Letters to the Mercury - 9 March 2012

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Questions facing our country

It’s interesting how several local reports in the March 2 Mercury are linked to the big questions facing our country.

The unelected Stamford Town Partnership will hand over its remit to the elected town council. So much for the “Big Society”.

And not much hope that any charities will come forward to take on the day centres; they’ve been saved for the present by the Mercury’s campaign, but the county council still wants to unload them.

Our MP visits a charity that helps young people to qualify and apply for jobs. But with several unemployed persons to every vacancy, where are the jobs? Not in the old-established and respected building firm that you report is closing down.

And not in the hospitals trust that is facing a deficit of more than £50m, mainly because it has to pay £3m a month to the wealthy firms that invested in the Private Finance Initiative. While NHS staff face pay freezes and pension cuts, the financiers continue to draw their tribute.

This is the link between all these reports.

A decade ago politicians of the three major parties were all extolling the new financial instruments that would lead to unlimited growth and prosperity for all.

Then some of the “assets” turned toxic, sparking a crisis of the whole capitalist system. The bankers were bailed out – and the rest of us are expected to pay for the resulting deficit by cuts in jobs, services, salaries and pensions.

Only Marxists and a few maverick economists had been saying that the bubble was bound to burst. Now more and more people are questioning the credentials of capitalism.

So the worried politicians are talking about “responsible capitalism” or “ethical capitalism”. There ain’t no such things.

For as long as the economy is run by a tiny handful of very rich persons and corporations whose only motive must be to make even bigger profits, there will be growing inequality and recurrent economic crises.

It’s time to start working towards a different system: of common ownership and cooperative effort. Now that would be a Big Society.

DAVID GROVE

King’s Mill Lane, Stamford

A mixed heritage

There has been quite a bit of speculation over the years about my rather unusual surname. It came about because my father hailed from the lovely Greek island of Cyprus.

My dear old Mum was half Ukrainian and half German. I was born in Highgate Hill in London.

What all this makes me I’m not quite sure, but if anyone responds to this letter they had better be careful what they say, otherwise I will find out their address, growl and bite their ankles.

Len Loullis

Hillary Close, Stamford

Light-fingered ‘goblins’

Please would you publish this letter to one or more light-fingered goblins –I do not think a gnome would do such damage to a garden!

On Friday night last week a wheelbarrow containing daffodils was emptied of its contents on to the lawn and was used to transport six solar powered lights torn from the garden at the rear of our homes.

Two smashed lights were found in the area connecting to Queens Gardens but four remain missing.

In the scale of things, you might think this was a case of high spirits.

If you consider that these cost the pensioners concerned £25 each not counting the value of the wheelbarrow that amounts to £200 of theft and damage to pensioners who do value their surroundings

Bad goblins! If this was Toytown you would be made to return what you had stolen and say sorry. You could try returning what you have taken – if you have not destroyed those also.

Joan Brocklebank

St Clements, Stamford

Not all homes are the same!

ON the Today programme on Radio 4 one morning last week was yet another damning report about the care of the elderly in hospitals and care homes.

For us who are fortunate enough to reside in Oak House at Greetham such reporting and the prominence it receives gives rise to great resentment. For us it just isn’t true!

Alan Staveley

Oak House Residential Home, Pond Lane, Greetham

Inspired by the past

I like to read the memories page of the Mercury and the article last week about the dedication of young people 10 years ago was of great interest.

Needing some activity for young people to keep fit and be with their peers encouraged them to raise £50,000 for a skatepark on the Recreation Ground,with the help of donations made by residents of the town and businesses.

Colin Furze, chairman of the skatepark group and still on the committee 10 years on, with the co-operation of all, including Burghley Charitable Trust which gave an additional £4,000 towards the scheme, built a skatepark. Had it not become unsafe because of the effect of weather on the timbers it would still be standing.

Over the years the skatepark on the Recreation Ground was maintained by the group’s members.

Today with the generosity of the town people, businesses and grants have allowed £150,000 over the last four years to be raised to replace a facility for our young people, to be built with long-lasting low-maintenance materials.

It seems to me that the consideration for a skatepark have not altered over the last 10 years.

We all understand that our young people need to get rid of excess energy that they have and we all have a duty to allow them to do this in a well conducted way.

Rushden Council in Northamptonshire has had a skatepark for 10 years and is now an asset without problems. The young people are policing it very well, which will be the intention of our current committee to mirror.

Katy Brown in her letter last week put it very well and I endorse her sentiments, me having seven great grandchildren growing up in Stamford.

JOHN JUDGE

Brooke Avenue, Stamford

Wonderful care

I WOULD liked to thank everyone concerned with helping me when I had a fall near Tesco in high Street, Stamford on the afternoon of Wednesday last week.

My thanks go to the staff at Tesco, the young man who laid with me until the ambulance arrived and also Vision Express, who came to my rescue with new frames for my broken glasses.

I’m also grateful for the care given to my husband while all this was going on.

Last but not least, I’d like to thank the paramedics who were wonderful.

MRS RUSSON

Stamford

No place for a Eurosceptic

May I be one of the first to congratulate my regular debating partner Roger Helmer, MEP, for his decision to join UKIP.

The Conservative party is the architect of British membership of the EU, and is no home for anyone who wishes the UK to leave.

David Cameron’s recent publicity stunt (the veto that never was) is a good example – Tories play at being anti EU but always end up supporting UK membership because they know that it is good for Britain.

I am however saddened that Rupert Matthews, author of many works on UFOs and alien encounters, will not be elevated to his rightful role as a Conservative MEP for the East Midlands – as the Tories badly need to help on many fronts and some extra-terrestrial ideas may have helped them along a bit.

Eric Goodyer

High Street, Colsterworth