Grieving for my Hometown

Anyone who has ever passed through my hometown of Batley and other parts of the old Heavy Woollen District will have witnessed the decay brought about by its industrial past.

Nothing much has improved despite Batley City Challenge in the 1990’s or whether it is a Labour or Conservative MP that has been elected to represent the constituency. I say this as someone who counts some of its former MPs as personal friends.

I am a born optimist but cannot see much difference coming out of the West Yorkshire Devolution deal.

I grieve for Batley and the old Heavy Woollen District. I guess because it is the place where I was brought up as a child, was educated (allegedly), and where I spent the first half of my life.

I realise all too well that Batley and the old Heavy Woollen District are not the only parts of Yorkshire to have suffered industrial decline and the subsequent consequences on the ailing environment and quality of people’s lives. There are many, far too many, but this happens to be the closest one to my heart.

Something more serious and radical is needed than that currently on offer and being promised to turn Batley and the remainder of the Heavy Woollen District around, such as a People’s Assembly for Yorkshire. Let us face it, ordinary people cannot do any worse than our highly paid professional politicians have done.

Philip Hardstone

Philip has been associated with the devolution movement for the past five years and is now the Director of Empowering Yorkshire Ltd.

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