Having survived a referendum and, more recently, a General Election – both conducted with animosity and dubious honesty across the political spectrum – it seems likely that in the not too distant future we will have to suffer the process yet again.
It’s either that or witness the undignified spectacle of a party leadership bloodbath, not a pretty thought, particularly as it raises (don’t laugh, it could happen) the possibility of a certain Donald Trump, president of the United States and bumbling Boris Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, surely making Bush and Blair appear a group of cuddly toys.
J W Blaney,
There has been two letters in The Wokingham Paper recently concerning the possible dangers of not having a filter light for traffic turning right from Reading Road into the station link road.
Yet the biggest danger at that junction has been totally overlooked.
When one approaches Reading Road junction from the station there are two traffic islands both displaying blank white discs indicating traffic can pass on either side.
That is fine for the left hand island separates traffic turning left towards Woosehill from that turning toward the town centre. The second island should have a keep left arrow to prevent traffic going to the right of it against ongoing traffic.
As regular users of the road will know there are still occasionally drivers who don’t realise that after the station the road reverts to two-way traffic and they drive on the wrong side until confronted by oncoming vehicles.
It’s an accident waiting to happen.
Locals will recall that despite repeated warnings from the public the council only erected a no entry sign at the bottom of Station Hill following a minor accident, are they waiting for the same thing here?
I did point it out to Cllr Richards, the now deposed former Executive Member for Highways, but he wasn’t bothered.
Peter Humphreys, via email
Nannies can help fix domestic abuse
I note from the report in The Wokingham Paper that the new leadership at Wokingham Borough Council is to focus on the prevention of domestic abuse as its priority.
There are also new proposals for a national strategy to tackle this problem – to be adopted, if agreed, in September.
Proposals for harsher punishments, and longer prison sentences for abusers, will not help to solve the problem – because people who neglect and abuse their children do so because they were neglected and abused by their parents – who were neglected and abused by theirs!
They can’t deliver childcare – because they don’t know what childcare is!
I think that such people should be provided with specially trained resident nannies. This idea is already in operation, to an extent, by the excellent charity, Home Start. They provide trained volunteers – who are, themselves, experienced parents – to help struggling families with at least one child under the age of five.
I am thinking of full-time resident nannies for those families with the greatest degree of mental illness and inadequacy.
The ‘Baby P’ case would never have happened if Tracey Connelly had been thus supervised all the time.
I can already hear the cries of horror at the costs involved. But would it cost more? The aim is not the short-term one of making life easy for inadequate families, but is the long-term one of breaking the cycle of abuse in the next generation.
Our current system of having social workers visiting and making reports, of returning mentally ill mothers to hospital when they break down under stress, of taking their children into care, and of sending abusers to prison – doesn’t work in the best interests of the children, but does cost a lot of money!
Trained resident nannies would demonstrate excellent childcare to those who have never had it, and, no doubt, the nannies would find themselves having to nanny the parents, as well as the children! We have an example with our own members – both – ladies who suffered very severe postnatal depression.
One had a brilliant nanny – paid for by her husband’s employer. Her boys are now both hard-working adults – successfully raising families of their own.
The other did not get help with her infant son – who now spends his adult life as an unemployable heroin addict!
The nannies are not Mary Poppins! There is no magic in mental health, but Wokingham Borough Council should try out this idea. It works!
Pam Jenkinson, The Wokingham Crisis House
Economical with the truth
Having read the letters from Clive Jones and Andy Croy, I could not let their comments go without adding my own.
Clive Jones claims to have campaigned effectively in giving Wokingham voters a choice, a choice of what? A party that repeatedly claims that it has done this and done that in local areas, yet is just piggy backing on the works of others, with little input from the Lib Dems, just check any of the various council minutes and see what lack of impact this party actually has.
A flashy multi-pictured leaflet is just that, no substance behind the headlines where Mr Jones repeatedly photobombs everything. He then rants about the layout of the Conservative party as to how they have varying members, what does he expect in a group of people – totalitarianism where all must obey?
Yet this is a man who claims to fear for the Northern Ireland peace process, yet apparently is quite happy to belong to a party that forced its own leader to quit because of his Christian beliefs.
I loved the comments from Mr Croy regarding Labour’s vision of the future and how Theresa May will be throwing taxpayers money at Northern Ireland.
Interesting that this comes from a man whose party has promised the Earth to all and sundry with little regard for how this was either to be achieved, or paid for, but then that has never bothered Labour in the past and will not in the future.
It is also easy to gain voters when your party is making promises to remove student tuition fees, increase benefit spending, increased child care etc, especially when you know that you will never have to step up and carry out the promises/bribes.
I was amazed at the turn out by students during the election, but saddened that they had fallen for the same “bribe” promised by Mr Corbyn as had been used by Nick Clegg, thankfully he was found out, just proving how economical the Lib Dems and Labour are with the truth.
David Anderson, via email
Bake for breast cancer
Like many of your readers, I know first-hand how devastating a breast cancer diagnosis can be as I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer when I was 46.
As I love baking and having family round, I’m encouraging people to host an Afternoon Tea this summer to raise vital funds for the wonderful charity Breast Cancer Care, who support people like me.
It’s the only UK wide charity providing free care, support and information to those living with breast cancer, providing somewhere to turn so they feel less isolated and more in control.
It’s easy to get involved in the Afternoon Tea fundraiser, simply choose a date and invite your friends and family over to enjoy a lovely cuppa with some delicious cake and tasty sandwiches.
However you do yours, all money raised will enable the charity to continue to be there for the 691,000 people living with breast cancer in the UK today.
It’s been a year since I won MasterChef and I still enjoy coming up with delicious creations so I’ve created a special gluten free scone recipe that’s perfect for your very own Afternoon Tea. Just go to the Breast Cancer Care website to download it for free.
For recipes and to take part, sign up for your free fundraising kit at breastcancercare.org.uk/cuppa
On behalf of Breast Cancer Care
I’m writing to let your readers know that right now in Berkshire there are 46 people currently waiting for a kidney transplant, and every single day in the UK one person will die whilst waiting for their kidney. This has to change.
Most people don’t want to think about their kidneys, but the reality is that one in eight people will develop Chronic Kidney Disease which can affect their general health and may ultimately mean they might need dialysis or a transplant in order to stay alive.
The average time waiting for a kidney on the transplant list is three years and there are almost 30,000 people on dialysis in the UK, a treatment that leaves patients hooked up to machines for hours at a time for several days every week, which has a knock-on impact on their ability to study, work, socialise and ultimately live their lives to the full.
Kidney patients constantly tell us that greater awareness of kidney disease and the impact it can have on their lives would be life-changing for them, which is why we’re calling on your readers to become kidney aware by visiting www.kidneycareuk.org. We are here to ensure that no-one in Berkshire has to face kidney disease alone.
Paddy Tabor MVO
Chief Executive, Kidney Care UK
3 The Windmills, St Mary’s Close,
Turk Street, Alton
Hampshire GU34 1EF
Get children in tune with dogs
Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity is urging children, parents and carers to learn how to stay safe around dogs during its first Be Dog Smart Wee, which runs until Sunday.
This initiative comes after NHS data reveals that over the past five years, children under 16 accounted for 8,000 hospital admissions as a result of dog bites.
The charity’s team of Education and Community Officers is delivering 278 workshops in 136 schools across the UK, offering practical tips such as don’t approach a dog you don’t know, and never leave your child alone with a dog.
Downloadable resources and information are available to everyone www.bedogsmart.org.uk
Dogs Trust Head of Education