Inside the Council: Tim Swift (Lab, Town Ward)

Traffic builds up at the Calder and Hebble junction
Traffic builds up at the Calder and Hebble junction

Recently the West Yorkshire Combined Authority approved funds for the initial feasibility work for the A641 corridor through Brighouse. This will eventually unlock proposals to radically improve this vital route – tackling congestion and pinch points in Brighouse itself, keeping more through traffic away from the town centre.
Overall, more than £50 milllion will be invested in improvements to this corridor. It’s the chance to create a better quality of environment in the centre of Brighouse, and improve access to important business sites such as the Clifton employment site.
We’ve demonstrated that by working together with our colleagues in West Yorkshire, we can secure a level of investment in Calderdale that simply wouldn’t be possible alone.
Work has already started on the A629 scheme in Halifax, with plans now produced to completely redesign the Calder and Hebble junction, emphasising that these schemes are not just “pie in the sky” – they can and will be delivered.

Elland Bridge work progressing

Many Echo readers will have been affected by the closure of Elland Bridge.
If you’ve been down and looked at the site recently, you’ll have seen that the Canal and River Trust, who are responsible for this project, have made a massive amount of progress, and know doubt you will be pleased to hear that we expect the bridge to reopen to traffic very early in 2017.

Don’t let nostalgia damage our children

Teresa May’s plans to let secondary schools bring back selection at 11 shows how far she has travelled from the views of her predecessor. It’s hard to imagine David Cameron supporting such an ill-considered policy – indeed, it’s something that he has specifically rejected in the past.
The nostalgic belief that Grammar schools offered more choice for most children, or that they raise standards overall, flies in the face of all the evidence.
Any popularity the policy may have depends on ignoring the obvious fact that a shift to selection means not more choice, but an early experience of rejection, for far too many children.
If Mrs May’s Government really wants to create opportunity for all, then they should not base their education policy on the disappointing performance of the school system in Kent, where she is an MP. Instead they should learn from London where consistent investment in quality teaching and strong support and challenge for schools has dramatically raised standards across the board.
The Brighouse area is served well by strong comprehensive schools.
I hope they will consistently reject any possibility of introducing selection.
And I hope that local MP Craig Whittaker will take a stand against this ill-conceived proposal.

Brighouse to join Halifax

Hot off the press comes the Boundary Commission proposals for new Parliamentary Constituencies.
And they want to carve the existing Calder Valley seat into two!
Under their plans, the Brighouse area will move into a new Halifax constituency, joining the Ovenden, Park and Town wards, and also drawing in the Royds area of Bradford.
I expect some lively debate about this!

This will eventually unlock proposals to radically improve this vital route – tackling congestion and pinch points in Brighouse itself, keeping more through traffic away from the town centre.
Overall, more than £50 milllion will be invested in improvements to this corridor. It’s the chance to create a better quality of environment in the centre of Brighouse, and improve access to important business sites such as the Clifton employment site.
We’ve demonstrated that by working together with our colleagues in West Yorkshire, we can secure a level of investment in Calderdale that simply wouldn’t be possible alone.
Work has already started on the A629 scheme in Halifax, with plans now produced to completely redesign the Calder and Hebble junction, emphasising that these schemes are not just “pie in the sky” – they can and will be delivered.

Elland Bridge work progressing

Many Echo readers will have been affected by the closure of Elland Bridge.
If you’ve been down and looked at the site recently, you’ll have seen that the Canal and River Trust, who are responsible for this project, have made a massive amount of progress, and know doubt you will be pleased to hear that we expect the bridge to reopen to traffic very early in 2017.

Don’t let nostalgia damage our children

Teresa May’s plans to let secondary schools bring back selection at 11 shows how far she has travelled from the views of her predecessor. It’s hard to imagine David Cameron supporting such an ill-considered policy – indeed, it’s something that he has specifically rejected in the past.
The nostalgic belief that Grammar schools offered more choice for most children, or that they raise standards overall, flies in the face of all the evidence.
Any popularity the policy may have depends on ignoring the obvious fact that a shift to selection means not more choice, but an early experience of rejection, for far too many children.
If Mrs May’s Government really wants to create opportunity for all, then they should not base their education policy on the disappointing performance of the school system in Kent, where she is an MP. Instead they should learn from London where consistent investment in quality teaching and strong support and challenge for schools has dramatically raised standards across the board.
The Brighouse area is served well by strong comprehensive schools.
I hope they will consistently reject any possibility of introducing selection.
And I hope that local MP Craig Whittaker will take a stand against this ill-conceived proposal.

Brighouse to join Halifax

Hot off the press comes the Boundary Commission proposals for new Parliamentary Constituencies.
And they want to carve the existing Calder Valley seat into two!
Under their plans, the Brighouse area will move into a new Halifax constituency, joining the Ovenden, Park and Town wards, and also drawing in the Royds area of Bradford.
I expect some lively debate about this!