MP Barry’s in­vite to ra­dio pre­sen­ter who slammed town

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

HUD­DER­S­FIELD MP Barry Sheer­man has thrown down to the gaunt­let to BBC pre­sen­ter Liz Green after she made with­er­ing com­ments about the town on her ra­dio show.

The Ra­dio Leeds jour­nal­ist be­moaned the state of Hud­der­s­field town cen­tre say­ing it was “not the town it was” and needed to get its act to­gether fast.

Her com­ments came fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of a Kirklees Coun­cil re­port say­ing more needed to be done to cre­ate a more di­ver­si­fied, thriv­ing night-time econ­omy.

A re­cur­ring theme on the early morn­ing pro­gramme was the feel­ing that Hud­der­s­field town cen­tre was not a safe place to visit and there was not a lot go­ing on.

One of the show’s re­porters said the loud­est noise he heard in the town on a Tues­day night was two dogs fight­ing.

And self-pro­claimed crime ex­pert Jonathan Hoyle said peo­ple didn’t “want to walk around all the mess” the night after Hud­der­s­field’s finest had been out and about on Cross Church Street, one of the town’s row­di­est streets on a week­end.

He said: “Peo­ple who go out for the com­plete wrong rea­son. Peo­ple who want to fight for a hobby.”

A woman called Sarah Bowyer also slammed the town.

She said she re­cently went to the Town Hall and “I would not have felt safe walk­ing through Hud­der­s­field.”

And Liz, who boasted of be­ing Hud­der­s­field-born and bred, said: “What’s wrong with Hud­der­s­field? Does Hud­der­s­field dis­ap­point you? Would I walk down Kings­gate at 8pm on a Wed­nes­day night?”

Dis­cussing the mat­ter with town cen­tre re­gen­er­a­tion boss, Clr Peter McBride, she said: “It’s not a wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment any­more. Not some­where I would class as vi­brant.” She said a friend de­scribed it re­cently as ‘Shud­der­s­field’.

But Mr Sheer­man who has been the town’s MP since 1979 said: “I have known Liz a long time and I am very fond of her but I re­ject what she is say­ing.

“What she says could be said about lots of towns and cities from Peter­bor­ough and Cam­bridge to Oxford and parts of London.

“What she is de­scrib­ing is not the true essence of our town.

“Do your home­work, Liz, go and see Kirklees’s Chief Supt Steve Cot­ter. I can as­sure you there are many more crime-rid­den places than Hud­der­s­field.

“At the mo­ment I am deal­ing with two stu­dents who were mugged in their first weeks at Leeds and Manch­ester and that’s not some­thing you tend to find hap­pen­ing here.

“As for the ar­gu­ment that some of the best cui­sine is found out of the town cen­tre in places such as Hon­ley, Lind­ley and Hep­worth etc that may be true but that is a fea­ture of many towns not just Hud­der­s­field. Those res­tau­rant own­ers de­cided to place them­selves in the sur­round­ing ar­eas. Come on Liz, walk round the town with me and I will per­suade you that I am right.”

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