WERE it not for the Examiner’s recent article about the council’s loan to Kirklees College to the tune of £23m, local taxpayers would be unaware of this major ‘investment’ in our local college’s relocation programme.

I can understand the council’s wish to support the college and to ensure Huddersfield has a world class facility.

However, given the college must be extremely grateful not only for the loan but also for the lower than normal interest rate for repayments, is it not reasonable to expect some moral pay-back to local council taxpayers who have ultimately helped them out?

I refer to the total lack of response of the college to calls to retain their adult education provision in the local Holmfirth Adult Education Centre, a building much loved by local learners.

The ‘partnership’ between the college and local council taxpayers feels very one-sided and surely the college is unwise to risk losing further council support when the college requires it in the future.

Is it really worth losing so much goodwill to pursue closure in the face of such strong opposition?

Also, going for closure just as the government is in the middle of a review of adult education across the country (a report which is due in October) again calls into question the wisdom of the college’s decision.

Surely a year’s grace would have been in order, both to await the findings of the review and to give time to all interested parties to work together to find a sustainable way forward?

I would ask for our partners at the college to rethink. There’s no shame in that.



Building bridges

MR Crines (Mailbag, July 13) deliberately misinterprets what I’m saying in my letter of July 11. I have no objection to keeping old buildings or spending money on them if they can be used for the benefit of the town.

What I object to is spending money on maintaining empty buildings which no employer or the local council is prepared to use.

I’m sure there are plenty of skilled architects who could ensure that the replacement buildings blend in, are carbon neutral and are attractive to inward investors.

I fail to see where in the letter I disregard students. Without them this town would be in an even more parlous economic state than it is at the moment.

I have always preferred that the university use the old mill sites on Colne Road rather than letting them degenerate into ugly ruins, as is the case in the outlying areas of Huddersfield.

I was pointing out that any visitor to Huddersfield would see that the vast majority of shoppers are either old or students. That’s all, nothing more.

I will admit to having little time for the likes of the Civic Society.

After all they have been at the forefront of stopping a number of developments in Huddersfield, the replacement Market Hall for example, that would have improved both the built environment and the shopping experience.

Markham Weavill


Academies bias

ACADEMY schools can be set up by the governors of any school after they have consulted the relevant people. That is what the law says. It is left to the governing body to decide who they should consult.

The decisions on Lindley and Salendine Nook have not been taken yet. This begs the question: How can the council send the decision for scrutiny if a decision has not been taken and the consultation period has not yet been completed?

As a parent of children who went to both schools and was happy with both schools I may have an opinion on what they should do for the best.

Having worked in various academy schools, I could give a professional opinion.

What I would not do, however, is prejudge the governing bodies of both schools who will be in possession of the relevant evidence to make an informed choice.

What appalls me is that some councillors have an inbuilt bias against academies and choose to sit and wait to see which way the wind is blowing and try and catch the slipstream.

This will not be conducive to future good relations between the relevant schools and the local authority.

When the leader of the council uses an initial meeting to sneer at Trust schools, for example, I wonder if he took into consideration that the New North Huddersfield School (Fartown) will be a Trust school and one of the people brought in to help Fartown get out of the trough it was in came from Castle Hall Trust School?

It is this kind of prejudicial thinking which may doom some school’s future development.

Good luck to both schools and I hope they make the right decision for them and the children they serve.

Bernard McGuin


View to a kill

HILARIE Stelfox asks (July 9), who cares how our meat is slaughtered? Well, for centuries Jews have cared, do so today and as caring for the welfare of animals is so very central to the Jewish faith, will always care.

That is why it is vital to ensure that the debate promoted by Ms Stelfox is conducted with facts, not emotion and certainly not by the constant republication of discredited, skewed and agenda-based science.

First of all, the Jewish community is responsible for the slaughter of only 90,000 red meat animals a year and not the 2.1 million to which Ms Stelfox refers.

Second, the phrase ‘ritual slaughter’ is inaccurate as there is no ritual at all involved in the shechita method of humanely slaughtering animals for food.

Third, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to show that the shechita method, which incorporates an integral stun, is any less humane than gassing, electrocution, drowning or shooting and there is ample scientific evidence to show that it is, indeed, more humane.

The Farm Animal Welfare Report to which Ms Stelfox refers was rejected by the Government’s scientists as not conclusive.

Furthermore, the inversion that is so graphically described is not at all part of the shechita process. It was an abattoir process that was abandoned in the UK in the 1990s.

Ms Stelfox then quotes the FAWC reporting that in the industrialised, mechanical slaughter process the cows walk into the pen chewing their cud as a bolt is fired into their skulls. That is simply silly.

In the heavily industrial slaughter process these poor animals are hit with electric prods and dragged with hooks to be shot with a bolt that, according to the Farm Animal Welfare Council fails for, on average, three million animals each year.

Informed choice though, is important, which is why the Jewish community has welcomed a decision of the European Parliament to look closely at all stunning methods in the coming year.

Consumers should have the right to know if their meat was killed by the mechanised slaughter methods which include gassing, electrocution, drowning, clubbing or shooting as well as knowing if their meat was slaughtered by one of the humane religious methods.

Henry Grunwald

Chairman, Shechita UK

Walk of faith

THANKS to the Examiner for the coverage it gave on July 12 to the ‘walk of faith’ being undertaken by Ben Bradshaw, who is training as a priest at the College of the Resurrection.

I walked the first few miles with Ben when he left Mirfield on Monday morning and as we chatted I was fascinated to learn more about his experiences in Zimbabwe and also in Baghdad.

I am sure he would be very willing to speak to local groups and organisations about his travels.

For anyone without internet access who would like to contact him or sponsor him on his walk, Ben’s address is: The College of the Resurrection, Stocks Bank Road, Mirfield, WF14 0BW.

Ann Leigh

South Crosland

Rotten Britain

I REMEMBER going to the cinema over 50 years ago with a young woman who has now been my wife for more than 53 years. Š

During the performance the newsreels came on with scenes of the starving children in Africa.

I am still seeing the same scenes daily on the TV. We don’t seem to make any impression.ŠIt makes me sick when I hear all the ballyhoo from our political leaders and other world leaders who seem to do nothing but talk.

With all the spin and deceit that’s going on in Britain at the moment, it’s a wonder some people dare show their faces in public.

I wonder how long it will be before the starving faces I see are my own fellow countrymen and women. Š

All this going on while the gutter media have a field day and our government and other establishment figures fiddle, cheat, lie, and deceive just to further their own ends.

The world, and in particular Britain, is rotten to the core. It has never been so bad. ŠI cannot think of six MPs that I would trust or have any faith in. ŠStop the world, I want to get off.

Billy Richardson


National pride

WELL written, Mr Sandford, (Mailbag, July 13) – the two anti-nationalist people you mention have probably had their brains reprogrammed by the council jobworths so they can’t even think independently about eating, saying or doing anything.

They’re not going to fly the flag for England for fear they might offend some politically correct mamby- pamby.

Stand up for our nation before it’s too late.