DCSIMG

Review of the Year: July

Shaw Cross Sharks may have to cancel a forthcoming children's rugby tournament, due to travellers taking over the rugby pitches on Leeds Road, Shaw Cross.
Pictured by the pitches is groundsman Bob Cosidine.
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Shaw Cross Sharks may have to cancel a forthcoming children's rugby tournament, due to travellers taking over the rugby pitches on Leeds Road, Shaw Cross. Pictured by the pitches is groundsman Bob Cosidine. d326c330

Here’s our highlights for July:

Travellers set up camp on a rugby club’s pitches, putting a team’s real hopes of promotion in jeopardy.

Shaw Cross Sharks were riding high in the National Conference League - but had to cancel crucial practice sessions after travellers moved onto their pitches on Leeds Road.

Benny Richardson, open-age secretary said: “I spoke directly to the travellers and pleaded with them to at least move to the side of the pitch, but they didn’t.

“This is a crucial time for us, the first in a long time that we’ve got a chance of promotion. It could not have come at a worse time.”

It came just after the club had spent £3,000 upgrading playing surfaces.

The travellers eventually left, leaving behind rubbish, only to return to the site six weeks later, again jeopardising fixtures. Kirklees Council eventually installed boulders to prevent them pitching up at the fields again.

The ‘barbaric’ training of fighting dogs was taking place in a graveyard in Mirfield.

And the horrific practice - which involved tying dogs by their necks and hoisting them into the air - was causing permanent damage to historic oak trees.

Church leaders at St Mary’s were horrified when investigations revealed the cause of the damage.

Tim Grace, of the Friends of St Mary’s Church Parish, said: “I have seen dogs up the trees. I saw a dog being coaxed with a branch on a tree. A number of people have seen the same.”

Ravensthorpe Residents Action Group had also raised the issue of dog fighting at its meeting, after an incident at Spen Valley Greenway. And Mirfield town councillor David Pinder claimed the dogs were being trained for illegal fights that took place at a quarry in Ravensthorpe.

An RSPCA spokeswoman branded dog fighting as ‘barbaric.’

Trust in police would suffer if they were not more open with the people of Dewsbury and Mirfield.

That was the warning after figures obtained by the Reporter found that more than 1,500 crimes were reported in the two towns in the month of April - but West Yorkshire Police shared just two incidents with the local media without prompting,

They included 63 violent offences, 41 burglaries, 22 drug offences, seven sexual offences and seven robberies.

Councillors Mumtaz Hussain and David Pinder raised concerns about police communication.

Coun Hussain, who criticised police for not telling people enough about burglaries in Scout Hill and Ravensthorpe, said: “They should be sharing information thorough the paper, especially once something has been investigated and someone has been convicted. It lets people know what’s happening.”

Insp Jenny Thompson, of the Dewsbury and Mirfield Neighbourhood Policing Team, said she was “disappointed” that councillors felt they were not being kept informed.

 

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