I’D like to reply to the letter ‘Teachers having a laugh’ (Letters, Wednesday April 15).

While I have, in the past, generally had a quiet chuckle and nodded my head in agreement to many of Mr Madden’s previous comments to the letters page, I feel that I must take issue with his attack on the teaching staff in general and, by inference, the teachers of Kirklees in particular.

Just to make my position clear, I am not, nor have ever been, a member of the scholastic profession.

But, having raised four children, I feel that I am in a position to comment as a ‘former client’ of the education service in this area.

I agree that Joe Public does not have ‘a bottomless pocket’ and that we all should be on guard against profligate spending by both local and national government.

But, by no stretch of the imagination can you include the local teachers, in your description – “Greedy Teachers having a laugh.”

Yes, I have come across the odd idle or bad teacher, but then again you get idle or bad workers in every industry, most of whom earn much more and have much less of a lasting effect, than the maligned teachers!

One teacher I know is constantly pressured to cover for colleagues off sick through stress, taking on duties such as preparing lessons and schedules for supply teachers brought in to cover, as well as seeing to her own students.

Throw in time spent in marking papers at home and all the 101 other (non-paid) tasks she is expected to do, as well as facing down belligerent and threatening pupils , a frequent occurrence I am led to believe.

Yes Mike, I agree, things do need to change – big time. So instead of griping about things, why not get off your butt and offer teachers your help?

Mr M W Watson


Gas blast sorrow

I WAS sorry to hear about the gas explosion at the pie factory. It is always sad when life is lost in this way.

I worked there in 1958 when it was Bradley’s Bakery. It was brand new at that time and I wonder if the oven was the draw plate oven that blew up.

There were only about three ovens there at that time. I hope you can rebuild in time and keep up your good work.

Eddie Sykes


Hurting the poorest

IT is reported that Gordon Brown is facing a backlash over the idea of freezing the minimum wage for a year to help struggling businesses.

It comes across as if this Government thinks the minimum wage is a fortune and people should be very grateful for it.

However, it certainly wasn’t this group of people who were responsible for the present catastrophic financial meltdown.

It appears they are still receiving their bonuses, which beggars belief.

Every hard working person is being affected by this situation, nobody is immune from bill increases, with the price of food and everything else rocketing.

So instead of freezing the minimum wage it should be increased, instead of millions of pounds being wasted on other things I could mention.

Brenda Holroyd


Red and blue bees

WE read Graham Porter’s article on his concern for the bee and wondered if he or other readers have heard of the wiggly wigglers and the Mason bee nester?

Bees are responsible for pollinating most things in your garden. Mason bees are solitary native British bees that come in two species, the red and the blue.

You can invite both species in to your garden. They will not sting you or your pets. The nester kits will help to attract them. You do not have to be a beekeeper.

Each kit has full instructions of what to do. For more information go to www.wigglewigglers.co.uk or write to Lower Blakemere Farm, Blakemere, Herefordshire, HR2 9PX or ring 0198150391.

D and T Wright


Just doing our jobs

FIVE million pounds Kirklees Council paid out in bonuses to council employees for doing their jobs equates to 5,500 band A council tax demands, 65 of them just to pay one man – a plasterer.

Would someone please remind me what it is we are paying for? I know the bit about 20% goes to fund bullet-proof pensions but what about the rest?

Allen Jenkinson


Avarice remains

THE greatest cause for global warming was the failed global economy of Bush and Blair. The revamped global economy of Obama and Brown and the other greedy scallywags from across the globe will fail.

Until it does, and it will, global warming will always remain on the front burner, fuelled by politicians’ and bankers’ self-interest.

It seems to me that those who govern and bank have had the common sense educated out of them, but not the avarice.

Len Sandford


Room for a big change

ARTHUR Quarmby’s interesting prediction in last Monday’s Examiner that probable changes in local government may create an opportunity for Huddersfield to have its proper place on the map will arouse interest throughout the area.

All public services need to have their boundaries re-drawn from time to time as industries develop or decline, population patterns change and new technologies make their impact.

It would be interesting to know just where Mr Quarmby would draw his boundaries for a reborn Huddersfield. The old West Riding flowed freely around the county borough from Sedbergh to Sheffield in this, the largest of England’s historic counties, with its governing county council based in Wakefield.

Trouble over boundaries is inevitable. Witness the distress of Huddersfield folk who find themselves in the Parliamentary constituent of Dewsbury, Wakefield and Colne Valley, but regard Barry Sheerman as their MP.

Mr Quarmby’s profession equips him better than most of us to comment on proposed changes in local government organisation.

Having hinted at a prospect for change his further observations would be received with respect as well as considerable interest.

Philip Charlesworth


Not so ‘Green’ way?

MY full respect goes out to the residents of the Meltham so-called Greenway.

After reading the article in the Examiner I feel very sorry for these residents who bought these properties for a quiet peaceful life, only to be living in fear and hell by the yobs.

I just hope Kirklees Council and the greenway do-gooders take note of these poor residents’ views, before the council goes ahead and starts thinking of future greenways.

They sound good, they are great when used correctly and maintained properly, but unfortunately this is never the case and, as always, once the damage is done it’s too late.

T Jones


Worries over childcare

ALTHOUGH many children may have enjoyed the springtime weather during the Easter holiday, for many parents, the break is not always so carefree. It can be a stressful time, often involving hefty childcare bills.

Parents in Britain pay one of the highest childcare costs in Europe. On average, parents in Huddersfield paid £98.06 per child, every week,for full-time childcare over the holiday period.

Overall costs for holiday childcare in Yorkshire and Humberside rose by 8% in 2008 compared to the previous year.

If parents do find they have overspent and are worried about making bill repayments, the first step is to seek advice early.

The Legal Services Commission funds a number of high quality advice providers in and around Huddersfield. We try to target the people who need legal advice most.

Parents who are worried about debt are encouraged to contact Community Legal Advice on 0845 345 4 345 or www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk to find a local advice provider.

The website provides a free debt diagnosis tool and step-by-step guide to getting information and advice on legal aid before a problem becomes a crisis.

Advice is available from 9am – 6.30pm Monday to Friday and has recently been extended to include Saturdays from 9am to 12.30pm.

Julie Parkin

LSC Contracts Manager for Yorkshire and Humberside

Day for fruity action

WORLD Cancer Research Fund’s (WCRF) ‘Go Bananas on Fruity Friday’ campaign takes place on Friday, May 15 and we are urging local schools and companies to have a dress down day, wear yellow for Fruity Friday and make a donation to WCRF.

If your readers would like to find out more about how to host a ‘Beat the Banana!’ run or how to organise their own ‘Go bananas on Fruity Friday’ event, they can visit www.fruityfriday.org or call 020 7343 4205 for more information.

Teresa Nightingale

Head of Fundraising, World Cancer Research Fund