Parking costs just tip of the ice-berg

An out of use parking meter on Commercial Street, Halifax town centre.
An out of use parking meter on Commercial Street, Halifax town centre.

Could I add a few points to the many that have already been made regarding the council parking shambles in Halifax?
1) Your headline of ‘will cost £100,000’s’ is I suspect a conservative estimate at best. Firstly the admitted loss of revenue from the suspended machines will cost £200,000 if, as indicated, it takes three months to rectify. Secondly the council’s own estimate for returned penalty charges is £250,000. Thirdly add the cost of administration, postage, banking for all the returned fees plus, fourthly, add the knock-on costs for council staff having to be re-deployed to sort out the refunds. If the total cost of this part (see 3 below) of the shambles is less than £500,000 it will be a miracle.
2) I note the blame game has already started. Councillor Baines states ‘We know who made the original mistake...... but we can’t take any disciplinary action as the person no longer works for the council.’ What a cop-out that is - are there no checks in place to prevent what is going to be a half million pounds mistake? A minimum of the head of the department responsible in 2008 should be rolling - but no doubt we will find that he/she has also already retired on a fat pension.
3) Reading between the lines I suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg. Councillor Baines again states ‘We are now going to have to look at the orders street-by-street across Calderdale.’ What are the odds that Mr/Mrs/Ms Cut & Paste has not used the same method in documentation for machines in Brighouse, Elland, Hebden Bridge,Sowerby Bridge & Todmorden? Add another £500,000?
Your reporter Jon Cronshaw will be busy on this story for many months to come!

Paul Whiteley

Sowerby Bridge


Once again residents must suffer

So we now have a parking fiasco dating back some six years. We can’t hold the councillors responsibly - they don’t do the work. “ We know who made the original mistake” a legal executive who “cuts and pastes” information or regulations from questionable sources. Plagiarism to take and use another’s works or thoughts as your own. Cut and paste is plagiarism! Something you can be expelled from college or university courses for. Clearly not if you are being paid tax payers’ money. Even more worrying is the fact that she had a boss paid even more and he let it go without picking up on anything being wrong. Janet Battye wants an investigation to see” if there is any fault here”, {see plagiarism} So once again the residents and traders of Halifax have to suffer, and our MP Mrs Riordan says it’s “a complete mess”. Where is my passport? Living with the Euro seems more attractive.

J. Shoesmith

Warley Road, Halifax


Put their foot in it once more

Calderdale Council were warned several months ago, including in the pages of “The Courier”, that the parking policy they were about to impose was illegal. This shambles follows on the assertion that the new road from Hollas Lane to Holmes Road is a “Relief Road” for Sowerby Bridge, when it is clearly just an access road to the tip. It seems likely that CMBC are about to rubber-stamp the detailed planning permission for building 149 houses and flats on the flood -plain upstream of Copley Village, despite knowing what Sir Michael Pitt strongly advised in his report - which was not to build on flood-plains!
Even with the Council`s No.1 obsession, dog-poo, you can’t rely on CMBC not to put their foot in it!

Steve Whipp


sowerby bridge

Relief road money can be found

I write in response to Charles Gate’s letter about the relief road in Sowerby Bridge. I share Charles’ concerns about the additional traffic that the new homes at the Sterne Mills site will generate, and that is precisely why the three Labour councillors for Sowerby Bridge have argued persistently that the relief road from Hollas Lane to Fall Lane must be put in as part of the scheme. This was looking uncertain until European money was found to fund the building of the road - money that the council did not think it would have only a few months ago. This goes to show that, although there is no council money currently earmarked for the widening of the railway bridge at the end of Holmes Road, it is perfectly feasible that we can find the funding to do it. There were recently discussions in council about whether the money that was meant for the Hipperholme crossroads scheme could be used elsewhere for example. For this reason I have been urging the council to draw up a scheme ready so that if funding becomes available again we are in a position to bid for it. What is certain is that if we adopt a defeatist attitude towards the problem like Charles then we are never going to get the traffic solution that Sowerby Bridge has desperately needed for decades, and the unacceptable levels of pollution in our town centre will persist. I agree that we should be looking to reduce traffic, not just move it elsewhere, but this only forms part of the solution.

Councillor Adam Wilkinson

Labour, Sowerby Bridge

last week


Thank you to the Courier for publishing my recent letters. Alas the ‘printer’s devil’ got at last week’s, for the National Debt was stated to be £1.7 million. This should have read £1.7 trillion, with an added deficit of £100 billion yearly, which would be incompatible with what appeared.

Frank McManus



Locals only

The talking has started – Elections: In Calderdale we have two constituencies; Calder Valley and Halifax. Candidates in both areas should be born – bred – brought up – worked and living in the area. Somebody who is interested in the community and will work to bring it back to its industrial heritage. We do not want fly-by-nights, candidates who come in from other areas and then disappear again. Let’s make Calderdale great again.

G Horsfall