Your letters, February 13, 2014

We have a full postbag of your letters on a range of views
We have a full postbag of your letters on a range of views

Your Views - here are the letters published in the Harborough Mail on February 13, 2014.

As usual, there are lots of views and opinions on a host of subjects in this week’s Mail.

WAR MEMORIAL: NHS must keep their promise

I must take issue with the statement that the NHS had promised to fund the transfer of the Cottage Hospital War Memorial to St Luke’s.

What they had promised was funding for its removal in the event of the Cottage Hospital being declared redundant but the new site would be agreed with the people of Market Harborough first.

I and a colleague, representing the War Memorials Trust, were present at the meeting with Harborough District Council and the NHS in August 2012.

At that meeting one of the arguments put forward by the Royal British Legion representative for a move to St Luke’s was the fear of vandalism in the Memorial Gardens.

We argued passionately then and do so again, that the complete portico should be moved to the Memorial Gardens.

1. They are the Memorial Gardens and are in the town centre and there is the space.

2. To put a classical memorial onto a 21st century building located out of town, will be incongruous and immensely inconvenient for those wishing to pay their respects.

3. For the descendants of those veterans not to do the right thing for fear of vandalism is just not good enough.

Vandalism can be deterred.

4. With the centenary of World War One this year, there is a huge programme of commemoration and education underway, so I believe very strongly that mindless vandalism of war memorials will diminish as more youngsters learn to appreciate the sacrifice of that generation.

5. To promote a bizarre decision for fear that maintenance costs, which in any case will be very minor, will fall on the district council rather than the NHS is demeaning. I am sure the people of Harborough district would not begrudge such a modest sum for so worthy a cause.

6. In the event of a repair being required, my colleague and I would do our best to obtain a grant from the War Memorials Trust, a charity set up for that express purpose. That said, the NHS have made a commitment to fund the move and must be held to their promise.

Denis Kenyon, Hallaton

WAR MEMORIAL: No scope for NHS to renege on deal

Here are some extracts taken from various Harborough history books regarding the local Cottage Hospital:

“In about 1907 a resolution was passed to raise money for a cottage hospital. A splendid start was made by George Green who gave a site on Coventry Road.

“A subscription list was opened and entertainment organised.

“In 1909 plans were laid and in early 1910 the new nurses home or Cottage Hospital was ready.

“Two wards with four beds each, two private wards, an operating theatre, three bathrooms, matrons’ sitting room, dining room, kitchen and usual offices. Whole cost with fittings and furniture came to £2,480.

“Viscountess Lady Downe, the main force behind this, died a fortnight before it opened and her daughter Norah took over. Her and friends raised money. “A bazaar in the old Assembly Rooms raised £900 (a tremendous amount for a small town).

“It was proving expensive to run and they had to cover an ever-widening area. Work forces in factories helped and so did surrounding villages.”

As you can see from this, the Cottage Hospital wasn’t created by the NHS trust, but by the goodwill and endeavours of the local community.

No mention of funding from the local council either.

This was taken into the National Health Service on its creation but I’m pretty sure there was no payment back into the local community for the bequeathing of the building.

In this case, should the NHS trust decide what to do with the it?

Surely this is something for the local community to decide?

If they are hoping to fund the new hospital building through the sale of the Cottage Hospital then they must ensure there is sufficient provision for the unique memorial currently on the entrance. Many local residents have provenance with this memorial, I know that I do, with at least four direct ancestors being listed – one of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice.

So come on, NHS trust, you have gained the golden bullet to fund the hospital from the goodwill of this community, now it’s time to fund the new site and upkeep of this precious piece of our heritage without qualm or complaint. There is no scope for negotiation or renege!

Richard Nichols, Kibworth Harcourt

LOST: Please help find this keepsake

Please help me find a lost, much-treasured keepsake given to me by my late husband. It is an opal tiger’s tooth of brilliant colour, mounted with an 18 carat gold collar on an 18ins fine 18 carat gold chain.

It was lost in Market Harborough on January 29.

I am unbearably sad at losing such a precious keepsake. If anyone has any news of this pendant, please ring me on 01858 440012 or on 07759 202532.

Alice Wharton-Cook, Market Harborough

OTTERS: Warning to fish pond owners

Yes, it’s fantastic to see otters in Harborough’s River Welland.

But they will soon be gone when fish stocks are low. They will start targeting local residents’ fish ponds. That’s if a shopping trolley doesn’t kill them first.

Shaun Harrald, Market Harborough

NEWSPAPER: Delight at giving youth their voice

It was great to see the Enable Youth news page in the Mail (January 30). Giving young people an opportunity to share their views, hopes and aspirations is to be commended.

More of the same please!

Andrew Nicholson, by email

TESCO: Get them to give you a start date

Re: the ongoing debate about the purposed new Tesco store.

It would be in the council’s interest to ask them when, if given the go ahead, they start to build.

The people of Desborough are still waiting for the first brick to be laid on the site even though Tesco were given planning permission over 12 months ago.

I am sure we do not want a white elephant site in Harborough.

John Lambert, Market Harborough

SUPERMARKETS: Simply make the firms stump up

The issue of which, if any, planning application for new supermarkets is to be granted can be simply addressed by imposing a substantial Section 106 charge that is large enough to solve some of the inherent traffic problems in this town.

My own ongoing requirement is for a roundabout at the junction of Great Bowden Road and the Rockingham Road.

I would like to place a wager that this council does not have the guts to carry this simple process out.

You can also bet that if they do, some bright spark in the county highways department will produce reams of paper to convince us all that it cannot be done for technical reasons.

PJ Clark, Market Harborough

WOMEN’S AID: Insight into work is being offered

Staff and board members of Women’s Aid Leicestershire are offering to visit group meetings to offer an insight into domestic violence and the work of the charity in Leicestershire.

For more information or to book a talk, contact chief executive of Women’s Aid Leicestershire Pamela Richardson on 0116 283 2225 or pamela.
richardson@wallaction.org.uk.

Marea Roberts, Women’s Aid, Leicestershire

POLITICS: Uniting councils is a positive step

Congratulations to Leicestershire County Council for recognising the need to reduce district councillors from 300 to 100 with one unitary council for the whole of Leicestershire.

The recent £5.2 million spent on the updated district council offices only goes to show how little respect councillors have for putting public money to good use while at the same time cutting services and increasing members’ allowances.

The argument that one council will take away local decision-making does not wash as they take no notice of public opinion already.

Let’s hope the new council happens sooner rather than later.

Jane Lewis, by email

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