Some of the roads in Pontefract and the rest of the Five Towns have needed council attention for years.
Low and behold, here in Pontefract, we have some road surfacing done so a bike race can ride safely. Not only that, but some of these repairs were done late at night. So suddenly the council has found money, money that they always seem to claim they don’t have due, of course, to their usual excuse of government cutbacks.
They found money for workers or contracted workers, they can afford to pay for working out of hours. I wait with baited breath for their response.
Call me cynical but it appears all you have to do to get your potholes mended is organise a bike race.
It’s unbelievable that the council is bending over backwards to fill potholes on the bike route that have been there for years.
Yet because of the publicity the bike race will create they suddenly find the resources to mend them. It’ll be interesting to see what lame, pathetic excuse they come up with for repairing them and not every other deserving council taxpayers’ potholes.
tour de yorkshire
What a shambles.
We have all heard Coun Peter Box claiming poverty due to budgetary reductions but surely the Tour de Yorkshire is an opportunity to celebrate and promote the district. Where were the posters and banners advertising the race route? Yes, there was Wakefield Council web pages and Facebook announcements, even public notices of road closures in the local press, but nothing that I have seen along the roadside.
Travelling through North Yorkshire and even Doncaster, the roadside notices give information about when the event will pass each spot.
Pubs and cafes along the route have advertising, bunting and offers of refreshment but in Pontefract, nothing.
Last year was similarly disappointing, there were thousands of people milling around the centre of Wakefield after the start of the race only to find no organised events, market stalls or attractions. It was truly a wasted opportunity for Wakefield.
Organisation before the event is sadly lacking. Carleton residents were surprised on April 22 to find unannounced road closures for surface repairs and later there was notices warning of a Carleton Road closure for repairs on April 28 and 29.
So 24 hours before the event Wakefield Council had its contractors filling pot holes to make the road safe for the race. Maybe this is because the focus is not on Wakefield. I certainly wouldn’t recommend a brewery trip organised by Wakefield Council.
Moor Lane, Carleton,
I wonder if other readers are as disgusted as I am at the TV coverage of the Tour de Yorkshire?
Thousands of people turned out to line the route and cheer the cyclists on in stage three of the race, and the sight of so many people was heart warming to say the least.
But in my opinion those hoping to watch the race from their own homes, and indeed those who would have recorded the race to watch later, were left feeling angry and frustrated by the almost amateurish and uncaring efforts.
Without a word of explanation, while watching recordings from the previous day, viewers suddenly found themselves watching football, then minutes later, a programme on fishing.
I switched off, then later we were shown repeats from the previous days women’s race over and over again, coupled with a very uncomfortable looking TV presenter in a brown overcoat, who was obviously ill at ease at having to fill the gap because race coverage had been lost.
Even on Sunday morning, a repeat of this excruciating interview was being shown yet again.
Later we were transported to the finish line in Doncaster where two commentators slowly and painfully ran out of words, so decided to pass viewers back once more to the man in the brown overcoat claiming they ‘didn’t know what to say’.
He replied: “I don’t know why you’ve come back to me because I don’t know what to say either.”
We did see some of the men’s race, but just as it became interesting and the race reached Knottingley, TV screens blacked out again, so we didn’t get to see them pass through the town.
We did see the winner Danny Van Poppel go over the line however in a very close finish so I suppose we should be thankful for that but, for me, stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire was ruined by these disastrous and pathetic efforts.
It is evident that the EU must continue all basic trading with the UK after Brexit.
Exporting more to us than we do to them means that they have far too much to lose by imposing trade barriers.
The UK, however, will then be free to make trade agreements across the globe, which have been effectively impossible under the EU straitjacket.
We shall keep EU trade and renew full connections with The Commonwealth - finally, we have the chance for a glorious, economic future.
How many more of our historical buildings, landmarks and places of interest do we have to lose in Pontefract, thanks to the neglect and uncaring attitude of the people and departments who rule and regulate us?
Like animals that are now extinct, they are sadly gone for ever.
Last Thursday the guest speaker at our ladies lunch was a lovely gentlemen by the name of Dave Wilcox.
We invited David to come along and talk to us about the history of the Grade 1 Listed Hermitage in Southgate, Pontefract.
We had one of our best audiences and his knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for the Hermitage was infectious.
What many people do not realise is that our precious little Hermitage is struggling to survive and, like animals that are extinct, it will be lost forever if urgent action is not taken.
We were informed that since the demolition of the rear of the PGI, thousands and thousands of litres of spring water is being pumped out of the Hermitage on a daily basis, causing untold damage to its structure.
What an sad state of affairs that Pontefract has yet one more gem in its midst that will be lost forever. It leaves me to ponder what will be next, maybe the old court house?
As an 81-year-old volunteer who coached the De Lacy Primary School children for their festival entries, in prose and poetry, how proud I am of their success in the Pontefract Festival.
The school is in a predominately working class area and the pupils have to mostly compete against private schools in the festival. To gain three firsts and two seconds in the competition is a great achievement.
The school is led by an extremely good headteacher, Duncan Thompson, and an equally good deputy headteacher Katharine Young.
The staff are cheerful and efficient and the pupils are bright and cheerful and well mannered. I felt I must write this letter so the school could receive a little of the kudos it deserves.
James Colin Smith
In previous letters that I have sent to the Pontefract and Castleford Express, I have warned of the charges that would be levied on visitors and patients while in hospital and visiting.
Well it seems that the PFI is not disappointing us - they have charged disabled for parking and now it wants to start charging patients and visitors for the use of wheelchairs, believe it or not.
Wheelchairs now cost £1 to unlock to use.
But the kicker is the staff seem to wait for a patient to pay for the wheelchair then use it for their duties such as transporting other patients around the hospital, what happens if they forget who paid for it does the patient or visitor get reimbursed or do they have to pay again and again and again?
It is a moneymaking cow is the NHS for PFI, plus the parking fees for nursing staff and disabled. What else can they charge us for which is free at the minute? I know, they could charge for using the lifts and any thing after that, and then we will charge by the mile for the use of the ambulance and the driver and medic.
The PFI companies wants their greed curtailing and to be told by the people and the government that they will be paid to build hospitals for X amount of money with no sweeteners and that they will be held accountable for any repairs and paid a set retainer to fix anything that goes wrong.
This would save at least £100 million a year for just the two hospitals in our area and would allow for more investment, more beds and more NHS staff rather than contract staff.
P D Roper