Your Views - here are the letters published in the Harborough Mail on December 26, 2013.
As usual, there are lots of views and opinions on a host of subjects in this week’s Mail. To have your say, see the contact methods at the bottom of this story.
POLITICS: MPs salary rise is insult to elderly
It is said that the MPs are to have a salary increase of £7,000.
That is the equivalent of an annual pension, yet the pensioners are to have an increase that equates to the cost of four second-class stamps.
Somehow this does not seem quite right.
A pension equates to half the national minimum wage, so why is it that having paid in their dues and demands all their working life, pensioners are treated so badly?
A pensioner still needs a roof over their heads, food, electricity, gas, clothes and toiletries, yet are expected to manage.
Our Government is very conscious of foreigners’ needs – immigrants and foreign aid – yet it fails to look after their own people.
Mr Cameron, if you wish to continue in office after the General Election, I suggest you start by looking at British people’s requirements, close the borders and get out of the European Union.
Elizabeth Swain, by email
CHRISTMAS: Support for our trees has grown
Re: the Mail letter headed ‘Support town’s independents’ published on December 12.
There is something to be said for the line taken by the writer.
However, I would just like to suggest that the price of the trees may have something to do with decisions taken – even by multiples!
Here in Desborough, we have seen growth year-on-year in the take-up of trees by retailers. This year we have 40 trees supplied with lights and all for only £21 per retailer.
However, when I read in the Mail that trees there were going to cost £54 it suggests that if there were a more sensible price the take-up could be greater.
Desborough Town Centre Partnership is the body responsible for talking to the retailers and encouraging them to join in, for the benefit of the town and themselves.
This year we ran out of brackets and so the task of encouraging further businesses to join in will begin very early in 2014 so that we know how many brackets to get manufactured ready for our gala on 28 November, 2014.
So on that note, I and my colleagues would like to say a huge thank you to all our businesses for getting involved and having one or two trees and in the case of the Midland Co-op – three trees!
Pamela Goodman, by email
EDUCATION: Give us your view on school breaks
As schools understandably and rightly become increasingly reluctant to authorise pupil absences for holidays during term time, I feel it is important to make parents aware of a consultation currently being undertaken by Leicestershire County Council which considers future term and holiday dates through to 2018-19.
The consultation which is being carried out on the county council website asks whether to follow the long-established pattern of holiday dates in Leicestershire, which normally means we take holidays at different times to other counties, or whether to start following the same pattern as that of the other neighbouring local authorities.
There are many issues which parents will want to consider, not least the slightly lower cost of taking a summer holiday during what many call “the Leicestershire fortnight” and I would urge anyone with a view to respond to the consultation.
Further details and the online response form can be accessed by visiting www.leics.gov.uk/index/education.
The consultation closes at 5pm on January 17.
Cllr Leon Spence, Labour spokesman for children and families at Leicestershire County Council
FIRST WORLD WAR: Commemorate them with quilt
During the First World War, patchwork quilts were made, embroidered with the names of soldiers and then sold to raise money for The Red Cross.
A family history community project intends to commemorate those who served with the Commonwealth forces during the First World War 1914-1918 and did not return home, in the same way, using fabric and thread.
The aim is to produce a quilt made up of squares embroidered with the names of our ancestors or those in our local community who gave their lives.
I will be embroidering the name of my great-uncle, John Capper, born in Sheffield in 1896, who served in the Coldstream Guards and died in the Battle of the Somme on September 15, 1916, onto the quilt.
Would you like to contribute to the project by stitching a square or squares with the name or names of the person or people you wish to commemorate?
Information on how to get involved in this project can be found on www.spanglefish.com/firstworldwarcentenaryquilt.
You will be supplied with a pack containing the pre-cut square of fabric and thread and detailed instructions for a minimum donation of £3.50.
Packs can be obtained by sending your cheque made payable to First World War Centenary Quilt to Philippa McCray, 27 Coventry Road, Lutterworth, LE17 4RE.
If you would like more information on the project or would like to request multiple packs for your society or group please email Philippa at email@example.com.
All profits will be divided equally between Help for Heroes and Quilts for Injured Soldiers.
The project will run throughout 2014 and as it gets underway you can keep up to date with the progress via the website.
Sue Turner, by email
ELDERLY: Minister should take note of care
One hears such detrimental stories about the care of the elderly in this country that I felt I had to put a different story forward from here in Lutterworth.
Two years ago it was decided, not without tremendous heart searching, that my parents had reached the point that they needed, not a nursing home, but perhaps a little more help but still retaining independent living. We found the ideal place in St Mary’s.
Converted from the old rectory and set in beautiful grounds close to the cricket ground, lies this idyllic haven for the elderly.
Each flat is self contained, and on site is 24-hour care if needed, a wonderful restaurant which serves a mouth watering lunch.
Birthdays are remembered cakes made, and sherry drunk!
Earlier this year sadly we lost my mother. After 70 years this was a tremendous blow.
During her final months she was looked after here with love compassion and dignity both by the staff on site, district nurses and our wonderful doctors.
Over the past two years I have spent many hours visiting several times a week. In all that time I have found the staff in every department to be always cheerful, very kind and nothing is too much trouble.
My father is now living in the flat alone, but the consideration he has received has helped tremendously with the loss of my mother.
Run by East Midlands Housing Association, it is an example of how the elderly should be cared for in their twilight years.
Perhaps the health minister would like to visit, listen and learn!
Mary Guppy, by email
CHARITY: Get our calendar and help rescuers
We have produced a Bruno’s Gym 2014 charity calender and all proceeds from the sale of these calenders will go to the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance.
The calender contains arty and tasteful photos of real members of the gym inside and outside of our facilities.
The photos themselves have been taken by one of our members and everyone has given up their time for free. The idea is for local people to raise money for a worthwhile local charity anyone may need to use.
The cost of the calender is £5 and every penny will go towards the charity.
Mark Guadagnini, owner and manager of Bruno’s Gym, Market Harborough
COMMUNITY: Eric Adkins is a great neighbour
Eric Adkins of Jordan Close voluntarily maintains the gardens, paths and gutters in Jordan Close, as well as the grass verges in Kettering Road.
He works very hard and spends hours keeping our close tidy.
Susan Robinson, by email
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