JUST before Christmas my son received a letter saying that the apprenticeship he was on was being cancelled.

Now he faces the unenviable prospect of trying to find a job during the worst recession in more than 60 years.

He has no prospect of getting a job with the council which is sacking more than 1,000 people or in any area of the public sector where half a million people are to be sacked by the Tory-LibDem coalition.

It is estimated that the public sector cuts will lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses in the private sector as well. So where are unemployed young people supposed to find work?

The scrapping of the Future Jobs Fund, which provided work for young people for at least six months, the cuts to Connexions careers services and the Working Neighbourhood Fund along with massive tuition fee increases will have a devastating effect upon the prospects for young people in this country.

The former children’s commissioner Sir Al Aynsley-Green has pointed out that the ‘savage’ cuts of the coalition government ‘risk robbing young people of the chance to improve their lives and crushing social mobility’.

It seems an entire generation of young people are being written off by the coalition government in its efforts to pay off the public sector deficit which was created by its friends in the financial sector.

Dylan Murphy


Time for fairness

HERE we go again, the recent announcement of the closure of the parking office, adding more frustration for motorists in Huddersfield.

One begins to wonder where all the hard-pressed council tax payers’ money goes, with all the potholes in the roads re-appearing after supposedly being repaired, street bollards and lighting not being maintained, cuts in services to vulnerable people and the failure to collect £23m in council tax.

If I refused to pay my council tax I would be expecting a visit from the bailiffs.

While I am talking about council tax, spare a thought for one group of council taxpayers in Huddersfield. These are the people who have had to downsize for various reasons, but are unable to sell their properties because of the current conditions in the housing market and find, under the current legislation, that after six months that they are faced with having to pay local council tax twice.

I fail to see any fairness in such a situation. What we need is councillors who do the job with the interests of the people of Huddersfield, instead of the ones we have at present who, to me, have done nothing for this formerly great town.

Tony Smith


Principle point

IT IS disappointing that CLL (Mailbag, January 7) thinks we should give ourselves a pat on the back for having councillors who are not as bad as they could be!

Surely the fact that our ‘serious and hardworking bunch’ of councillors think it is OK to organise ‘away days’, charging local rate payers needlessly and enjoying tea and biscuits at a time when everyone else is tightening belts is a scandal.

There is a principle here that CLL ignores.

Trevor Woolley


Commonsense driving

AT last a letter (Lane Excuses, January 6) from a motorist who knows what he is talking about.

Sick and Tired Driver’s recent letter regarding the traffic lane procedure at Lockwood is the first to get the lane usages correct. Other commentators would clearly benefit from a retest.

The problem has been caused primarily by the Highways Department who seem to have a hand in causing chaos on our roads supposedly in the name of road safety.

Mini roundabouts, pinch points, humps, bumps, bus lanes, cycle lanes all add to the daily nightmare we call driving.

Highways seem to treat everyone as either a moron or racer.

Travel from Waterloo to Moldgreen and you will find that the double lane highway has been reduced to one lane even out of ‘bus lane only’ hours.

The reason for this is that most motorists will not use the bus lane when private vehicles are allowed. Why they do not use it is beyond me. According to the flawed logic of some who have written to Mailbag, those that do use the inside lane would in their minds be jumping the queue.

What we would have is a single line of vehicles stretching from Waterloo to Moldgreen, using their driving method.

Driving is a simple task, common sense and courtesy being its main principles. Maybe the time has come for regular driver re-testing say every eight years or so.

R J Bray


We pay for bus lane

COUNCILLOR Donald Firth is right to question the crackpot idea of spending £950,000 on a bus lane.

What is the point of getting a bus a minute or so early, compared to creating one of the worst traffic jams in Huddersfield? Clr Mehboob Khan says the money has come from the Government. That does not come off trees but from our taxes. Obviously he doesn’t think so.

T Blackburn


Explanation please

I AM led to believe that there are plans drawn up to increase the numbers of bus lanes and to lengthen the ones already in existence.

I understand the eagerness of councils to create these magical bus lanes.

Apparently they don’t have to pay for them out of council tax.

Grants are readily available and it’s “free” money.

It’s not free, sensible, or an improvement if it throws a spanner in the works daily, clogs up the rest of the transport system, deters town centre trade in favour of out of town shopping centres and causes chaos and delays to the majority for the benefit of a few.

Could someone please explain the thinking behind this idea that “solves” a traffic problem by taking out 50% of the available road space at the very times it is most needed and used?

John Langford


A can of worms

WITH reference to your feature on January 11, in which our local MP, Mr Barry Sheerman, declares his support for a former MP convicted of using public funds for private gain.

One wonders whether said MPs voted for or against the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which has made these revelations possible, or does Mr Sheerman prefer to re-visit the days of yore, when he might have represented a ‘rotten’ borough?

By the way, a big hat-tip to journalists for their part in opening up this can of worms in the first place!

Leymoor Lad


Rotten apples

ŠALTHOUGH I have no political axe to grind I felt so strongly about the views put forward by MP Barry Sheerman in defence of David Chaytor (Examiner, January 8) that I felt compelled to write.

ŠSo, Barry Sheerman is disgusted at the way his friend and former colleague David Chaytor has been treated and sending him to prison is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

ŠMr Chaytor was a man whom his constituents had placed in a position of responsibility and trust.

He was well remunerated for this but chose to abuse his position Šwith a fraud carried out over a period of time.

Furthermore, when caught out, he tried to argue that the very position he had defiled protected him from the consequences of his fraud.

ŠI applaud the action of the CPS and the judge in bringing him to justice and hope that other MPs awaiting trial are quaking in their shoes at the prospect of donning a prison uniform.

If Mr Sheerman has evidence of other MPs being ‘shielded’ from prosecution he should make it public – let’s get rid of all the rotten apples.

Mr Chaytor got no less than he deserves, irrespective of the number of trees he has planted and all the other excuses Barry Sheerman trotted out.

Methinks Mr Justice Saunders showed sound judgement, which is more than I can say for the MP for Huddersfield.

Edwin Pickett


One law for them ...

BARRY Sheerman says the law is an ass. He thinks one of his chums who got 18 months (of which he will serve only six) for £22,000 of expenses fraud, should have been given community service.

David Chaytor was supposed to be serving the community when he got caught out.

There are lots of stupid laws, like the ones that allowed banker Fred Goodwin to walk away with a large pension pot after the near-collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland..

Of course he did nothing wrong, just cost the rest of us a few billions.

And there was the occupational pension laws which allowed companies to borrow pension funds with no hope of paying back.

Of course they did nothing wrong either, just left 150,000 workers without the pensions which they had been saving for.

And guess what? After 13 years of New Labour there are 4,289 extra asses – that’s how many new laws they managed to create.

G W Bottomley