An environment workshop organised by Huddersfield Civic Society looked at key areas that will affect future priorities for the town.
Waste expert Dr Elaine Kerrell introduced the recently published national waste strategy and explored its implications for Kirklees Council.
“There are expected to be new requirements for the council to separately collect food waste and garden waste”, she said.
“Achieving 50% recycling rates by 2020 from today’s rate of 27% is going to be challenging”. Elaine suggested that adding a food waste collection would help to reduce contamination of the green bins.
Coun Andrew Cooper, whose ward includes the town centre, proposed that art installations, children’s play areas and outdoor exercise facilities be used to revitalise the town centre.
He presented examples from his recent visits to Spain and Romania as part of his work as a UK member of the EU Committee of the Regions.
Chas Ball, a member of the HCS board, presented the plans for local action on air pollution.
He said that Kirklees Council’s consultation on air quality was due out soon. He described how the health effects arising from diesel vehicles caused 1,000 premature deaths in West Yorkshire.
Chas suggested that council’s draft strategy will feature work in progress to reduce congestion by improving urban traffic control.
It will also announce the installation of 17 rapid chargers (in pairs) for electric vehicles across the borough of which half will be reserved for taxi use. He said the draft strategy would also stress the importance of an effective walking and cycling strategy.
The workshop succeeded in stimulating members to consider practical and policy responses to the environmental agenda.
It follows a successful workshop in October on the 'Future of the Town'.
More than 60 Huddersfield residents took to the streets for a clean-up of the town centre over the weekend.
Go to Town – the big clean-up on May 10 - 12 was organised by Environment Kirklees and supported by Huddersfield Civic Society and Clare Hill Community Centre.
Kim Warren, project coordinator said: ‘Kirklees Council does a lot of work to keep the town centre streets clean and volunteers regularly clean up the footpaths by the river and canal – but there are still areas that get missed.
‘In Go to Town we are tackling the private land, car parks and green spaces that are often left out and contain a lot of litter. Today we have reduced that in the parts of the town centre and its gateway that let the side down.’
Volunteers, including councillors from Newsome and Greenhead wards, were issued with tools, litter-picking equipment, and hi-vis vests.
On Friday and Saturday, the north and south approaches to the town centre were targeted including footpaths on the River Colne corridor. On Sunday the work programme concentrated on the town centre.
Go to Town was supported by Kirklees Council with funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
A trail leaflet that reveals the historic centre of Almondbury has been produced by the Discover Huddersfield Partnership. The trail, the 16th in the series, follows a route through the heart of the village.
Almondbury (or Ambry) originated around 625 BC with an undefended hut settlement on the commanding viewpoint of Castle Hill. Ancient packhorse trails and later turnpikes brought London buyers via Almondbury to northern England’s sheep-rearing areas.
Edward 1 granted a market charter to Henry de Lacy in 1294. By 1475 Almondbury market’s cloth sales ranked fourth out of seventeen in Yorkshire.
King James's Grammar School received its royal charter from the King in 1608. The first National School in the area was founded in 1818 in buildings to the west of the church. It eventually became the infant school.
The trail is available from local information points, including libraries and the railway station. Others produced by the partnership include themes as varied as Public Art, the Ramsden Family, Historic Buildings, World War 1, Caribbean Heritage, Radical History, Music and Real Ale.
A programme of themed walks, including the guided walk around Almondbury in September, is available from information points or by visiting Discover Huddersfield.
Residents, community groups and councillors will be taking to the streets for a clean-up of the town centre this weekend, May 10 -12.
Go to Town – the big clean up is organised by the not-for-profit company Environment Kirklees and Huddersfield Civic Society.
Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for one of three days on www.environmentkirklees.org/gototown. They will be issued with tools, litter picking equipment, and hi-vis vests.
Kim Warren, Project Coordinator said: 'While Huddersfield is full of stunning architecture and fringed by havens of green tranquillity, there are times when the willing hands of volunteers are needed to get stuck in.
'Kirklees Council does a lot of work to keep the town centre streets clean and volunteers regularly clean up the footpaths by the river and canal – but there are still areas that get missed.
'In Go to Town we are tackling the private land, car parks and green spaces are often left out and contain a lot of litter. We are contacting some landowners and businesses to ask if we can tackle their sites so that there are fewer parts of Huddersfield that let the side down.’
On Friday and Saturday, the north and south approaches to the town centre will be targeted including parts of the River Colne corridor. On Sunday the work will concentrate on the town centre.
You are invited to our workshop where the environmental issues that contribute to making Huddersfield a town to live, work and study in will be considered.
When: May 18, 2019, 9.45am - 1.15pm
Where: Media Centre, Northumberland Street HD1 1PL
Alternatives to the car
Waste and litter
Cherishing our green spaces
Improving air quality
Speakers and feedback
Specialist speakers will briefly introduce each topic and outline the local context before opening up the debate to members. It will take place against a background of recent developments within Kirklees Council including the declaration of a “climate emergency” and the publication of a draft air quality strategy. As with the workshop in October we will collate the verbal and written comments (using post-its) into a report.
HCS invites members and guests to attend. The event is open to non-members. There is no delegate charge but we are asking for donations at registration to cover our costs: £2 (HCS members, students, unwaged) and £5 (non-members). This will include free hot drinks.
Timetable and refreshments
Coffee, tea and pastries will be available from 09.45 and Café Ollo will be open throughout the workshop for drinks and snacks. The programme starts at 10.15 and end at 13.15. It will include a short comfort break at about noon.
Location and parking
The Media Centre is less than 5 minutes walk from the railway station and 10 minutes from the bus station. On a Saturday there is plenty of half-day pay and display car parking close by (e.g. Bath Street off-street, Broadway on street). Limited free parking will be available in Eastwood & Partners car park, Northumberland Street – if you need to park close to the venue, please book a space through the form below.
Booking in advance.
Please reserve your place via the RSVP form below or leave a message on 01484 511045. We will also have an Eventbrite site for booking places.
The annual general meeting of Huddersfield Civic Society was held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in the Reception Room of Huddersfield Town Hall. Chairman: David Wyles.
1. Apologies for absence.
2. Minutes of the 2018 AGM (download link at the foot of this page).
3. Matters arising from the 2018 AGM minutes.
4. Chairman’s Report.
5. Treasurer's Report.
6. Election of Executive Committee.
Other Committee Members:
NOTE. Membership Co-ordinator (Ex officio): Laura West
7. Appointment of Independent Examiner.
8. Any other business.
The meeting was followed by Huddersfield in 50 Buildings, an illustrated talk by Chris Marsden.
The story of Huddersfield's rise to national prominence, told through some of its finest architecture, has been published.
Huddersfield in 50 Buildings is by Chris Marsden, a former chairman of Huddersfield Civic Society, with pictures by Andrew Cavaney. Chris will speak about his book at the HCS meeting on April 2.
Among structures celebrated are the railway station, the University's Oastler Building and, perhaps more controversially, Queensgate Market. Over 96 pages, Chris and Andrew take readers on a tour of historic buildings and modern architectural landmarks.
Chris says: "Introducing and exploring the history of the town through 50 significant buildings of all ages allows new perspectives on our townscape. Buildings that we may take for granted have histories that show us what we were.
"Their secret histories link buildings together through their builders, occupants, purposes and events. I’m asked daily about the town and its buildings I hope the book will answer many questions and provoke still more."
The book also includes archive photographs that have not been seen for decades or are published for the first time.
Chris's top five buildings:
Huddersfield in 50 Buildings, Amberley Publishing, 13.49.
The society is backing Kirklees Council in its bid for a share of the Government’s new £675 million Future High Streets fund.
The fund aims to help local leaders transform town centres by consolidating high street properties, improving transport and access and converting retail units into new homes.
The council says that it is looking to secure £25m to create 'a vibrant cultural quarter'. Proposals include a museum, a 'significantly enhanced' library and art gallery, and a new live music venue.
In a letter to Karl Battersby, Kirklees Strategic Director, Economy and Infrastructure, HCS chairman David Wyles says:
"We would entirely support your bid at a time when critical actions and partnership working are emerging to facilitate much needed investment in restoring confidence and vitality in our town centre."
"Besides being the major town in one of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, Huddersfield is distinguished in a number of ways that highlight the critical importance of support:
"It has one of the highest number of listed buildings in the country – higher than many better known ‘historic’ cities, but the Town Centre Conservation Area was included on on Historic England's Heritage at-Risk Register in 2018. Vacancies, both on ground and upper floors have increased dramatically as has the loss of commercial businesses to out-of-town locations.
"It has a distinguished cultural life including the Contemporary Music Festival, choral society, literary festival etc, but constraints have severely limited (and prevented) the opportunity to pursue joint ambitions for a focus for various cultural and social activities.
"It has a population catchment in retail terms of over 350,000 but is more vulnerable than many towns because of the close proximity to large, out-of -town centres including Meadowhall and Trafford centres.
"The university has grown in stature and provides huge opportunities of mutual benefit, curtailed to an extent by negative perceptions of the town.
"Beyond the above and more we, as you know, are keen to work as a ‘critical friend’ with your teams and have already applauded involvement in work to develop the masterplan, design framework and shopfront improvements.
"We in parallel will provide support and positive messages through our web site and initiatives such as our annual design awards, themed workshops, Discover Huddersfield trails and walks programme etc.
"I hope this provides some indication of why investment is currently so critical and once secured can begin to attract match funding for regeneration from the private sector. "
Three workshops organised by the Huddersfield Partnership have been attended by the society.
The Partnership gives town centre businesses a chance to outline their recommendations for the Business Improvement District (BID).
BIDs are part of the Government’s plan to encourage partnership working between a local authority and the business community. A BID is a defined area which can be developed in towns, cities and industrial estates.
Rate-paying businesses within the area decide on improvements to help transform it – and then vote to agree the investment. If supported by a majority of town centre businesses, the BID will provide income raised through a levy on the rateable value of property.
Depending on the final area chosen, the levy should raise between £346,000- £423,000 a year over a fixed period.
This would be on top of any funding allocated by Kirklees for town centre improvements, providing the businesses with a say in how they feel the money should be spent.
HCS committee member Peter Sargent attends BID meetings on behalf of the society.
He said: "We are at a crucial stage in preparing a draft plan indicating where funds will be prioritised.
"The plan will be launched in May and the ballot of property owners in June. The result of the ballot will be announced in July and, if there is majority support, work on improvements projects could start as early as October 2019."
Fancy an enlightening stroll? Here are some excellent ways to discover Huddersfield on foot.
The 2019 walks' programme produced by the Discover Huddersfield partnership is available by clicking the link below.
It includes 17 walks around the town with themes including architecture, radical history, music and Caribbean heritage.
Walks are also arranged around areas including Almondbury, Birkby and Highfields.
The first of the season is a literary walk (bookable), in conjunction with Huddersfield Literary Festival led by former HCS Chairman, Chris Marsden.
Walks cost £3 – although four walks during the Heritage Open Days in September are free of charge.
The leaflet will be available from local information points, including libraries, railway information kiosk, and the Piazza from early March.
The DH partnership, of which the HCS is a key member, also produces 16 free trails for those who want to discover more about the town.