November 21: Please speak up to save village green

I saw your article about the public inquiry that will hear our application to register the playing fields at the former Parklands Middle School as a village green.

This inquiry is scheduled to take place between December 8 and 11 and promises to be a real David and Goliath affair.

The county council has spent tens of thousands of pounds (of taxpayers' money) to appoint one of the country's leading barristers to oppose the application. Our only means to counter this is through the strength of our community.

Many hundreds of residents completed our village green questionnaire nearly two years ago and we are once again calling for their support.

While these questionnaires form the backbone of our application, the inspector has indicated that he will give more weight to evidence given in person.

We are therefore seeking volunteers who would be willing to give evidence to the inspector at the inquiry.

All that witnesses will be required to do is to explain to the inspector how they have used the land.

The inquiry will run during the day and also in the evenings, to allow people to give evidence without having to take time off work.

Our list of witnesses has to be completed by next Wednesday and we will be holding a public meeting in the Community Centre on Tuesday, November 26, starting at 7pm.

If any readers feel that they would like to have their say, we would be very keen to talk to them.

They should either come along to our meeting or telephone Brian Cooper on Northampton 452710, or me on Northampton 642902.

Simon Hegarty,

Vice-chairman, Parklands Residents' Association, Northampton.

Listen to flood of rain complaints

Referring to the letter, A bit of rain and estate floods again, from David Hugheston-Roberts, November 11.

Can I ask if anyone from the English Partnership, Environmental Agency or WNDC has noticed that the Ladybrook through Collingtree, East and West Hunsbury, now becomes flooded within a matter of hours after a rain storm, when 10 years ago it would have taken two or three days of heavy rain?

I noted that we had heavy rain on November 2 and 8 during the nights and, at 9-10am the next morning, the brook was in full flood, the path under the bridge was a foot under water and the waterfall was almost level both sides, when the day before the rain it was just a trickle of water.

When are these agencies going to stop blaming Government for setting housing targets, look at sense and reason and start thinking about the existing residents?

They should stop building more and more houses on or close to floodplains (Collingtree, Grange Park, Wootton Fields, Ladybridge roundabouts and Sixfields).

Although I guess that, when the situation gets really bad, most of the decision makers on these quangos will be retired on a good pension and sitting in the sun, a long way from the rain and floods in Northampton.

John Crouch,

Lister Drive, Northampton.

Hospital staff made my stay

Through your pages I would like to comment on the excellent treatment that I received from our National Health Service.

I was admitted to the A&E department late on a Sunday evening, November 2, discharged from Creaton Ward on Thursday, November 6, and had subsequent visits as an out-patient.

At all stages I have received excellent treatment and have been treated with the utmost kindness and respect by every member of the staff, of all ranks, working in an ever-changing and often challenging environment.

I would like to say thank you to all the good people at Northampton General Hospital.

As normal human beings, we must on occasions make the odd mistake.

It is unfortunate that, on these rare occasions, they appear to attract more publicity than they deserve.

People who live in glass houses etc, etc.

Richard Walker,

Lesson Road


Deer should be saved, not culled

Once again, the Deer Initiative has decided there are "too many" deer and that they are "wrecking" woodland.

The coalition – which includes groups that support hunting, shooting and the mass killing of many wild animals and birds who may "interfere" with these deadly past-times – has this week announced that deer in Northamptonshire must be culled to "protect farmland".

Deer – along with most wild animals and birds – are already battling to survive, despite dwindling natural habitat, increased development, pollution and climate change. And the smaller, non-native deer, like muntjacs, are also susceptible to cold weather, arthritis and dog attacks.

Thankfully, most people feel sympathy for their plight and are more than happy to share the natural world with them.

What a shame that the Deer Initiative doesn't share that compassionate view and instead focuses solely on the mass killing of these wonderful animals.

Kate Fowler-Reeves,

Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent.

Bobbies on the beat at all hours

According to Councillor Walker, there was never 24-hour police protection in the past (Chron, November 18, page 6). How many years can he go back?

I have vivid memories of bobbies on the beat at all hours. They used to patrol in pairs in the streets near where I lived and checked shop doors in the middle of the night. I even got to know them and respect them.

Who is Mr Walker kidding? People don't fear crime unless there is an excessive amount of it already.

The words "none so blind" come to mind.

Mr T Tebbutt,



Post Office was supported by us

Neither Grant Bowles nor Andrew Simpson are constituents of mine. One is a Liberal Democrat councillor, the other has stood for the Liberal Democrats in the local elections. Both of them are politically biased.

If they look back at the recommendations of the Treasury Select Committee, on which I sit, they will see that the committee has been criticising the Government for its handling of the Post Office and the Post Office Card Account since its report on "Banking the Unbanked", which was published in 2006. This committee is cross party.

It makes absolutely clear the opposition of the entire committee, myself included, to any moves that would damage the future of the Post Office network.

It also said: "The Post Office customer base, extensive branch network and trusted role in the community means that the Post Office can play a lead role in promoting financial inclusion" and recommended that the Government should take steps to build up the financial services provided in the Post Office.

The decision by the Government to scrap the tendering process and to award the contract for the card account to the Post Office is exactly in line with the policies set out in that report, and also with all of the lobbying that I and others have done since then over the Post Office Card Account.

I am delighted that the Government has made this very positive commitment to the future of the Post Office and its card account.

Sally Keeble MP,

Northampton North.