Was that £600,000 a good investment?

Hipperholme crossroads
Hipperholme crossroads

It’s not surprising for a Hipperholme/Lightcliffe Ward Councillor, with the main road from Halifax to Leeds running through Hipperholme and the main road from Bradford to Huddersfield running through Bailiff Bridge, that much of the talk is about traffic.

In the last few years over £600,000 has been spent by the Council on Hipperholme traffic lights. The latest electronic system has resulted in a North/South saving of about a minute and an East/West saving of a few seconds. These minor improvements will soon be wiped out and forgotten when the extra traffic from the development in Hove Edge (behind Crosslee) of 180 houses comes on stream (about 350 cars, I reckon) and, to make matters even worse, followed, no doubt, by more development at Kershaws.

So, has the £600,000 been money well spent? For that sort of investment the Council could have permanently solved a few other problems and improved life for many of my ward residents. A parking/safety scheme on Stoney Lane, Cliffe Avenue and West Avenue, upgrading Kirk Lane, a pelican crossing and safety scheme for Bailiff Bridge and chicanes for speed calming on Bramley Lane. There may have even been enough left over to subsidise free parking on the car park and finish the play area scheme on the Stray. So, is there a permanent lasting solution, rather than more upheaval and further expensive ineffective tinkering? Well yes there is. Build a railway station. In the long term transport plan for Calderdale, two stations are mentioned, i.e. Elland and Hipperholme.

My Councillor colleagues in Elland have been banging on about it for years. I suggested Hipperholme station a few years ago.

Since then, Network Rail have done a viability assessment on the two locations and Hipperholme comes out on top.

The transport ‘guru’ at 
the Council said that because 
of Hipperholme’s high score in this test, we would be, and I quote, “pushing at an open door”.

So, in this time of limited resources, with infrastructure spending at the top of everyone’s list, let’s not spread our efforts too thinly and concentrate our energy where we have the best chance of success. Let’s push at the open door. A railway station and a permanent solution for Hipperholme. You know it makes sense!

In meaty terms, you get what you neigh for

My favourite horseburger joke: I took some burgers to the checkout at Tesco and the assistant asked me if I’d like anything on them. A fiver each way please! There have been lots of these but there is a serious point to be made. I buy my meat from Brian Powe on Denholme Gate Road.

I wouldn’t say he knows the names of the animals but I know they’re not called Shergar! Support your local shops and know what you’re buying.

The most rewarding thing you might ever do

As chair of Calderdale’s Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Committee, I am perfectly aware of the nationwide crisis on adoption and fostering services.

This is an area where there is a real need for people to come forward and offer real hope and a future to our looked-after children.

Please don’t be put off by the livid stories of rejection that we often see. This is potentially a very rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle choice.

If you feel you could help, please ring 0845 245 6000 or view calderdale.gov.uk/fostering.

l Each week we will be looking at what is happening . . . Inside The Council. 
Next Week Scott Benton