Sowerby Bridge now a lively and friendly place for people to visit

I was extremely sad to read the letter from Councillor Draycott in last Saturdays Courier as he is obviously putting party politics before the truth.

A couple of week ago a lady who is the general manager of a successful bar/restaurant in Sowerby Bridge contacted the office of Craig Whitaker the Calder Valley Conservative Member of Parliament because she had concerns over policing in Sowerby Bridge. She wished to speak to her MP which is Linda Riordan (Labour) as Sowerby Bridge is in the Halifax Constituency. As a result of that the Labour Group in Halifax were contacted, this is the normal protocol between neighbouring MP’s and one that has been agreed by both Craig Whitaker and Linda Riordan.

Linda Riordan then contacted a ward councillor, David Draycott, as they are both in the same party and asked him to deal with the problem. This is quite a different scenario to the one portrayed by Councillor Draycott.

The lady from Sowerby Bridge has still not been seen by Linda Riordan and the only councillor who has been to see her is myself because, contrary to the lie which Councillor Draycott promotes in his letter, I was contacted by Craig Whittaker’s office as her Conservative Councillor.

The lady and I are working together to address her concerns on a number of issues within the town. Not all of these concerns are new and 2 years ago I worked with the people in Sowerby Bridge to petition for a greater police presence. That petition resulted in the town getting 2 more PCSO’s and work is still going on to address the crime and disorder within the town. But to put this in perspective if you look at the West Yorkshire Police web site you will see that Sowerby Bridge is one of the safest places to live and visit in the county.

Everyone is feeling the appalling financial restraints that are being imposed and West Yorkshire Police is no exception but this Government is trying to balance the books following the Gordon Brown – Labour spend, spend philosophy!

Councillor Draycott, I was a police officer in Sowerby Bridge in the 1970’s and there is no comparison to what the town was like then to how it is now. We have a town that is attractive, with good housing, good businesses which offers a friendly and lively place for people to visit. I have been proud to see the town prosper and improve and will continue to work with the people in Sowerby Bridge.

I could not attend the PACT meeting as I was down south at my mother’s 90th birthday family celebration. I did tender my apologies for not being at the meeting but my understanding of it is that it was more like a Labour Party rally, than a PACT meeting, with Councillor Collins selling his crazy idea for a new library at the Piece Hall in Halifax and you Councillor Draycott banging your drum for your candidate in the next election. This is not what the PACT meeting is for and you are a disgrace for using it as such.

I will be making a complaint to the Standards Board (the body who ensure that Councillors act honestly, transparently and without prejudice) about the misconceptions you have written in your letter. This will be the second complaint that has been made against you in the 10 months you have been on this Council. If you can’t be honest and act with integrity then I strongly suggest that you ‘resign’!

If Councillor Draycott cannot keep away from trying to score cheap political points and being constantly economical with the truth, how on earth are we going to be able to believe what the Labour Party put in their election material in Sowerby Bridge.

Martin Peel

Councillor for Sowerby Bridge