Letters, August 26: Margaret Thatcher statue, residents' parking in Bristol and badger cull is 'purely political'
More to town than Lady T's birthplace
As a Grantham man, born and bred, I was greatly interested in your article on the proposed Lady Thatcher statue for Grantham.
The town centre green, opposite the town hall, already has two large statues in situ, plus a recently installed war memorial to those killed after 1945. The statue of Sir Isaac Newton in front of the guildhall is the best known by many.
Next to the guildhall is the town museum which used to house the town library. Lady Thatcher would have used that for her studies, as I did later.
It should be remembered that her father was a mayor and town councillor during the war years. The town also boasts two VCs.
Why no movement on parking scheme?
Open letter to Bristol Mayor George Ferguson
It was agreed at full council in June that a cross-party working group of councillors should be set up to look into the introduction of residents' parking schemes (RPS).
Nothing seems to have been done about this. And I gather that when the matter was raised with you recently, you said you saw no need for it.
Not for the first time you have flaunted your contempt for the democratic process.
Let me assure you that the working group will almost certainly proceed and it will look churlish of you to be seen to boycott it.
I'm asking you to reconsider your position on this and co-operate with councillors as we, the Liberal Democrats, in common with the other parties, have done with you when you set up several all-party groups to resolve issues you submitted to them earlier this year.
We have reached out to work with you. Why can you not do the same for us in a contentious area of policy which, as you well know, has excited more interest in Bristol than almost any other issue since you took power?
Our party is not alone in believing that, far from there being no need for a working group on RPS, the difficulties surrounding the introduction of residents' parking zones make this imperative.
In a strong spirit of co-operation, my colleague, the leader of the Lib Dem group, Councillor Kent, some time ago made public suggestions for improving your RPS proposals which you said – at the time and in public – you found interesting and constructive.
These included much more flexibility on parking permits for businesses and more flexibility for visitors, including provision for an hour's free parking anywhere in the new parking zones.
You have still not said whether you will adopt these particular changes. I urge you, please, to make a public statement about these matters and the setting-up of a working group.
Councillor Christian Martin
Deputy leader, Liberal Democrat Group, Bristol City Council
Proposed slaughter is purely political
In response to the letter by Michael Ashton (Daily Press August 23) concerning badgers and bovine TB, if he so concerned about healthy badgers then why is he happy to see healthy ones shot in this pointless cull. The last time badgers were cage trapped and shot, 80 per cent of them were found to be disease free, so what a waste of life and taxpayers' money.
I've heard there will not be a post-mortem examination on any badgers that are shot this time, which makes this proposed slaughter even more senseless and purely political.
West Country Badger Patrol Group
Unelected politicians must be kept in line
I would like to send a big "hear, hear" to Tony Simpson for speaking out against Prince Charles, who insists on using the government apparatus as his personal drop-in service, by virtue of his blue-blooded status.
It is good to see that more people are looking past the pro-royalist propaganda that papers such as this vomit out, and are taking the issue of Royal abuse of position and power seriously.
Most of what Charles does is done for his self interest, yet portrayed as in the public interest. He presents himself as a champion of the environment, because more offshore windfarms mean more rent for the Crown Estate, which for arcane and stupid reasons claims rent from the seabed. Furthermore, his business interests include selling bottled water around the world.
Shortly after the lobbying scandal The Independent reported that six government departments have sought Charles' consent on Bills including the London 2012 Olympics, gambling and road safety. This proves that birthright means access and power in the UK. His supporters seem to be trapped into some sado-masochistic fantasy about us being lorded over by an all knowing king-to-be. Elected politicians do not have a monopoly on corruption. The unelected ones need to be kept in line just as much.
Campaign groups in a 'Catch 22' situation
Do you ever wonder why this environment is in such a mess and so little is done to challenge government inaction ?
The answer is simple. All NGOs need money and this money is provided by charitable foundations. The only trouble is you can't use charitable money to campaign against government policy, only when you promote it or try to educate.
Education is good but woe to anyone who oversteps the mark and government decides this. Catch 22 you can't win unless you are a campaigning group and then you get no charitable money
Target health checks to save NHS money
The current health checks ordered by Public Health are certainly a waste of time. Any adult of average intelligence is already aware of the lifestyle they should follow.
It would be much more useful to offer them to those over 60. This is when many of the diseases prevalent in older age begin. Even if not curable, these can be controlled by appropriate action and advice. The earlier this is done, the better the prognosis. For instance, it is currently necessary to fracture a bone before treatment for osteoporosis is started. A few questions will indicate its likelihood of its presence and a non-invasive test will confirm this. Appropriate action would help avoid fractures, thereby giving the sufferer a far better quality of life and saving the NHS thousands of pounds.