Parking charges will murder the town

Before any final decision is taken regarding charging for on-street car parking in Keighley, might I respectfully suggest that the misguided individuals who are promoting this lunatic scheme are placed on a charabanc and driven to Scarborough.

On arrival they will find a town awash with double and single yellow lines.

They will find parking meters and parking restrictions galore. They will find very little free parking and they will also observe the town’s enthusiastic wardens ticketing any and every car transgressing any and every parking regulation — however minor.

As they walk around the town they will also see dozens — yes dozens — of empty retail premises. All closed, boarded-up, abandoned, for sale or to let. During a short stay last September, I counted and photographed almost 50 empty shops. Having visited Scarborough again last week it was the same depressing scenario of empty shops in just about every street. This is exactly what will happen in Keighley!

In today’s economic climate people have little, if any money, to spare. They will not wish to add parking fees to their shopping bills and so they will shop instead in the town’s supermarkets or out of town. Few motorists will pay to park in Cavendish Street or anywhere else in town, so individual shops will struggle to survive and eventually many will close — never to re-open.

If this scheme goes ahead Bradford Council will doubtless take yet more undeserved money out of Keighley but in doing so it will eventually murder the town.

Joe Woollard

Bogthorn, Keighley

Two-legged pests are worse than dogs

As an elected district councillor I get contacted by many people and with different concerns.

I was recently contacted regarding dog mess. My colleagues Rebecca Poulsen and Glen Miller have recently been working on this problem and I can only assume that is the reason for someone contacting me from a different area.

Because of this contact, I recently made a visit to The Tarn, a lovely picturesque location with a problem with dog mess. I must admit it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be but what did surprise me was the mess left by two-legged pests. An assortment of beer cans and bottles, various makes.

Empty cigarette packets, paper wrappers and plastic bags in abundance, even down to red plastic cups.

Come on people, dogs are doing what is natural, you as responsible owners can pick it up. But the litter, that is another thing, no excuses. I will be contacting the council’s new uniformed enforcement team requesting some vigilance at this location for dog fouling and, as such, I am sure they can issue more fixed penalties than last year.

Councillor Russell Brown

New Street, Dockroyd Lane, Oakworth

Let's set up a fund to restore memorials

Most war memorials have been with us for around 90 years and in many cases the cracks, quite literally, are starting to show.

Back in 1923 the War Memorials (Local Authorities’ Powers) Act gave councils the power to direct public money at their upkeep should they choose.

However, this legislation — which remains in force to this day — never compelled them to do so.

Might a way forward be the creation of a National War Memorial Restoration Fund? This would be money from central government being made available to local authorities to spend specifically on war memorial maintenance and improvement. The 100th anniversary of the First World War will be upon us in August, 2014, and will culminate in the centenary of the Armistice, in November, 2018 — a meaningful deadline by which such an enterprise could come to fruition.

Countries such as Belgium and Australia already have well-advanced national plans to mark 2014 to 2018.

Here, a growing number of individual projects are gathering pace but we have the chance to make a gesture on a truly national scale.

Please visit my website for details of my idea.

Ray Thompson

South View Avenue, Brigg, North Lincolnshire

All schoolchildren should be lifesavers

According to a survey we conducted, almost half of children across the UK (48 per cent) feel powerless to help someone who has collapsed in the street, despite almost three-quarters (72 per cent) wanting to be able to help.

That’s why the British Heart Foundation and Resuscitation Council UK are campaigning for all children to be taught Emergency Life Support (ELS) skills at school.

We want to ensure every child leaves school with the skills to save a life.

We’re urging everyone to visit their local BHF shop and sign our petition to help us create a nation of lifesavers.

For more information visit

Maura Gillespie

Head of Policy and Public Affairs, British Heart Foundation

Reminder of fate of animals

The War Horse story, which has resonated with so many people, is a poignant and timely reminder of the fate of millions of animals drawn unwittingly into human conflicts.

Any readers wishing to find out more about the use of horses — and other animals — in war, should contact Animal Aid for a free copy of our Animals in War booklet.

The publication details the ways in which animals have been used as messengers, for detection, scouting and rescue, as beasts of burden and on the frontline.

Meanwhile, in UK laboratories, thousands of animals still suffer and die every year in invasive warfare experiments.

Kate Fowler

Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel Bradford Street, Tonbridge