STRANGE that our elected politicians should decide a referendum on an important matter such as changing the voting system should be carried out at the time of local council elections.
This vote will be tagged on to elections when barely 35% of electorate will bother to vote.
The pros and cons of the Alternative Vote (AV) can be argued either way, although with a three-party system the third party may be able to guarantee they always form part of the coalitions that will ensue.
No wonder the LibDems are frothing over this issue whilst the rest of us have more important things to deal with. No change from the political ‘elite’ there.
I would rather see any referendum on AV tagged on to a referendum on the EU, a much more important issue. Added to which, a continual LibDem presence in government, as the third choice party, would be undemocratic.
I’d rather see politicians subject to recall if they misbehave, steal from us, don’t stick to their promises or continue to suck up to the unelected EU and unelected judges in the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
As always when politicians want to engineer anything to suit themselves, there will be little public debate, the electorate will not understand what AV is and the result will hinge on a minority turn-out.
Just think, we can have the same three parties who all sing from the same hymn sheet provided by their Euro masters, with barely a fag paper between them on policies, for ever changing seats and taking their turn.
Which way to vote
ON Thursday May 5, voters will decide who represents them in local elections across England. There will also be a referendum on whether we use the ‘first past the post’ or ‘alternative vote’ system to elect MPs to the UK Parliament.
Many Examiner readers will want to get involved in campaigning in the referendum and elections. This could be by setting up a campaign group, standing as a candidate or starting a political party.
It is important that people can get involved but they should be aware that there are rules they need to follow. These are set out on our website: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/guidance and I’d encourage everyone planning to play an active role in the campaigns to check the rules.
Chief Executive, Electoral Commission
Having a laugh
I HAVE just sat laughing at the picture of the ‘mud larks’ (Examiner, March 16) especially the boy, who were placed in the churned-up mud of the Piazza. The artist should win a prize!
I am going to cut it out and put it in my kitchen. I suggest the Kirklees Council officials do the same. It might make them smile.
J C Ward
Using local talent
I THINK Dave Rawnsley (Mailbag letter headed Don’t Blame Council Officers For UK Debt) is missing the points that other writers in Mailbag and Examiner editorials are trying to make.
I have been following with great interest the comments regarding Kirklees officials’ appointments and expenses over the last couple of weeks.
Correspondents have not been blaming Kirklees Council officers for the UK debt. They have simply suggested that they are acting just as irresponsibly with Kirklees council taxpayers’ money as the Government has acted with the general taxpayers’ money.
Kirklees Council officials appoint managers to control different sections of the council’s operations, some with multi-million pound budgets.
I am sure that these managers are not paid anything like the salaries that the temporary executive was receiving.
ŠWhat is implied is that Kirklees Council already employs persons with the requisite skills, one or more of whom could have been offered the position of executive at a fraction of the cost.
A bonus would have been that the promoted persons would have local knowledge and been aware of the requirements of the area they were serving.
The interim director got a rent allowance without a means test; her electricity and Calderdale Council tax bills paid; her travel expenses north of the Tyne and her food shopping bill paid.
She got all this and the equivalent of a £120,000 year salary, all at council tax payers’ expense. How do we think this sits with Kirklees pensioners?
Our enthusiasm for cutting costs is not misdirected. The bankers are already off the hook and laughing at us, and so-called long-suffering public officials are busy feathering their own nests at our expense.
If you think not, there are many councils in the UK not making any workers redundant or cutting salaries the nearest to Kirklees is Chesterfield.
Why not look at the way they do things? Maybe we will learn that when Kirklees Council tell us things they do are the norm it may not always be true.
Words versus deeds
IT is with interest I read Kirklees leader Clr Khan’s comments (Examiner, March 14) re ‘Promote a healthy lifestyle ... Help local residents to be active’. Therefore I wonder how he can possibly condone non-inclusion of indoor bowling facilities at the new sports centre?
A large age range uses these bowling lanes up to age 80+ and surely these aims are of paramount importance, especially to the older end of the bowling fraternity.
Many are simply not able to play badminton, squash, climb rock walls etc, probably don’t want to either, but bowling keeps them active both physically and mentally.
For example, if you are on your own, feeling isolated, unhappy for whatever reason, come down to the bowling sessions. There’s always someone to chat to, have a game with, and keep in touch with the activities of the bowling world of Huddersfield and go home feeling happy and cheerful.
I am sure the NHS will see sense in keeping the older people of Huddersfield active as I’ve no doubt this form of exercise impacts on both the physical and mental health of the town’s older generation.
Road’’ bad design
I CAN only agree with ‘Accidental Design’ (Mailbag, March 16).
Driving the last few months having travelled along Longwood Road and Lowergate I have seen on the roads an accident waiting to happen.
The pavement outside the three shops has been taken too far out on to the road. I feel that traffic coming down Longwood Road and turning right on to Lowergate should have been made to go round the roundabout and then on to Lowergate.
There is nowhere for people to cross – it’s a nightmare.
I can only think whoever designed the plans doesn’t come from Huddersfield, as the roads in question are some of the busiest in our town.
Many wagons use the roads in question as it is a route to the motorway.
It’s hall forgotten ...
I REALLY must take issue with Clr Elaine Ward’s statement in last Friday’s Examiner. She said ‘Clayton West has nothing at all where meetings can be held’. I beg to differ.
The Darby and Joan Hall has been part of the village for well over 50 years, and is still being used by several groups and the church.
It is an extremely good facility with a stage, large hall, kitchen and toilets, also room for parking. It is kept in very good order by the officials and committee of the Darby and Joan. Clr Ward was in the building a couple of years ago, so how she can make a statement like that is beyond me.
Perhaps the fact that she is involved with the Theatre Company is reason for her enthusiasm about their success in their application regarding the Baptist Chapel. I wish them well with it, but Clr Ward could not be more wrong.
Late night drinking
I AM amazed that Kirklees Council’s Licensing Committee have granted Lepton Highlanders a licence to serve alcohol until 2am on a Friday and Saturday and midnight during the week.
This will probably mean that people, once they have drunk up, said their goodbyes and ordered taxis etc will be leaving the building at around 3am. For a small village I think that this is totally unacceptable.
If people want to drink until this time then they should travel to the town centre venues. We have already, in the past three months, had trouble with another village centre pub which involved the police having to be called out for after-time drinking (thankfully this pub has now been taken over by another landlord).
Drinking until the early hours is asking for trouble.
The councillors who gave a ‘yes’ vote should hang their heads in shame. Can they honestly say they would have voted yes if the venue had been near to them?
A lot of people do now work weekends or shifts and it is totally unfair on them.
It is the responsibility of councillors to create better village communities and the decision they have just made shows they haven’t got a clue!
ANGRY AND CONCERNED
Now buy the book
FURTHER to the much-appreciated review by John Avison in the March 9 ‘Family History’ page, could I record that copies of the book The Anatomy Of A Village, recollections of Holme over the past two centuries, are available from Kirklees Information Centre and the Fleece Inn, Holme.