LAST week Philip Gwynne of West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership offered a £500 reward for information on speed camera vandals (Examiner, Sept 12).

The same week Ian Johnston, President of the Police Superintendents’ Association, admitted that speed cameras are one of the main causes of ill will between the public and the police. So much for joined-up thinking.

A couple of years ago I wrote to Huddersfield police asking: “Could you please explain why there is regularly a speed trap in the lay by on Manchester Road at morning commuting time and on Sundays, catching motorists travelling safely at 35mph, but never one at 11pm on Saturdays catching taxis executing dangerous manoeuvres at 60mph and over?”

Their reply was that if I looked into the situation further I would understand why speed limits are important (which I wasn’t aware of after a mere 25 years of driving), and by the way the police didn’t decide where speed traps were placed, the “Casualty Reduction Partnership” did.

So I wrote to Mr Gwynne and asked him the same question.

After several emails offering no explanation but castigating me for referring to “speed traps” instead of “safety cameras”, Mr Gwynne said that by the way they didn’t decide where the speed traps were placed, the police did. Again, so much for joined-up thinking.

Would it be legal for me to counter the £500 reward by offering the same to anyone who can prove that they destroyed a camera?

Richard E Huddleston

West Slaithwaite

Schools’ shake-up disgrace

THE schools shake-up planned for the near future is an utter disgrace by a Conservative administration (we expect this from loopy Left and Lib-Dems not the Tories).

Having read the trite response from Clr Jim Dodds, who states that more than 50% of children attending Castle Hall and Mirfield Free Grammar are from outside Mirfield, I would ask, well Sherlock, could that be down to stunning results and constant improvement?

Not to mention competition between two very good high schools?

What a testament to Castle Hall’s and MFG’s success that so many families from outside Mirfield want to school their kids here and not at Birkdale ... wonder why that is.

To win an Olympic gold is about results not about backing the failures with rewards. Or is it about protecting the schools that sit in cabinet members’ wards? No, how cynical of me!

So Clr Dodds are you in the camp of back a loser vs. a winner if it means you get your hands on the £200m from central government and can also sell the land that Castle Hall sits on (oh I forgot, Mirfield building plot will get you more money than Birkdale in Dewsbury).

Having a young child in the local school system and attending the best school in the area the future is far from clear. It looks like Heckmondwike Grammar (if we get in) or the financial cost of going private.

I do not want my child as a guinea pig. Let’s face it the current government cannot even get SATS marked so what hope of a new structure?

Let’s be very clear in the message to the Tory administration – if you want to be returned at the next election then back off our children’s top performing schools in Mirfield. I hope all Mirfield will join in this fight.

Darren Halmshaw

We will be following the Kirklees’ schools debate closely – Editor

More spin in the Square

CLR Sims asserts (Examiner September 11) that the St George’s Square scheme has been subject to the most extensive public consultation.

What he does not tell us is that as usual the council ignored public opinion and carried on with the scheme. In the same edition we learn that the revamp of Greenhead Park will render it unusable as a circus venue thus denying future generations the chance to see a spectacular form of entertainment.

On the one hand we have the unwanted St George’s Square scheme being promoted as a future event venue, key to the future prosperity of the town, and on the other hand an existing traditional venue is being taken away from us.

St George’s Square has been the subject of more spin that the “holidays at home” roundabouts.

Milton Hey


Let’s wait and see

ALTHOUGH I am not enamoured with the majority of politicians, not just in the UK but throughout the world due to their lack of concern for the people and country they supposingly serve, I consider that the flak that Clr Kenneth Sims has received over the new pavement areas within St George’s Square is highly premature.

Indeed on direct experience, of the very few politicians that I consider who make responsible decisions, Clr Sims is within that small group of credible policy makers.

Therefore let us all wait and see what the final result is before we all become hysterical about the whole affair. In this respect only by seeing the final product can we really make a thorough and intelligent judgement on the whether something is good or detrimental for the domestic and international profile of Huddersfield.

In English Law I have always been taught that a man is innocent until found guilty. Therefore not until the evidence is all in, can one really make a true judgement. So let’s just wait and see!

Dr David Hill

World Innovation Foundation Charity (WIFC), Huddersfield

A true gentleman

IT was with great sadness I read of the death of Sohan Singh Bhullar. I met Mr Bhullar many times in both a professional and a personal capacity over a number of years and in all that time I found him, unfailingly, to be courteous and generous in so many ways.

He was a true gentleman who worked consistently over a long period not only for the Sikh community but for the broader community in general.

I shall miss him and my thoughts go to his family.

Gary Dimmock


It’s my right of way

IN reply to Mr Radcliffe and his rant about the crossings in Holmfirth, (Mailbag September 11) maybe I am one of his “Taliban.”

I walk to the crossings and look both ways before I step out without breaking stride, that is what the crossings are for. My wife has been twice nearly injured by cars not stopping when she was halfway across. Is that because the drivers are not looking or just distracted?

The crossings are well marked and signposted, maybe not in perfect position but they are all we have in the village.

Remember in the Highway Code the driver is reminded to be aware of pedestrians and cyclists at all times when driving in built-up areas.

Or maybe he believes that he has right of way regardless and expects everyone to beware of himself at all times.

Christopher J Chapple


Pedestrian Taliban indeed!

WHO is this Tim Radcliffe, that he dares to call legitimate pedestrians the “Taliban”? For the information of Mr Radcliffe, the law relating to zebra crossings states that traffic must stop for pedestrians.

May I suggest that Mr Radcliffe, upon seeing a pedestrian crossing, slows down and approaches the said crossing with caution. There are a number of laws relating to such legal crossings and it might be advisable for Mr Radcliffe to brush up on these laws, then he will not put pedestrians in danger. Pedestrian Taliban indeed. More like a twerp behind a wheel.


Welcome return of Court in Brief

CONGRATULATIONS on Court in Brief’s victorious return to the Huddersfield Examiner (Examiner Sept 13). I realised after my recent jury service at Bradford Crown Court just how much it is needed.

Her Majesty’s Court Service ( HMCS ) nationally held over 2m criminal cases last year, and another 2m-plus civil cases (housing repossessions, divorces etc). I was horrified to learn HMCS needs 2,000 judges and 30,000 magistrates, and 100,000 jurors annually to deal with the level of litigation and especially crime.

The cost of Legal Aid is now £2billion annually and the cost of crime much more.

In Court in Brief’s (Sept 13) summary of last week’s Huddersfield Magistrates’ 15 cases showed just one woman (a breach of a community order) convicted of crime but 14 men (including eight motoring offences) only one of whom was jailed (for criminal damage). Yet one man convicted of trespassing and going equipped for theft and assault got off with a two year community order and £200 fine ... less than I paid last week to have my car serviced!

The U-turn by Justice Minister Jack Straw over charging newspapers £1,000 monthly for publicising court cases is welcome. But how in the first case could this out-of-touch Government think it could charge The Examiner and other local newspapers £1,000 monthly for Court procedure summaries ... when the criminals are legally aided and get off with paltry fines ?

Kenn Winter


Court in Brief will appear in each Wednesday’s Examiner – Editor

Thanks for kindness and caring

TRAVELLING to Wellhouse on the current diversion via Quebec Road I hit a greyhound dog, injuring him, although he was able to run off.

I would like to say how impressed I was with the reaction of the passers-by and neighbours. It was 3pm on Wednesday, a busy time for people picking up children from school, and many people stopped to help.

Two women in particular caught the dog and one helped me get it in my car. Just as I was about to drive off a neighbour arrived, a young woman, also with children to pick up, but she arranged for someone else to do that for her, and sorted out my situation with kindness, both to the injured dog and me.

I left the scene and the dog was to be taken quickly to a vet. Throughout the incident I met only kindness and caring – what a contrast to the “knives and drugs culture” we hear so much about in the press.

heather walker


Youth lends a hand

ON Wednesday morning at 8.30 I went to the paper shop with my friend, a lady of 93 years.

On leaving the shop she grabbed my arm saying everything was spinning. She was passing out so I called for somebody to help. A young man and his girlfriend came to the rescue. The girl stopped the traffic while me and the young man got across the road with my friend.

With all that goes on about youths it was lovely to meet a young man like this. He said he would like to think someone would help his mum or gran. Thank you again young man and girlfriend.

mrs joan swift