IT ISN’T very difficult to visualise the decision makers sitting in their offices welcoming the increase in income which more and bigger supermarkets bring to Kirklees.

One can see their reasoning, but it really is questionable whether that helps the overall local economy very much.

Susan M Smith, (More Supermarkets, Mailbag, Oct 14) makes some very poignant points which Kirklees should really take up seriously.

Kirklees Unitary Development Plan contains no hint that our council ever thinks that our economy could be helped by putting to use some of the property it is constantly losing money on.

Kirklees owns many town centre properties which are empty and thus bringing in neither rent or rates, but must be costing a lot to maintain.

The best they can think of for these buildings is to put pictures in the windows in the hope of making the town centre look less depressing to the shoppers.

With a bit of imagination however, these shops and offices could actually be used to help both the town centre and the economy.

Even a mere medic can work out that charging lower rents and rates – even for a limited period – would be better than loss making, and might even attract some top firms with long lasting effects.

Surely, there must be someone among those council officials, who could think up a contract which could let new businesses, and those in the villages who want to try opening more ambitiously in the town centre to use these properties rent and rates free (by which the council would lose no more than it is losing now) for a period of initial growth, followed by graduated rents etc as business develops.

Refunds of car park fees channelled through the shops would also help to attract customers.

Or am I just being naive?

Dr R J Jameson


Parking warning

I WOULD like to warn people if they park in the Iceland car park in town and pay and display a valid ticket, they should make sure they keep their part of the ticket safe.

They may still get a parking ticket sent through the post with a fine of £60. I did. Don’t pay it!

I took my ticket in to Iceland and they sorted it for me. They rent the car park, and it is the parking company that are sending fines out to people.

So if you have received one and paid it, go and get your money back. We have to stop the car park companies from making money out of innocent people.

Concerned Driver


A package deal

THAT was a very interesting letter from Mr Calvert, Delivery Office Manager for Holmfirth (Doing our best, Mailbag, October 11).

Richard is my manager and my friend, and I hope he does not take this personally.

The major point here is that mail volumes are declining. Nevertheless, whether you are delivering one item of mail to an address or six, you are still delivering to the same number of points. You are still walking the same distance.

Then we have the vast increase in packets and parcels. We are now delivering 10 times more of this product than 10 years ago, and every packet or parcel means a knock on a door.

That’s fine if a customer is in, but if not you stand there, write out a form and post that taking the package away with you, and that adds about three minutes an item.

You work it out: an average 30 packages a round will add 90 minutes to a round.

Steve Oldroyd


Purple poppies

THE recent publicity about the marvellous play War Horse reminds us about all the ways in which animals have suffered – and continue to suffer – in human wars and conflicts.

Animals have been used as messengers, for detection, scouting and rescue, as beasts of burden and on the frontline.

Meanwhile, in UK laboratories, thousands of animals suffer and die every year in invasive warfare experiments. It is time to stop exploiting animals in these ways.

You can show your concern for this animal suffering by joining the tens of thousands of people who wear Animal Aid’s purple poppy.

To buy your poppy, or for more information about all Animal Aid’s campaigns against animal cruelty, call 01732 364546 or visit

Richard Mountford

Animal Aid

Fractured nation

IN MY LIFETIME I cannot recall a time when faith in MPs was at such a low level.

With the world facing turbulent and dangerous times they have become a dangerously weak and untrustworthy link in our hopes for recovery.

When the nation has faced serious crisis in the past the people have moved behind their leaders, I have the distinct impression that the nation has become so fractured and our leaders isolated that this would crucially not now happen. MPs’ greed, ineptitude and total disregard and contempt for the views of people has more in common with the dictatorships they publicly decry than a democratic system they purport to espouse.

It is not only the people who are to be denied a say, it appears that MPs themselves will not be allowed to voice even their own opinions in the House of Commons, if as reported, they will be ordered to vote against holding a referendum. If this happens then only the opinions, or should it be dictates, of the political leadership and their unelected pay masters will prevail. This sounds more and more like political dictatorship than democracy.

One of the beacons of hope and a driving force for all responsible parents in society has always been the belief that our children and grandchildren would be better off than our generation. While this happened we were content to let our local and national politicians blunder on. Now for the vast majority of us, and for the first time in decades, that hope has faded or been extinguished.

Capitalism, the great provider on which the free Western world was built, has stopped providing for all, it now only provides for the rich or the powerful.

“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” has never been more obvious. The only people who can avoid the catastrophic storms appearing on the horizon are the super rich multinational people who apparently control both world economics and our world leaders, it is in their interests as well as ours that they do so.

John Langford


MP on his metal

I WAS delighted to read that Barry Sheerman MP has spoken up in Parliament (Examiner, October 14) in a brief exchange about the possibility of amendment to the 1964 Act pertaining to scrap metal.

Although he seems more concerned with the Church Commissioners, insurance and compensation than in dealing with the scrap dealers it seems to be a step in the right direction.

The damage caused by the irresponsible idiots that steal lead or live cables is one of the most depressing features of our times.

The ease with which they can sell stuff without revealing their identity and walk away with cash is something that should be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Will any parliamentary time actually be found for this? Or will it quietly drop out of sight like so many good bills do all the time?

We now have a government that thinks identifying people is against their human rights. ID cards are anathema. DNA records are to be destroyed.

Personal privacy is the be all and end all of Lib/Dem policy and Tories are going along with it.

Lead thieves, fraudsters and rapists alike can thank their lucky stars that the government of the day thinks that protecting our personal privacy takes a much higher priority than protecting us against crime.

Mark Mercer


No comparison

IN reply to Stanley Solomon’s letter last week, I take offence at him writing about rugby player Greg Johnson’s case alongside that of Gavin Sartain, who murdered his girlfriend.

I know that many judges have been more lenient and have handed out suspended sentences to persons convicted of a Section 18 offence (with intent), who have also been convicted of similar charges previously. Mr Johnson’s charge was a Section 20 (without intent).

As for the charge of sexual assault – this is ludicrous. Being ‘touched’ inappropriately in a busy bar – not sexually assaulted – is something that happens up and down the country in many bars and pubs most weekends.

Gavin Sartain actually killed his girlfriend – you cannot compare Mr Johnson with a murderer nor say that his sentence was lenient. He has been punished with a prison sentence. At the end of the day consistency by all judges is not something that is practised in this country. It seems to be one rule for one and one for another where they are concerned.

Jennifer Hedges


See green, see red

I REMEMBER local actor, the late Jack Woolgar, explaining why he so loved his home town: “Wherever you stand in Huddersfield you can see green”.

Not for much longer, Jack, not for much longer!

Alan Starr