Morley Train Station

Morley Train Station

The 12 weeks of improvement works at Morley train station has now been completed. The works, that includes under ground water storage tanks to prevent flooding, a reed bed and wild flower area, new and more efficient lighting, extending and resurfacing the car-park and access road and a new wall and fencing,
The increasing popularity of rail travel, nationally passenger numbers have roughly doubled in the last decade, but passenger numbers at Morley station have increased much, much more. Back in 2003 54,591 passengers used Morley station, the same figures show that in 2012 that number now stands at 347,610; a massive rise. Undoubtedly the reason for this rise is the speed, punctuality and low cost of rail travel when compared to the buses in this area. Local rail travel can be around 40% cheaper than travelling by bus.
So the increasing passenger numbers has brought better facilities. CCTV was added in early 2011, even back then the station was a bare place. But this year the platforms have been brightened up with flowers instead of weeds and the platforms and the surrounding areas are a much cleaner and brighter, thanks to the ‘Friends of Morley Station’ group, that was formed in 2012.

Blank Display?

Blank window?

Since all our political parties now put money making over the interests of of the people, I was pleased that at least in Australia the Government put the people first. In Australia the Government have past a law forcing cigarette manufacturers to pack their cigarettes in a plain pack. No more advertising or brand loyalty, because there is nothing to promote. If only our coalition Government could put people before profit. We could follow Australia, and reduce smoking even further. We could turn back the clock, and have zero promotion in bookmakers shop windows. Now they offer free £50 bets, to tempt in the young and vulnerable. At least all of the bookmakers used to pay full corporation tax. But now they avoid tax by having their head office in tax haven.

Parents Want a Say

At last, someone is challenging these stupid term time holiday fines. Members of the group “Parents Want a Say” are seeking a judicial review challenging a Department for Education decision to remove the discretion of headteachers to approve term time absences in “special circumstances”. These changes that affect the poorest the most, were not in any manifesto, no parents were consulted, no businesses, and no pupils were consulted. The Department for Education insist there is no outright ban and that a head still has discretion to grant leave of absence, but only in exceptional circumstances. But they refuse to define exceptional circumstances.

A £120 fine per child per parent for what should be quality time spent with their families is just another tax on the poor. There has even been instances where children have not been granted time off for their parents wedding, this new system is a political joke and should be treated as such. Everyone should refuse to pay these fixed penalty notices, I will be doing exactly that. Children with very good attendance and on target with their school work should be granted some flexibility. In a poll asking if parents should be allowed to take their children out of school in term time, 87% said yes.

Flood Defence Funding Lower

 

After the tidal surge that hit the East coast the Environment Agency said 800,000 homes in England had been protected by flood defences and better forecasting had given people “vital time” to prepare. When David Cameron came into office they cut millions of funding for sea defences. In 2011 flood defence funding was cut by 8%. The effects of climate change are not being taken seriously by this Government. Since the last tidal surge of 1953, sea levels are around 6 inches higher.Image

 

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina and the associated tidal surge that accompanied it killed more than 1800 people. The effects of Climate change was predicted to bring more precipitation and more severe weather conditions, but yet few are linking last weeks tidal surge to climate change, despite it being Dover and Kents’ highest recorded sea level in more than 100 years. Insurers are bracing themselves for new claims over damage to homes and businesses, just two months after storms in southern England led to payouts of over £100 million. Our Government needs to wake up, instead of funding the Arts Council and other such organisations, they should put more money into coastal and flood defences.

Which Laws Should Be Enforced?

With all the complaints starting about the noise from fireworks, I was surprised to read on the Government web site about the restricted occasions that fireworks can be let off legally. Fireworks(including sparklers) can only be set off legally, on 4 days per year; Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am. The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks(including sparklers) in the street or other public places. So since many bonfires and fireworks displays don’t take place on bonfire night, and are often held in public parks, they are in fact illegal and could be opening the organisers up to litigation.

An Award For Signage?

It was interesting reading the article in August Bank Holiday Mondays Evening Post, it was about the Leeds City Council staff in Seacroft getting an award for their good work making road signs. The comment that jumped out at me was “when you’re out and about, you can’t help but take notice of every sign you see.” If that is the case, why does Bruntcliffe Road in Morley have signs indicating a 30mph speed limit; when the actual speed limit is 40mph. ImageThis stretch of road has had the wrong signage for 3 months, at least since May. Driving through these traffic lights the signage indicates a 30 mph speed limit, but other signs indicate a 40 mph limit. How can road safety be a priority when no speed limit can be enforced?

Day Trip Pensioner

 

Cuts to local bus services is affecting the elderly. This is why a blanket free bus travel for the pensioners is poor use use of public money. The cuts to local bus services are affecting the people that most needs free bus travel; whilst the “day trip pensioner” gets a free jolly. There was an article in the Telegraph recently about a pensioner couple, Michael and Jacqui Burden, they decided to leave their two cars at home and instead hopped from one local to service to another as they travelled between their Devon home and Carlisle. These are the people that do not need free bus travel; yet the tax payer is funding it. Whilst the real deserving pensioners just wants to get to the local clinic or hospital, has to pay for a taxi because the bus services are too sparse.

 

Todmorden and Climate Change

 

The town of Todmorden has a long history of flooding from the River Calder and Walsden Water. In 2005 the Environment Agency began major engineering work to improve flood defences in Todmorden, and other work has also been carried out, right up to 2012. But the reason we are seeing more flooding is excessive rainfall. In 1972-82 there were only 5 days with more than 10mm of rainfall; but in 2002-12 there were 7 days with more than 10mm of rainfall. But in 2002-12 there were more days without rainfall, and there was actually more rainfall in total in 1972-82. What we are seeing is exactly what climate change scientists have predicted; that climate change would significantly increase the number of days that severe thunderstorms would occur.

Oxymoron – Health and Safety

 

Figures produced using Met Office temperature data, says that the risk of ill health and death increases for every degree above a particular maximum threshold. The temperature in Leeds on 19th July were 20*c, very hot for many people. Last year, on the same date, temperatures were 12*c lower. The ambulance services have seen a 9% increase in call-outs. Andrew Jenkins, deputy director of medical and clinical services, said: “It is fair to say that the weather has affected all the demand”. Health bosses said there was a big jump in new attendances at A&E during the first half of July compared with the same period in the previous two years.

The NHS advises people to keep cool and drink plenty of fluids in order to avoid heat exhaustion, heatstroke and dehydration. And what does my employer do? They tell me that I cannot wear shorts because its against health and safety policy. Surely this is just very poor management using health and safety as an excuse? I drove passed a school crossing patrol officer (lollipop man), and he was wearing his full length coat. The thing that I have in common with that lollipop man is that we are both employed by the health and safety mad, Leeds City Council.

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