I think we need to go back to the beginning regarding car parking in Skircoat Green. The hospital was built following government guidelines that public transport should be used to get there to cut carbon emissions, therefore adequate car parking was not provided for either staff or patients. Remember the “park and ride” idea that staff should park in what was then Glynn Webb’s car park and get a shuttle bus to the hospital but was abandoned because it was not feasible in the early hours? Probably not because then at least one if not two more car parks were built. The entire concept was ill-conceived in the first place, who in their right mind would think that anyone ill enough to have to go to hospital would want to go on public transport if they have a car, and of course there is no public transport in the early hours for staff. Skircoat Green became one giant car park and Calderdale Council started to phase in residents’ permits in stages and rather than address the situation in a considered and proper manner they decided it was a way of making as much money as they possibly could by introducing charges for residents’ permits, true they ‘consulted’ us by sending out a questionnaire and then totally ignored the replies. The final phase which I believe now covers almost all of Skircoat Green and included metered bays has resulted in cars parking up Skircoat Moor Road for free, which is literally 100 yards around the corner from where they used to park and nobody parking in the bays. The traffic wardens when quizzed about the situation admitted to Skircoat Green being targeted with double shifts for a 3-week period from November 13, 2013, which is fine for a quick fix and to make as much money as possible out of people who don’t read the signs but in the end who is paying for all this but the long-suffering residents of Skircoat Green who are being forced to pay for permits that don’t guarantee them a place. The whole situation has been bulldozed through by a money-grabbing council who care nought for people’s opinions and managed by a set of incompetents who have no idea of the true situation because they’ve chosen not to listen. I for one am sick of the whole thing and if I had the money would hard landscape my front garden as a parking space but guess what, Calderdale Council probably wouldn’t give me planning permission to drop the kerb.
J K Mitchell-Smith
St Bevan’s Road
Yellow lining is their solution
So after imposing parking restrictions around the hospital which have affected hundreds of staff, people have sought to park on other unaffected roads. Following your recent feature about this very subject the planners’ solution is to impose further restrictions by yellow lining Skircoat Moor Road. Some solution! Whoever the planner is they should be sacked!
Maximise hospital car parking
The recent implementation of the resident parking permit scheme was always going to result in satisfied residents and a significant number of very annoyed people. This is because the fundamental issue is a lack of parking capacity. Something council officers and the present administration just don’t get. If you restrict access to parking in one area by yellow lines, permits and/or high charges and do not create enough capacity, then you only move the problem to adjacent areas. This has been well demonstrated by the chaos around the Skircoat Green area, where Skircoat Moor Road, Manor Heath Road, the streets and avenues that feed off are extremely congested. Broomfield Avenue has now basically become a car park. The congestion is also making it extremely dangerous when entering or exiting Greenroyd Avenue. If no immediate action is taken I fear there will be a serious accident. Cllrs John Hardy, Marcus Thompson and myself have pressed the council to immediately implement actions to resolve the situation, but have been told they intend to wait until the next financial year to see if some of the congestion moves back to the hospital. Hang on a minute, isn’t the whole issue with parking in Skircoat a result of John Prescott’s “M4 bus lane” legislation which prevented the construction of a multi-storey hospital car park? Where are all these cars going to go? As I stated earlier the officers of the council just don’t grasp the severity of the situation. Cllr Collins needs get a grasp of this situation and take action now not in five months’ time. Finally, I am at a loss as to why over the last 15 years we seem to have changed the design of car parks to facilitate ridiculous health & safety and environmental impact legislation over maximising the capacity of an area reserved for parking. The existing hospital car park could increase its capacity if it removed the silly traffic management schemes and green areas. Surely when a situation arises like we have in Skircoat it must be paramount to maximise parking capacity not restricting it. Residents, shoppers,teachers, NHS staff, patients and others going about their business need somewhere to park their cars.
Conservative Candidate Skircoat
20mph only outside schools
I do not consent to the 20 mph speed limit. Studies have shown 30 mph is sufficient. A lower limit will do just that - limit humans and persons regarding travelling and delivering goods. This seems like more of a cheap shot at a new council-led money making scheme. I do however consent to the 20 mph limit outside schools at the appropriate times ie 8am until 9 am and between 3 and 4 pm. People are waking up to the understanding that councils are in it for the profit and without these ridiculous money making schemes, including council tax etc. I say tread carefully if you want to keep the council in the interests of the public. The humans who elect the few to try and govern the many is getting out of hand and becoming even more of a nanny state. We are not children of the province and we do not need our hands holding. So I don’t know why you try to push these statutes on us. Your days of control are nearing an end.
Delighted I’m on opposing side to this
I read, with much amusement Cllr Battye’s comments regarding our future in/out of the EU, “It’s right to stay in Europe” Courier 15 November 2013. Of course she calls it “Europe” which is a continent and not the European Union which was the European Economic Community when we had a referendum in 1975. No one in this country voted to join the EU as it became. When I ask on doorsteps about the major issues people have it would be true to say that pensions, health, cost of living and others come above the EU. However if I raise it I am usually met with distrust, dislike, questions as to why we are in the expensive club and why we have to admit, from January 1 2014, Romanians and Bulgarians should they wish to travel here with little or nothing in their wallets. She claims, without providing a shred of evidence, that the Single Market is providing the UK with 3 million jobs. I have no doubt Liberal Democrat HQ and their EU contacts have provided this figure but when I think of the economic damage this very expensive “club” costs the UK I see a very different picture. Perhaps those jobs were created to make up for those whose livelihoods were destroyed by the Common Fisheries Policy or again those affected by the, oft promised reform but never happened, Common Agricultural Policy. Perhaps they are jobs created to regulate the many despicable regulatory laws which are an affront to an economy and those trying to build a strong one. Any governing body which produces a European Time Working Directive clearly does it from a cosy position of power without having to take the consequences. Yet another example of the EU destroying jobs as with every one of their stifling regulations. Take a look at the dilapidated tomato green houses in Guernsey if you want a prime example. The UK trades at over £40 Billion loss with the EU and it is usually there to bail out the complete and utter failure of the single currency which I am certain she championed when the debate raged in the late 90s and early 2000s, and has since been proved to be a complete catastrophic failure especially for the southern countries … oh sorry I mean member states. I hardly think a UK in the European Free Trade Association, like Norway and Switzerland who do very nicely indeed, is going to be subject to a trade blockage worth that amount but maybe Cllr Battye does. Last year the UK’s car production went up 19% to its global markets whereas the EU suffered a 9% reduction. To think that if we wish to trade with Brazil, China and India (whose economies are outstripping the EU by miles) we have to ask permission from Brussels. How absurd is that? Its parliament is an unfunny joke and makes no decisions but manages to gobble vast amounts of tax payers’ money. Instead the whole charade is controlled by unelected commissioners usually failed domestic ones at that. Kinnock, Mandelson and Patten spring to mind! This whole glut of Eurocrats and “hangers on” is a cosy club with a gravy train longer than the river Nile. Its share of the world trade has (ironically) been dropping since Ted Heath railroaded us into it in 1973. I think the best example of this incompetent “club” is the fact that its accounts have always been audited with stark warnings that regulation on finance is not fully complied with. It is purely based on spending its budget (so as to increase it year on year) and not giving one iota about its value to those who pay for it. If you don’t believe me visit the web site of The European Court of Auditors based in Luxembourg. So, and this pleases me the most, I am delighted that yet again I find myself on the completely opposite side of a political argument from Cllr Battye over this issue. She can sleep well however because if we ever get a referendum it will have billions of Euros injected to remain in. Renegotiated terms will be made to be a saviour and don’t expect the establishment and all those duly rewarded by the EU’s budget to be lining up to campaign against it either. We will get every tactic from millions of lost jobs to playing on human nature’s comfy zone of keeping the status quo. For well over 10 years now I have wanted out of this socialist-style top heavy “club” and if I see a referendum of any kind relative to the EU I will be voting to remove the UK from it.
Coun Roger Taylor
(Con, Northowram and Shelf)