Readers’ View

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Aldi Development

Disappointing outcome for

our town centre

I was disappointed to see your front page article regarding the Aldi store being given the go-ahead.

I attended the planning meeting when Aldi were initially given planning permission in June 2013 and it was, to be honest a farce, regardless of any valid objections which were raised, the decision had already been made. We had been told that there was no point organising a petition opposing the supermarket as they carry no weight in the committee’s decision but they were happy to accept a small number of forms produced by Aldi from residents in favour of the supermarket as evidence that the planning application should be granted.

As Elland is now finding to their cost with the Morrisons supermarket, siting a supermarket outside the town centre only sucks customers away from the high street, they do not make linked trips, whereas if the supermarket is close to the town centre then people will park in supermarket car parks as they are the only free car parks in Brighouse and also shop on the High Street.

Surely the best site for the Aldi development would be the old swimming baths site on Mill Royd Street which is close to the town centre, enabling people to park for free, be within short walking distance, this would redevelop the whole canal side and not pull customers out of the town centre.

I am also sure that many readers are unaware that Calderdale Council have now issued a notice to close the public highway known as Old Ford or Snake Hill which leads from Birds Royds Lane down to the river and is the only public access to the river in the town centre and we will be losing another public amenity. I would be interested to know what plans Calderdale Council have to allow public access to the river as they have already given planning permission to Aldi who will be building their store over this road.

Members of the Brighouse Business Initiative have worked very hard in improving footfall in the town centre and reducing the number of empty shops, does this decision by Calderdale Council open the door to many more out of town shopping applications further damaging our town centre? We feel we have so far managed to succeed in improving Brighouse town centre despite the best efforts of Calderdale Council.

Lesley Adams

Chair - Brighouse Business Initiative

Ravenscliffe school

Making our dream a reality

Further to your article in the Brighouse Echo, (March 13) featuring Jill and Kate Grant and Jill’s appeal for support to build a sixth centre at Spring Hall, Halifax, for Ravensckiffe High School.

I would just like to add a bit of background :

Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College is Calderdale’s only Secondary Special School providing education and life skills support to (currently 139) vulnerable young people with a very wide range of special needs.

Young people from all over the Calder Valley attend our school, including more than 35 from Brighouse and district. Ofsted have rated Ravenscliffe as Outstanding on the last 4 inspections and nationally the school is rated in the top 12 secondary special schools and featured in an OFSTED publication ‘12 outstanding special schools’.

Working closely with staff at Highbury and Woodbank Primary Special schools we are passionate about providing the best secondary education and provision of life skills that we can give our young people --- but we are full!

Very, very full! We need more space. And, we need the help of the local community, and the business community, to make the dream of a state of the art Ravenscliffe@Springhall 6th Form, with community sports facilities, a reality.

We will be Track Side at Spring Hall, our young people will run our community cafe. Local sports users will at last have changing and shower facilities - we dream of providing a Centre of Excellence for Disability Sport for this part of West Yorkshire - coupled with Heart of the Community use of the building.

Your readers can find all the details of the school and the Spring Hall project and our fund raising needs on our website www.ravenscliffe@calderdale.sch.co.uk. Or they can ring 01422 358621 or write to Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College, Skircoat Green Halifax. HX3 0RZ and request details.

Best wishes to you and your readers and many thanks to those readers who have already pledged their help since the article last week.

Martin Moorman

Headteacher

Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College

mother’s Day

Mums who are

unable to enjoy their special day

As Mother’s Day approaches, mums everywhere are looking forward to breakfast in bed or a Sunday afternoon stroll with their children.

But for mums with the chronic, disabling condition myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), these things just may not be possible.

Symptoms of M.E., sometimes diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), include debilitating fatigue, muscle and joint pain and cognitive and digestive difficulties.

Action for M.E. is a leading UK charity led by people with M.E., for people with M.E.

We provide information and support to people affected by M.E. and aim to increase awareness and understanding of M.E. with the public, health and social care practitioners, senior decision-makers and government.

Those with M.E./CFS find every aspect of their lives – and the lives of those that love them – affected, including facing disbelief from friends, family, colleagues and even doctors.

To learn the facts and get support for M.E./CFS, please visit www.actionforme.org.uk or call us on 0117 927 9551.

Sonya Chowdhury

Chief Executive

Action for M.E.

3rd Floor, Canningford House

38 Victoria Street,

Bristol