Many many thanks and sincere congratulations to Calderdale Council who had the vision to bid for the Italy v Tonga Rugby League World Cup match which was staged so professionally and successfully on Sunday in conjunction with Halifax Rugby League Club. Councillor Stout might not like this, but the stadium has never looked better and, with the maximum allowable attendance, it was a real spectacle to behold and a fantastic show-piece for the whole borough. For those people who don’t get the Premier Sports channel I would like to quote what Andrew Voss, their Australian commentator, said on television before the match: “What a great reception from the crowd, what a fabulous venue this is and what a great day for Halifax to show off the ground. I think the locals take it a little for granted, I drove in from the M62 - its a beautiful little drive into Halifax. Its a charming township and all around the hills it’s absolutely magnificent and we’re down in a bowl here at The Shay with the fans up close. The pre-match entertainment has been absolutely spot-on, provided by the community here. I really do think this is a great day for British Rugby League to be showing off The Shay in Halifax. If you love your Rugby League, this is a little slice of heaven today.” He then handed over commentary to Brian Noble (Salford and former England coach) who said:- “This is wonderful - you’re right, this is everything to celebrate, it is everything that we are, its an unbelievable crowd here. We should be proud of what we’ve got here today.” So there we are, two independent commentators telling the world how good we are, what a lovely borough we live in and what an asset The Shay is. Let’s all reflect on that and feel proud of our great little locality and what can be achieved by positive thought and vision - and let’s go on to more and more achievements in the future.
Time to make an honest stand
I’ve long been frustrated by the way local Tories like to portray themselves as protectors of local communities and green spaces whilst at a national level they stand for the exact opposite. I think Dave Kirton and Graham Hall are both genuine and hardworking councillors but they have to ask themselves are they in the right party? Judging by the letters pages and the petition you would think they’d always opposed the improvements at Hipperholme crossroads. They are now complaining loudly about the proposed improvements, but it wasn’t always so. Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker was trumpeting this scheme as a Tory triumph. “We look forward to proposals which will redevelop the infrastructure of this junction to free up flows and make this key artery of the Calder Valley speedier for everyone who uses it”. He wasn’t the only one to comment. Coun David Kirton said: “This is a much needed investment in Hipperholme which will complement the new housing which is currently under construction in the area and make the increased traffic flow much more fluid”. Coun Graham Hall said, “We have known for many years that the Hipperholme Crossroads has been a real pinch point in the Calder Valley and this investment is welcome and overdue. Hopefully this will be a catalyst for future aspirations for a new railway station in Hipperholme which will further ease the burden on our local roads.” It’s time now for Hipperholme’s councillors to make an honest stand and end the public posturing whilst privately thinking something else altogether.
Anthony John Rutherford
Want to join friends of the park?
I have to admit that before I became a Warley councillor I did not know West View Park. But once I discovered it I was amazed by the breathtaking views, its layout, paths and greenery. What a wonderful green space it is for local people and families! In recent years it has also been used for community events like the wonderful annual Fun Day that gets bigger and bigger each year with a full spectrum of age groups and communities enjoying the stalls and events. However, like many public spaces, it has unfortunately been affected by some vandalism and anti social behaviour as well. We have worked with the local community, the police and Calderdale’s parks people to deal with this and I would like to thank all of those groups for their help and support. I would now like to build on this by setting up a ‘Friends of West View Park’ who would seek to organise events there for the community, help ensure it is looked after and developed for the whole community to enjoy. I have done some initial canvassing and already gained support for this venture from a number of residents, the Ward Co-ordinator, CMBC Parks people etc., so we are arranging a public meeting at the New Hope United Reformed Church on Warley Road (very close to the park) on Wednesday, December 4, at 6pm. Anyone with an interest in the park is very welcome to come along to meet those who have already expressed an interest, give us your views, ask questions and discuss the setting up of a ‘Friends’ group. I look forward to meeting you and getting this very worthwhile venture off the ground.
Councillor Ashley Evans
Sympathy is with all our troops
Rightly or wrongly the atrocities of war mean that you kill or get killed. A marine sergeant with 15 years of unblemished character in a moment that can only be described as a mental blackout shot dead a Taliban fighter who we are led to believe was fatally wounded already.
I would have thought that the Royal Marine was doing his enemy a favour under the most pressure.
It seems to me (who incidentally has faced the enemy) that pressures of war can make one do extreme things especially in an unwinnable war under extreme conditions when even your so-called trained Afghanistan buddies are beginning to turn to kill our allies.
Colonel Tim Collins, who fought with distinction in Iraq, argues passionately that although his actions cannot be condoned, the marine in question deserves our sympathy and understanding.
When the court martial meets to decide the term of the marine’s sentence they should summon the two warmongering antagonists Bush and Blair who were originally responsible for the situation our troops find themselves in ie a no-win situation.
My sympathies lie entirely with all our troops as I have been a past squaddie; I know only too well what being in a bloody war entails.
I have no doubt all the do-gooders will condemn my letter and also me but I stand by my convictions and wish nothing but the best to the Sgt Marine and all the other British and American troops having to put up with fighting an unwinnable war with one hand up their back.
Priority is a war-free world
I am reluctant to criticise the British Legion, for I am thankful for its care of family members. Even so I am alarmed at some aspects of its national campaigning, for it seems that whilst thankfully it now has fewer ex-service folk in need of provision, its Poppy Appeal is pressed ever more energetically.
In particular the advertisement slogan “A poppy for those who serve” makes an objectionable attempt to link the emblem of Europe’s youth who were coaxed or forced into the holocaust of World War with the needs of the participants in the unjust Middle East Wars of Reagan and GW Bush. I know that the Legion avoids political stances and serves the folk in conflicts regardless of their merit; nevertheless the best response for “our boys” (yes, and “girls”) in places like Afghanistan is to “bring ‘em back alive”. With the centenary of 1914 set to trigger very many acts of remembrance, both public and within families, the danger is they will outweigh the more important activity of securing a war-free world.
Pope John Paul II reminds us that “wars generally cause further wars”, and said “war must be taken off humanity’s agenda - enough of war!” Let us therefore see more United Nations flags, more white-flower buttonholes, and stronger advice to young folk not to enrol and risk wrongful posting. We are grateful to our MPs who voted down Mr Cameron’s wish to send forces into Syria, which would have put yet another firebrand into the Middle East tinderbox.
Yet I plead with our local British Legions to welcome flowers of mixed hue at their wreath-laying events in 2014.
Can we now have some doors?
Courier Friday November 1: “New footpath link, new fencing etc” to Halifax Bus Station. May we have some “doors” attached to the waiting areas so we can keep warm till the buses arrive?
Mrs M. Clayton
Crestfield Drive, Halifax.