I am part of a group trying to save Red House, the home of feminist writer and businesswoman Mary Taylor who, besides being extraordinarily important in her own right, was Charlotte Brontë’s best friend. Caroline Goodwill is leading the charge for the Brontë Red House Group and the following is her call for help:
The Red House Petiton was launched on Change.org at the end of July. By the end of August we had 3,000 signatures but let it run to 3,700 to allow for unacceptable signatures. 3,000 is the number required to go to Full Council meeting at Kirklees local authority. Unfortunately, when we submitted the signatures, we were told that we had only achieved 2,730 acceptable signatures. This was because almost 1,000 signatures were from abroad. We thought signatures from abroad strengthened our case that Red House is of national and international importance but as far as KC are concerned they were not acceptable.
We are now attempting to gain 4,200 signatures as quickly as possible so we can re-submit the petition. The petition is now ring-fenced to disallow non UK signatures. Incidentally, Change.org sometimes ask for a donation - we are not asking - it is not for us - but for Change.org and is entirely optional. If any of you have links to local Facebook sites that we are not already using, perhaps you could let me know and I will put the petition on that site. This seems the quickest and most efficient way to obtain signatures.
Please do not sign again if you have already signed as both signatures will be disqualified.
Once we have the required number of signatures, we will re-submit to Kirklees Council and hope to gain a date for presenting to the full council. It should be around mid-October. We are under time pressure because a number of things happen in November which will make Red House much more vulnerable.
Once the petition is safely presented and we have a date for the meeting with full council, we must mount a strong national and international campaign to save the site and prevent building on the grounds. Many emails and letters will need to be produced and if there is anyone in the group who would like to assist with this task, please leave your email in the comments - I won't publish them - and I'll put you in touch with Caroline, the secretary of our group.
Any ideas or names of people who may be able to help with funding, information, publicity etc - please let us have that information.