Globe Trotting Kirklees Leader Off To China!

Plane

Our new Council leader and slayer of the Red Lord of Heckmondwike, Comedy Councillor  Pandor, is getting to grips with the pressing issues of leading Kirklees through troubled waters by …er…buggering off to  china !

As the nights draw in and the long hot summer of 2018 fades away the comic genius is off on another all expenses paid jaunt to strengthen Huddersfield’s links with China (really? Ed.)

After the resounding success of our Batley comic’s all expenses paid trip to Cannes earlier this year the globe trotting funny man, who clearly fancies himself as a bit of a Michael Palin,  is off to Hangzhou and is quoted as  “looking forward to positioning our region with Chinese decision-makers as a source of high quality, innovative British-made products.” ( he’s well known for speaking in riddles – Ed)

The Councils Strategic Director of Jollies, Thomas Cook told us the distant Chinese City of Hangzhou has much in common with Huddersfield “It starts with an H doesn’t it? Although I know the H in Huddersfield is silent, that’s something. The weather’s really nice out there  in September too and our leader likes to feel important, plus I get loads of points on my nectar card for booking the tickets! As a Labour Council  it is an honour to visit a country where workers rights and freedom of speech are held in the highest regard by the government.”

Finally Mr Cook reassured Kirklees residents that our leader would return. “We have bought Cllr Pandor a return ticket and he will be back in Kirklees for the winter pantomime series of icy roads, missed bin collections and a hike in council tax for 2019. Residents have nothing to fear on this score”

 

 

Home Sweet Home

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Nothing makes you feel more at home than some fly tipping on a local path

It’s all very well going on holiday but it’s nice to return home to the comfort of walking on some of our wonderfully neglected local paths.

Holmfirth Footpath 134 (below) is approaching the 2nd birthday of this reported obstruction. Pretty much an early embryo in the life cycle of being ignored by our local highway authority. I wish I could say it was a pleasure to climb this narrow fence once again but it wasn’t really. Still the bramble briar scratches I picked up between here and the fly tipping  took my mind off it. A bit of rural acupuncture?

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Holmfirth Footpath 134
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Free rural acupuncture from Holmfirth 134’s bramble patch

 At the top of the hill Holmfirth Footpath 146 at Upper Millshaw is passable but hairy going. See below.

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Now mind that lose step!

Holmfirth Footpath 150 – Kirklees Remove Pallet.

That might just be the most underwhelming headline you ever read.

I can report that following reports from the public the offending pallet on Holmfirth Footpath 150 has indeed been removed by Kirklees.

Whilst other issues are still outstanding thanks are due to the Council for acting so swiftly and sending out the right message.

There’s no doubt this kind of thing can be a thankless task. Having served notice on the landowner after a long period of informal discussions failed it must be galling to see the path deliberately blocked again so soon.

Of course the actions of one person in blocking the path have cost the tax payer and wasted council staff time. In a world of diminishing public resources these costs should be fully recovered from those acting illegally. It might make them stop and think next time.

Ramsden Road Repairs

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Pleased to report that Kirklees have begun to repair the worst of the large “potholes” up on Ramsden Road. This includes the infamous  large inland lake where many a walker has come a cropper.

The works were agreed in April and have started on time. This is a really positive development. Along with the flurry of new footpath signs and a number of other resolved problems(which will be reported on the blog) it is very good news indeed.

Many thanks to the council staff and contractors involved in arranging and carrying out these works.

The Footpath Which Crosses The Site Shall Not Be Obstructed….

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So goes one of the most well used and routinely ignored planning footnotes in Kirklees. Both images here show public rights of way across small sites where the developer has been clearly advised by Kirklees of the existence of public footpaths. That advice is not to obstruct or interfere with the public paths during or after development.

Kirklees are getting this right much of the time. There are even specific conditions within planning permissions relating to public rights of way ( see Holmfirth Bridleway 154 and Planning Condition 4 ) designed to protect them.

It all goes wrong when planning footnotes and conditions such as these are ignored by developers and Kirklees fails to take action.

Upper Mill (1 of 1)

“I’m embarrassed to be associated with this Council” says local councillor!

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The Washpit Mills  planning proposal for 50 plus houses and a gym in this peaceful Holme Valley backwater was predictably waved through by  councillors on the Huddersfield Planning sub committee of 8th March. The Labour chair of the committee did the deed with his casting vote condoning continued obstruction of a long established public right of way through the site along with a requirement for locals to hang onto their wellies  for the foreseeable future if they wish to paddle along Footpath 195.

In stark contrast to the cynicism displayed by labour councillors, yet again dumping on the Holme Valley,  local residents who spoke to the committee were eloquent in their arguments against the proposals.  Their considered words were of course completely ignored by our democratic representatives who only obey the Red Lord from Heckmondwike,Darth Sheard.  He wishes to build, build, build -not affordable houses that are needed by local people but, in effect, a “council tax farm” to keep his empire afloat.

Local tory councillor Nigel Patrick had something of a “fight them on the beaches/Winston Churchill” moment calling out his own Highways officers who he suggested (with some justification) of “not looking at the same roads as me.”Describing how he worked closely with planners and highways officers Cllr Patrick described the report as “a slap in the face” and said he felt “let down”. Clearly the implication was that in all his meetings with planners and highways officers they’d not bothered to mention they were going to do the dirty on him when it came to committee.

He had a very telling point regarding a proposed footway which will have a dropped kerb to allow vehicles and HGV’s in particular to …er…. drive over it! “It’s total and utter nonsense,it’s pure fantasy a fairytale ” he continued. And he is right.

The problem with such committees in Kirklees is that they vote on party political lines  and if Jones Homes or Wimpey came in and wanted the first born of every family in a tory ward before building so much as a garden shed our gormless labour councillors would oblige.

This approach is leading to the disregard and ruin of a significant proportion of the local rights of way network and countryside.If a local councillor of whatever persuasion can say in public that “I’m embarrassed to be associated with this council” then there really is something seriously wrong.

On a lighter note veteran Cllr Ken Simms described the sharp suited developers as “thinking we’re all daft and wear flat caps and clogs” He forgot the whippets and mine is rather offended.

 Link  to webcaste of the meeting.