Review of the Year: November

NOVEMBER Ayub Hussain's house was firebombed as his family slept.
NOVEMBER Ayub Hussain's house was firebombed as his family slept.

Here’s our highlights for November

Hospital bosses confirmed the number of beds at Dewsbury and District Hospital is to be slashed by more than two thirds by 2017.

They said the expect to cut the number of beds from 360 to 110 if their contentious plans for services are approved.

Angry campaigners criticised the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust for not releasing the figures during its public consultation.

The Trust held a public consultation earlier in the year on plans to downgrade Dewsburys’ A&E department and move some children’s and maternity services to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Weeks earlier, Trust decided to shut Brontë Tower and the Staincliffe Wing.

It also said the Oakwell Centre and the Pickard and Pickersgill buildings, which were originally use as accommodation for nurses, would close.

However, The Trust also said it would be investing more than £20m at Dewsbury over the next four years.

The shock decision that burger chain McDonald’s was to close at the end of November was met with anger and confusion.

The franchised outlet in Church Street was “no longer economically viable” according to its owner.

All 45 staff were offered transfers to neighbouring stores, but councillors and traders questioned how the outlet, in a prime retail spot, failed to generate enough cash.

Dewsbury Chamber of Trade president Trish Makepeace said: “It’s a blow for the town. It’s not often you hear of a McDonald’s closing. What message does this send to prospective investors?”

But Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dews East) said he was sure it would not be long before someone took over the building.

The last burger was served on November 30.

A firebomb was thrown into a house where six people were sleeping.

Ayub Hussain and his wife were woken in the early hours of the morning of November 28 when a rock was thrown through their living room window, followed by a petrol bomb.

In December, Mr Hussain spoke for the first time of his family’s ordeal as police made a fresh appeal to track down the culprits.

He said: “I can’t understand why someone would do this to me and my family. They tried to kill all of us.”

The brave 60-year-old immediately picked up the plastic container to try to throw it away but not before flames licked up his left arm, leaving him with second degree burns.

He and his wife Zubeda ran from the room, shutting the door behind them. “If it had been another 10 minutes it could have gone all over the house,” Mr Hussain added. “Mentally we are disturbed, but we are coping.”