Expect food prices to rise next year

This year’s harvest is well down in yields in the UK and also throughout the world.

The reasons are mainly due to weather pattens being different to the norm. In the UK this year started with a drought follow by the wettest summer within living memory, coupled with a lack of sunlight.

Other parts of the world have suffered for different reasons but the results have been the same with low yields.

In addition, an ever-increasing world population means that existing food supplies will have to feed more mouths.

In the UK the problem is being increased with the taking of good growing land for building purposes thus reducing even further the amount of food that can be grown for domestic consumption. Thus the UK relies on imports to keep the supermarkets selves filled.

Whatever happens to next year’s harvest, one thing is certain: prices will rise to ensure the producers’ profit margins are maintained.

With household budgets being under pressure, it will mean that a family’s health will suffer in the long term due to a poorer diet if they cannot afford the price increases.

C Osborne,

Hillside Way, Weston Favell, Northampton.

Chron columns

Talking to giants

I was struck by three items in the very good Chron edition last week.

What a terrible mistake Kerry Provenzano made in not going to university. My days as an undergraduate are long past but I still remember them as the most exciting days of my life.

Not only did I make friends from a wide variety of cultures and social backgrounds but I had the opportunity to listen, and talk, to giants like Bertrand Russell and Eric Hobsbawm. Where else could I have done all that while, at the same time, having the opportunity to fully develop whatever potential I had?

John Griff’s column Mother Nature humbles us all caught my eye as well because we seem to be hearing a lot about Mother Nature just recently. Both presidential candidates hold her entirely to blame for the inundations in the United States whereas, if things go right, they fall over themselves to give God the credit.

This suggests that God is only half-in-charge and so should we be addressing our prayers elsewhere when the next storm threatens?

Finally, I have to respond to the allegations of political bias on the part of the Chron contained in Lyn Pepper’s letter Slanting to the socialists. The suggestion is absurd.

I think most people on the Left who read the paper would claim the opposite (how could they do otherwise when columns by John Grosvenor feature regularly?) and it follows that when both sides think you are biased, you have probably got it about right.

Political history is badly skewed in the letter as well when it is claimed that Conservative governments were never spendthrift. Lyn Pepper needs telling of the occasion when an outgoing Conservative Chancellor left a note for his Labour successor which said succinctly: “Sorry: the money’s all gone”.

Lynn Pepper is not right when accusing the Chron of bias but is still entitled to hold that opinion. I remember when a ridiculous opinion, posing as fact, was offered to Aneurin Bevan. “That’s not an opinion,” roared the great Nye. “That’s an emotional spasm”.


Michael Harper,

Rushmere Road, Northampton.

Labour’s Legacy

Still counting the cost

Despite being a former Labour supporter for over 4o years, prior to the disastrous reign of Blair and Brown for 13 years, I wholeheartedly support the sentiments of Lyn Pepper in Readers View last week.

Thanks to the shameless, something for nothing, benefit handouts culture, created by the previous Government, now costing each working family £3,000 annually, the UK has the lowest means-tested pension rate in Western Europe for retired people who paid taxes all of their working lives.

Half of our streetlights remain switched off, thousands of unnecessary staff have been axed in local authorities and in hospitals since 2010, because New Labour spent money we didn’t have!

They allowed public employees’ incomes to double from 1997, as did the council tax and the TV licence fee, all now frozen by the Conservatives in an attempt to clear the terrible financial mess left behind.

Uncontrolled mass immigration has caused this country massive problems, overloading the infrastructure, schools, roads, water and power and it has also created a big housing shortage.

The NHS has become an international world service. Three million people, plus an estimated one million illegal migrants have streamed into the country and 1,300 continue to arrive every day, many from Eastern Europe, in most cases taking jobs of the out-of-work indigenous population.

So, isn’t it blindingly obvious what is wrong with bankrupt UK? Withdraw £9billion foreign aid, stop IMF contributions, but most importantly resign from the corrupt unaudited EU which costs us £22,000 every minute!

Keith Jackson,

Tavistock Close, Northampton.

police commissioner

Tory grins a turn-off

As soon as I saw the picture “Blue Cheese” with all those forced-grinning Conservative faces, I knew straight away that I would not vote for Adam Simmonds to be the county’s PCC!

His “I will” statement had to be read and re-read to be believed and that’s not including the “I wants”.

Just his association with the Conservatives and their inability to run this town and county drives me to vote for Jim MacArthur (UKIP) or John Norrie.

There is too much pally-pally in the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties which has seen the Northampton town and county reach such an unstable, law-breaking, unbalanced society!

Derek Bandey,

Newnham Road, Northampton.

Politicising the police

Several people with an interest in the way this country is veering towards totalitarianism, formenting civil wars in far-off countries and diverting the people with bread (which we can still get) and circuses (all animals barred), have expressed disquiet at the party politicisation of the police with the up-coming elections.

So you now have the chance to vote for a party political police force, just like the ones they had in East Germany and other friendly bankrupt “democracies”.

So do you boycott or vote non-political? The choice, such as it is, is yours . . . for now.

Ian Whittaker,


Voting on party lines

Locally, the PCC election is generating as much interest as a general election. It is clear that the candidates are similarly running a full-time campaign. They are covering a population well in excess of a parliamentary constituency.

This is fully compatible with the perceived Government’s intention that it should be a role for a politician. Indeed, some candidates seem to be spending huge sums on the campaign, beyond the scope of an individual.

This is for a job with uncertainties, sat between the Government and the police. The whole thing seems poorly though-out. Since one would expect anyone successful at the PCC role to re-stand, will he be paid to spend his last three months to canvas for re-election.

It is known that people tend to vote on party lines: does this mean that a county authority effectively controls the police force? It seems some that some political parties are to brainwash supporters into voting for “their” candidate.

Whereas in a Parliamentary election, the winning candidate forms part of a grouping, the successful PCC will be in control. Thinking voters shudder at the potential pitfalls.

Colin Bricher,

Broadmead Avenue,

local poll

Parishes should split

On November 15, residents of Wootton and East Hunsbury will be able to cast their vote in the local poll on whether the current parish council should be replaced by two separate parish councils; East Hunsbury PC and Wootton PC.

We believe that residents’ interests will be best served by having their own parish councils that can focus on the issues that matter to their community, as opposed to the current one-size-fits-all approach which is wasteful and inefficient.

The proposal that we have put together will see all current services maintained, but over time allow those priorities to be changed to reflect the evolving needs of the separate communities.

East Hunsbury has grown up now, and should no longer be seen as an annex of Wootton village. There comes a time in life when we all have to let go of things that we have nurtured, and now is the time for East Hunsbury to develop its own community identity.

Our proposal, which has been fully costed, and independently verified, will see a reduction in the Wootton parish council tax of eight per cent and a reduction in East Hunsbury parish council tax of 16 per cent.

This will be achieved by cost savings and abandoning the present parish council’s policy of hoarding taxpayer’s money. This year alone, £85,000 of unallocated funds have been raised from local parish taxpayers.

The proposal will also address the problem of the disparity in the number of parish councillors. Wootton has only four, while East Hunsbury has eight. Why should East Hunsbury have a veto over matters that affect Wootton?

We believe that smaller, more efficient councils, closer to and more in touch with their communities are the way forward, and urge all residents of Wootton and East Hunsbury to vote “yes” in the parish split referendum.

Liam Costello,

Wootton Parish Split Group.


Destroying our culture

Further to the letter on October 18 from Olga Ivarnikova, Foreign help for the NHS, this person writes some interesting information, however, its content is simplistic.

The NHS would still survive even if we didn’t have all the foreigners mentioned by her. What is the evidence that the English etc do not want the job? There will be many other variables than that of the recruitment from other countries.

Mass immigration and the influx of Eastern Europeans to this country have caused major problems for all our institutions, of which the NHS is one (of course the powers-that-be are in denial).

Yes there are many foreign doctors, nurses, etc, helping to deliver care for the NHS. One of the major problems is the language barrier for patients to contend with.

Many foreigners who are treated by the NHS have never made contributions through National Insurance.

The biggest disgrace of all is that those who have paid the most in National Insurance contributions, the elderly, are lucky if they get any care.

So Olga Ivarnikova, the majority of this country wants mass immigration stopped. It is destroying our culture and all the things we hold dear.

V Graham-Hole,

Elgin Street, St James End, Northampton

street fair

I can’t wait for next year

It is so good to see the return of the fantastic St Crispin’s Fair. Having taken my 10-year-old grandson on both Monday and Tuesday afternoon, I am not sure who had the most pleasure.

A total success. I can’t wait for next year.

How did they get so much into such little spaces, ie, the Oblivion sited by All Saints?

Heather Murtagh,

Exeter Place, Northampton.

sea cadets

Impressive youngsters

In common with many of my generation who lived through World War Two, I have often criticised today’s youth.

I was therefore delighted and most impressed by the attitude, kindness and respect accorded to my wife and I when I recently had the privilege of addressing the full parade of local Sea Cadets at TS Laforey in Becket’s Park.

They were all smart, disciplined, attentive and respectful, a credit to their CO, Lt Clare Read, and her fellow instructors. I had half expected to be regarded as an out-of-touch old fogey, which only goes to show there are always lessons to be learned, even in ones twilight years!

Jim Price,