OUR Labour-led and LibDem supported Council is floundering in a deep mire.

Despite a determined attempt to steamroller it through, the Local Development Framework remains bogged down with Colne Valley MP Jason MacCartney recently condemning KMC’s handling of that process so far in Parliament.

There is a still ongoing enquiry into serious allegations about the actions of a leading KMC planning officer who has inexplicably not been suspended pending the findings.

On top of that, I have good reason to think that proposals to reduce care levels for disabled people are actually illegal under international law.

KMC may have overlooked the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which the UK signed-up to in 2007 and ratified in 2009.

CRPD Article 19 (b) is clear that disabled people must ‘have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services ... necessary to support living and inclusion in the community and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community.’

Despite this, KMC is trying to reduce already inadequate support. In case that’s not enough, yet another UN Convention on the Rights of the Child places an extra duty on the State to meet the needs of disabled children in full (Article 23). That includes ensuring parents and carers are given full support.

Far from trying to reduce domiciliary and other services for disabled people, KMC should probably be seeking to increase them.

KMC must try to balance the books, but not at the expense of illegally ignoring the rights of disabled people. Paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds in a failed attempt to force an undemocratic LDF through before the Localism Bill comes into law looks reckless to me.

Any chance of surcharging the Labour Cabinet to get our LDF money back and to ensure that KMC meets its legal obligations?

Bill Armer


Picturesque ‘Knoll’

I REFER to the article ‘Mission accomplished’ (Express and Chronicle, July 23) about disputed land at Swindon or Swinney Knoll.

In 1949 and 1950 a group of us Polish ex-soldiers sat on a bench at the Knoll on the way to swim in New Dam reservoir, looking at the lovely view from that spot. There was no bus route then.

I was also invited by a lady from Wilshaw to see the mausoleum of the founder of Wilshaw Church, the Almshouses and St Mary’s school at Meltham Royd.

He was also a big contributor in building Thurstonland Church on condition that the church spire would be seen from his Mill at Wilshaw Mill Road.

She showed me a book about the local history. There was a lot of pictures from yearly festivals arranged by the wife of the mill owner at the Knoll for the mill workers and the community. It looked very lively.

I went to see it on Saturday again after I read the article.

To improve the image of it a bench should be put there again and a little cheap landscaping will do the trick.

tony sosna


Thanks for the trip

WE go to Cowlersley Community Centre, run by Linda who organised a trip to a garden centre.

We were driven by our driver, Keith, and looked after by our carer, Theresa. A good time was had by all.

Thank you from us all.



Boost for academies

CONGRATULATIONS to the Examiner on the excellent feature on Moor End Technology College’s conversion to academy status (July 13 and 14).

It should have proved very informative to parents and done much to dispel the ‘anti-academy’ propaganda put out from various sources. The future looks exciting for pupils and staff there and this correspondent wishes them all the best in their endeavours.

There has been several letters on the subject of academies over recent weeks – some measured and supportive, others not so. This is good for debate and democracy.

The opposition to academies range from the predictable who are only concerned about self-interest, those who wish to continue exercising central control and influence, the misinformed, and those from a bygone age where things are much different now.

What was so saddening, however, is that not one of those I read mentioned raising standards, pursuing excellence, or offered any positive solution to the dreadful situations our education system is in at the moment.

Data from Ofsted reveals 45% of state schools are failing to provide a good standard of education, less than 60% of pupils are reaching a basic level in English and Maths at age 11, over 17,000 teachers in England and Wales are ineffective, 1,000 pupils excluded every day, assaults on teachers at a five-year high and one in four staff facing false allegations. In Singapore 80% of pupils already achieve at least grade C in English and maths at 16, compared with only half in the UK. And so it goes on.

How can this state of things be defended? Our children are being let down appallingly by the forces of mediocrity while those in Asia, China, Singapore and Taiwan are forging ahead in an even more competitive world. It cannot be allowed to carry on for our future and children.

Academies are at least trying to address these matters, while those against are obviously content with the way things are. Our children deserve better.

In Yorkshire only 5% of schools at the moment are academies but this is growing at the rate of four per day. The progressive revolution is happening and gathering pace. Let us hope for the sake of our children and grandchildren that it continues.



‘Foolish’ cuts

ONLY a fool or a criminal at this time would think about making cuts in the police force.

With these proposals what are people supposed to do? Make citizen’s arrests, take the law into their own hands?

The police do a fine job but there is a limit to what they can do with fewer officers available. We need more police on the beat with rising cases of anti-social behaviour and burglaries. Police presence deters crime. Without it we are simply encouraging crime to rise.

Being a police officer, in my opinion, is far more stressful than being a school teacher and the latter strikes at the drop of a hat. What if the police did the same?

colin vause


Murdoch’s power

KALI Mountford is right to criticise ‘Murdoch and his Power’ (Mailbag, July 26).

Murdoch gives journalism a bad name, but let’s not forget that it is hard-working journalists who have exposed his empire.

The right for a free press had to be fought for. Long gone are the days when men such as Lord Sidmouth and Robert Southey advised that any opinion that came from outside the walls of Westminster or the Palace was not to be heeded.

Over the pat 30 years only two main party political leaders have stood up to Rupert Murdoch. When Murdoch bought The Times newspaper in 1981 Labour leader Michael Foot called for the deal to be referred to the Monopolies and Merger Commission. But Margaret Thatcher refused to do so. For this stance Michael Foot was constantly ridiculed by the Murdoch press.

When John Major was Prime Minister, he refused to meet Rupert Murdoch or have any dealings with him. For this he was treated with the same abuse as Michael Foot.

Finally, may I say how much I enjoyed Katie Grant’s report on the ‘Mouseman treasures uncovered’ (Examiner, July 26) but am disappointed to read that the Community of the Resurrection monastery in Mirfield is to sell off some of Robert Thompson’s furniture.

The Mouseman hailed from Kilburn in North Yorkshire but served his apprenticeship in Cleckheaton and was a true craftsman.

john Appleyard


Repetitive TV

MAY I express resentment at the repeated showing of TV programmes day after day?

For example, last weekend I counted on BBC during Saturday and Sunday 22 hours of repeats and 41 on the commercial stations over the same period.

Lo and behold, during this time both companies gave notice that during the week they would transmit a further nine hours.

Quite honestly I find this incredible. Goodness knows what the position will be when the cuts in broadcasting budgets start to take effect.

frustrated viewer


Innocence is costly

AT present, individuals acquitted of criminal charges are able to claim back reasonable out-of-pocket legal expenses.

The previous government made proposals seeking to remove this established right as a cost-cutting measure.

Members of the current government quite rightly opposed this move during 2009-10, and it was dropped after the General Election.

Unfortunately, tempted by cost-cutting, the government is reviving the plans, adding questionable restrictions on legal aid.

Prosecutions can cover relatively ordinary matters such as motoring where the authorities are less than perfect.

As many as one in five Crown Court cases has been found to be ineffective.

It is quite wrong that the government should wish to see innocent people out of pocket when they have to defend their reputation, particularly those thrifty enough to build some savings.

As the government has just reduced the interest payable on an Irish loan (losing up to £75m a year income) it can’t be that desperate.

I urge readers to check the Law Society website for more details and to write to their MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.

Mark Taylor

Campaign Manager, New Alliance