These unpaid carers deserve a medal

Writing on behalf of the growing number of unpaid carers across Bradford and Airedale, there is one clear New Year’s resolution that should be adopted by politicians at national and local level — to reform the current care system.

Our ageing population is rising far faster than the national average — a knock-on effect of medical advances and the “baby boom” generation.

This is something that we should celebrate, especially as many of those people who are living longer are those with disabilities and long-term conditions.

But, far more worrying, it is also a fact that our current health and social care system has found it impossible to keep up with the pace and magnitude of change.

It is no longer equipped to support the growing number of people who need care.

This failure impacts on the independence and dignity of older and disabled people but it also is a huge burden on society, family life and the economy.

Nationally, it is estimated that as many as 800,000 older people are left without basic care — and left vulnerable and isolated as a result.

Family members, friends and neighbours are left to become a carer — a role which is relentless hard work and can cause great stress and hardship.

We know of many local businesses being robbed of skilled staff who have no option to give up their jobs and care for loved ones instead.

Now 2012 is poised to be a year to remember because of the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

With a long-awaited White Paper on social care promised by the Government by April, there is also an opportunity for politicians to make 2012 the “Year of the Carer” and, in reforming the current, outdated and underfunded system, create a legacy of which we can be proud of for future generations. In Olympic year, if there is anyone who deserves a medal at the moment, it is our team of unpaid carers.

Anne Smyth

Founder and Director, The Carers’ Resource Charity

Proposal is to change parliamentary boundary

The Keighley News has published a number of letters and other opinions about the proposal to transfer the Worth Valley ward from Keighley to Calder Valley constituency.

Unfortunately, many of these confuse rather than clarify matters. The latest from Angel Kershaw, of Haworth (Letters, January 5), is merely the latest example. The problem is mainly that so many people confuse parliamentary constituencies with local government districts. The Boundary Commission has only proposed a change in parliamentary boundaries. It has not — and cannot — address the issue of local government responsibility. Therefore all discussion of whether people in the Worth Valley want to be in Calderdale or Bradford has no relevance whatsover.

Separation from Bradford district is a valid but quite separate issue — and is the responsibility of a completely different body (confusingly called the Local Government Boundary Commission).

Therefore, a campaign against the proposal needs to be based on what is actually being proposed. It would help if the Keighley News was to be clear and not print such letters without comment.

Geoff Collier

Apsley Terrace, Oakworth

Broadband access should cover all areas

The news that superfast broadband is on its way to Keighley is very welcome but it was disappointing to note that BT is unable to confirm which areas will benefit.

Many areas of the town already have access to superfast broadband through their cable provider. It is therefore important that BT’s rollout does not simply provide more choice to these areas but also reaches parts of the town not already covered.

In order to demonstrate to BT the geographical spread of demand across the town, I wondered if it would be worthwhile for as many people as possible to visit sumerProducts/, click on the “Can I get BT Infinity?” button and register their interest. And I hope that our town and district councillors will be exerting as much pressure as they can.

Duncan Boud

Damems Lane , Keighley

On behalf of Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team I would like to thank the people of Keighley for their generosity in helping us raise more than £2,000 at our recent street collection.

The team is manned totally by volunteers. We are based at Mytholmroyd but provide assistance throughout West Yorkshire and beyond.

Please visit our website for any further information.

Ann Ogden


Lions thanks on fundraising

Through your letter page, I would like to take the opportunity on behalf of Keighley Lions’ Club to thank all who helped in our Christmas fundraising.

Thanks go again to Colin Appleyard Ltd for the continued support, to the two drivers, Stuart and Barry, who skillfully tow the Santa Sleigh. To the collectors, Elaine, Michelle, Neil,James, Beth, Derek and all the Explorers who, this year, turned out, night after night, in appalling weather conditions.

I would also like to thank the management and staff at Stephen Smith Garden Centre Ltd for the continued support with the Santa Grotto.

Without the help of the two companies we would not be able to raise the funds we donate to worthwhile causes.

Finally, I would like to thank all who gave to our collections, their generosity never ceases to amaze me, Once again many thanks and a Happy New Year to all,

David Ogden

President Keighley Lions' Club