Village Voice: November letters

Village Voice is YOUR chance to get your point of view over to thousands of readers.

Letters should be sent to: The Village Voice, The Saddleworth Independent, PO Box 725, Greenfield, Saddleworth OL3 7XJ or emailed to
We respect the privacy to use nom de plumes by request but no letters will be printed with full names and addresses being supplied to us. The Editor reserves the right to edit letters and her decision is final.


SINCE LIVING in Uppermill for the past six years I have often observed a large tractor with trailer being driven at high speed through the Square and along the High Street by a young man who, whenever I see him, is driving whilst using a mobile phone.

I have also witnessed him using a phone whilst driving along Dobcross New Road turning the corner into Delph New Road.

If anyone knows him, can they please tell him how dangerous and frightening this behaviour is and that is why it is illegal.

Dermot Foster, Uppermill (by email)


IT IS totally wrong that Mike Buckley remains a Parish Councillor and the law does nothing to help.

I do not think it is helpful that groups of councillors now decide to walk out every time Mike Buckley is at a meeting. Surly he should be treated as an irrelevance and, as had been suggested before, don’t accept his apologies and vote him off all committees. That way a by-election may have been able to be called but it’s too late now.

I am astonished that Independent councillor Rob Knotts who did not support such proposals and even campaigned to get him re-elected has the arrogance to criticise others for carrying on their job.

No political party would’ve allowed him to stand until he’d cleared his name or otherwise. Perhaps Mr Knotts is now feeling remorse for campaigning to get someone charged with child sex offences elected.

Dobcross resident (by email)


Cllr Steve Hewitt is a nice guy but by walking out of the Parish Council meeting because Cllr Mike Buckley was present he has broken the Code of Practice for behaviour of members on Council duty.

That’s his choice, but if he is not going to do his job he should resign and make way for someone who will.

Mike Buckley was tried for a so-called category C offence of looking at inappropriate pictures on the internet. The trial judge heard all the evidence and could have awarded a sentence that would have disqualified Cllr Buckley from public office. He quite specifically did not think the offence was sufficiently serious to justify this.

Was Steve Hewitt at the trial? Did he hear all the evidence?  Is he aware that the National Crime Agency has stated that cases of this kind should not be brought to court?  How come Cllr Hewitt knows better than the judge and why does he not respect the judicial system of our country?

There is not a single person in Saddleworth who is blameless of faults.  If Steve wants to don the cloak of righteousness and start throwing stones at his neighbours there will be no-one left unharmed, but the community will be none the better when his vindictiveness is spent.

By contrast, we know Mike Buckley cares passionately for Saddleworth’s heritage, landscape and buildings and has demonstrated this time and again over many years.

Very clearly and very publicly, and in the most embarrassing and humiliating fashion, his failings have been revealed. But Saddleworth’s civic life would be the worse for not having him make a contribution.

Meg Langton (by email)


THE FIRST signs of Autumn colour are captured in this delightful picture by keen photographer Cyril Fogg.

Entitled ‘Pennine Reflections’ it is looking across lower Castleshaw Resorvoir towards Broadhead Noddle and Stanage Edge.



J Fisher’s letter concerning ‘balsam bashing’ is spot on, but I would add that it is quite easy to identify the plants when they are quite immature plantlets of about 8-10cm tall, when they have a pair of cotyledons and one or two pairs of leaves. The base of the leaf is red, as is the lower part of the stem.

The plantlets are also easy to pull from the ground and as they are still a long way from producing their characteristic pink flowers, they are safe from spreading any seeds. Even if you wait until they are producing their first flowers, they can still be safely removed.

We have adopted this approach for the last four or five years and have managed to keep our garden balsam free, despite it bordering open land that is balsam infested.

Perhaps next year, the gardeners of Saddleworth might save themselves a lot of bother by going on balsam plantlet hunts, rather than fruitless balsam-bashing.

Dr Martin Schwarz, Delph (by email)


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