WHY does Kirklees propose to put home care into the hands of private companies?

Is it cheaper? If so, these could be the reasons why.

Many private care companies pay the minimum wage, pressure the staff to fit too many clients into too short a time, don’t provide decent hours, conditions and pensions and don’t train staff properly or at all.

Because there is such a rapid turnover of staff some companies may be tempted to employ people before references and CRB checks are complete.

I am not against private companies – I am the director of one. But I’m sure that farming out the care of vulnerable old or disabled people to private companies in a bid to cut costs will only end in tears.

Steve Slator


Holmfirth traffic chaos

CAN anyone tell me how much money Kirklees Highways Department wasted on the recent ‘improvements’ to the traffic lights at the top of Victoria Street in Holmfirth?

Whatever it was, it was money wasted. Since the work was completed the traffic problems in town have increased.

Regularly the traffic heading from Huddersfield backs up beyond the fire station, something that happened infrequently before. One day last week it took me five changes of the lights to travel from the Dunford Road junction through the lights and on to Huddersfield Road.

The only ‘improvement’ I can detect is that it is now easier to get out of the bottom of Cooper Lane.

It’s a shambles.

Tim Radcliffe


Everybody’s highway

IT appears very few people like the idea of on-street parking permits. Fair enough. But it should be pointed out that the ‘Queen’s highway’ belongs to everybody: it’s for public use.

Nobody has the automatic right to park outside their house, although people seem to think they have.

Parking permits are the council’s way of allowing priority parking to residents in busy areas. I wonder how many of these people have drives which they don’t use?

Graham Beaumont


Permits miss the point

I DON’T live in a permit parking area, but I would like to ask a question.

If the permit areas are only enforced between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday what is the point of having them?

Around the hospital the main visiting times are evenings and weekends. Around the stadium spectator traffic is once again mainly on evenings and at weekends.

Have the council forgotten why restrictions were put in or do they not live in areas affected?

Melvin Wade


Counting blessings

HUDDERSFIELD residents complaining about £30 for parking permits should count their blessings.

Barnet Council in London have just put up their annual charges to £40-£100 for the first car, and as much as £150 for a third car. Visitors’ permits are £1-£4 – valid for one day only.

Why should residents get free and guaranteed parking outside their own houses? Most motorists pay council tax and road tax, so why can’t we all park for free?

As for Springwood residents’ argument that ‘there’s nowhere to park in Springwood’, there’s plenty of room – Springwood pay and display.

It is high time that parking in the whole of the Springwood area was reviewed and either:

1) The residents pay the market rate for their parking;

2) Everyone is entitled to free on-street parking on a first-come, first-served basis or;

3) The area is made pay-and-display like the rest of town.

If you don’t want to pay for a permit don’t bother – park elsewhere like the rest of us have to.

Richard Huddleston

West Slaithwaite

Working relationship

IN response to Colin Bateson’s letter (Mailbag, June 28), ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, recommends that employers give trade union representatives time off from their employment duties to fulfil their duties as stewards.

The figure £275,000 represents the nine TU officials’ combined salaries for their roles within the council.

The way Mr Bateman portrays the matter in his letter is as if these TU stewards are directly employed as full-time TU officers. This is not so.

It is imperative that good working relations exist between staff and their employers and the TU officers are needed to help support these relations and resolve difficulties effectively and as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to services.

Research has consistently shown that staff are more motivated and committed to their roles in circumstances where they feel they are valued and treated fairly by employers and thus maintaining high standards of service delivery.

The trade unions play an imperative role in this process by liaising and negotiating with grievances and disciplinary issues.

The private sector is no different in its practices. The role of the unions is particularly important at the moment in order to manage organisational change due to Tory imposed cuts.

Managing these cuts whilst retaining staff morale and maintaining quality services is a huge task for the council and there would be less need for TU officers if the Tories had not enforced such huge cuts in the public sector.

John Edwards


Teachers’ pensions

IN the July 4 letter from Kenneth Greenwood headed ‘Truth About Pensions’, he says the way teachers’ pensions are calculated involves the equation one 18th of salary times 40, which equals a half.

Clarification please.



(A ‘typo’ crept into Mr Greenwood’s letter. He said that the pension return was one 80th, not one 18th, of salary per year. Our apologies – ED)

Tesco plan OK

I DON’T see what all the fuss about the new Tesco store is about.

It is clear Tesco needs a new store – their current store is very outdated, as is the sports centre.

Everyone’s in uproar suggesting that such a new store would kill off the town centre, when, if we’re honest, it died a long time ago with poor shops, over-priced parking and a scruffy appearance.

Big investment is needed in Huddersfield to bring it back to life. Tesco’s would be a welcome new building. After all, this is not an extra supermarket, just a replacement.

Rather than build a new sports centre at Springwood, why not knock down the block of flats at the other side of Leeds Road along with all the buildings inside the area ringed in by Leeds Road, Lower Fitzwilliam Street and Castlegate? This would be an ideal location.

Town centre shops’ rents need to come down and we should have some sort of regional and national advertising showing off the best of Huddersfield.

Steve K


The money goes out

IT is not a mystery to me we are in the mess we’re in (Mailbag, June 28).

We have thousands of people living here now who are sending money home to the families who do not live in this country. So the money earned or claimed here is not being spent here.

It’s like having a jam jar full of money. If you keep taking money out but don’t put it back eventually it will be empty.

Barbara Rushforth


Together apartheid

WHAT is the point of the Kirklees magazine Together? I was in support of this publication but I wonder why now.

At a time where cutbacks are being forced on to people, what is the point of the Spen Valley tax payer paying for something that just about ignores us?

One of the biggest events in Kirklees is the Cleckheaton Folk Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this last weekend.

Was there any mention in the July/August addition? No.

In fact there is no mention in Together of any events in the Spen Valley in July, when there are things on and not just established ones like the Cleckheaton Folk Festival (now in its 24th year). A number of other events have been ignored.

It is sad when people go to such lengths, put so much time and effort in just to be left out of a publication that is supposed to cover the whole of Kirklees.

There’s no mention of the Bobtown Beer Bash, July 16, in Roberttown, for instance. It seems parts of North and South Kirklees and the Spen Valley don’t exist as far as Together is concerned.

John A Ramsden


Dysfunctional towns

HOW, exactly, are Brighouse and Halifax ‘forging ahead while we stagnate’ as Carol Cowgill, (Mailbag, July 1) claims?

Piece Hall market? No newsagent open until 7am?