AT LAST we see the Labour Government giving ‘the people’ a chance to vote on policies they have pursued over the past 12/13 years.

ŠAnd, while mainstream politics may debate such issues as immigration, taxes and the recession, here in Kirklees and the Colne Valley we have a far greater political threat to consider – that of between 37,000 and 45,000 homes that may be built on our ‘green and pleasant land’ under the guise of the Local Development Framework (LDF).

Indeed, 2009 saw the biggest ever planning revolt by the people of this district since Kirklees came into being.

Therefore at this juncture the electorate must not forget this fact when deciding where to put their cross at the ballot box and thus make clear to all local politicians where their future planning loyalties must lie.

In the case of the Colne Valley, the 3,000-plus envisaged homes would completely obliterate our rural way of life and cause the collapse of our already flagging community resources and infrastructure, including traffic gridlock for most of our local villages! Š

Thus we must caution the electorate that these governmental ‘affordable/social housing’ plans may not be for our local population’s benefit (as some of the politicians would like you to believe) but for the betterment of other EU citizens relocating to the UK in 2012. Š

Hence we at Lingards have been asking those candidates for Colne Valley to comment on their parties policies and the (LDF) before this planning Armageddon arrives on our doorstep!

Alan Knight

Secretary, Lingards Community Association, Slaithwaite

Goldfish truths

WITH reference to the letter ‘Fishing for a Fair Society’ from R J Bray of Shelley (Mailbag, April 6), I must admit that I thought the fine was rather over the top when I first heard the story. But it rang warning bells with me, as stories like that often do.

It didn’t take long to find out that there was more to it than met the eye!

The action was taken by Trafford Council following a complaint from a parent whose 14-year-old autistic child had been sold a pet without their permission or knowledge and contrary to the laws governing animal welfare.

On inspecting the shop they found a cockatiel which was in distress with eye problems and a broken leg and had to be put down.

R J Bray suggests she should have been given a warning. She was – in 2008, for a similar offence which obviously didn’t work, hence the prosecution.

And guess what? This was all done by a Conservative Council and nothing to do with Gordon Brown or totalitarianism.

Cath Ingham


A different future

I AGREE that the next MP for the Colne Valley should be in tune with the constituency and live in ‘the real world’. (Examiner Mailbags, March 26).

Of course the Lib Dems are making a lot of noise about the other candidates being recent in-comers. But then their campaign focus on potholes looks like they are fighting a council election.

If we value fairness in elections, the level of funding the Conservatives have devoted to winning this marginal constituency should concern us. It is a matter of record that some of Lord Ashcroft’s untaxed millions have been channelled into target areas.

How much are the Colne Valley Constituency Conservatives beneficiaries of Ashcroft funding? I think we have a right to know.

Our retiring MP, Kali Mountford, has supported the Blair government down the line. I feel she must bear some responsibility for taking us into the Iraq war, which I opposed at the time. As a result we are now a less secure country in which we continue to spend billions on out of date defence strategies.

The Green Party’s approach to the ‘real world’ is to recognise that the future will be different from the past. In addition to the challenge of global warming we will face a continued rise in energy costs caused by increasing scarcity of oil.

We need to plan for this by investing now in jobs that are essential for life in a low carbon economy. To improve the quality of life we need a fairer, more self-sufficient community.

Finally, for the record, as the Green Party’s general election candidate for Colne Valley, I do live in one of its six wards – Crosland Moor and Netherton.

I have lived here for nearly 10 years, based my business activities in Huddersfield and played a part in local planning and environmental activities – in the Colne Valley, the Holme Valley and in Huddersfield, where one-third of the constituency lives.

Chas Ball

Green Party Parliamentary Candidate, Colne Valley

Who tied their hands?

WHEN all the councillors’ posturing and hot air has subsided over Lindley Moor I have no doubt it will be built on.

Can you hear the comment from them all en bloc: “Our hands were tied from a decision made 10 years ago”?

I believe the people of Huddersfield deserve to know who the individuals were that made the decision 10 years ago regarding the grading of Lindley Moor so they can be exposed for their mismanagement of the town’s heritage.

I am sure I am not alone in my thoughts that those elected individuals responsible may have a case to answer.

Paul Land

Salendine Nook

The sum of all beers

EVERY week 40 pubs shut in Britain. In Huddersfield, something like a quarter of its pubs have closed. Those that survive complain how hard it is to make a living.

Yet the Thandi brothers propose to build a pub on top of a hill miles from anywhere with a road access which is difficult at the best of times and potentially dangerous in the winter.

This pub would not only have to cover its operating costs like any other pub but also the cost of servicing its capital.

It is doubtful if the proposed seven bedrooms would pay for themselves when the existing ample supply of hotel rooms in the area is shortly to be augmented by a 33-bedroom Holiday Inn at Aspley.

It doesn’t add up.



Rose-tinted past

IT’S nonsense to think the past was better (Mailbag, March 26). I don’t wear rose tinted glasses, Mr Vant.

The era of which I talk was not all peaches and cream. To say different would be incorrect. I was a child in the 50s and if a policeman had said something to me I would have jumped a mile. I respected that he was the law and as such had to be obeyed. Why did I respect his position? I was taught to do so.

Take law and order: how many murders were committed throughout the country weekly 50 years ago? Very few I would say. Yes there was crime – there has always been crime. I have never said that crime did not exist.

What is missing from Mr Vant’s letter are the crime figures of yesteryear compared to crime figures of today. We had organised crime, murders, immigration and drugs but not to the degree of today. Over these years all of these figures have grown.

Most of the issues which people talk about have increased over the passage of time. This is fact, not rose tinted fiction.You cannot deny it.

Society has not tackled any of these issues. These issues are not on the decline. That to me is extremely worrying. Politicians think throwing money at a problem is the answer. We all know it is not.

As for Mr Vant’s quotations from a Conservative party conference in 1958, we know that is just party claptrap. All political parties try to egg up problems. I must say I liked the bit about young people sneering at the police. Nowadays they would just beat them up. That is progress.

The fact that Mr Vant and I have the freedom to express different views about bygone times is something to be treasured, though. Hold on to it – it may be on the decline.

R J Bray


Supporting sufferers

ARE you a cancer patient, or do you have a relative who is recovering from or currently being treated for cancer?

Have you found it a struggle to return to work or had to give up your job completely as a result of having cancer?

Research by Macmillan Cancer Support has found that nearly 60% of people with cancer have had to reduce their hours, make changes to their work or give it up entirely.

Out of these people, four in five were not warned about the impact cancer would have on their career.

Macmillan wants cancer to be a top priority for the upcoming election and we believe one of the main concerns for the political parties should be providing more support to help cancer survivors return to work.

Every year more than 106,000 people of working age in the UK are diagnosed with cancer. Help us paint a picture of the types of problems that prevent these people returning to work, so political parties take notice and look to make changes for the future.

If you would like to share your story please contact Jane Reed on 01904 756414 or email us your story, with a daytime telephone contact number, to

Maureen Rutter

Director for East Midlands and Northern England, Macmillan Cancer Support