Small ads

Road Gritting

From N Yorke

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

With all this snow and the lack of grit, worth noting which roads will get gritted:

Akroyd Lane, Hebden Bridge
Albert Road, Hebden Bridge
Badger Lane, Hebden Bridge
Billy Lane, Hebden Bridge
Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge
Burnley Road, Hebden Bridge
Church Lane, Hebden Bridge
Commercial Street, Hebden Bridge
Draper Lane, Hebden Bridge
Heptonstall Road, Hebden Bridge
Keighley Road, Hebden Bridge
Lee Wood Road, Hebden Bridge
Mytholm Steeps, Hebden Bridge
New Shaw Lane, Hebden Bridge
Nook Lane, Hebden Bridge
Old Shaw Lane, Hebden Bridge
Parrock Lane, Hebden Bridge
Scout Road, Mytholmroyd
Smithy Lane, Hebden Bridge
Wadsworth Lane, Hebden Bridge

Full List

From Sutti N

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Well done for keeping the main roads open. Lads used to get together on their streets or minor roads and dig them out theirself.
There was always the odd lazy ones that used to curtain twitch then drive their car off the cleared road surface, it seems to have gone full circle, one digging and loads of curtain twitchers. Maybe another name for a social networking site????

From Paul D

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

I do wonder whether Calderdale MBC will ever be held accountable for its inability to provide essential services.

For three weeks we’ve had no rock salt on pavements, essentiually trapping the elderly and infirm in their homes over the holiday period. Each year they fail to order enough rock salt and each year dozens of minor road traffic accidents result and dozens of trips on untreated pavements lead to A&E treatment.

Calderdale fails and just passes on the consequences of its failure to the public, often the most vulnerable. It fails and is not held accountable, how long will the people of the upper valley put up with miserable services from this basket case authority before the penny actually drops?

Elected members look on and do nothing, say nothing, it’s not about the roads they do grit, it’s about the service they fail to provide for most people, most of the time. The human and commercial costs of this failure need to be brought right to the door of those failing, to be carried by those failing - not by our elderly, those without transport, local businesses, the poor or the young. Get Calderdale out of Calderdale - it’s the only solution. WRCC would have stripped these idiots of power - it’s time we did. Repeated failure cannot be tolerated, when it’s felt by the weak and not by the culpable, then I really think we need to stop pretending we have anything other than a failing authority.

I have admiration for those employees working hard to deal with this situation, but are they not led by fools?

From Sutti N

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Something upset you Paul???

I think it’s about time we knocked on the door of our elderly, asked them if they want some shopping and whilst we’re at it clear their pavements of snow. Calderdale does have it’s faults, but have you been to Bradford this week???

Shop keepers could clear outside their shops, after all they need people to have access. Whilst we’re clearing the snow people might start talking to each other and start to create a community.

When the snow clears we could all sweep 10ft of pavement and spring clean, that could save our council some money to spend on the thing we can’t do for ourselves, or is that someone elses job or fault?

We have our chance to vote in the next few months, so we can voice our opinion then.

From Paul D

Thursday, 7 January 2010

What upsets me is that Calderdale MBC not only fail to do the basics right, but get in the way of exactly the sort of self-help and community action that you suggest.

I’ve been cleaning paths and putting down grit for more than three weeks now, making sure the elderly can get to and from activities planned for them, etc. I have a 4X4 and run errands for those unable to get out, but this is how much our authority sucks - the grit bins have been empty for weeks, stopping communities helping each other. I was prevented from clearing paths by Calderdale MBC employees, paths leading to facilties used by young and old, because of ‘health and safety’ and insurance concerns - they wouldn’t clear them, but they wouldn’t let me, the vulnerable slip and trip, or stay away.

So Calderdale is bothering me - it fails to deliver and fails to support those who with a bit of help could do so much better than them. Ask the people who are too frightened to go out because Hebden has been an ice rink for three weeks whether Calderdale is doing a decent job - it’s not. It’s preventing the sort of action that would go some way to compensating for its incompetence. Basically, it’s in the way - at so many levels, it just gets in the way.

From Sutti N

Thursday, 7 January 2010

I’m sorry to say this paul but most of Britain’s footpaths are the same.

We seem to have been Americanizzed, it is the claim society. Everyone seems to be scared of the HSA and start to make up new rules. It is like Gordon Brown said a few weeks ago. There has never been a ban on conkers in the school play ground, it is the headmasters that fear injury.

Calderdale council is far from perfect, just look at Kerbside etc and I need to say no more, but when we have a major snowfall people need to help each other, and once the snow has gone carry on helping each other. I think we rely on the council too much. Some people just think they have a right to have everything done for them and more if they can grab it.

As for Gritting, the grit is coming from places far and wide and we still have limited suplies. It doesn’t even work well below -5c so I think gritting A and B roads only makes good sense.

I used to find if you found a grit bin near a councillor’s house it would have grit. I used to walk up Moss Lane a few years ago and borrow some. Maybe it was because the councilours were too busy to grit their patch so there was plenty left in their bins.

From Jason Elliott

Friday, 8 January 2010

I can understand Paul’s complaints but, speaking as someone who has travelled outside of the area during this snowing period, I can assure you that CMBC are doing a marvellous job compared to elsewhere in the country.

Two anecdotes for you:

On the Friday before Christmas, during the first substantial snow fall, I had to go to a breakfast meeting in Peterborough. Leaving home at 5.30 in the morning, I saw a gritter at the end of my drive on the Burnley road, spreading grit. I drove 280 miles through some atrocious conditions, sat for over an hour on the A1 on my way home as the snow kept falling, and did not see one single snow plough or gritter until I got back into Calderdale again.

On Monday of this week, I went up Cragg Vale to join the A58 at the top. The road had both lanes completely clear until I arrived at the "frontier" with Rochdale, about 400 metres before the junction with the A58. From that point onwards, nearly until Littleborough, the road was barely ploughed, with only one lane usable for part of it.

Sutti’s idea of pulling together as communities used to, instead of curtain-twitching is absolutely spot on. The Council simply cannot pre-empt everything.

Gritters of Calderdale (especially the 5.30am drivers), I salute you!

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Paul and Sutti seem basically of the same justified opinion. We’re so enfeebled by regulation, risk aversion, bureaucracy and little Hitlers - the Ofsted Syndrome - that common sense, initiative and spontaneous social co-operation are now all but killed off. Example: on this morning’s Radio 4 farming programme, a farmer said that his council had banned the use of farm tractors with snowploughs to clear country lanes - because the tractors use red diesel, which makes them illegal on public roads. Astonishing.

Whether or not we continue to tolerate this madness could have enormous significance. Let’s assume that we now face several years of austerity, during which public spending will be drastically reduced. We may have to do much more for ourselves, all year round - but will we be allowed to? Will we let ourselves get to the stage where we can’t fart without a prior written risk assessment, or will we demand to have the regulatory and bureaucratic burden lifted so that we can make up the shortfall and preserve our collective self-respect?

The second option might make us much stronger and more resourceful, but this is probably the last thing most politicians want, as it would amount to a peasants’ revolt. There could be some interesting conflicts ahead.

From Rev Tony Buglass

Sunday, 10 January 2010

"a farmer said that his council had banned the use of farm tractors with snowploughs to clear country lanes - because the tractors use red diesel, which makes them illegal on public roads."

Hmmm. So, since most of the farmers I have known have to drive their tractors along public roads to get to their fields, does that make farm work itself illegal?

Jobsworths. They obviously have too much time on their hands - give them some shovels!

From Jim M

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Myths and anecdotes are powerful weapons in modern society - not always for the good. I am not an expert but a quick look at the HMRC website shows that tractors that use red diesel can use public highways, so long as their main function is related to agriculture etc. Snow ploughs are also specifically excepted to allow them to be used by red diesel vehicles. Don’t ask me how that ties in with the comments heard this morning.

From Nigel Byfield

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Reminds me of an Alexei Sayle sketch circa 1989 … something along the lines of … (adopts whingeing tone) "I had a s**t on Tuesday and the council haven’t been round to flush the toilet yet"

From Sutti N

Monday, 11 January 2010

After reading today’s Evening Courier, I must assume all councillors have been removed from Moss Lane

From Paul D

Monday, 11 January 2010

Ah but that wasn’t a sketch, it’s an extract from his autobiography where he recalls how in 1976 he and another art student made their first complaint to the cleaning supervisor in his halls of residence. As is often the case with your pseudo lefties, on leaving home he needed one to wipe, one to flush and three to pick up the tab.

Anyway - the grit issue is officially sorted. Gordon has set up a task force. Soon we will have photos of Chris Mc-C stood with little old ladies on pristine paths and another quango will be set up to monitor salt stocks. All it took was the iron will of one man and we can all put our shovels away (until it snows again)

From Vivien Chafer

Monday, 11 January 2010

From Sandygate to Birchcliffe and Old Town we have no gritters. How are we supposed to get out unless we have a 4WD - which we are advised against due to contributing to climate change?!!

From Sutti N

Friday, 15 January 2010

I really think you’ve got the wrong idea on this Paul. From what I understand, the council can only store a limited amount of grit, this is due to space and a lack of protection from the weather. The salt is removed from the road grit when it rains. The council had enough for a normal winter plus a bit more for unexpected weather.

The Met office forcast was for a mild winter, but when they changed the forcast in mid December the council put in a further order for grit. (Hopefully from Cheshire to save our carbon footprint). The problem here is every council in the country had the same forcast, so put an order in at the same time. The mines can only pysicaly produce so much grit at any one time. They can’t store it without shelter just like the council.

So I don’t think it is down to money.

I do think it is a shame that x amount of normal people can ring the council about different problems and get nowhere, even a feeling of loss when you ring the switchboard, yet Cllr Battye can ring and get things moving.

Why don’t we put her on the switch board part time and see if we, the normal people can improve Calderdale.

So well done Cllr Battye, but the next time you go and kick ass, can you do it with the managers straight out of the door, get new ones in that listen to people and on real issues. Whilst you’re at it sort out sita and get new management in there, it’s called Kerbside.

From Paul D

Sunday, 17 January 2010

I’m not big on local government, on the one hand I sympathise as they’re hamstrung by the centre, but I also feel that locally, certainly since the introduction of expenses that exceed the level of many local wages, that local politics has become something of a professional pastime. At least some of our local politicians can convey this impression, as they rush breathlessly to and from meetings about wonky houses and on their way can appear to step over the poverty, lack of housing and other unmet local needs.

My own preference would be for more self help within an enabling authority. But locally this looks almost impossible. Inward migration is not to blame, but I wonder if there’s a ‘disconnect’ as people move out to cheaper housing and are replaced by those with fewer family ties, who often commute and don’t work locally, some of whom even might move here just to ‘consume; the place, to enjoy Hebden Bridge as an another ‘experience’, like a gap year but with their dogs, kids, or mountain bikes. So we get a sort of useful but surface level community engagement, we have ‘friends’ of the park and ‘friends’ of the station (all good), but the old and vulnerable are still poorly served.

Inward migration has brought us much, but more recently it’s just a coffee shop culture, places when men half my age, all soft hands and hard hearts, would rather sit and fiddle with their apps than get out and clear the snow. Not everyone is happy with this. Our local dialect is dying, sneered at in schools and being replaced by the estuary English of middle class arrivistas. If these migrants were non-white, the BNP would win seats in many wards – but they’re just white and wealthy, so nobody bothers to vote. Too many bring assumptions about our culture, mostly about what it lacks rather than contains. So we get artistic and creative events that assume the absence of both, too often imposing on, not building from. The inclusive town of my childhood looks fragmented, quick to snear and slow to help. Sharp elbows and short tempers prevail - the 60s was a decade the hippies enhanced, now I’m not sure their kids can afford to live here.

Our professional politicians appear to agitate for interest groups and the middle classes, not the needs of all the people. They too can convey a subtle disregard for local need, for a long established culture of self help and non conformity. In the face of this, perhaps we must draw on the strengths that people have and the strengths that people bring. Local means living here now – it’s maybe a case of setting out expectations, irrespective of genealogy – we need to exact a tax in effort and involvement, to ask for and expect a certain fee for living here. Not cash money, but something that would bring us together and make the state a little less relevant, if that makes sense.

From Jason Elliott

Monday, 18 January 2010

Paul D is spot on with his last post.

I couldn’t agree more.

From Sutti N

Monday, 18 January 2010

Well said Paul, I agree with what you say. I too have been born and brought up in Hebden like my parents etc.

I think we must give thanks to a councillor when they have been able to change something for the better. It was obvious the council was ignoring the majority of people.

I also agree that we can do more for ourself with support from our council. But we seem to live in a time when those that can waffle are our leaders. I have listened to councillors agree to look at issues and promise the earth then move on to the next meeting. You can’t blame us normal people for losing interest.

From Jacob G

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Paul D’s post is eloquent, but ultimately facile nonsense. To suggest the culture of individualism is specific to, or prevalent in Hebden Bridge is short-sighted. Were good honest communities digging snow off the roads in Mixenden in Halifax? In the streets and avenues of Manningham in Bradford? In Brixton in London? Were they hell as like.

From Paul D

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

I was careful not to say that individualism was unique to Hebden Bridge. I merely suggested that it had increased in my lifetime, possibly it has increased everywhere else too, so it appears to be more prevalent here than it was, compared with the quite recent past, but no - it’s not unique.

But facile I think is a term we could apply to the political reponse to the social, cultural and economic upheaval that only a few have actually lived through and most of our representatives appear to either ignore or have no direct experience of. If tourism is the answer, then the question must have been "How do we finally destroy a once thriving community?" We are not, never were and never will be any of those communities you cite - that’s the point. It’s what’s being lost from our community that is of interest to me, not how closely we resemble any others.

From Zilla Brown

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Jacob.G, spoken like an offcumden or someone not very wise in years. Because Paul D’s response doesn’t really resonate with you its not a reason to be facetious. I recognised the truth of it for me when I read it.

I feel it is true what he says - there is a superficial gloss on the surface of things, lots of gay chatter and busyness but the real heart and life of the town and the area, concerned with ordinary day to day living, is stumbling. Day to day living a few years ago (15 +?) was originally concerned with the requirements farmers, millworkers, builders,e lectricians,shop workers etc of the town. (Literally stumbling and dying in the case of the farmers).

What is there now for them in how Hebden Bridge is presented? I don’t mean to imply for a minute that the locals (who don’t commute, or have a great job) don’t have an interest in the Arts but a relatively lower income makes them less important in the scheme of things, they are icing on the cake.

Like John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans".

I would hope that we could be more concerned with the basic needs of people rather than more of the grand colourful events boasted about Hebden. These are of no real benefit to those on a low income or living in difficult circumstances. Thinking about the basic requirements of living as expressed in Maslows Pyramid hierachy of needs - gritting would come under the second from the most basic level of those requirements. If we don’t have this and people can’t even walk on the streets, what point lavishing grants on creativity which is the fifth and highest level?

Finally we are talking about Hebden, to bring in Manningham and Mixenden, which have their own different problems, is a diversion.

From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

I don’t see anything in Paul’s excellent post to justify Jacob’s criticism. Traditional communities anywhere are, at bottom, united by work. When the work goes, so does the sense of togetherness. New people move in with different interests and more individual agendas.

Because it’s a destination of choice rather than necessity, Hebden Bridge attracts more ‘individualists’ than most places, leading to a more superficial sense of togetherness. One symptom of this is that the word ‘community’ starts being bandied around when it was rarely necessary before.

All most politicians seem able to offer to replace Hebden Bridge’s lost economic identity is tourism - which, as Paul suggests, is more an admission of defeat than a way forward. The lack of significant industry and jobs in Hebden Bridge is the elephant in the room that not just politicians ignore, but that most people who have come to live in Hebden Bridge ignore too.

From Sutti N

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

How a simple post can change. I only wanted to say well done.
We can talk until we are blue in the face about Ebden, (yes that’s how I say it) but the people that have moved in will never understand what we are saying. We are talking a different language.

If we went back to the 70’s the council filled the grit bins. Nobody touched the grit bins until they were needed. If we played with them anywhere in Hebden our parents would know about it before we got home. When it snowed most able men would use these bins to grit the bad spots so the council could keep the main roads open. It’s so simple. Now the council don’t fill the bins because nobody wants to use them, it’s the council’s problem not ours I keep hearing.

Any way back to spring cleaning on Broughton Street, if the residents pop into the council offices I’m sure they will supply a skip to put all the rubish on the pavements in, then the council can grit next year.

From Colin C

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

To briefly revisit the original subject of the thread, it was interesting that during the bad weather I had need to go to both Blackshaw Head and Fairfield on the same day.

I could easily access Blackshaw Head via Heptonstall, Slack etc, and later found that Mytholm Steeps had also been extensively ploughed and gritted so came down that way with no problem. However, Palace House Road was completely impassable and showed no signs of any attention by the authorities. Perhaps the planners got the priorities muddled?

To Jacob I would say, of course HB is no less community spirited than the other areas mentioned. But perhaps what galls many people, offcumdens and locals alike, is this lack of real community being hid behind the self celebrating façade of a small but very vocal minority, however groovy this minority may be.

From Jacob G

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

I stand by my post. I have lived in, or in close proximity to Hebden Bridge for most of my reasonably mature years. The collapsing mill based economies had consigned Hebden Bridge to the bin, long before alternative communities, commuters and tourists, serendipitously - and opportunistically - transformed the town into what it is today. Do I think it is a good thing? Yes I do. Do I think the more complex collapse of communities, and growth of individualism brought about by lack of personal and political responsibility and technological change is a good thing? Of course not. I’d like to say "It’s up to us", but who is us?

From Paul D

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

So the manufacturing economy and the town reliant upon it were both destined for the bin then? Was this through divine intervention, or because some of our political elite read Hayek’s Road to Serfdom and applied it in disastrous monetarist policies?

Manufacturing wasn’t really the problem; it meant that Burmese children didn’t make our pants for ten pence an hour (although the link between cotton and the slave trade meant that it was based ultimately and historically on exploitation – but the wool was sort of local - so I’m fine with that, although that said, the pauper apprentices who spent their often short lives in the Colden valley mills and whose graves aren’t marked up Heptonstall would beg to differ).

But these mills (post Factory Acts) meant employment opportunities and delivered high levels of community cohesion. Sure, anyone who worked in them recognised the chronic under-investment (the very old Northrop looms), so the writing was on the wall by the 1970s, but this was also linked to the removal of local control and profit taking by the increasingly national and international owners. Globalisation, naked greed and home grown political incompetence did for our mills and town; there was nothing certain about it.

Again now, in between sentimentality and idealism is a some firm ground, I see great potential in new technologies, micro power generation for example, or allowing local people to work some distance from their offices in Leeds and Manchester (which surely must be the real ‘satanic’ places to work). What can’t be underestimated however, is a point Sutti puts better than me – we needed grit in the bins and people to spread it. To me it’s indicative of a lack of both political action and community cohesion that we were short of both. So it’s fair to question whether inward migration and all the social and economic consequences of an economy based increasingly on commuters and tourism isn’t making us all a bit soft, a bit southern as we like to say. Maybe that’s the ‘us’ - we’re all southern now.

From Andrew Hall

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

This thread is classic ‘Hebden Bridge’!

Where else could a post listing the roads that will receive gritting during adverse weather conditions end up with someone talking about Burmese children making our pants! Had the thread not been so long, it really would be worthy of sending to Private Eye’s Pseud’s Corner.

Nobody can compain about the articulacy and passion behind the posts, but for goodness’ sake chaps, what on earth is the point? The thread starts off, quite sensibly, on the specific problems of road gritting. Sutti N rightly tries to keep the thread on course by talking of the practicalities of keeping roads clear, and our possible involvement. Excellent. This is something we can all understand, and more importantly, actually do something about. In fact it got me out of the house, shovel in hand, to clear the road in front of me and my neighbours (something I’d already started on, by the way).

Sadly, the thread gravitates from the specific to the general. So we get the usual comments about how bad Calderdale Council is, how there is no community spirit, how there are no jobs, how offcumdens have ruined the place, how tourism isn’t the answer. All worthy stuff, I’m sure, but how does it get the roads and pavements cleared?

From Andy M

Thursday, 21 January 2010

'Inward migration has brought us much, but more recently it’s just a coffee shop culture, places when men half my age, all soft hands and hard hearts, would rather sit and fiddle with their apps than get out and clear the snow.'

Ahh yes…curses on those men half our age…;-)

From Lesley Jones

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Jacob - as one of the many forgotten locals, although having an advantage of being a little more visible through my role as a local Town Councillor and as an active member of a number of local working groups and organisations, I feel I need to come to the defence of my home town.

Hebden - consigned to the bin? Very strong words, untrue and unfair words I feel. Some of us have lived here all of our lives and we are fond of the old place for very different reasons than those of you who have come to live here as a life choice. That does not make your life choice less important but it is different. It is our home, life, love and work and I know I speak for others who also become very defensive when we hear our town talked of in this way. Yes, Hebden changed a lot throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s and, dare I say, is still changing, even into the 00s. Hebden was actually a very vibrant place well into the eighties and beyond. Perhaps you weren’t here then Jacob and you are basing your comments on popular hearsay? I apologise if this is not the case. But Hebden consigned to the bin? Never. It didn’t suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke. Even without the hippies (and yes I remember them well) Hebden wouldn’t suddenly have disappeared back then in a puff of smoke. It would have changed and adapted, back then, as it is doing now. It may not have ended up as the town we know today but it would have still been there. A town. Different but still there. Loved by lots of people for lots of different reasons. See - no puff of smoke. Look at other northern mill towns that have, and still are, re-inventing themselves. Changing with the times, adapting, moving on. Some successfully, others perhaps less so but they are the home town of many local people who haven’t had either the opportunity or the inclination to move to a more fashionable location.

We can argue all day about the benefits or otherwise of tourism, inward migration, social history and whether or not Calderdale MBC is responsible for gritting every road, footpath and people’s front doorsteps but I don’t intend to be drawn any further into this debate. I will finish with a couple of thoughts though on that word "community".

Community does still exist - old fashioned community, people helping each other because they want to, not because they feel they ought to and certainly not because they think they will get something good out of it and a pat on the back. People get on with it quietly and don’t feel the need to post their neighbourliness on the Hebweb Forum.

Some people on here have been criticised for being a "vocal, groovy minority". Perhaps they are, that is very subjective, but many of these people do get involved. Ok they may be a little more arty than ourselves and everyone, be it local or incomer, are more likely to engage with things that actually lights their fire. But a lot of this vocal minority do also get involved in other ways. In trying to make Hebden Bridge a better place for ALL of us, that includes all us "natives" together with those who have chosen to make this place their home alongside us. We all have our part to play and my dream is that more of the things that I am involved with would attract a larger number of local voices, a lot of whom I know, do feel marginalised with no voice. Well you can all have a voice, there are lots of opportunities for you too to get involved and try to help to make a difference. How about making 2010 "Have a voice and Make a Difference Year"!!

Oh and finally, Paul D, I agree with most of the thoughts that both you and Sutti post but please, please, please - never call me a southerner!

And sorry Andrew - I had drafted my response but you got there first. Sorry - rambled I may have but I am posting anyway!!

From Marge C

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Well said Andrew Hall!

Yet again us ‘migrants’ get slagged off. The industry and proper jobs had gone from the town long before we got here. You should be glad people want to come and live here otherwise the town would be literally dead. Don’t you think it would be more constructive to think of ways of working together for the benefit of all rather rather just hurling insults at each other?

From Paul D

Friday, 22 January 2010

Oh dear - this is exactly my point. First of all, local to me means anyone who lives here, inward migration brings benefits and challenges to Hebden Bridge just like it brings both to the Cotswolds and Cornwall. But yet again we get the: "you should be glad we came…" response. Well I think most people are, but some are not. Especially unwelcome are those arrogant arrivistas who think they’ve ‘saved’ us from our economic and/or cultural stupor and without whom our town would be some boarded up, souless, empty place.

I agree that we can barely discuss anything (gritting included) without reference to these schisms and this is unfortuntate, but lifestyle migrants bring benefits and problems wherever thet decide to land and the more intelligent ones recognise this. People should not be expected to apologise for not being able to trace their history back a few centuries, but in a town where tourism and inward migration displace much, it’s fair to raise these things, especially as they are so central to local policy, economics, etc. But yes, it is easier to ignore it all and pretend you’re not part of the problem. So a discussion about gritting, like everything discussed locally - draws on some common perceptions that many appear unable to perceive. I wonder if some of our problems are linked to us getting better at atracting the socially autistic? That we’re not getting the same quality of offcumden? Perhaps we should bring in some sort of quality control, not so much 5 GCSEs, a sort of social awareness test? Any scoring under 75% can still work for Calderdale, but live in Brighouse.

From Sutti N

Friday, 22 January 2010

Ey up Paul, you say. Maybe thats us- we’re all southern now. That’s feytin talk where I come from, calm down man lol.

Well said Lesley, I really don’t think the migrants understand our way of life, the sad thing, lot’s of them don’t want to understand either.

Marge, yes I do think it is better to work together, thats really what my post was about, the problem is teaching people to think like that. It looks like you may not have understood that point. To come and say I should be glad you came is a bit strong, dare I say it, a bit southern???

If I travel I take notice of the communities, I respect their way of life, I would not dream of breaking their rules, be it written or unwrtten. What I do not do is like the place then change it to what I’m used to, then have the cheek to say you should be glad I wanted to come here.

I really do think the councilors have their work cut out to please the majority, I do think we could start by understanding people that have lived here for possibly many generations. Mabe that could start by clearing the snow as one community, better still cleaning the streets that many locals find offensive to the eye. The locals could then explain why it effects them, maybe their grandparents lived in a house on Broughton street etc. I’ve heard the phrase turn in their grave mentioned many times.

So a thread that started as a thank you has got a tad complicated, but if it helps people understand each other then it could be worth it, but never say I should be glad you wanted to come here, it’s obvious you don’t understand I’m a Yorkshire man.

From Helen A

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Sutti N said, "I really don’t think the migrants understand our way of life, the sad thing, lot’s of them don’t want to understand either."

I’d be interested to find out more about this. I come from the outskirts of Leeds - do I count as a migrant and therefore unable to understand your way of life? How localised is the Hebden Bridge way of life? Would anyone from West Yorkshire have the same way of life? I’ve lived here for three years now - could that be long enough to understand your way of life? Would 30 years be long enough?

From Sutti N

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Do you really think there is an answer to your question Helen? There are different conditions people are used to. A person brought up in Chapletown understand different behaviour, have different values and I don’t blame them. For me to expect you to understand would be unreasonable, thats why I say try to understand.

I have tried to understand why people on certain streets live the way they do. Local residents have even moved away from these streets because of the upset they feel when walking to and from their houses. All that was needed was respect for those people who had lived there for years. To understand it upset some people when the pavements on their street were green with moss, blocked with pot sinks, chimneys and even chickens at one time. I admit to not understanding this way of life.

So is it to understand or to learn respect maybe you could tell me Helen? I only sent a post to say thanks and ask why we expect the council to do everything for us. Maybe it takes a bit of snow to show how broken the community is in Hebden Bridge?

From Paul D

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Helen - you do of course count as a migrant, that is, you are not indigenous to the place; you came here for economic or other reasons from somewhere else. But you also count as a local, if we use the only objective measure, which is that this is your place of primary residence.

As for understanding local life, well it’s all about capacity and willingness to try. If you, like many individuals who have made this place their home more recently, adopt a sort of white Rhodesian’s approach to the indigenous population, then your capacity may be limited. If you have a little psychological mobility, can put yourself in the place of others, see beyond your own needs and experiences, consider the impact of your actions, and are willing to have a try, then you’ll be fine. And ‘local life’ is fluid, you’re part of it and shaping it, we all are. A bit of reflection, meditation even – it’s quite easy really.