MY granddaughter is one of the unlucky four-year-olds in Kirklees who will not be attending her local first choice school.

She lives in Shelley Park and Shelley First School is only a five-minute walk away but she has been allocated a school over three miles away.

This surely goes against the Kirklees ideal of promoting a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle by making it necessary to take her by car rather than allow her to walk the short distance to the local school.

The pre-school which she attends (in the grounds of Shelley First School) has been making preparations for the transition to school, taking her to see her classroom and teacher, both of which will not be part of her school life come September.

However, the most heartbreaking thing of all is when she asks why she cannot go to the same school as her two playmates who live on the same road just houses apart.

Her parents, as many other parents, will fight for this right – but come on Kirklees, why should this happen and why take away the joy that should go with the early school years?

a concerned grandmother

Name and address supplied

Driven up the wall

THIRTY-FIVE years of Kirklees nepotism? The £60k a year earned by the tradesman plasterer is scandalous!

Recently I moved out of KMC property in Slaithwaite. This was a first floor flat in a house they had split into two.

While I was there I found the roof needed repairing and the bathroom was damp with a real condensation problem.

The bedroom was damp and living room damp. All these rooms needed special plastering. As a KMC tenant you need to report repairs to the building services and they give you a rough date as to when the tradesmen will appear (note: no proper time and date).

Numerous times a plasterer arrived at my property uninvited when I was out and they even have the cheek to ring you up. If this is not a waste of public funds I do not know what is.

A homeless friend of mine was placed in a property that was still wet and damp and unpainted three years ago. Not very nice for a man with asthma and health problems.

I sincerely hope the next person who lives in this property I vacated for nicer quality housing does not endure the mental anguish I endured in a flat, cold and damp that cost me a fortune to heat!

They have not heard the last of it!

c m michael


Signs of the past

THE photographs I find most interesting are from your supplement “All our Yesteryears”.

If you look in detail you can see which decade they originate from without looking at the captions below.

In the 1920s there are the mustachioed men in flat caps, while the children look woebegone. Poverty all around them.

The 1930s are very similar, and can’t you wonder, with the jobless and war around the corner. Both boys and girls wore identical fringes and no doubt wearing their siblings’ hand-me-downs.

Their facial expressions are of bewilderment if not despair.

The early 1940s are similar, while the late forties show more cautious optimism, and their attire is much improved.

The 1950s are the decade where children began to smile and the girls wore ribbons in their hair.

From then the self-confidence began to show through, and smart school uniforms were the order of the day.

Now, of course, during the credit-crunch, less money will be available, but in no way can we compare those past years to the present.

Also, young children have more materialistic benefits today than ever before, the one quality which they used to have is discipline and respect.

How the decades have changed.

kathleen etches


Great County Council

JOHN Avison described West Yorkshire County Council as “something of a white elephant” (Examiner, April 1).

This is the council that gave us Opera North, the new West Yorkshire Playhouse, the National (originally West Yorkshire) Coal Mining Museum and the (West) Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Does Mr Avison think these too are “white elephants” or was his comment an inappropriate April Fool’s Day joke?

The County Council, among its other achievements, also started the restoration of West Yorkshire’s canals, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal included, it gave £1m towards the re-establishment of live theatre in Huddersfield, it carried out rescue archaeology long before Time Team was thought of for television and it ensured, unlike the Highways Agency and its contractors, that the M62 was never closed by the weather in spite of conditions every bit as harsh as those experienced more recently.

Its members went on to provide leaders and Mayors of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield District Councils and its last leader became a Leeds MP.

West Yorkshire County Council was abolished, not because it was a “white elephant” but because Margaret Thatcher could not stand the justified criticism of her by London’s County Hall on the opposite side of the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Although originally ignorant of the difference between metropolitan districts and counties, West Yorkshire was caught in the net created by her animosity towards the London County Council. That was only one of her errors.

Today we are still suffering from Thatcherite economic and social policies and her laissez faire philosophy.

They led to the removal of our control of vital public services – including water, power and communications, to the sacrifice of both public and privately owned industry, to the loss of some of our building societies and, ultimately, to the credit crunch.

If there is any “white elephant” in this sorry catalogue of failure it is Mrs Thatcher herself.

michael hutchinson

Former county councillor for Mirfield

Chinese puzzles

M MERCER’S letter jogged a memory.

In the 1940s a delegation from China came to a Colne Valley Mill to learn to weave. My mum had a trainee weaver. I think others went into other departments. Where are our mills now? Closed down, pulled down. We buy our cloth and clothes (with labels)Made in China!


Colne Valley

Satellite guidance

I WOULD like to share with other letter page readers a moment that gave us great amusement,.

While walking with a group of friends above Slaithwaite and Merrydale near Shred Chapel, an area of steep hills, narrow roads and bad corners, at the entrance to someone’s property was a wonderful sign that read “turn off sat nav and use brain”.

Congratulations to a very witty person, brilliant and straight to the point.



Fieldhead eyesore

EVERY time I travel through Lindley I pass an eyesore. I am referring to Fieldhead Hostel.

This once fine building, once the home of Lindley mill owner John Sykes, has been allowed to go to rack and ruin since it was vacated by Kirklees staff four years ago.

I worked at the hostel myself for 10 years when it was a hostel for the mentally ill.

I saw Kirklees letting it go. Then money could be found for meaningless courses but not for the building’s upkeep.

Fieldhead is a beautiful building so why has work not been done to restore it to its past glory, once Sykes’s home, then a children’s home, then a hostel for mentally ill recuperation. What is it now, an eyesore?

Come on, tidy it up it spoils Lindley, looking as it does now.

colin vause


Problems in store

I WAS utterly dumbfounded to see the feature (Examiner, 10 April) by the Holme Valley Parish Council canvassing support for the proposed Tesco superstore at Holmfirth that I thought the calendar must have gone back ten days.

Does the council not know that Tesco has the most powerful planning team in the country.

Green roof – haven for wildlife – cuts carbon footprint ?

This is a sedum roof. It consists of mosses which would grow on a bit of damp blotting paper. And the traffic which the store will generate is immense and the danger to children walking past on their way to school is considerable.

Their publicity sketch shows two cars on the site, plus one leaving and one arriving. And it equally unrealistically emphasises the green roofs (sedum is more a brownish pink) and the density of the suggested vegetation.

Has the council not noticed how very many shops lie empty in Holmfirth? And when are the next Parish Council elections?

Arthur Quarmby