MAY I comment on the article ‘Something has to be done about this road’ Examiner, April 21 – where residents were calling for action after 18-year-old Ben Armitage was left fighting for his life after a crash on Sunday.

My brother Antoni, aged 22, was killed in an accident as a front seat passenger in a car on Bank Holiday Monday, May 26, 2003, on the same stretch of road between Lockwood and Netherton – just a mere 200 yards from home.

Meltham Road has become a grand prix race track, especially during the evening. It is getting worse.

Traffic islands have been installed but I have seen cars overtake these on the other side of the road and one of the islands seems to be damaged frequently where cars have crashed into it.

It is unclear what the speed limit is on the road as there are no signs and people should be reminded that it is a 30mph speed limit.

More traffic calming measures need to be considered on this busy road as a matter of urgency.

Flashing ‘slow down’ signs and speed cameras would be a very good idea.

Also I have not seen the traffic police doing speed checks on the road for a while and they would catch a large number of speeding motorists.

A meeting was held in October 2009 with local residents, Clr Molly Walton and a KMC Highways Safety Manager. I requested, via the highways department, to install the black silhouettes as per Wakefield Road towards Wakefield as a reminder to drivers that Meltham Road between Lockwood and Netherton is potentially dangerous, but apart from the installation of the silhouettes the meeting has so far been inconclusive.

How many more accidents and lives lost need to happen before something is done about the safety on this road?

Eva Owczarek


Too young to vote

RECENTLY a politician suggested that the voting age should be lowered to 16.

I was born in 1959 and that made me ineligible to vote on June 5, 1975 referendum on whether Britain should stay in the Common Market or not, because I was 16 and not old enough to vote.

If I’d have had the eligibility to vote on that date I would have voted ‘yes’ and then, today, I would have wished I voted ‘no’. I was better off being ineligible to vote on that date.

If 16 and 17-year olds are given the right to vote, would they know what they are voting for?

Richard Appleyard


Gardeners’ delight

KIRKLEES gets a great deal of criticism, much of it no doubt deserved.

However, a service they provide is the removal of household garden hedge/tree trimmings and general garden debris.

This, I am sure, helps to avoid fly-tipping, thus keeping the countryside tidier.

The workmen who carry out the job are also very commendable. They leave one’s area tidy and shut gates etc.

Kirklees, please do keep this service going. I am an appreciative 80-plus.

C Littlewood


A clear skyline please

EVERY time I return home from town when the bus gets to Aspley I glance over to my right and see Castle Hill and the Victoria Tower silhouetted against the skyline.

Snow covered in winter, half hidden by mists in autumn and perfect in every detail on a clear summer day.

I have forgotten what it looked like with the hotel alongside, but I do know now that I do not want that view spoilt by any other building.

This is a unique landmark and should remain so. Have a visitor centre, cafe and toilets by all means, but tucked away as unobtrusively as possible.

To use an old Yorkshire saying let us stop ‘fratching’ about this. Another saying is that sometimes ‘less is more’.

Mrs N Clarke


Heavy-handed shredding

ON April 20 I went to a very interesting but stage-managed meeting on the future of Cliff quarry, between Cliff Road and Wooldale Cliff Road, Holmfirth.

Everyone sat round and agreed how valuable a community asset this piece of land is.

The next day, for the third day running, contractors were removing shrubbery from a development site adjoining that valuable land in a manner that was insensitive to the surrounding environment and the wildlife that thrived on that site.

As I write, their heavy tree shredding machinery is operating from the footpath on Cliff itself.

On the morning of April 21 I complained to the company responsible about the extent of this work, but have heard nothing.

I suggested they should send a donation of £2,000 to the RSPB to help mitigate the impact of his heavy-handed work. I hope others will join me in seeking this recompense.

Anne Baldwin


Dangerous dogs

WHEN is something tangible and practical going to be done to stem the tide of outrageous maiming or killing of babies and children by the repellent dangerous and fighting dogs in our midst?

They bleat that these horrendous incidents are rare and isolated does not hold water. These creatures are the least perfect pets. What an understatement! Any amount of Acts of Parliament and licensing theories are feeble nonsense without thorough supervision and follow-up.

I don’t think it extreme that muzzles should be used 24/7 except when feeding. How could this be policed? Where there’s a will there’s a way. Muzzling is particularly relevant among young families where lots of these dogs seem to live.

Doesn’t anyone else feel as angry as I do about this extremely serious problem or do most people ignore the situation and say it does not concern them, as usual?

Steven Midgley


They’re a good lot

HAVING recently undergone bowel surgery at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary I would like to say thank you to the wonderful people I met there.

The good-humoured care, attention and, when required, tolerance shown to the patients by hard working staff was incredible.

Given the ongoing issues with the level of bureaucracy in the NHS, I can only observe that HRI works extremely well at the point of delivery – on the shop floor. With grateful thanks to all.



Bigger isn’t better

AFH’s analysis of Unitary Bodies such as Kirklees (Mailbag, April 19) is perfectly correct and shows that politicians such as Edward Heath were out of touch with the realities of the British constitution and its historical context.

At that time, most of the country was run by county authorities backed up by small local urban and rural councils serving communities that could be as small as 25,000.

The only areas of big organisation experience in this landscape were the urban cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool while the old LCC and the London boroughs provided the other.

This was hardly a satisfactory recruiting ground for the massive step increase in unitary provision required by the Heath plan for Local Government Reorganisation that was ultimately and reluctantly implemented by the 1974 Wilson governments.

It led, inevitably, to a dilution of the skills base available to operate these bigger authorities. Because of the dearth of talent available and a clear lack of manpower planning by government, it is not surprising that inexperienced local talent had to be employed and then thrown into the unknown.

In little over 40 years we have created a mass of institutions with a pool of labour that was willing but largely inexperienced, as was the case with local government.

The only beacon of real opportunity in this field of endeavour being Harold Wilson’s inspired innovation that created the Open University who provided entry to all, irrespective of background or qualification.

The present crisis derives from our politicians’ obsession with centralised and controlling government that has changed local authorities from service providers to policing organisations that interfere in every aspect of our lives.

However, as change is in the air, it is perhaps time to grasp the opportunity to make informed, well planned and implemented change that truly operates in the interests of community and provides real opportunity for the individual.

Nowhere is this more needed than in the Palace of Westminster where New Labour, in particular, has provided dilution on a grand scale by very carefully vetting its prospective candidates based on quiescence, loyalty and above all dedication to the ideas contained in the Mandelson-Blair-Brown agendas.

Dr Richard Etheridge