Letters to the Mercury - 6 January 2012

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Let’s all call

for Van Geest reopening

What would the Van Geests think?

In support of E Wright, (Letters, December 23), I too would like to know why the Van Geest unit remains closed.

My mum has been in Peterborough hospital since the beginning of December and is now requiring rehabilitation which she cannot access in her own home town. She has been a Stamfordian for all of her 89 years!

This unit was given to the people of Stamford. I wonder what our patrons would say at the total mismanagement of their very generous gift?

We were informed by officials last year that the unit would remain closed until demand arose.

Is it not a good example of demand when this week we were asked to remove Mum from hospital, regardless of her needs, because her bed was required?

A recent inquiry of Stamford hospital regarding the reopening of the Van Geest unit produced the unclear message that “the opening is imminent but there is no specified date”.

Being apart from family and friends when in hospital is a cause of terrible angst to people, not to mention the financial and time constraints to those carers who have to travel the distance to Peterborough by car or rail to visit on a regular basis as we like to do.

We should all campaign against this lack of clarity because the next thing we know the unit will be closed for good due to cuts, just like Hurst ward.

It is just another nail in the coffin for the whole of our hospital too so please make your feelings known by lobbying your local MP. Even if you do not need this facility at present you may well do in the future!

Corinna Hoptroff

Conduit Road, Stamford Speak up about plans

As a new district councillor for Market and West Deeping I have taken the opportunity of having a one-to-one meeting with the chief executive of South Kesteven District Council on Wednesday next week.

I am sure the residents of Market and West Deeping are well aware of the number of houses that are being and going to be built in the area (the Core Strategy).

I believe it is very important to get the views of the members of the public, as to what recreational amenities they feel are needed in the town.

It is important to know that once any money has been spent on any amenities, further money will not be available to rectify any mistakes that may have been made. So it is most important to get the views of the residents as to what they would like in the way of open spaces etc to break up the urban sprawl that could occur.

My aim will be to make sure the chief executive is fully informed of the residents’ views. I would like to receive comments either to my home address or preferably by e-mail.

Paul Cosham

Queens Avenue, Market Deeping

Inconsiderate dog owner

I would like to say thank you to the inconsiderate dog owner who has let their dog do its toileting on my drive /garden nine times to date.

Your inconsideration has led to myself treading in the stuff and taking it into my house and so soiling my carpets.

I actually thought dog owners were taking some responsibility for their pets, as in general the dog mess is picked up and disposed of properly. However obviously not so for this dog owner.

I could almost guarantee that if someone did the same to you drive and path you would not like it.

Chris Boyall

Edinburgh Road, Stamford

We must ban these eggs

According to reports, the new EU-wide law (Welfare of Laying Hens Directive) on the increased dimensions of hens battery cages was due to come into force on January 1. British farmers have had to shell out about £400m to comply with this new regulation, which also has the effect of making egg production more expensive here. However, 13 other EU countries have decided to ignore it.

But there will be no action taken by Brussels, as there are no fines, penalties or export ban with which to enforce the ruling.

Britain must try to impose an import ban (if this is allowed by EU law, which seems doubtful) on these illegal shell, or liquid eggs.

There must be a real danger that it will not be possible to trace where these illegal eggs are used, as the ingredients for ready meals etc. are not labelled with the production system, or country of origin.

The likelihood of this fiasco is that cheaply produced, illegal eggs will flood UK, to the detriment of our own egg producers who have incorporated the more humane regime for egg production. It really does look like those countries that still house battery hens in poor conditions will be able to profit from flouting the law. Just seems like another penalty for the British agricultural community. How much longer do we have to put up with this EU lunacy?

Paul Green

College Close, Great Casterton

Bright lights in the sky

I wonder whether any readers could help me. On the morning of New Year, at 12.25am I saw a series of very bright lights north of Stamford travelling from west to east. Each one appeared to have lights in a square. They were at slightly different altitudes and different distances from me.

I could not hear any noise but they might well have been too far off. Were they planes from Wittering or elsewhere? It seems a strange time to be carrying out night exercises, and they appeared too bright.

No, I had not been over-celebrating, and the next day a friend said that he had also seen these lights. Any ideas?

Michael Ward

Casterton Road, Stamford