I HAVE lived all my life in Halifax and appreciate the uniqueness of our small town and the surrounding area. However, what I have not appreciated in recent years is the way our money is spent on grandiose schemes that must have their origins in cloud cuckoo land!
Take Broad Street, for an example. Does anyone actually know anyone in favour of the present scheme - I don’t! I can see youngsters wanting a cinema and an ice rink (ah, I forget - the council did not listen so we are getting an unwanted second bowling alley instead). Why would we want more hotels in an area where potential tourists are kept away because there is nowhere to park?
Halifax is known as “the town where you cannot park!” Before someone reminds me that we will be getting a multi-storey car park in the development. I doubt if this will draw the tourists in their droves. Unless it has a 24-hour surveillance (making it inordinately expensive to park there), it will not be safe for the vehicles or their owners, whether they are male or female. I certainly wouldn’t park there.
As for the visual aspect of this development, I agree with one of your correspondents who said that it has completely spoiled what was left of the view of our wonderful town hall as you approach Halifax over the flyover.
Then there is our wonderful Piece Hall. I truly cannot believe that the council are calling in yet more consultants (at exorbitant fees) when a common sense approach is all that is needed. Do any repairs necessary, reduce the rents on the shops and encourage more people to fill the empty shops, encourage groups like the ones who put on a marvellous St George’s Day pageant and, lastly, make one corner of the Piece Hall a museum in respect of why it was opened in the first place.
There could also be days when this museum was a “life museum” and people could see one corner of the Piece Hall just as it used to be. As for the continental-style outside cafe - in wet and windy Halifax, you have to be having a larf!
Northgate House springs to mind next. No, I don’t think there should be air conditioning, nor should the heating be on as high as it is whenever I visit one of the council’s offices in cold weather. As for needing to spend millions to bring this particular building up to scratch, come down to earth, we are in the middle of a recession.
I realise that buildings being built nowadays seem to have a very short shelf life, but we must manage with what we have. If some of the biggest earners in our council were to be made redundant, passing the decision-making to people who do not have their heads in the clouds, I expect some common sense would return to decision-making.
I will just end on another twist to the parking problems in Halifax, should fees be charged to park at Shibden and Ogden? Let me say this - it depends on how much you charge!
I never visit Hardcastle Crags any more (yes, I know this is owned by the National Trust and not the council). The reason is their exorbitant parking fees. Instead I will go for walks at Ogden and places like that, even going over the border into Lancashire as it is quite close.
Visiting Hollingworth Lake, where the fees are 70p for two hours and £1 for four hours. I asked why they charged such a nominal fee. The answer says it all (take note Halifax), “we want people to come back.” I rest my case.
(Mrs) Pat Hubbard