Your letters, March 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 March 13, 2014.

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

WAR MEMORIAL: Portico has got to be retained

With reference to your recent coverage of the Cottage Hospital war memorial, you should perhaps refer to your edition of around April 2, 2009.

As conservation officer to Harborough District Council I was very conscious that the war memorial portico was not protected and was aware of various ideas for the hospital.

See the Mail’s story on the campaign here: Petition to save war memorial is gaining momentum.

I was instrumental in getting the hospital listed in order to protect the memorial for the town.

My personal feelings are, and were, that the main hospital building itself is not of great importance but if the building or site were to be redeveloped for other purposes, then the actual portico should be retained.

Its retention to be in a public or accessible place.

It could either be retained and incorporated into a new build on site, transferred to a public place in town – at one time I was pursuing ideas of its relocation to the Memorial Gardens off The Square.

I also tried to discuss the possibility of the portico being incorporated into the fabric of any such new hospital that it might build at the St Luke’s Hospital site with the health authorities, but I did not find them enthusiastic.

It is not important that the memorial remain on its present site, but it is important that it remains in the town in a public place or where it can be viewed by the public.

The town surveyor and architect HG Coales was responsible for the plans for the Cottage Hospital.

They were passed by the Market Harborough Urban District Council within two days of his having submitted them.

Planning was simpler then.

The date-stones on the two parts of the Cottage Hospital are of much interest in design.

In this year of the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War it is fitting that Harborough people realise that the town’s main memorial to the war was the extension of the tiny cottage hospital in Coventry Road, paid for by public subscription; that of the cross on the town square was only secondary.

Rosalind Willatts, Wilbarston

EUROPE: Driving success from Brussels

While I disagree with a lot of new rules which are proposed here in Brussels, it is good to be able to report the odd success story.

This week I will be back in Strasbourg and voting on new European legislation to improve roadworthiness for vehicles in Europe.

Many of the proposals from the European Commission are welcome, not least because the package ensures a level playing field across Europe, which is important to ensure a higher standard of safety.

At the same time, certain measures within the proposals have caused concern because they go too far, a common thread in European policy making.

Among the most popular concerns were the inclusion of caravans within the legislation.

Many of my constituents wrote to me saying that this would be overly burdensome and that caravan owners maintain their vehicles to a more than sufficient standard anyway.

My Conservative colleagues and I fully agreed and caravans have now been removed from the package.

We were also successful in making sure that the new legislation did not affect our MOT system, which would have risked the future of private garages in the UK, and in turn our economic recovery.

These are only some of the successes that have been achieved, meaning that when we go to vote, we will have a package of measures which will make us safer on the roads without overreaching into areas that should not be legislated on by the European Union.

By monitoring what goes on in Europe closely we can ensure that we get what we want from our membership.

Emma McClarkin, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands

EUROPE: Support us for the sake of jobs

It is less than 100 days now until the European elections, and this time it really matters.

If anti-European politicians and parties get their way, the message sent to businesses and investors worldwide will be that Britain wants to be out of the European Union.

That would be a disaster – right here in Harborough.

Major local employers in the East Midlands have said being in the European Union is vital for their success. For three million workers, “out of Europe” could mean “out of work”.

With the Conservatives openly flirting with exit and Labour seemingly running scared of the debate, only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to stand up and say “Keep Britain in Europe”.

Please don’t wait for a referendum. Use May’s elections to say you are in.

In Liberal Democrat Bill Newton Dunn, we in the East Midlands have one of Britain’s most experienced Euro-MPs of any party, who, for many years, has fought hard and successfully for local East Midlands people in Europe.

Support the Liberal Democrats for the sake of British jobs, British business and Britain’s influence in the world.

Mary Twidell, Rutland and Melton Liberal Democrats

AIRFIELD FARM: We need review of policing needs

So, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader is requesting a judicial review regarding the building of 4,000 new homes in Lubbesthorpe, and its effect on adequate policing given existing resources.

See the police’s Lubbesthorpe statement here: Crime commissioner seeks judicial review over Lubbesthorpe homes.

Can we ask that he include the Airfield Farm development of 1,500 to 1,800 new homes in Market Harborough in this request please?

We have already identified the negative impact on the town’s resources and traffic flows.

This is another area that needs addressing before building starts.

Lesley Doyle, by email

POLICE: One idea to help save some money

Our police are often talking about ways in which they might save money. Here’s one idea: Stop spending money on renovating the police station in Leicester Road, Harborough, with new windows and such like and then applying for planning permission to knock part of it down to make way for four extra car parking spaces.

At what expense?

Is this a wise way in which to spend the taxpayers’ money?

SJ Pell, Market Harborough

ANCESTORS: Can you help find the Shipmans?

I am researching the family history of the paternal side of my family, Shipman. I have been able to trace back as far as my great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Shipman, who died in Lutterworth in 1881.

Her grandson– my grandfather – was George Henry Shipman (1871-1951) who had eight siblings. My father Charles (1911 -1968) had two brothers, Thomas and John, and their branch of the family moved to Watford in around 1910/11.

I believe that neither of his brothers had any children. Through the records I have found, it would seem that there were lots of Shipmans in the Lutterworth area during the 19th and 20th centuries.

I am hoping that one of your readers might have further information that they would be willing to share.

I would also be interested to hear if there is a local history group who may be able to point me in the right direction.

I can be contacted by email at lizfisher56@hotmail.comZClick here to email Liz Fisher.

Liz Fisher, Kent

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