Who cares for Brighouse?

A HANDFUL of residents could be deciding the future of the town if more don’t attend the Brighouse ward forum.

Important issues such as the new planning policy, dog orders and policing issues were discussed at the meeting and residents were asked to give their opinions. But with a distinct lack of residents it could mean that only a handful are getting their points across.

Clifton resident David Armitage who attended with his wife, Em, said: “The amount of people here is not really a fair representation of Brighouse. There are shop keepers and all sorts of people that could contribute to some of these discussions but are not here and never come to these meetings. Can we think of ways to get more people to come?”

George Simpson agreed. “We need to try and get the message out to the vast majority of people out there. If you don’t take an interest in these issues, then this will happen.”

All three ward councillors agreed that people needed to take more of an active role and wanted to try and encourage them to attend the meetings.

It was decided that in order to attract more people from the town they would change the venue of future ward forums which will now be held at Brighouse Civic Hall in Bradford Road.

Residents suggested the agenda could also be the reason why people don’t feel the urge to attend the meetings. They felt the issues which were advertised on the agenda did not intrigued people to attend.

Sergeant Dean Maddocks, of the Lower Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said that the agenda was a key factor in enticing people to meetings which was evident at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward forum where they discussed the crossroads and the long-running saga of the bus lay-by.

It was decided at the next meeting on January 11, 2012, the local development framework, which is paramount to the future of planning and keeping green belt status in areas, will be discussed.

And the possibility of having a parish council to include Brighouse and its old boundaries which would incorporate Rastrick will be put on the agenda with representatives giving both sides of the argument.