CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
Planning and Town Centre Management
Enforcement and Planning Conditions
As outlined in my last update we have increasing concerns about the inadequate protection to some of the town’s key listed buildings and the need for better enforcement action by Kirklees Council.
While understanding there are resource/staffing issues in some areas, we continue to press for both the statutory responsibilities of the council to be maintained and for better monitoring on conditions imposed on developers.
Currently, we are investigating why, having placed numerous conditions upon certain developments as part of the approval process, some conditions are being ignored and not being implemented.
Maintenance of Street Furniture
While Kirklees has embarked on a number of very ambitious initiatives as part of the Huddersfield Blueprint I am increasingly concerned about the lack of maintenance of street furniture, flower beds and other structures. Many fixtures require repainting, graffiti removal, weeding or simply replacement.
Why, for example, does the council persist in using powder coated metal bins that peel and rust and often fail to close properly? Why has the ‘Welcome to Huddersfield’ map outside the bus station had graffiti on it for the past three months or more? Why do many of the directions on the finger posts point in the wrong direction?
Surely, the bigger picture cannot be successfully achieved without attention to detail. Proper maintenance is essential if perceptions are to be improved.
Working with Huddersfield Business Improvement District (BID)
Not only am I very pleased that the Huddersfield BID (https://huddersfieldbid.co.uk), under the direction of manager, Samantha Sharp, has taken on the cleaning of graffiti and removal of chewing gum and cigarette butts, but also I am delighted to announce that the BID and HCS will be jointly launching a Tidy Trader Competition in the next couple of months to encourage retailers and commercial premises to both maintain and ensure a welcoming presence to their customers. Further details in future updates.
Annual Joint HCS/University Lecture. 7pm, Tuesday, March 1, University of Huddersfield
Only a few days to go before Professor Liz Towns-Andrews OBE, outlines the University of Huddersfield’s research and innovation activities targeted towards helping improve people’s health and wellbeing. Liz will also outline the vision and plans for the university’s new Health Innovation Campus located off Southgate/Leeds Road. There is no charge for this event.
Booking via Eventbrite is essential by going to: http://hud.ac/lgt
Please note: the event will not now be held in the Oastler Building. Details of the lecture room will be on the Eventbrite reminder email on Monday for those booked to attend.
Discover Huddersfield Trails and Walks Programme 2022
The DH Walks Programme 2022 leaflet is now being distributed to information points and libraries around the area and can be viewed by going to www.discoverhuddersfield.uk
The first of this season’s walks ‘The Irish in Huddersfield’ on Saturday, March 19 will be followed by a free showing of the first ever St Patrick’s Day event in the town. To go in this event click here.
This will be followed by The Villas of Edgerton on March 27 led by David Griffiths. To attend click here.
Bookings for each walk will be available via Eventbrite no more than 14 days before each walk. To view all the year’s walks click here.
Walks cost £4 per person and usually last 1.5 to 2 hours.
HCS AGM: Tuesday, March 29 at 7pm
Not only are we able to return to a ‘live’ AGM but following the formal necessities we are excited to welcome a presentation by one of our corporate members, Acumen Designers and Architects, winner of the Best Residential category in our Design Awards 2020.
Acumen has been involved in a number of major residential developments in and around the town centre and are currently awaiting decisions on two schemes on King Street and Albert Yard in the town centre.
As I have intimated before we would welcome nominations to our Executive Committee and currently are particularly interested in gaining help from members who are au fait with Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Please contact me as we really could do with more support.
Invitations to the AGM and the presentation will follow.
We are now finalising a range of events through the year. Here’s an update for your diaries. Specific details to follow before each event.
Evening visit to Halifax town centre, Thursday, July 14.
We last visited Halifax in 2016 before the Piece Hall was re-opened. Our July walk will provide an update on current activities and initiatives and will be led by the Chair of Halifax Civic Trust, Alan Goodrum.
Evening stroll around Kirkburton late July – mid August (date to be confirmed).
Repeating the success of our walk around Marsden last year we are finalising this walk around the village and historic church led by members of Kirkburton History Group.
Saving Our Heritage: Conservation of the former George Hotel and Estate Buildings: mid-September.
Helen Walker, Head of Heritage, Bowman Riley Architects.
Joint presentation with Huddersfield Local History Society as part of the Heritage Open Days festival.
Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust, Thursday, October 13, Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Huddersfield.
Presentation about the work of the Trust and the buildings it helps to protect.
Town Centre Blueprint
Martin Kilburn, Geoff Hughes and I recently met Fielden Clegg Bradley (FCB) Studios, the architect consultant who will put meat on the bones of the component elements of the cultural heart in terms of future uses, including the market hall, library/art gallery and the Piazza itself.
We have submitted to the consultants our early thoughts and concerns regarding some of the initial ideas emerging and we hope to share more with our members in the near future once Kirklees Council has had sight of these initial proposals.
Society Submits Biodiversity Concerns to Kirklees
Following the summary in my last update, committee colleague Mike Prior and I presented our findings and concerns to Kirklees Cabinet on February 22. We hope our recommendations and concerns will be taken on board by Kirklees and that further consideration can be given by Kirklees Scrutiny Panel.
Should anyone wish to view the Cabinet item and the response we received go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjeuejkv9wU. We are on quite early so no need to view the whole thing although our item was followed by some equally interesting deputations regarding environmental issues.
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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