Your report, “Simmonds vows to appoint new team”, Chronicle & Echo, November 29, has left me confused, shocked, and incandescent with anger.
Adam Simmonds is now our Police and Crime Commissioner, and has decided to appoint “a team of experts and aides to take on the job of running Northamptonshire Police”. Then, underneath that article is a second one, where he tells us, “there’s no more money.” So, plenty of money for his “experts and aides”, but nothing else?
I am furious at this. This is absolutely outrageous at a time when the police are being cut back, and the man’s lack of sensitivity is astonishing. He has already apparently appointed two of his “key allies from his recent election”, Peter Heaton and Kathryn Buckle, but does he not realise how this looks to the general (taxpaying) public? To the victor belongs the spoils, eh? As he says in your article, “this role was never about making things cheaper”, but neither was it supposed to be about loads more “experts and managers”, and certainly not about croneyism in appointing friends and allies to highly paid public posts, funded by the taxpayer. I have not felt this angry in a long, long time, and for a government dedicated to cutting the cost of public services, this is turning into a financial debacle that we are simply expected to live with, while the new PCC gets on with building his little empire at the expense of policing in Northamptonshire. This is not what I expected, and is not what we deserve. This is not democracy in action, it is a shameful disgrace.
N P Tweddle
Junction Road, Northampton
Police staff pay price
I was disturbed to read your two articles in last week’s Chronicle & Echo concerning the new Police Commissioner, Adam Simmonds (Conservative). The first half of the page was devoted to Mr Simmonds’ plans to “surround himself with a team of experts and aides”. The first four people that Mr Simmonds has appointed to his team include a former election agent for the Northamptonshire Conservative party and two former colleagues from Northamptonshire County Council. Could Mr Simmonds please tell us just what exactly their area of expertise is?
He also states that although he hopes to keep within a budget of £800,000 he would be willing to go over this amount.
While on the second part of the page, where Mr Simmonds refers to police officers and other staff, he tells them “there is no more money and jobs cannot be guaranteed”. How is it that there is no more money yet he is able to find the funds for his team of experts?
Is this a new police authority at the expense of frontline policing and public protection? The public wants more police offers and community support officers visible on the streets, not fewer.
I do not believe that the handful of people who voted for Mr Simmonds believed that they would be paying for more than 10 (unelected) people to join him on his gravy train. Quite frankly, as far as I am concerned the whole thing is a complete farce and the only people who will benefit are Mr Simmonds and his well paid team while the public, police officers, PCSOs and other staff will pay the price.
Longland Road Northampton
Thank you for donation
On behalf of the British Heart Foundation in Northampton, may I please thank anyone who has made a donation in memory of Mr Alastair Fawn, the recently deceased proprietor of the Food Hall in St Giles Street? I am very happy to confirm receipt of £55 and will ensure that all donations are forwarded to the BHF regional offices.
Paul Flatt, treasurer
Stimpson Avenue, Northampton,
Cats still need help
Another year draws to a close, and the animal kingdom continues to suffer.
Over the last 12 months, the Jerry Green Dog Charity, and Rabbit Rescue have both disappeared, and lack of funding for the remaining charities means that they are running on a shoestring. Cruelty also persists in the food chain, and it has been proven that even the RSPCA Freedom Foods are not what they appear to be. The only way to avoid cruelty is not to eat meat.
May I appeal once again to the kindness of your readers for donations of cat food or of money, so that I can continue with my work with the feral and stray cats of Northamptonshire, as I now provide for more than 100 hungry mouths. If anyone has waterproof shelters that these unfortunates could use, particularly through the winter months, they would also be grateful appreciated.
I would like to thank the RSPCA for the support that they have given over the years in neutering the cats, and, of course thanks to all your readers who have been so generous in the past, and who I hope are able to continue to support me.
Wycliffe Road, Northampton
No help from the banks
My daughter, Caroline Hamblin is launching a new venture, ie a men’s and ladies hairdressing salon in Duston.
She is 27 years old, with two children, is ambitious and very good at her profession.
I appreciate that there is nothing new about anyone opening a new hairdressing salon, but my point is that she has only been able to do it by family helping in decorating , and with a small financial loan.
Will the banks ever help businesses get going?
Sir Robert Hamblin
Fitzwilliam Leys, Higham Ferrers
NEW town parishes
Minority get their way
Regarding your article, “Jimmy’s End council plan is soundly rejected”. As a matter of interest from a population of 3,722 only 338 people turned up to vote.
The main reason for this I believe is voter apathy. Half of the residents of St James are not local to the area and there was also the narrow mindedness of some people, scaremongering about cost etc.
I read with interest our local borough councillors comments about residents’ knowledge of the fantastic job that the Residents’ Association does in response to local issues. At a general residents association meeting of 3,722 residents, 30 attend, hardly representative of St James End, somewhat like the parish council turnout. It’s important to understand the residents’ association has no power other than they can be an inconvenience to those who have to make the decisions and were elected to do so.
However a local minority have made a decision for the majority. End of story in this country.
Elgin Street, St James End, Northampton
Reunion for ‘Gaff’ club
In the 1960s there was a nightclub in Banbury called the “Gaff “ which at that time was way ahead of it’s time for a small town like Banbury.
It was mainly used by the “MODS” of that era and the music played was Soul,R&B and pop of the day.
Some of the acts that appeared there were Tom Jones,Alan Price,Georgie Fame along with many others.
As the club became more popular,people came from all over the Midlands, including Northampton and surrounding districts.
In August 2012,I organised a reunion which was held in Banbury and more than 60 people came, bearing in mind many of us are now in our 60s it was really good to see so many.
The night was such a success that I was asked to organise another one for 2013 but to include people that came from Northampton and district.
I am trying to contact anyone who is still around to contact me for more information regarding the next reunion.
My contact details are as follows:
Telephone : 01788 576081
Facebook: Ann – Ken Fitton
Buchanan Road, Rugby
Memories of Linells
I was interested in your article on November 8 about Nigel Wagstaff wanting more Britons to “ham it up”. This they did for more than 50 years from a small factory in Cambridge Street, Semilong. This was Linnells Meat Products and the hams were delivered every morning from Norfolk to be cured and cooked in the “old fashioned way”.
I was secretary there and our six vans went out all around the town and county. We also received fresh beef every day to produce our famous potted beef, from a secret recipe! Potted salmon paste was produced before the price was too high for us. Other products handmade were sausages, scotch eggs, cornish pasties, chicken pies, steak pies, faggots etc. Many pubs were our customers especially for wedding catering and of course every street had a corner shop where 2oz or 4g of potted beef was weighed onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, a cheap tea, not forgetting the butter on the top! Happy memories (now flats!)
Joyce Jones (Mrs)
Ecton Brook House, Northampton
Free TV licences
With budgeting a priority in winter, I am writing to remind readers that anyone aged 75 or over is eligible for a free TV licence for their main address. There are currently more than 15,500 free TV Licences in force in Northampton. With more than 387,000 people in England due to turn 75 this year, TV Licensing are reminding older TV Licence holders in Northampton they will be entitled to a free TV Licence on their 75th birthday.
Eligible people can register online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/over75 or by calling 0300 790 6073. The free licence will cover all the equipment in the property, meaning family or carers living in the same home could also benefit.
Anyone aged 74 or over can begin planning for the concession immediately by applying for a short-term licence which will last up to 11 months.