SAVINGS of £151,000 by closing 11 public toilets in Kirklees?

I wonder just how Kirklees Council arrives at this figure? Most of this figure is surely just paper transfers between departments, and results from how budgets are allocated.

“Business rates” apparently have to be paid, but in reality, no monies actually change hands. The council doesn’t pay itself!

The cleaning staff will be deployed elsewhere, so no wage cost savings there.

Surely, the only actual cost to the council is that of the water and electricity bills, anything else is all within house.

While every little helps, I would suggest that the true savings will be miniscule, a tiny fraction of the council’s budget.

It needs to look at other areas where proper savings could be made, and which they appear reluctant to address.

Les Addy


Direct debit ‘debacle’

THERE has been much huffing and puffing by KFTRA regarding forcing tenants to pay their rent by direct debit.

Suggestions have allegedly been made against tenants that unless they set up a direct debit they will be evicted.

This matter has been discussed at the Kirklees Community Association meetings where both KNH and KFTRA have an input.

When this was brought up on the agenda no one from either KNH or anyone on behalf of KFTRA raised any objections.

Only myself and Clr Donald Firth who are both members of KCA voiced our disapproval and voted against this move – on behalf of KCA tenants.

Suddenly KFTRA are changing their tune but not a word from KNH.

As far as Clr Firth and myself are concerned we both believe it is illegal for any organisation to refuse to accept the currency rate of their country and therefore if tenants pay cash at Post Offices etc they should continue to do so.

Setting up a direct debit gives any organisation the right to have direct access into your bank account. This we believe is wrong.

If tenants wish they can set up a standing order with their banks to pay the rent – but only if they want to – that way only a set amount stated can be sent each and every week.

After 12 months that has to be renewed by the tenant.

Many elderly tenants have never been in arrears with their rent in their lives and yet are now being dictated to and in our view bullied by KNH and Kirklees Council.

Many tenants cannot tell the difference between the two and that is how KNH like it.

They manage council properties on behalf of Kirklees Council to which the council pays Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing a management fee which runs into thousands of pounds.

KNH are always issuing press notices saying that over 90% of their tenants are ‘satisfied’ with their performance and the way they conduct their business.

The direct debit debacle proves otherwise.

Clr Christine Smith Clr Donald Firth

Backing KFTRA

WELL Done KFTRA, keep up the good work, Cliff Whiteley would be proud of you. Don’t ever weaken under duress from KNH.

Why shouldn’t KFTRA continue campaigning against mandatory direct debits for all Kirklees tenants rents. They are the central part of all the TRAs in Kirklees and part of their portfolio is working on behalf of all TRAs (Tenants and Residents Associations).

They deserve every penny they get from Kirklees, which isn’t enough anyway, for all the hard work they do on behalf of TRAs.

Young families, disabled, young people and elderly are finding it hard now, so what kind of a chance in the future do they have?

With all that is happening with changes to the benefits system/housing changes, we are all going to find it hard enough to adjust to these changes, without being subjected to – call it what you will. Some would call it totalitarian.

Maureen Jackson (MBE)


Global shivers

DOES anyone know the whereabouts of the global warming we have been warned is coming for a number of years?

Has it got lost under the tons of snow that has deluged us over the past two weeks?

Mrs B Clarke


Time for action

WHAT is happening to our once proud NHS? Once again problems with the Leeds Childrens Heart Unit.

My own daughter Gloria had heart surgery three times at what was once Killingbeck Cardiac Hospital, which is also in Leeds, around the time it was on the brink of closure.

The surgeon there, Duncan Walker, worked tirelessly to keep it open, but he failed and it closed and moved to Leeds General, which is now under threat as we all are aware.

What about the children? The worry for the parents is bad enough with their illness to cope with, let alone problems with travel and waiting lists.

No such problems though at the lavish Quarry House, the NHS HQ in Leeds City Centre.

Why are clerks housed in such luxury, while hospitals are closing? If this is the idea of saving cash then what is the health service about?

People come first, not pen pushers and NHS. Big wig David Cameron should take action about this and show how strong the government is.

Colin Vause


Better access please

THE sever snowstorms which began Friday, March 22 completely blocked Little Cake/Strinesmoor Road, Hade Edge making travel impossible.

Trying to contact the Highway Department by telephone was no help.

I tried several times and all I got was an answer phone message telling me to go on the website.

My husband and I have no knowledge of the website, both of us being pensioners, and due to the fact that my husband has Type 2 Diabetes, I really felt the needed to speak to someone to stress the urgency to collect insulin and medication from the doctors’ surgery.

The snowplough finally cleared the road on Wednesday, March 27.

I appreciate that the major roads must have priority, but this length of time being cut off is inexcusable.

Perhaps the Highways Department could advise what we should do should these problems arise again.

Had it not been for the kindness of family and neighbours walking through deep snowdrifts to collect medication and provisions, I don’t know what we would have done.

People hiding behind new technology are of little use.

Barbara Hirst

Hade Edge