MIRFIELD’S new MP has shared his thoughts on how the town will change in 2011.
Simon Reevell praised Mirfield’s community spirit and sympathised with concerns about new developments and the possible impact of council spending cuts.
He said: “Mirfield isn’t that place that you drive through between Huddersfield and Dewsbury, it’s very much a place in its own right.”
He stressed the importance of encouraging people to shop in Mirfield instead of travelling to Huddersfield.
One of the biggest issues for Mirfield in the long term will be the consequences of Kirklees Council’s Local Development Framework.
This includes a plan to build 1,075 homes in the town and a 50 hectare business site at Cooper Bridge. Mr Reevell said the plans seemed to be getting pushed through quickly, and said the council should wait until new government legislation is in place to give people more say.
He said: “It’s difficult to see the justification for carrying on at speed.”
Mr Reevell also said that development at the Mirfield 25 business park shouldn’t be rushed because other sites might be more suitable.
But he acknowledged that the development could create more jobs in the town. He said: “There needs to be a balance.
“Before we start turning open areas into factories we have got to be sure there aren’t other sites that make better sense.”
Mr Reevell welcomed plans for a direct rail link from Mirfield to London and a campaign to prevent the potential closure of Mirfield library.
Speaking generally, Mr Reevell said it was important for Mirfield to not be defined by events like the murder of Nadija Ondzule last week, and the recent armed raid on the Co-op supermarket.
He said: “Unfortunately all over the country awful things happen but you can’t let them define an area.
“The important thing for Mirfield is to establish itself as the town it is.”