FURTHER to June Jones letter (Mailbag Tuesday June 5) it is becoming clearer by the day, how unfeasible Kirklees Council’s proposals are for our seven branch libraries to be run by volunteers.
The public meeting in Honley last week raised another very important issue – that of the library officials there openly admitting that volunteers would be expected not only to manage their library, but also to contribute financially.
As members of the audience pointed out, this had not been made clear at the start of the proposals.
Could this have a bearing on the fact that some volunteers in other areas have come forward initially, only to lose interest?
Or is it due to the magnitude of the task of running a library? If this is the situation now, imagine what it will be one year down the line.
Our “Consultation” in Honley Library is due to start on June 6, for six weeks. It is in the form of a touch screen and cards to fill in.
Please be aware that by answering yes to the question “Would you be interested in getting involved in a community library?” on screen, could mean your name is used as a statistic to support the role of volunteers.
The back of the comment cards is a good place to voice your opinion, hopefully strongly against the council’s proposals and to reiterate we need to improve and promote our libraries.
Our petitions show, without doubt, that no-one supports the volunteer suggestions.
Thousands of signatures have now been collected and the public still have time to add their name on the longlivehonleylibrary website or any epetition for the libraries, or on paper copies distributed at various places throughout Honley, including the Post Office, Coop and Taylors Foodstore and of course with those of us out on the streets collecting signatures.
Volunteering, we believe, is a stepping stone to closure of libraries and once gone, will no doubt be gone forever, as in the case of New Mill Library.
Honley Library Bookgroup
Deepening inequality fear
OVER the last few days the media has gone to sleep while it engages in wall to wall coverage of the Queen’s Jubilee.
Never mind the recent raft of economic figures showing that Britain’s recession looks to be getting deeper with the consequent deepening of poverty and social inequality that will result from this.
Labour and Conservative governments alike have been deeply relaxed about the 1% of the population whose wealth has grown astronomically in value at the expense of the remaining 99% of the population.
The assets of the richest 1% of the population have grown from £99 billion in 1999 to over £400 billion in 2010. They control assets worth £4 trillion which compares favourably with Britain's GDP of £1.45 trillion.
Successive governments have been “intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich” and allowed the richest 1% to make hardly any contribution to the reduction of the public deficit.
Indeed, tax evasion and avoidance by the super rich amounts to over £25 billion per year.
Meanwhile the top FTSE directors have enjoyed a 49% increase in pay. On top of this the super rich enjoy tax relief on their pensions to the tune of £14 billion per year.
Let us compare this with the fate enjoyed by millions of ordinary Britons.
The bottom 10% of workers enjoyed a real terms pay cut of 4% in pay in the last year. Since 2008, 99% of the population has enjoyed a 6% drop in income.
So much for our millionaire prime minister’s claim that we are all in this together.
Wealth redistribution from the 1%, who caused the economic crisis, to the rest of the population is the only solution to Britain’s increasingly desperate economic plight.
A cog in society
AN INTERESTING experience, being criticised by both Mr Vant and Hard Up & Fed Up (Letters June 2) over the one letter! A first for Mailbag?
In response to Mr Vant, I will just say two things: I did not make any party-political point, and I am a firm supporter of the NHS. Which brings me to the points raised by Hard Up & Fed Up.
Having been dragged back from death’s door 40 years ago by the Neurosurgeons at Leeds, and having 20 years later developed a chronic condition which necessitates life-long treatment, I too am a “patient for life” with a deep sense of gratitude towards the NHS, including its doctors but not forgetting the nurses and others on the team.
Medics study at university for longer than “standard” graduates. In fact, for about the same as those who complete an academic doctorate and equal to the length of trades apprenticeships in the earlier 20th century.
They do not, since the adoption of the European Working Hours Directive, work longer hours than others.
They do, over a working lifetime, earn far above the national average wage. Which might go some way to explaining their willingness to remain students for longer.
Leaving emotions aside, we must recognise that doctors are but one cog in the complex machinery of society.
Important, yes, but reliant upon a host of others from sewerage workers to highly-educated technicians and research chemists to achieve maximum efficacy.
Which, in a roundabout way, leads to those rather lesser-valued cogs of society: politicians. There are good, bad and arguably evil amongst them. Some are very intelligent, others markedly less so.
Nonetheless, they are necessary for our society to function. Which is not to say that they are not over-rewarded, but that is an argument for another day.
All in the name
IN Barry Gibson’s column “It’s time to talk up our town” (Examiner May 30) he claims he’d never heard of Kirklees when he arrived here four years ago, believing it was somewhere near Glasgow.
Don’t worry Barry, ever since 1974 when Kirklees Council was created, it has been trying to promote itself as a place.
The fact that you, a bright well-informed chap that you no doubt are, were still none the wiser, proves that they have failed. Excellent news!
Yes, let’s do a better job to promote our wonderful town, but let’s remember that ‘Kirklees’ is but the name of a council (and what a silly name it is too).
Get checked out
LAST year, 432 people in Sheffield were diagnosed with lung cancer. Yet if you asked people what the key symptoms were, only 1 in 10 would be able to tell you that it is a persistent cough that lasts for 3 weeks or more.
This is a very worrying statistics as lung cancer is England’s biggest cancer killer but, if diagnosed early, treatment can be successful and more lives can be saved.
That is why we have launched a national Be Clear on Cancer Lung Cancer campaign with huge support from families/patients, charities, healthcare professionals and high-profile personalities from TV, media, politics and sport, whose lives have also been touched by the disease.
We are now committed to taking this campaign into the heart of communities across the country to highlight this very important issue. We are launching a regional roadshow stopping at shopping centres in Yorkshire and the Humber over three and a half weeks.
The roadshow is at White Rose Shopping Centre, Leeds on June 8 and 9.
I’d urge your readers to go to the events, ask questions, spend time with the nurse if needed, or just pick up a leaflet. It could literally save your life or that of a loved one.
Eighty percent of people with an early diagnosis for lung cancer will survive for more than five years, compared to less than seven percent when the cancer has advanced.This partly stems from understanding of the key symptoms to look out for at the outset, such as a persistent cough that lasts three weeks or more.
Speak with your loved ones if they have a worrying cough and urge them to seek advice from their GP. Additional information is also available at www.nhs.uk/lungcancer
Minister of State for Care Services