I WAS very concerned to read the Examiner article (November 7) concerning the diseased trees in Farnley Tyas because in my view, this situation could so easily have been avoided.

This fungus has been known about for several years now and yet nothing has been done until the last few weeks. The trees in question were only planted in February 2012. So the following questions need to be asked:

1. What is the point of the EU? A devastating fungus is affecting forestry across Europe and yet no legislation about importation or even a Europe wide campaign to raise awareness.

2. DEFRA appear to have done nothing until the last few weeks when again they could have banned importation or at the very least introduced a voluntary code and released more information about the disease and what to look for and where to report concerns.

3. Why did the company supplying the saplings import them from Germany (a country next door to Denmark where 90% of ash trees have been destroyed)? Did they make Mr Sykes aware of this?

Despite Mr Sykes’ laudable aim of wishing to “protect mature ash trees on adjoining woodland” if the fungus has been present all summer it is likely that it has spread.

Have DEFRA gone into the adjacent woods now to check them before the leaves finally fall?

Signs have gone up asking walkers to avoid the area but in my view this is too late!

We now have this fungus in our part of West Yorkshire where it would not have been otherwise (or at least not as quickly).

Next summer we will see the full impact on our local woodland, it is not just the rain forests that need protecting but our woodlands right here right now and we have been badly let down by those bodies who are in a position to do this.

Mrs J Hull


Election nightmare?

WELL IT has all kicked off with relation to the election of our first Police and Crime Commissioners.

How stupid of this coalition Government to bring in such an important post, when this Government still has two years of cuts to be implemented.

Let’s face it, this has been a shambles and will be a nightmare for whoever wins this election.

In truth who is the Police and Crime Commissioner accountable to, other than the electorate. If we’re not happy, how do we sack them? We can’t? We have to wait till they come up for re-election.

The role should not be affiliated to any political party, yet all three parties have put up candidates. How strange!

How were these candidates selected, and why did they have to put up £5,000 to be in the running? Would that be to prevent any man or woman off the street applying ?

I cannot see this working without this Government having a long term strategy in relation to policing and the justice system as a whole.

We all know the police are doing their jobs as best they can, especially at this time. They go out, arrest the criminals and the justice system hands out community orders.

Even after repeated offences they get community orders or fines, which will take years to recover.

We need to take these youth offenders out of their communities to rehabilitate them, we need to go back to approved schools and the old Borstals but update the methods used.

Make it hard and strict, as half of these criminal youth offenders have never had a stable upbringing.

Bring on the Police and Crime Commissioners but with a long term police and justice strategy so that the whole system will work and work together. Investment is needed!

Keith Bagot


Consequences of change

SHELLEY College vice principals, Dave Wadsworth and Steve Harrington state they have a dream (Examiner, November 7).

Their dream is to make Shelley College along with its facilities match any school in the country. Mine is to win the health lottery, maybe I am aiming too high?

At present Shelley’s GCSE pass rates are currently at least 16% higher than the national benchmarks. In the year 2009, only 54% of students gained five GCSE grades A* to C, including English and maths, compared with 81% this year. The results for five GCSE passes in any subject are even more impressive, having risen from 71% of pupils three years ago to 98% this year.

It would seem that parents of pupils who attend Shelley College are happy with the present system of education. If they were not then I am certain their voices would have been heard long before now. With change comes disruption it is inevitable which means some children’s education would be affected by these changes.

Those who wish to go bigger – which does not equate to better – should remember that the children whose education is affected will not get a second chance.

If the system is not broken why try to mend it? Those pupils who will be coming from the middle schools to make Shelley’s pyramid higher will not be coming from failing schools but from schools who are also doing well.

Let us remember it is not a pet project which you can play around with until you get it right. There is also no option to revert if things start to fall apart. There will be consequences and those could be to the detriment of the children.

Shelley College is a prime example of an education system which works, at the moment?

R J Bray


Consider the figures

THE LEADERSHIP dream for Shelley College to become one of England’s finest seems based on just two years of exam results: 2009 and 2011.

If they have control over these annual achievements, what happened in 2008 and 2010?

Furthermore, if results dip in 2012 or 2013, will they then wake up to their status as mere mortals?



Memorable night

WITH reference to the report by Chris Robins on the recent Huddersfield Choral Society’s Vaughan Williams and Brahms concert, (Examiner, November 5) I would like to comment on the mention of the ‘tongue in cheek’ opening to Benjamin Britten’s arrangement of the National Anthem.

I was a member of the Leeds Festival Chorus in 1961 when Britten wrote this arrangement, and was present when he introduced it to the choir.

He explained that the pianissimo opening was to remind us all that the anthem is actually a prayer, which he felt should be sung quietly and with reverence, asking that ‘God save our gracious Queen’ rather than loudly demanding as in some versions.

It was just a pity on Friday that the audience was not prepared for this and the beautiful opening was spoiled by people shuffling out of their seats to stand.

Perhaps, on a future occasion, we could be brought to our feet in advance.

Thank you to all for a memorable evening.


Salendine Nook

Changing lives

I HAVE joined the Sunday People’s long-running and prestigious Man of the People fund to hand out vital cash to the most deserving charities.

The fund has been running for 45 years and has helped good causes across the UK buy vital equipment and provide them with the support they need to keep operating.

This year I will be judging the entries along with charity campaigner Camilla Batmanghelidja, MP Jon Cruddas and Sunday People columnist Charlie Catchpole.

We have £40,000 to hand out equally to the three most deserving causes.

We want you to nominate groups in your areas which are striving to change lives and go the extra mile for those who need it most.

Or, if you run a charity which you think deserves help from our fund, we would love to hear from you.

It cannot be an individual though, and has to be a registered charity with a registered number.

Send your nominations to The People, Man of The People, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AP by Friday, November 16. Or email manofthepeople@people.co.uk.

David Weir

Always a mix up

REGARDING ‘There’s bin a mix up’ (Examiner Letters, November 7), I was reading this just as I was in the middle of a mix up myself with the council re my husband’s care – he has dementia.

Each time he needs respite, there seems to be a mix up. Bills for care – a mix up. Contact with people – a mix up.

You name it, it is always a mix up. Far too lengthy to explain here.

I just wondered if it happened to many other people who are carers? It obviously happens in other departments of Kirklees.

No wonder our council tax is so high!

Feeling mixed up