I was surprised to read the letter from your correspondent, Stephen Ainsworth, in which he accused the Council of lack of consultation over the proposed Piece Hall development.Let me give him the facts. The council undertook a full and thorough public consultation, starting in the autumn of 2011.
The consultation involved: * Exhibitions and events in the Piece Hall and in the Town Hall, * A community roadshow, which visited 11 separate sites; * Consultation through community groups and 17 ward forums * Consultation through the Council’s Talkback Citizen’s Panel * All residents were informed through Calderdale Call, the Council’s residents’ magazine, about the consultation and how they could make their views known * An online questionnaire was placed on the Council’s website * Numerous news items and features were run in the Halifax Courier * Meetings were run with a number of special interest groups, such as the Town Team and Calderdale Disability Partnership.
And special efforts were made to seek the view of young people, older people and people who do not currently use the Piece Hall. As a result, we received 2,300 responses and the results were presented in a report to Cabinet and published on the Council’s website. People in Calderdale love the Piece Hall and I would like to thank all those who took the opportunity to have their say on its future and who got behind the Council and its partners to support the bid for Heritage Lottery funding.
Cllr Mrs Pauline Nash
Cabinet Member, Communities and former council leader, Calderdale Council
Putting up with poor bus service
For months now myself and others have put up with a terrible bus service on the A and B which goes to Old Town and Dodd Naze via Mount Skip. Since Tyrer took over, the service has gradually deteriorated and these last few months it has become shambolic. From hour to hour, day to day we do not know if the bus will turn up, when it will turn up or if it will break down part way through the journey. All I know is that I have contacted Tyrer and get nowhere. I have contacted Metro and tell me they will look into it/apologise but still nothing happens. I realise that there are times when things breakdown/people go sick at short notice etc but surely we can have some sort of notice on the main stops saying “they are only every hour today” or “service B isn’t running”. People would be far more sympathetic to this rather than just not knowing. To say that another company are taking over soon is a cop out. I contacted Cllr Battye afew days ago and was told this was the first she had heard about problems on this route, she only knew of issues on the Blackshaw Head and Todmorden services. I struggled up in the heat to Mount Skip on 2 occasions last week with a pushchair, 6 month old baby, shopping and library books. I cannot afford to regularly use taxis and my baby has bad eczema so why so he have to put up with a hot itchy tiresome journey by walking? It is not acceptable. I saw three pensioners sharing a taxi. Why should they have to? Many people buy day tickets then find they cannot get back home. I know from speaking to others at the bus stop that many are affected by this terrible service, not just me. If you use this bus service and want to contunue to do so, please contact your local councillor and make your voice known or go to one of the ward forums. If we do not do this collectively, people will make other travel arrangements.
Name and address supplied
A debate is needed on disabled
In these hard economic times it appears that community care services are taking a particularly big hit with some services having increased fees at the same time disabled people who will now have to pay for these services taking a substantial cut in benefit entitlement over the next few years. We need a debate on how we provide services and how disabled people are able afford not only treatments for there condition and accommodation, but attendance at treatment services such as day centres and how employment services are provided to disabled people. The idea that disabled people can find work is an aspiration but not an option for most as most private sector companies cannot absorb the extra costs of employing a disabled person. So most disabled people even in the best of times are unlikely to find employment in a competitive market place . The other issue is the changes to benefit entitlement particularly housing benefit and the availability of affordable accommodation for disabled people particularly with other cash benefit entitlements being cut. It looks like the government no longer wants to provide day treatment centres or support people with disabilities due to costs and is switching these cost of provision to the disabled individual, who will not be able to take up the services offered as without work they are not affordable. I believe these cuts are very short sighted as community care is by far the cheapest option for care for people who are very unlike to find work. The alternatives that have already been tried in the past what ever you want to call them, the work house, mental hospital and prison are all the same cost option having large costs attached and are the alternatives to community care. If we abandon state funded community care within a few years we will see disabled people begging on the streets and relying more and more on charity and of course the demand will come to take these people off the streets. Will that mean going back to the workhouse and mental hospital for those unable to support themselves in society? The government really needs to think through the consequences of its current policy
Nightmare parking in Haworth
Last weekend my son and daughter-in-law made their first outing after the birth of their new baby, along with their two year old, to Haworth.Unfortunately they made the mistake of parking in the notorious car park made famous by the subject of a television documentary. Also Baroness Betty Boothroyd brought it to the attention of the House of Commons after she was clamped during a visit to Haworth. I can reveal that, despite the passage of time and various campaigns, nothing has changed. For, although my son had purchased a valid ticket, when he returned to the car he had been clamped. The owner demanded £90 on the spot for his release. Two things are worrying about all this. The first is that six other cars had also been clamped, leading my son to believe that an inferior brand of glue had been used on the tickets, making them dry out and fall off after a short time. How else would all these other law-abiding citizens have met the same fate? The owner of the car park displayed a thoroughly nasty and aggressive attitude to my family and showed no compassion for the fact they had a newborn baby and young child in tow and that £90 could be better spent on them. How dare he be so arrogant? How many honest people could hope to rake in £500 plus so easily in such a short time with so little effort in this time of recession? Secondly, the traders in Haworth are very concerned about how their businesses have been hit. How very sad this so-called legal loophole cannot be stopped. The police are not interested in doing anything and everyone else seems powerless to stop it. Meanwhile tourism suffers and so do any other unsuspecting members of the public who choose to visit Haworth.
Illingworth Close, Halifax
Our roads are now a shambles
Why are we paying road tax? The state of our roads is absolutely shambolic, I live at Ovenden and my car is getting wrecked on a daily basis travelling along cousin lane, ramsdam street, Cragg Lane etc, not to mention the rest of Halifax. What are the council doing with our brass, it takes three blokes six months to pop a white ring round a divot, then nine men three months to fill it in again. What about the camber, the uneven road, the many places that have sunk? It’s a disgrace and something needs doing about it fast. I expect some wet fish from t’ council to reply “we have no funds, we are understaffed ect. Simply NOT good enough, get on with it.
A strong paper vital for town
It is a harsh reality that local and regional newspapers have had to re-assess their priorities in line with the way people like to get their news. The Courier moving to a weekly edition is, in many respects, a sad day and marks the end of an era. It is a trend replicated in many newspapers, who are adapting to survive. It is vital for local democracy that we have a strong, independent and vibrant newspaper in our town. Therefore I hope the Courier weekly edition is a success story and the newspaper continues to play and important role in the life of Halifax for many years to come.
Linda Riordan MP