Reader Letters: May 23

Shameful action of parking attendants

I feel it necessary to share my experience with you with the hope that you can bring this to the attention of the people who can make amends for the shameful acts of some of our council’s parking attendents.

Last week, as did many, attended the Circus Starr show at Midsummer Meadows. It was an amazing show of skill and fun and all to raise money for the children’s wards at the Northampton General Hospital.

As a family we arrived for the evening performance at around 6.40pm and found the car park at the Meadows to be full with cars owned by those attending the earlier show. I was fortunate enough to find a regular space and paid for parking. Others were not so fortunate and were forced to use some of the many empty “Reserved Mon – Fri” spaces, they also paid their parking fee and headed off to enjoy the show.

During the interlude the ring announcer declared that parking attendents were issuing tickets to the cars parked in the reseved bays 
causing a number of 
spectators to rush to their cars to prevent a ticket. Some were lucky some were already too late as there were THREE parking attendents issuing tickets.

It wasn’t until they were shamed by their actions that they hopped back in their van and 
left.

I can’t help thinking that this was nothing more than a money making exercise taking advantage of a situation. Some of the vehicle 
ticketed were those of families with disabled children.

All we wanted to to do was have an enjoyable evening supporting a 
good cause, but it seems others had a different idea.

Nick Blundell

Northampton

PLANNING

Opposition to store is not unanimous

I note (Chronicle & Echo, May 16, 2013) that an application to build a Co-op convenience store near the site of the Ash Tree Service Station, Main Road, Duston, has been refused by Northampton Borough Council planning committee on the grounds of a 800-signature petition which I understand was partly organised by the owners of a convenience store near to the proposed new store who obviously have a commercial interest in this development not taking place.

I note that Councillor Dennis Meradith made the statement: “Nearly 800 people have signed a petition and more have sent us letters, that’s a tremendous amount so I’ve got the support of the people of Duston by saying I’m against this.”

I would like to emphasise that he does not have the backing of many of the people of Duston considering its size with an 800-signature petition and question how was this petition presented to the signatories and was it done in such a way that they felt obligated to support and sign it?

I think Councillor Meredith is coming to conclusions without giving the residents of Duston the opportunity for a proper, unbiased, consultation and he is out of touch with the needs of many of the residents living around and about the location who, for various reasons, are unable to travel further afield to shop and are at present very limited in the range of quality produce available to them at reasonable prices and convenience because of the lack of a facility such as a Co-op store.

I also note that Councillor Mike Hallam added: “My concern is that if this development is allowed, this store would eat up all the other shops.” I find this a strange point of view from a member of the Conservative Party who are supposed to be in favour of competition and the free market place. I would 
also question his knowledge as to the needs of so many ordinary people of Duston when he has never taken the trouble to give a proper unbiased consultation to those people on the proposed store.

You will also note that the public were asked to leave the council meeting so that private discussions could take place. I thought we had a democratic and open council. If so then it is time they started to act in an open and democratic way at planning meetings this again is not in the interests of the people of Duston.

I would say that this decision approved by elected but out of touch borough and parish councillors gives commercial advantage to
the existing shops by depriving people of Duston choice and convenience and the opportunity to actually improve the proposed development area to a very useful and much needed facility and a proper and full consultation should be held because as a long standing resident of Duston I believe many people would support this proposed new Co-op on this site.

Tony Dearsley

Duston

BUS STATION

Nottingham’s bus station will shame us

Before getting too excited about the new bus station councillors David Mackintosh and Tim Hadland should visit Mansfield in Nottinghamshire to look at the new bus station there. Although Mansfield is half the size of Northampton the bus station has 16 bays, two more than at the Fishmarket. One of these is reserved for the National Express coaches that are reportedly excluded from the new bus station here.

Mansfield has two entrance and exit routes, compared with one of each in Northampton, and parking space for six buses where the Fishmarket site has none. The passenger entrance crosses a one way street half the width of Sheep Street which has a traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing. A covered bridge links the bus station to the nearby railway station.

Once they have compared what Nottinghamshire has provided for bus drivers 
and passengers with Northamptonshire’s effort their best policy would be to maintain an embarrassed silence.

A R Jones

Meadow Close, Duston

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

Professional era should be appreciative

I do not understand why the present Northampton Saints hierarchy does not acknowledge the history of the club that has gone before.

At the Saints’ last home game of the season I attended a reunion of past players. Of the 100 attending only three came from the professional era. Not one board member, player nor member of the coaching staff made an appearance to say welcome. I know it was a busy day, but surely it was worth five minutes of their time?

Do they not realise that those in that gathering and the hundreds of “Jimmies” who had gone before were 
responsible for laying the foundations to enable this club to be as great as it is today?

If this is what is meant by being “professional” then I am very sad.

Barry White

First full-time coach appointed by the Saints, 1970-1973, Ellis Close, Hastings, East Sussex

street lights

Street light switch-on 
is chaotic

Good day from a ravaged Poets Corner in Kingsley. We are having new street lights installed, only on one side though, but I’ve got used to carrying a flashlight.

Easy you might say, no problem there, put new ones in and take the old ones away.

The odd day of inconvenience then bob’s your uncle. Think again. Thanks to Balfour Beatty it has become a nightmare. A week last Wednesday, chummy and his mate dug large holes around 17 old and new lamps, mud and rubble everywhere, no pavement access and two car parking spaces not availiable on most holes.

Never mind, they will be back tomorrow to carry on with the next step. No, they won’t. Friday maybe? No. Saturday and Sunday are obviously non starters. That’s the weekend then – rain, mud and frustrated motorists with nowhere to park. A new week on Monday, surely someone will turn up, won’t they? No.As I write,, no sign of life, heavy rain forecast later in day, so come on Balfour Beatty, let’s have an explanation.

Graham Moseley

Byron Street, Kingley, 
Northampton

ROYAL MAIL

Graffiti has already hit pillar box

It was gratifying to see that the Royal Mail pillar box on Northampton’s Market Square has at last been 
painted in traditional red and black (my letter of 
February 7 to the Chronicle & Echo drew attention to its sad state). A pity that a graffiti 
“artist” has already sprayed some silver scribble onto 
its otherwise pristine surface. Let’s keep a degree of pride locally. No more graffiti!

Keith Perryman

The Rise, Northampton

politics

Changes in climate is not caused by us

UKIP’s most publicised policies are on the EU and immigration. These were particularly attractive to traditional Tory voters, but John Dickie should watch 
out for the less publicised UKIP policy on climate change. Billions of pounds has been paid by domestic and industrial energy consumers in the most insane political gesture of all time. Much of the increase in domestic fuel bills has been squandered on subsidising wind turbines and solar panels which have enriched the wealthy, largely at the expense of the poor, many of whom have been staunch Labour voters. Despite this, global greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise in the last 15 years even though average global temperatures have not. About half the voting public are no longer convinced that human activity is the major cause of climate change and more believe that, even if it were, voluntary emission reductions by the UK will not have any measurable effect. Only adapting to climate change makes any sense to most voters.

In a few months we will have another apocalyptic report from the secretive, self-selecting, self-interested publicly funded “experts” in climate change who work for the IPCC. However, Russia, Canada and Japan have all declined to sign up to a new Kyoto style agreement leaving only the EU, Australia, Switzerland and Norway to make mandatory cuts in their emissions. To earn our way in a competitive world we need cheap and reliable energy. For that we need to repeal the


Climate Change Act and get fracking!

David Holland

St Mary’s Court, Gayton

Aufona needs to be objective

Re Aufona’s somewhat condescending comments on Derek Clark MEP’s recent letters (methinks he doth protest too much), the only reason he has had to write twice recently is to put the record straight on the recent election and remind you of UKIP’s remarkable share of the vote in divisions where we stood, something you seem to want to play down.

If Aufona wishes to be impartial then a little more objectivity would be welcome. If he does wish to criticise he should at least try and snipe rather less and aim for factual substance rather more.

Commentators enjoy a privileged position, but politicians of all hues do their best on behalf of the community and deserve serious coverage. Perhaps then they won’t have to write so often.

Ian Dexter

UKIP Candidate for Moulton Division 2 May

AUFONA writes: Mr Clark has admitted disappointment that UKIP did not win more seats, the true benchmark under our current voting system. If Aufona is not always objective, it’s because it is subjective as, by definition, are so many “commentators”. The C&E gives serious coverage to UKIP and politics generally. Aufona, as most people working in Northamptonshire’s municipal world seem to grasp, modestly attempts to give an amusing diary account about politics, regardless of persuasion. Including UKIP. Methinks I’ve protested enough now...

GRAVEYARD

Who was wielding the strimmer?

I would like to raise the issue about how the entire graveyard of St Andrew’s Church, Great Billing, has been cut, presumably with a strimmer, by some thoughtless gardener, cutting down all the pretty daffs, tulips, primroses and other flower heads from the individual graves. I think this may have been done by a council contractor or employee because I think they now manage the graveyard. It means all the work of the caring relatives to make the grave of their loved one look pretty is for nothing. All the flowers have been destroyed as if everything was just grass. How could anyone be so unthinking as to do this?

Dr Cartwright-Taylor

Northampton

northampton

Why would anyone want to move here?

The local authorities in Northamptonshire are trying to sell Northampton as a wonderful place to move to, I would tell anyone thinking about it. Don’t do it – for the following reasons:

1. No jobs

2. Half the shops 
boarded up

3. Most importantly you need to be able to drive as you cannot rely on Northampton’s public transport as it is horrendous. For people having to get two buses ie A to B, then B to C, you may get to B, but trying to get to C could possibly be a total nightmare. At the bottom, I have pasted the email I sent to Stagecoach, but I know I’ll not get a reply again.

4. No affordable housing

5. Schools overcrowded

The list could go on and on, but if the council and Government do not care, why should we? All I personally want to do is get out of Northampton if I can, but who’d want to move here and buy my house?

Chrissie Vian

East Mead Court, Standens Barn

COBBLERS

Performance at Wembley was woeful

The Cobblers’ performance at Wembley was truly woeful. But the way they failed was no surprise to me. Whenever I’ve watched them this season, I’ve been amazed at the amount of time the ball spends in the air. An unsatisfactory bout of head tennis on the edge of the box is usually followed by a couple of scruffy passes which seem to exhaust the creative skills of midfield. They inevitably follow this by launching the ball upfront. And whoever is playing there seems unable to get his head to it. For the same reason they fail to capitalise on the ammunition provided by their long throw expert. And as for wing play, forget it. If Aidy Boothroyd is there next season he’d do well to buy some players who can actually pass the ball to one another along the ground. And replace the two large gentlemen upfront who simply aren’t fit for purpose.

Tony Boullemier

Boughton