Letters, January 7: more grumbles about snow clearance
Jan 7 2010 by Sarah Bull, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
DURING this very bad spell of weather we appreciate the difficulties of keeping the roads open.
However, genuine requests for help to the gritting teams in our area were ignored, even though they were gritting the road only yards away to allow a neighbour to get his car out so he could go shopping.
Over the past weeks we have been caring for our terminally ill mother at our home in Honley with a constant stream of professionals coming and going to administer the care needed, including district nurses, doctors and Macmillan nurse, not to mention the fact that an ambulance may have been needed at any time.
The bad weather and difficult road conditions made it nearly impossible to get near to our house.
In desperation we rang the Highways Department and told them of our situation.
We didn’t expect someone to come straight away because we knew that the priority was main roads etc.
This does pose the question: is there any point in keeping main roads open when we can’t get vehicles out to get anywhere near them and even the buses in our area were turning back?
A request was first made on December 23, again on December 24 and finally again on December 27.
Each request was ignored, but as mentioned above, only a few yards away is a slight incline and a no through road, which has TWO houses on it.
The gritting team came out on December 23 and gritted this small area of road to enable them to get out.
The road eventually cleared on December 29 when the weather became slightly milder and melted.
In conclusion thank you, Kirklees, for making an already bad Christmas for us a real trial.
Service: does that word mean anything to you?
Disgruntled rates, tax and road tax payer
Name and address supplied
We deserve better
YES, it is important to keep the main roads open but it is just as important to keep the minor roads open to be able to use the main roads.
Not everybody lives on a main road. In fact the majority of people live on minor roads. The majority of people have to use a car to get to work.
Do you get my point, the person in charge of gritting? It’s not rocket science.
I live on Avison Road in Cowlersley adjoining Pymroyd Lane. This has been gritted once in three weeks. I should be grateful.
The grit bin has not been re-filled. We can’t grit the road ourselves. Three cars have been damaged to my knowledge because of cars sliding on ice. Insurance claims?
I have been out to check Pymroyd Lane and yes it is covered in ice again. I have therefore arranged to get to work by taxi. The taxi will pick me up on Manchester Road. I work in Halifax and this will cost me £26 a round trip.
Questions for the man in charge of gritting: How many others are affected similarly?
How many insurance claims because minor roads weren’t gritted? How many people have not been able to get to work because minor roads weren’t gritted?
We, the public, deserve better. We pay your wages, even if we can’t get to work to earn ours.
We have to work/get to work. My wish for the new year is more common sense and fewer excuses.
If we were able to make a claim on our council tax for the lack of gritting you would then be required and expected to deliver as in any job.
‘Failures and excuses’
I WOULD like to ask Clr David Sheard to resign as Kirklees Cabinet Member for Highways on what I consider to be the total failure of this council on its road clearance service.
Prior to the bad weather, the Examiner published a report that Kirklees had budgeted for only five days of gritting for the whole of the winter.
Now we are told in the Examiner (January 5) that there are only two days of salt left in the council supplies.
When did they consider ordering more salt? Now we have no bus routes open, only major roads are being treated and probably the elderly and disabled are finding themselves in trouble.
Perhaps Clr Sheard could let the people know on what the highways budget is spent.
Certainly not on road resurfacing and gritting. I have suggested ways of finding money to pay for gritting. Finally, can the council stop making excuses, which we have heard for the past few weeks and do something positive.
HARD UP AND FED UP
Council tax reduced?
I JUST wanted to say thank-you to the people/person who has put grit down on Lane Top in Linthwaite.
It was very kind of you since the gritter (for whatever reason) sees fit to be sent up Hoyle Ing and then go to Pennine Crescent, missing out Lane Top completely.
I assumed that we were all paying council tax for the same service but obviously not. Maybe I should ask for a reduction!
Making an effort
FURTHER to your story (January 5) I can add that not all the street cleaners are getting grit for their routes.
My partner works for Kirklees as a street cleaner and he’s been provided with NO grit, and a metal spade which doesn’t clear anything. Yet he’s been out for eight hours at a time in this freezing weather being criticised by members of public and his bosses while the bin men have been taking time off and being offered a bonus to collect the extra bin bags.
It’s about time the bosses took note of their employees that are trying their best and making an effort.
We haven’t had a bin collection for over a month ... can I assume then I can miss this month’s council tax? Didn’t think so.
Name and address supplied
The real heroes
JUST to say that people don’t seem to realise that the lads who drive these gritter wagons are coming out at 4am on these mornings.
Yes, we all know it’s their job, but spare a thought for them – they’re doing the best they can and can only be in one place at once.
These guys are the real heroes. They deserve a little recognition for the work they do.
ARTHUR Quarmby asked the question: When did you last see someone going about with ‘stockinged feet’ – well Mr Quarmby, my answer is ‘yesterday’.
My 85-year-old mother sported socks over her shoes when I took her out yesterday, and very fetching she looked in them – they were bright pink! She said, as you did, that it was common practice for older folk when she was young.
As usual, mother knows best!
Wind power hot air
CAN I start by saying that I believe, without question, that wind power has its part to play in the need for alternative energy?
However, I just cannot support Gordon Brown’s quest to ‘blanket’ the Calder Valley with wind turbines as part of his demand for 8,000 new turbines across the country.
I am also against the action taken by power companies to put in over 420 planning applications for new wind farms, on a purely ad-hoc basis; not because wind power will sort out our alternative power needs but because the subsidies ‘Brown’s lot’ have to offer is the only way that power companies can make wind farms financially viable.
The Secretary of State, who has just overturned local planning decisions for proposals at Crook Hill in Todmorden, has said that the need for alternative energy far outweighs any local objection whatsoever.
This beggars belief when issues like water tables and hydrology; health issues relating to those living close by; the loss of urban common; loss of blanket bog areas and not to mention the visual amenity all have an impact on those who live in the Calder Valley.
For those who say that they like the look of wind farms then a word of caution. We currently have two farms with 43 turbines in total above the Valleys here in Calderdale.
Imagine how a large share of Brown’s 8,000 new turbines will look.
Similarly, those of my critics may ask what the Conservatives policies on alternatives are we believe in micro generation locally and off-shore wind, not on-shore.
In the meantime, people have until January 25 to submit representations to Calderdale Council on Coronation Power’s application to de-register parts of the commons needed for Crook Hill, details of which are in the Todmorden Library.
RastrickConservative Parliamentary Candidate, Calder Valley