Letters to the Mercury - 2 March 2012

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Have your say

Our MP and the NHS Bill

As many people will be aware there is currently an attempt to push through Parliament a bill which affects the future of our NHS, a much-cherished British institution.

This Bill is opposed by many professional bodies in the medical profession and a recent poll suggests that more than 50 per cent of the electorate are opposed to it with only 33 per cent in favour.

May I draw your readers’ attention to two things regarding this process.

Firstly that there has been a report commisioned by the Government which details the potential risks to the NHS which has never been made public despite requests by a number of bodies.

Secondly a vote was held on releasing this document, paid for with public funds, affecting the future of our NHS, in which the vote went – though narrowly – against the release of this document.

And how many of your readers know, or will be surprised to know, that our MP, Nick Boles, voted against this document being made public.

And yet, shortly before Christmas he was on record as wishing to engage the “ordinary people” of this country with politics (or more specifically the Conservative Party).

OK, Mr Boles. May I invite you to reply to this letter through the pages of this newspaper and answer the following questions?

First how do you explain the none disclosure of a document commisioned by the Government and therefore paid for by the taxpayer, except that it may be inconvenient to your party’s policies?

Second, how do you seriously expect the “ordinary people” (as opposed to the “special” ones in Parliament and their buddies in the banking system who are so wisely making such a fine job of running the country) when it is blatantly, nay, painfully, obvious from your vote to conceal relevant information from us, that you have not the slightest interest in getting anyone involved in your rather elitist concept of democracy?

Or are we all too ordinary to understand?

Your reply would be interesting, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for it.

I have to try and find a job.

Keith Martin

Edenham Road, Hanthorpe

Draft plan is not completed

With reference to the letter of Mr John Fox last week in which he refers to South Kesteven’s draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

It should be clearly noted that this is a document currently in the process of being drawn up, in conjunction with a range of public bodies, in order to identify the impact on public services resulting from the growth in housing numbers over the next 14 years.

It is not appropriate nor did we expect an incomplete draft document currently being compiled in good faith, with organisations such as the town council, to be quoted so publicly.

Not until it has been thoroughly checked, any omissions or errors corrected and finally published should any interpretations or conclusions be drawn.

Once this document has been finalised and fully consulted on we will of course share this with our residents.

Frances Cartwright

South Kesteven district councillor and portfolio holder for economic development (Con)

Long-standing discrepancies

I WRITE with reference to the letter from John Fox last week, highlighting the discrepancies in the allocation of funds from the councils to Grantham, Bourne, Deeping and Stamford.

This is not a new situation as we know, but it is so unfair and our elected representatives need to make strenuous efforts to rectify it.

Our town attracts many visitors, and some of our prosperity derives from that, but, starved of funds our facilities and appearance can only deteriorate. I have written to the mayor, hoping to enlist the efforts of our town council over this.

Also, congratulations on the splendid outcome of the campaign to keep open the day centre. What a relief for the people who use it, and their families.

HELEN DAWN

(Mayor of Stamford 1995/96), St Leonard’s Street, Stamford

Happy times in Tobruk

READING the article on No 1 Squadron RAF (Mercury, February 17) brought back memories of my family contacts with some of them when the squadron was on training exercises in Libya.

In those days they were flying Hunters. My then husband was the fuels officer in Tobruk and served there from 1967 to 1969 living in Tobruk with myself and our two young daughters.

Much of our off-duty time was spent on the officers’ beach where my younger daughter, then six or seven years old, had a wonderful time with the squadron’s lads swimming out to the raft, where she could be seen conducting their singing and frequently being thrown off into the sea.

I never felt she was at any risk as they looked after her well, making her their mascot and bestowing a squadron emblem tiepin brooch on her in memory of their time there.

She is now a mature lady of 51, living in Yorkshire, and she still has that brooch. I wonder if any of those chaps who, like me, will be at least in their 70s, remember those happy occasions.

MARION BROWN

Deeping St James Road, Northborough

Support for skatepark

I fully support the application for a new skatepark at Stamford Recreation Ground.

The previous skatepark was removed without consultation or any plans being made for a replace-ment, leaving the town without play facilities for older children and teenagers for a number of years.

The proposed replacement will be situated at the Recreation Ground, land which was given by Harry Skells to provide recreational facilities for townspeople.

Residents who choose to live near the park must expect that it will be used by young people who may sometimes be noisy.

Children need space to play and, importantly, like to play outdoors. Parents want their children to be able to play safely outside near to where they live.

Successive governments have talked of improving children’s play facilities in order to encourage exercise and healthy living.

I have an eight-year-old son and I would like to allow him to play outdoors with his friends as he gets older, without feeling as though he is some sort of nuisance to society.

Teenagers in particular often receive a bad press and if we ignore their needs to exercise and let off steam in a safe environment then we are storing up trouble for the future.

By siting the skatepark at the Recreation Ground we are giving young people the opportunity to socialise with and learn to tolerate younger and older people, for example, children and their parents who use the play area, dog walkers and members of the tennis and bowls club.

If the skatepark was moved to a separate out-of-town area, this would ghettoise the youth of the town and send the message that we don’t want them to be a part of our community, when in fact we need to wholeheartedly encourage the opposite.

I urge all those with an interest in supporting young people to respond positively to this planning application by going to http://www.southkesteven.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2230&ApplicationNumber=S12/0193 and submitting a comment.

Katy Brown

Former chairman, Friends of Stamford Recreation Ground,

Tennyson Way, Stamford

Gang show was best ever!

Half-term week heralded the annual Stamford, Bourne and Deeping Gang show, this year celebrating 26 years.

Having seen and enjoyed previous shows we thought we had seen the peak of excellence last year, but no, a new broom producer certainly swept clean this year and surpassed all our expectations, raising the standard of performance from all the “crew” to new heights.

The obvious level of cast enjoyment was infectious and meant that it was impossible for the audience not to be drawn into the performance and this was evidence from frequent spontaneous outbursts of audience participation.

Although there was the usual mix of songs, dances and light hearted sketches there was also a new and strong emotion with a serious monologue called “Owls”, performed by the members of the Senior Gang. It showed former scout members who had gone on to give their lives in service to their country returning as memories to their former scout master. This, in the middle of a Gang Show, was a sudden and sombre return to reality, superbly enacted and evincing tears from many. The show ended, however, on a high with a patriotic look forward to the Olympics and the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

Once again, Deeping Gang Show, you have raised the bar for other shows and cast, crew, musicians, backstage hands, and all the volunteers should be rightly proud.

Mr AR COE

Cromer, Norfolk

Sad loss

It is now several weeks since the closure of Buy the Book in Oakham. It had been a business that was surely thriving, well supported by the public and where friendliness, courtesy and expertise was guaranteed.

Despite modern tech-nology having altered both ways of shopping and of procuring reading material, there can be no substitute for browsing in a book shop, catching up on the latest publications, making a purchase and enjoying the experience of reading with a book in one’s hands.

I feel sure I am not alone in hoping that even now, Buy the Book will be able to find new premises.

Ruth Hardy

South Street, Oakham

Thank you all

I WOULD like to say a big thank you to the people who helped me when I fell outside the library on the morning of Monday, February 20, you said you would not give me your names as I would not remember them, but a big thanks anyhow. Also a big thanks to the paramedics who were there within five minutes.

M DYSON

New Cross Road, Stamford