The Council has drawn up plans that would see humps outside of Mount Pellon School on Battison Road. I’m personally in favour of traffic calming outside of all schools, and would very much like to see a scheme like this outside of Ling Bob School and Christ Church too.
One problem with the Battison Raod scheme as initially drawn up was that it missed off Blackwood Grove. There is a nursery entrance to the school along this road so it made sense for it to be included too. After a resident raised this issue I got in contact with the Council officer responsible for drawing up the plans. The good news is that today he has confirmed that Blackwood Grove will be included in the scheme.
I’ve amended the plans so that they provide for three round-topped road humps and a new warning sign to be provided on Blackwood Grove, as suggested.
I recently raised safety concerns about the mini roundabout at the junction of Highroad Well Lane, Court Lane, and Paddock Lane. I was hoping perhaps that there might be an engineer solution that would make this roundabout safer as currently a number of drivers are cutting across it and making dangerous manoeuvres on it.
Today I got a reply from the Council’s road safety officer. It seems a bit like passing the buck here to the Police. No doubt if we contact the Police they will say the Council needs to make improvements to the road to improve safety! I’m not convinced the Police have anything like the traffic enforcement capacity to deal with problems like this.
Dear Cllr Baker
Thank you for raising your concern over the illegal driving behaviour taking place at the mini roundabout at the junction of Highroad Well Lane, Court Lane and Paddock Lane. The issue of taking action against such behaviour lies with the Police and we would encourage those who have raised the matter with you to approach the Police on the issue.
Road Safety Officer
Labour say the Liberal Democrats always vote with the Conservatives. The Conservatives bemoan the fact we vote with Labour. The truth is that Calderdale Liberal Democrats vote for what we think is right for the people of Calderdale based on our own values, and our own principles.
This hasn’t stopped Labour from making the claim on leaflets that Lib Dems have ‘time after time voted with the Conservatives instead of joining Labour to stand up for Calderdale.
We decided to fact check this. Out of 57 votes in the last year 70% had cross party agreement from all three parties. Shock horror folks local politicans actually all agreed with each other on 70% of the topics that came to the vote at Council.
In actual fact there were no votes where we voted just with the Conservatives and without Labour. There have been in previous years though, it just depends on what the issue is as how the other two parties vote doesn’t effect how we vote as we have our own ideas and views.
There were 11 votes where we voted with Labour but not the Conservatives. There was 1 vote where the Conservatives and Labour voted together but not us (this was senior officer pay policy). There were two votes where we abstained and different Labour and Conservatives voted differently. There are three that are uncertain or we couldn’t ascertain.
Total No of Votes 57 %
Con+Lab+LD 40 70%
Con+LD (Not Lab) 0 0%
Lab+LD (Not Con)* 11 19%
Con+Lab (Not LD)** 1 2%
LD abstain, Con + Lab vote differently 2 4%
Uncertain*** 3 5%
You can see the table that we used to work all this out. It is possible there are a few mistakes, it’s not always clear to work these things out as there is no electronic system on Calderdale Council that automatically records things.
When you talk to people who have lived in Halifax a long time they will tell you how nice all the terraces looked, how people used to look after the place, how the Council kept the area clean. Roll onto 2016 and the place is looking like a rubbish tip. People have to live amongst this squalor. A mixture of cutbacks, a lack of tidy behaviour from residents, and Council money wasted elsewhere rather than being spent on anti-litter campaigns has resulted in rubbish just piling up in the streets.
It’s clear we need a two pronged attack to tackle the grime. An education campaign that encourages people to take pride in where they live, and a tougher approach at enforcement. There are companies that could do this enforcement for the Council, simply collecting their income from the revenue raised in fines. The proceeds of these fines could be put towards an education campaign.
All it requires is the political will to make this happen, and sadly the current Labour administration seem unwilling to tackle this sort of problem, preferring instead big vanity regeneration projects like redoing the Piece Hall or Northgate Library.
In the past week we have received three reports of dog fouling. We have reported instances of this at Mount Tabor children’s playground, on Kenyon Lane and at West View Park. All of these reports have been passed onto the Council’s dog warden who will investigate and look at trying to take some enforcement action.
Last time we had a complaint about dog fouling it was up at the Vandall’s Rugby Club in Warley Town. Following that complaint the dog warden actually manged to catch someone up there and a fixed penalty notice was issued. So occasionally people do actually get caught and fined for this, the problem is of course being there at the right time and catching people in the act of not clearing up after their dog.
Calderdale Council moved out of the offices it was leasing at Dean Clough two years ago, but is still paying £163,500 per year for the space. That means that the Council has paid out nearly one-third of a million pounds for something that is of no benefit for the people of Calderdale.
As the lease has over six years still to run, a further million pounds could well be wasted in the same way. Clearly the Council needs to take action to reduce this wasteful spending or, hopefully, get rid of it altogether.
This also calls into question the wisdom of the Council in entering into long leases that it can’t easily get out of.
Even if the Council’s coffers were overflowing with cash, this would be an unacceptable waste of public money. In these difficult times it is even more intolerable.
The tax-payers of Calderdale and the Council staff who are at risk of losing their jobs over the coming years would be right to be appalled by this wasteful use of scarce resources.
I recently had someone get in touch and ask if some play equipment for older children could also be put next to the play equipment that was installed a few years ago on Sandhall Green. I’ve asked the Council if this would be possible and had the following reply.
It’s a shame that there is no capital budget at the moment for improving children’s playgrounds.
The consultation carried out in 2013 before the development of the new open space at Sandhall Green showed that there was support for a low key play area for young but not older children. Mini goals were included in the scheme since the site was already being used as a kick about area.
Since the consultation was carried out there may now be more older children in the immediate area however Pellon Recreation Ground has a large play area with facilities for all age groups and is within walking distance of Sandhall Green.
There is no capital budget for new play equipment at the moment. Any new schemes are financed by funding raised by community groups whom we are happy to support.
We will look at the gate to the play area and if the risk assessment requires we will realign the gate to open inwards.