CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
A one-day conference on waste and resources in Kirklees, will start the debate on how we manage waste in the next few years and the implications for our local economy.
The issue of waste, litter and fly-tipping was addressed at a recent Civic Society Environment Workshop.
The low recycling rate in Kirklees, currently around 30%, was highlighted in the declaration of a climate emergency adopted by Kirklees Council in January 2019.
A waste neutral economy has potential to contribute to future employment opportunities and reduce the financial and environmental burdens of waste on the community and for corporate waste generators.
One session will focus on how community and voluntary sector initiatives that promote new approaches to waste and to recycling activities.
'These projects can be increasingly important as contributors to waste minimisation and re-use', said Kim Warren, waste projects co-ordinator for Environment Kirklees. 'We hope to see more support for the third sector in the future waste strategy in Kirklees.'
Our Waste – the Future? is being held on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield. The full programme can be downloaded at www.kwrnet.org.uk
The conference is organised by Environment Kirklees Ltd, a not for profit company, with the support of the SURGE, a research group at the University of Huddersfield Business School.
HCS Chairman, David Wyles recently provided support for children’s play facilities in the town centre, as part of a consultation carried out by Playful Anywhere on behalf of Kirklees Council’s Blueprint proposals.
The following is an extract of comments made on behalf of the Civic Society during a telephone interview:
Q. What is your understanding of play and playfulness?
DW: From a children’s point of view – under 10 / 12s – something that is safe, enjoyable and can be enjoyed by families coming to town. Our workshops have indicated that sometimes the facilities need to catch people’s attention. Something that makes them think ‘wow that was good! We came into town and discovered this was going on!’.
Q: What are the big issues around play in Huddersfield?
DW: The big issue is a lack of facilities in the town centre. People who have children or grandchildren are often persuaded to go to play centres, indoor or outdoor. They are safe, clean and well managed. These are the places that children say that they want to go, and that’s the critical thing about getting people into the town centre. It’s hard to drag children around somewhere they don’t want to be. So, if you create such a facility, children will say 'can you take us to …’.
Q: What are the barriers to providing a more playful town centre for everyone?
DW: ‘Playfulness’ for older people is more about experiences that they can be involved in like dance, games, art or music. There are thousands of themes, they don’t have to be big themed events or expensive, it just needs imagination and the chance to join in. It’s getting people actively involved in something.
Q: Are there any specific play sites that you feel are particularly in need of investment?
DW: One proposal in the Blueprint is about Queensgate Market becoming a centre for music and performance. Given the limitations of Council budgets for maintaining something like that, the Civic Society doubt that it’s viable but think that the market is potentially a fantastic space with potential to integrate indoor play and to extend into the piazza. It could be an indoor/ outdoor play facility run by a public private partnership space or by Kirklees Active Leisure. New Street, Macauley Street, St Peter’s Garden may all be possibilities, but given that Queensgate needs to be looked at – and current Blueprint proposals do not appear sustainable - with a revenue income, good food, a variety of stalls, a performance area and children’s play, it could be fantastic. Queensgate is an ideal place to integrate facilities and to link to the area around the library /art gallery. There could be semi-outdoor experiences to bring joy to young and old.
Q: Any other issues about playfulness in Huddersfield Town Centre that you think are important?
DW: HCS want to preserve the heritage of the town but we know we can only do that if its vibrancy is improved. We want to see things being done, they won’t always need to cost the Council a lot of money and we are keen to help attract private investment. It’s important to find ways to get things moving to give a visual signal that it’s worth coming to town and having a good time.
Picture by messy-monkeys.com
A proposal by Network Rail to upgrade a section of railway between Huddersfield and Westtown – about half a mile south-west of Dewsbury station – has won the support of Huddersfield Civic Society.
Network Rail says: 'The current layout of railway in this area means we can’t run more trains or faster trains than we currently do, and this section of the track can be a cause of delays.'
Its proposals include:
This is the response from HCS:
OVERALL VIEW: The Society is fully supportive of the overall scheme and sees it as a positive means of improving the reliability and time-keeping of long-distance and local train services through Huddersfield.
HUDDERSFIELD STATION: The Civic Society welcomes the points raised regarding preserving the heritage aspects of Grade 1 listed Huddersfield station and the need to use an additional access route to platforms to cope safely with increasing numbers of passengers.
However, we also note that the current severe constraints regarding vehicle access to Huddersfield station and, particularly, the extremely limited station car parking are not addressed in this exercise.
We note the contrast with, say, Leeds and Wakefield Westgate stations where modern multi-storey car parks and vastly improved road access have been built alongside new station entrances and facilities.
The Society supports Kirklees Council’s 2019 blueprint for 'An Enhanced Train Station'. This proposes a new station entrance on the far side of the tracks, ie adjacent to the new platform proposed in the Network Rail consultation.
The Council blueprint proposal gives easy vehicle access and provides adjacent large scale car parking without the need for vehicles to access the station, as currently, via the town centre and the only partially pedestrianised area in front of the current sole station entrance.
We would like this new station gateway to be part of the Network Rail scheme or, failing this, that the changes planned under the Network Rail scheme are made to be 100% compatible with the likely requirements of the Kirklees Council station gateway proposals.
OTHER MATTERS: The Civic Society asks that the various works proposed along the line east of Huddersfield station, such as 'the reconstruction of the Huddersfield Broad Canal structure' are carried out sympathetically so as to augment the current structures.
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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