BARRY Gibson (Examiner March 31) is spot on to say we should put policy before personality.

In the forthcoming General Election we’re not voting for one person, but a collective of people working together to make a difference.

So we need to know what the parties stand for and what they would do if we elect them.

The new television debates might blur the lines between the person saying and what is being said, but at least they’re a new way of getting information from each party.

If people chose to watch, it’s an easy way to find out the ideas being put forward (or lack of ideas in some cases).

Of course you can watch and judge based on who has the nicest hair, smiles more or looks the part.

Personally I’d rather have politicians who know what they’re doing! The televised debates are just part of the story.

We can be really new fangled; go online, look at political websites and follow politicians on Twitter (I recommend following John Prescott’s antics!) Or we can be old fangled; wait for leaflets to be delivered, the rosette knock at the door, or pop down the library. New fangled/old fangled? Any fangled will do for me!

Jo Coles


Sleazy politicians

SOME of our politicians have now lost any right to be respected or trusted.

As the meter runs they wonder how they can further support their oh-so-low salary and expenses.

The cry will go up yet again that the poor dears need a pay rise, how they have only followed the rules and boo hiss if we complain they will threaten to leave at the election with their pay-off and substantial pension.

We now have a near bankrupt country, led by a bankrupt political party and run by politicians, some of them with bankrupt morals.

Of course Gordon Brown reaches as always to the tax payer to fill the gap. Future tax rises to pay down the deficit. Tax payer funding of political parties. Gold plated pensions and perks paid for by the tax payer.

What is needed is to see an immediate 20% pay cut for all in Parliament, a scrutiny committee made up of ordinary voters, immediate recall rights for the elector to force a by-election mid term and a ban on anyone in this parliament to go into the House of Lords.

Gez Sharp


Not our MP

HAVE I missed something? Has there already been a General Election? Have I suddenly got a new MP?

The ‘Malik Mailing Machine’ already seems to be getting into gear by targeting pensioners with Socialist dogma and issuing a questionnaire with loaded questions.

Mr Malik may already be MP for the Dewsbury constituency, but does not represent Kirkburton and Denby Dale and he will have to fight the seat in a General Election and is therefore only the prospective Parliamentary candidate for this area.

He should make this clear like the other candidates.

Furthermore, his slogan of ‘Putting local people first’ hardly rings true when his communication is printed and mailed from the North East of England. Additionally, I note his lack of solidarity with Royal Mail by using a private mailing firm.

While his mailing costs are borne by the taxpayer, he expects pensioners to pay for their own postage costs if they send back his questionnaire.



Voters’ questions

I ALONG with thousands of other voters have received a pre-election flier from their Labour candidate and in all honesty I have to say that it was a disgrace.

Once again it seems that Labour are blessed with visions of the future. If they were that good at predictions why is our country in such an awful state? They state that an elected Conservative government will introduce savage cuts. They failed to mention the Liberals at all.

Anyone with any semblance of sanity knows that whichever party is elected, cuts will have to be made to reduce our enormous deficit. Households do this all the time – it is called living within one’s means.

There were many things missing from their blurb, simple things like law and order, immigration, unemployment, manufacturing and the EU (£45m per day membership).

These may be small things to a Labour supporter but to me they are the issues which need to be resolved.

The pre-election flier asked the question, ‘Would you consider supporting your Labour candidate?’ My answer was, ‘Most definitely not’.

I am a floating voter. My vote goes to those that in my mind will benefit the country as a whole and I also look at past performances. I shall be looking elsewhere to cast my vote come election time.

R J Bray


Holes in roads

THE Examiner Page 2 story on March 25 said: ‘Drivers warned: Pothole misery to run for years.’

So life will carry on just like the last years and decades, then!

Mike Linley hits the nail on the head – ‘Extreme winter weather would not cause so much damage if our roads were fit for purpose in the first place.’

Will our politicians take a blind bit of notice? Don’t hold your breath!

Like it or not, our roads are the arteries, veins and capillaries of our communications and commerce and the politicians couldn’t care less.

A L Jones


Maximum wage

THE front page of the Examiner of April 1 could have been an April Fool’s joke but I fear it was not.

Indeed the article regarding the £60,000 handout to now retired Director of Adults and Communities Tony Hood shows the utter hypocrisy of council pay.

Despite budget cuts and Single Status thousands of pounds are being wasted on severance packages to top executives leaving the council whilst workers from the lower grades are been pauperised by their wage cuts under Single Status.

This whole policy of executive pay makes a mockery of innovation and efficiency whereby the council hopes to meet stringent budget restrictions by shedding staff and squeezing more work out of those who remain.

It is the usual case in any economic crisis, those who are wealthy continue to be so whilst the burden in taxes, job losses and wage cuts falls onto ordinary working people.

As well as a decent minimum wage to protect the poor we need a maximum wage to stop the excesses of the rich.

Rita Rearguard


Positive planting

I WAS one of the people clearing up a neglected patch of land and planting apple trees in Highfields last weekend.

Our motivation is to create a space which is good for health, community and wildlife, in an urban area with its fair share of social problems.

An orchard would teach our children about food, provide free fresh fruit and give us a chance to get to know our neighbours. This is what we started last Saturday.

We have shown our willingness to make our neighbourhood a better place to live.

It’s a ‘yes we can’ attitude, and we’re hoping this positive approach rubs off on our decision makers.

Tom Taylor


Tesco thumbs-down

LIB Dem councillor Christine Stanfield (Mailbag, March 23), asked: ‘Do we need a new sports centre’? and then went on to claim what was wrong with the present one.

Pity she isn’t a structural engineer or qualified to talk about leakage and seepage. What she should have asked is: ‘Do we need a Tesco on the busy junction of Southgate and Leeds Road’? The answer is a resounding NO.

Hard Up and Fed Up


Parking charges

IN answer to Brian Irving of Meltham (Mailbag, March 25) the plans for the proposed sports centre on Spring Grove Street show there are up to 200 parking places, some for the disabled.

Unfortunately we are not in Heckmondwike or Batley. The councillor for Heckmondwike, David Sheard, has announced the new parking charges for Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

We in Huddersfield pay double so that Batley and Heckmondwike can have zero parking charges and Dewsbury half as much as ours.

And how much do they pay in Mirfield, Birkenshaw and Birstall? They are freeloading as well.

This is why we need to be rid of Kirklees Council. The vote on whether we should have an elected Mayor so residents could have their say, was buried in the Kirklees Together magazine with no phone number. I found it and rang up in favour of elected Mayor.

This dictatorial council says it listens to the voters, but then does what it wants.

The answer to Mr Irving: is bring plenty of change when you visit the new sports centre, because you will be paying to park. Go to Heckmondwike or Batley and it will be free.

Hazel Spencer


Ban these collars

PDSA wholeheartedly supports the Welsh Assembly’s ban on the use of controversial electric shock dog collars.

We would like to see the use of any electronic training aids outlawed, as they rely on pain and distress to get results. The potential for misuse is very high and there are plenty of alternative training methods that are both humane and effective.

Dogs should never be trained using punishment. Owners should only use positive training methods, where good behaviour is rewarded, instead of punishing bad behaviour.

Punishment causes anxiety, pain and fear – emotions which have been proven to significantly slow down the learning process. In addition, dogs that are punished learn that people can’t be trusted which can lead to a whole range of behavioural problems.

For more information on dog training you can visit

Sean Wensley

PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon