I WAS one of what seemed to be thousands of people caught up by the inadequacy of the British railway network.

I mean the farce that was morning rush hour for thousands of people on Friday.

I wonder what the staff at Huddersfield Railway Station think of the service they provided that morning.

It’s very easy to criticise, but I’ll try to be constructive about it.

If a train from Manchester is stuck at Marsden, surely they would know about that maybe 15 minutes before it’s due to arrive in Huddersfield. So why could that not be announced then?

If a train from Leeds is stuck before Mirfield, they would know that maybe 10 minutes before its arrival into Huddersfield. Again, announce it when it becomes obvious it’s not going to arrive.

To put it bluntly, the announcements were not forthcoming, helpful to the people waiting and were too late to be of any use when they did come.

The station’s staff stayed well away from the rail users.

On the one hand I can understand they’d be faced with a lot of angry people, but on the other hand people were fed-up with being told nothing.

I’ll give them praise, the train company prioritised people going to the airport. But that’s the only positive in all this.

I got on one train, was told to get off it and wait for another, and then told to get back on the other which was then cancelled.

An announcement was made to queue up for a bus, only for hundreds of people to walk outside and see a queue already of several hundred people.

It was all too little too late.

Please work out what mistakes were made, learn from them and never let them happen again.

A Bywater


Market forces

I AM not at all opposed to another supermarket in Holmfirth.

I would welcome a supermarket comparable in size to the Co-op, sited in or very close to the centre of Holmfirth.

And I would welcome a supermarket that might offer a product range that would be very competitively priced.

Contrary to opinions expressed in the past by Kirklees, the Holme Valley has its share of low-income households who need a cheaper retail outlet than currently exists, and in difficult times, we can all do with a cheaper ‘shop’.

However, the Tesco proposal is absolutely not ‘it’.

The proposed store is not near Holmfirth centre. It won’t bring new trade to the town. There might (or might not) be a ‘hopper’ bus. And for how long, if there is? There will be new jobs, but we don’t know how many or of what kind.

The Tesco mission is an unashamedly aggressive one: to dominate the market. And the negative impact of Tesco stores opening out of the centre of middle-size market towns has been well-documented in many other parts of the country.

The Holme Valley is already struggling commercially, and increasingly reliant on tourism to prop up the local economy.

Tourists come, so many of them say, because of the individual character of the place and the number of small individual retail outlets (a large survey last summer gave this as the overwhelming response).

I dread the prospect of more shuttered or empty properties, more local businesses losing the struggle to survive, and the ensuing and inevitable loss of character and individuality.

Lidl are also proposing a store in Holmfirth. The site is close to the centre – well within a comfortable walking distance, would be of a comparable size to the Coop, with a pretty fixed product range.

The access would be away from New Road, with a fairly small car park.

I would suggest that presented with the choice between the Tesco proposal and that from Lidl, the latter would be far more appropriate in size, location and product range, and would also be far more appropriate for local needs.

I hope people will support the Lidl application.

Holmfirth Resident

Uneven pavements

ON Saturday after shopping at Sainsbury’s, Market Street, I started to walk up towards the bus station and tripped and fell on the broken and uneven flag stones.

I banged my knee and hurt my ribs. Other people have done this. I would like to thank the two ladies who came and asked if I was all right.

Kirklees Council are responsible for keeping our roads and pavements safe to walk on. When are they going to do the job they are paid to do?



Bid to outlaw snares

THE recent incident of snaring of the badger at Holmfirth as reported in the Examiner (September 22) is a good reason for Examiner readers to take action and write to their MP.

They might also write to Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at caroline@carolinespelman.com

The National Anti-Snaring Campaign receives more than a dozen emails a year regarding cats or dogs snared in fox or rabbit snares, and hundreds or thousands of badgers, deer and hares are killed or injured in snares legally set for foxes or rabbits.

Could we please ask readers to be on the vigilant when out walking or it they live close to areas that could have snares?

Readers can go on our web site www.antisnaring.org.uk for more information.

The laws to protect animals caught in snares are seriously flawed. However, the principle legislation is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and more recently, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 could play some part as a snared animal is deemed in the control of man.

Nevertheless, until snares are outlawed great suffering is going to be caused, not least because snares are set on private land and no official ever checks on what is going on; they are completely indiscriminate and kill or injure because a natural reaction of a trapped animal is to struggle to escape.

And further, those setting snares that kill protected animals are often coached to deny setting the snares to escape legal action.

Examiner readers’ efforts will make a difference, so get to the keyboard!

Simon Wild


Mysterious Miliband

I WATCHED and heard Ed Miliband give his speech at the Labour Party Conference.

I have given it a few days and have to say, sorry I still do not get it.

Having being in the Labour Cabinet, writing the Labour manifesto and a close confidante of Gordon Brown, was he not part of the closed circle that brought Britain to its knees?

Was he not part of the elite that allowed the financial industry get very close to the levers of power, gave them carte blanche to lend, with too little regulation, as they gambled on the future of our country?

We all love a repented sinner but the idea that you can discriminate, as a government, on moral and immoral capitalism is ludicrous.

Broad general sweeping statements are no substitute for specific details.

Thus even the most passionate Labour supporter must be wondering, ‘What did he mean?’

Which is why we are all scratching our heads wondering if Miliband is only capable of sound-bites that have a scatter gun effect, aiming at all the bogeymen beloved of the Labour left, like bankers and speculators, whilst giving the appearance of supporting the manufacturing industry, the makers and doers of this country.

Is it only the wicked Tories who would have been making the savings in government spending if Labour had been re-elected?

Even under the present financial regime Britain is actually projected to have a rise in public spending under coalition plans. How would Miliband face up to the crisis facing us? We do not know and he does not want to tell us.

Bernard McGuin


Grabbing the land

WHAT an excellent article by Barry Gibson about the unacceptable manipulation of democracy in the Lindley Moor planning fiasco.

It should be mandatory reading for every council leader, councillor and council employee in the country.

What Barry doesn’t say is that this is only the beginning.

Despite what the politicians would like us to believe, the new National Planning and Local Development Frameworks will soon give unprecedented freedom and power to planners and developers, to ride roughshod over the environment and wishes of local people everywhere.

So if you thought that Lindley Moor was someone else’s problem, think again. The green fields and green spaces near you are definitely next on the developers’ list.

You still have time to support the National Trust’s campaign against the National Planning Framework and you still have time to influence the new LDF, when it comes up for approval by the Council in November.

So please sign up to the National Trust petition (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl/w-countryside_environment/w-planning-landing/w-news-message_on_planning_changes.htm) before October 17.

Please join your local action group and badger your local councillors to fight for a fair LDF.

Robert Bamforth

Kirklees Community Action Network

Thanks for the thanks

I AM delighted that the resident of New Laithe Hill (Mailbag, 30 September) enjoyed the meeting in Hall Bower Chapel last Tuesday organised and chaired by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Kirklees District.

It was one of a number that CPRE have already organised and held at the Chapel to bring to the attention of residents of Huddersfield the approaching changes to our planning system.

We will be holding further such meetings later in the autumn and winter with planners and politicians as details come to light. Everyone will be welcome.

John Denham