Albert Road Resurfacing

Hi folks,

I’ve had confirmation today that Albert Road is going to be resurfaced. This is a bit of good news, I’ve had complaints previously about the state of the road and is really did need doing. The follwing letter from Graham Dendle in the Highways department has been sent to residents in the area.


Essential carriageway resurfacing works are planned for Albert Road between Highroad Well Lane and Back Staverton Street. Work is programmed to start on Thursday 4 November and finish Wednesday 17 December.

Unfortunately, in order to carry out the works safely, it will be necessary to reduce the road width to one lane for the duration of the works and for this reason Albert Road will only be open to traffic travelling downhill from Highroad Well Lane to Spring Hall Lane. Traffic wanting to drive up Albert Road will be diverted via Spring Hall Lane, Pellon New Road, Sandbeds Road and Highroad Well Lane. The closure will be in place overnight, but generally work will be limited to 07:30hrs to 18:00hrs, however, this will be extended to midnight on three evenings; 8, 10 and 17 December. From 18:30 on these evenings, work will be carried out from approximately Wyvern Place down to Back Staverton Street and the road will be fully closed in both directions.

It will be impossible to park within the road closure but vehicular access for residents with off-road parking will be maintained where possible, although this may be subject to delays when the Contractor is working directly outside your property. You may be required to drive through the worksite so you should drive with due regard for the safety of the workforce and also be aware that there may be no ramping on the raised ironwork. Access for emergency vehicles and pedestrians will be maintained at all times.

Calderdale Council has a commitment to excellence in service provision. By listening to your views we can attempt, where possible, to tailor our operation to meet your expectations to provide a continually improving service. If you feel unhappy that aspects of the works are not being carried out to your satisfaction then please let me know. Conversely, if you feel that the works were undertaken in a satisfactory manner, please let me know.

I look forward to receiving any comments you may have.


Graham Dendle

Telephone: 01422 392973


How the Pupil Premium is Helping Children at Halifax High

The Pupil Premium is a flagship policy that the Liberal Democrats have delivered in Government. The purpose the Pupil Premium is allocate additional funding to schools based on the number of pupils they have which would be eligible for free school meals. We know that economic disadvantages children face early in life create inequality that last a lifetime. This is targeted spending to address that inequality at an early stage to ensure everyone no matter what their background gets an opportunity to make something of themselves and succeed in life.

Over the next few weeks I will be taking it in turn to look at different Schools within Warley ward so we can see how they are using this Pupil Premium. First of is

Halifax High

Halifax High


The school got an extra  £143,913 in 2013/14 and this has risen now to £382,415 for 2014/15 as the school now gets £900 extra for each student eligible. The school has published it’s own report on how the Pupil Premium has been used. Some of the highlights include

  • Deployment of attendance officer time to intervene in order to reduce persistent absence and increase in overall attendance.
  • Herd Farm Residential trip focused on Maths/English revision
  • Y9 IMPACT group established for students at risk of with  significant learning needs.  Additional SEN teacher employed.
  • Employ additional staff in the Maths faculty to enable smaller classes to be maintained
  • After school intervention programme: targeting Year11 C/D borderline students in English and/or maths or at risk of not making 3 levels progress  in English and/or maths

As you can see these are not just figures of money going to schools, they are real targeted programmes that are addressing the attainment gap, and helping to combat inequality within our society. Next week I will be looking at how the money has been used by Ling Bob Infant and Nursery School.

Liberal Democrats call for an extra £1.5Bn NHS spending

Team of surgeon in uniform perform operation on a patient at car

There are now 13,635 more clinical staff in the NHS than in may 2010, including 7,997 more doctors. You can check those figures yourself on the Health and Social Care Information Centres webpage. Despite the NHS being protected from cuts, with an ageing population, and increasing health needs it is clear the NHS is today under a tremendous amount of pressure. There may not have been cuts in real-terms, but our needs and expectations are increasing. 

That’s why I was very pleased to hear Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb call on the Government to free up an extra £1.5Bn for the NHS in the Autumn Statement. The Liberal Democrats want some of the extra funding to focus on improving mental health care particularly for children and young people, a key priority for the party.

Calderdale Liberal Democrats know how vital NHS services are to local  residents. We are campaigning to keep our local A&E open and we continue to campaign against the awful PFI debt the hospital faces. This ‘wonga loan’ of public spending was used by the last government to pay for and build the hospital, and the local NHS is now tied into paying back many times more than the building cost to bankers and finance companies.

The extra £1.5Bn for the NHS if agreed will make a huge difference, ensuring our NHS remains the envy of the world.

Rosetta Landing is a Triumph of European Cooperation

This week mankind for the first time ever managed to land on a comet. The Philae probe  had a bumpy landing, but successfully touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This immense achievement is the accumulation of a 10 year project undertaken by the European Space Agency. It just goes to show what mankind can achieve when it works together and puts aside the rivalries of nations that plagued previous centuries. 100 years ago Europe was torn apart by World War One, today we are working together, pushing forward the boundaries of science and space exploration. That’s something we can all be proud of, and it underlines more then ever the need for us to work closely with our European brothers and sisters.

553 to Fountainhead – Problem on Bus Route at Gibbet Street

I’ve had complaints that the 553 is not currently going along Gibbet Street due to road works. This has resulted in several elderly residents who live in or around the nursing home there becoming effectively stranded in their homes. We understand that road works have to happen, but there should be something to help make sure folk don’t get stranded when routes change with little notice. I’ve contacted the relevant Council officer who is liaising now with Metro as this route is operated under contract.

Speeding on Roils Head Road & Paddock Lane

I’ve been dealing with more complaints of speeding along Roils Head Road & Paddock Lane. It’s frustrating that there are still speeding problems on Paddock Lane as this is now already part of a 20mph zone. It’s really clear though there are a minority of drivers who simply ignore the speed limit, and know they are very unlikely to get caught by the Police which seem unable to tackle the problem. Perhaps it would make sense to change the law so local Council enforcement officers could enforce traffic speeding. After all it can’t be too complicated pointing a radar gun at a car and taking a picture as evidence can it?

Anyway I have requested that the Council’s Speed Indicator Device comes back to collect more evidence that will be passed onto the Police to try and encourage them to enforce the limits. The Speed Indicator Device (SID) should be back on Paddock Lane before Christmas, and then back on Roils Head Road in the new year. In the meantime below you can download the latest data collected on speeding on these streets.

If speeding is also an issue on your street please do get in contact with me and let me know. There is a limited amount I can do about it, but I do keep badgering the Police, and get the indicator device out which acts as a visual reminder to people to slow down.

SID results for Paddock Lane

SID results for Roils Head Rd

The Addy Community group Website is Launched


The Addy Community group which I am involved in was setup to improve the Pellon area, and to take over the running the of the Pellon Network Centre on Rye Lane. The centre is already used by and art club, and a silver surfers computer club and the group is trying to bring the centre back into a lot more community uses. Anyone who lives in the local area can apply to be a member, at the moment there is no membership fee.

We have a vision of doing up the garden, hosting regular coffee mornings and events for the local community and hiring the centre out for people who want to hose their own events. Essentially we want to turn it into a fully functioning community centre run by the community for the community. So please take a few minutes to look at our new website which we will use to advertise local events and meetings going on at the centre. 


I’ve exposed Labour’s secret plan to sell-off buildings


Using the Freedom of Information Act I have today exposed that the previous Labour administration on Calderdale Council had plans for a wholesale sell-off of council-owned properties – plans marked as ‘restricted’ that were to remain under wraps until after next year’s elections.

I only got to find out about these plans by using the Freedom of Information Act but I can now reveal that that Labour councillors have discussed selling off over 95 properties including at least seven community centres and 15 public toilets. They were not planning to make any of this public until after next year’s local and general elections.

When we voted to remove Labour from the leadership of the council in July, we said that one reason was the secretive manner in which they operated. This just shows how right we were.

Not only is it appalling that councillors have only found out about these plans by resorting to the Freedom of Information Act, but even worse is the fact that local people would have had no say in the matter. These buildings are provided for their benefit, not the council’s.

No one wants the council to waste money on unnecessary buildings, but it can only decide what is necessary through holding open discussions within the council and, before that, with the public we are here to serve. I don’t believe Labour were even thinking about such discussions.

Calderdale Liberal Democrats think the council to save money by creating community hubs so people could access public services in the communities they serve. This would mean we could spend less money on Council offices. Instead of drawing up a secret list we would have launched an open public consultation on the future of council-owned buildings. This shows a major difference in approach between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and that Labour cannot be trusted.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Janet Battye said: “This flies in the face of Cllr Tim Swift’s assertion made in May 2013 that the Labour Cabinet would be ‘open and transparent’. When the Council has had to work on other large and difficult issues – such as the improvement of Children’s Social Care, or the work on the Piece Hall – it has been done together, across the political groups, and been more successful because of this. Why didn’t Labour do that this time?”

All the documents detailing the plans can be downloaded from What Do They Know . The Appendix in the following document lists a whole host of buildings that were planned for disposal. The plans also include transferring the Shay Stadium and Victoria theater into community ownership.

Bonfire night events across Calderdale

There are a range of bonfire night events going on around Calderdale this year

Saturday 1st November – Elland recreation Ground, Hullen Edge Road. Gates at 5.30pm admission £5 for adults and £2.50 for children.

Wednesday 5th November Moorlands Inn, Ogden will hold a firework night. Doors 6pm with Pie & Peas. Entry fee is £5 or £2.50 for under 12s.

Wednesday 5th November – Casa Hotel and Restaurant, Brighouse. Will do a firework display. The night starts at 7pm and entrance fee is £5.

Wednesday 5th November – The New Hobbit, Hob Lane, Halifax Bonfire lit at 6.30pm and fireworks at 7.30pm. Entrance is £3, kids go free.

Friday 7th November – Long Can Hall, Fountainhead, Bonfire will be lit at 7pm with pie and peas throughout the night

Saturday 8th November  – Heath RUFC will be open from 4pm and the bonfire will be lit around 7pm

If you are planning your own display, remember to take time to remind yourself of the firework safety code but most of all have a wonderful time!

More 20mph zones for Warley Ward


Much of Warley ward is now covered by a large 20mph zone. Speaking to residents the 20mph zone gets a mixed response. Some people think it has reduced average speeds, and others think 20mph is too slow over such a large area.  Personally as a father of a young boy I think the increased safety slower traffic creates is worth going a bit more slowly for.
One thing everyone seems to agree on is that the Police are not enforcing the speed limit. This is despite assurance given by Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson giving assurances they would be. I do wonder if perhaps he had chosen to employ an extra traffic copy rather than appointing a Labour party colleague as his deputy on £53,000 a year then speeds might be better enforced. Anyway we are where we are with these 20mph zones now.
The Council has plans to roll-out further 20mph zones across the Borough. These plans include bringing in a 20mph zone for Warley Town with an estimated implementation date of November – December 2015 and for Fountainhead village in 2016.  There is a link to the time table of 20mph zone introductions below. In an email to Councillors the Council’s director for Public Health said:
The areas of Calderdale were prioritised using a combination of:
-          Road safety benefits (targeting areas with highest numbers of Killed and Seriously Injured)
-          Geography/Population (targeting areas which would enable existing/planned 20mph speed limits to be linked to each other at an early stage and will have an impact on larger numbers of Calderdale residents)
The default position will be that all 30mph residential roads will be expected to be 20mph.  Main ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads will be excluded but each area will be looked at individually and assessed.The roll out of 20mph will be phased over three years with the first phase (Siddal, Southowram, Manor Heath, Saville Park and extended Town Centre) planned for installation the middle of next year.  Each phase will take approximately 9 months to develop, consult upon and implement.

All stakeholders and service providers will be consulted at the start of each phase.  Area plans and legal speed limit orders will be published on the website and advertised in the local press.

phasing document

I did ask whether Mount Tabor would also be included in the 20mph zones, and also the scope of the 20mph zones in Warley Town and Fountainhead village, and got the following reply:

Warley and Fountainhead are included and need to be assessed. Warley is thevillage centre not the wider area, Fountainhead we need to review entry points. Mount Tabor not included as the route through is a major road and would therefore not be 20mph and the streets/roads off this are small and therefore inappropriate for signing up as 20mph.