, in my opinion, dangerous.
I will not send my son to a game that I suspect is going to result in trouble and I would be genuinely concerned for his safety.
Concerned and disappointed mum
A festival town
I NOTED with interest the letter from Dr Paul Salverson (Mailbag, January 5) regarding the potential of Huddersfield as a festival town.
I should just like to add that there is already a great deal of active involvement and generous support within the local community, business and the University of Huddersfield.
Sunday, February 12 at St Paul’s Hall will see 16 young musicians compete for the Kirklees Young Musician of the Year.
This is sponsored annually by The University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Cultural and Leisure Services, the Mrs Sunderland Festival and the J W Pearce Prize Trust.
This year the number of entries for this coveted trophy is so great that the event will run at 11am and at 2.15pm.
It presents a feast of incredible musical talent, so why not come along and support these dedicated young musicians.
This will be followed by the Mrs Sunderland Festival which takes place in Huddersfield Town Hall from Friday, February 17 to Saturday, February 25.
This festival is run entirely by a team of volunteers and there are over 100 classes from solo singing to strings, brass and percussion, choirs, poetry and drama.
This year, with the generous support of Syngenta, we are holding a singing workshop on the morning of Wednesday, February 22 with more than 700 junior school children taking part. They will be supported by students from the University Chamber Choir and the University Big Band.
Joseph Cullen, chorus master of Huddersfield Choral Society will play the town hall Father Willis organ and conduct the university choir.
A new class for short story writing has already attracted 140 entries and a writing workshop with children’s author Emily Diamand is already fully booked.
Saturday, February 25, will, I believe, be the first Diamond Jubilee event in Huddersfield when we close the festival with the Diamond Jubilee Concert.
This will showcase outstanding performances from the festival week.
I hope the above will illustrate the tremendous co-operation and goodwill we are fortunate to have within the town.
I feel we are already a festival town but perhaps we need to harness all this energy in some way.
Perhaps we need a dedicated Huddersfield festivals website and a forum for sharing our skills and showcasing the wealth of artistic talent which surrounds us.
(Trustee – Mrs Sunderland Festival)
Petrol in Holmfirth
I THINK it’s Mr Dorril who should look at his circle of friends regarding the Tesco supermarket plan for Holmfirth.
Yes, it would be nice to have easy access to cheaper fuel, but it’s the issue of access to any fuel that is in question here.
It seems obvious from his comments that he rarely shops and doesn’t drive. He misses the point completely.
This is just yet another attack on Tesco as a company as I can say with a great deal of certainty that if any of the big supermarket chains was proposing to develop the Midlothian site in Holmfirth it would have the support of the majority of the residents of the valley.