UKIP destined for dustbin of history

UKIP leader Nigel Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage

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Derek Clark, on August 15, illustrates why UKIP’s programme is so vacuous and contemptible.

NATO protected western democracy from Soviet Communism but it was the EEC that cultivated co-operation, integration and mutuality that has resulted in so many decades of peace and prosperity.

The European Union has a higher GDP per capita than the US and more small businesses.

In the US, 14 per cent live in poverty, including 20 per cent of its children and 23 per cent of its elderly. The figures for France, Germany and the UK are six per cent, five per cent and eight per cent.

Mr Clark’s example of Norway is grotesque. Norway enjoys free trade with the EU but because it is not a full member has to abide by all EU trade laws including trade agreements without any input into their formulation.

This model would make our elective representatives in Westminster even more impotent.

Mr Clark also seems to believe that leaving the EU would not adversely affect jobs.

The OECD, Japan, the United States and Goldman Sachs International disagree.

The Global Competitive Report placed the UK eighth out of 144 countries with four other EU countries ahead.

Mr Clark and UKIP must also answer why Germany, which is more regulated and has a more restrictive labour market with a higher EU budget contribution is one of the world’s most successful export nations.

The EU does require reform specifically budget reform, energy policy and democratic accountability.

But I believe when the arguments are placed before the British electorate in a referendum they will vote to remain part of the EU and dismiss UKIP to the dustbin of history.

STEPHEN BLACK

By email

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Don’t give them a pat on the back

It’s all very well East Northants Council giving itself a pat on the back for providing free car parking in the district, but as far as Thrapston is concerned the available public parking is woefully inadequate.

When East Northants Council was first formed 40 years ago, there were two public car parks already in existence in Thrapston serving the town centre – one off Sackville Street and one off Chancery Lane known as the “Bull Ring”.

At that time the population of the town was round about 2,500. The town has now grown to a population of about 6,500.

So how is the provision for town centre parking in 2013?

Yes, you’ve guessed it. It’s exactly the same as it was in 1973.

In 40 years East Northants Council has done nothing to improve public car parking in Thrapston.

Do they care? Obviously not.

Take this for an example.

In 2005 East Northants Council purchased a piece of vacant land in the town centre off a lane with the wonderful name of Cosy Nook.

It paid more than £50,000 of taxpayer’s money for this land which could accommodate about 29 new car park spaces.

Has the council done anything with the land since it bought it? No. What is it now doing with the land? It’s up for sale to the highest bidder.

Why won’t they turn it into a badly needed extra public car park? Because East Northants Council says it can’t afford it.

When Thrapston Town Council asked them to provide a car park on the land so as to improve the increasingly inadequate town centre parking, what was the response? If you want it for a car park, you can buy it off us and do it yourself.

So that would mean the town council having to spend over £50,000 of taxpayer’s money to purchase land already been bought with taxpayer’s money.

So when you hear East Northants Council congratulating itself on its free car parking, remember Thrapston where they don’t really care about providing a decent amount of town centre parking for a rapidly growing town.

DAVID READ

Thrapston resident and East Northants Council member

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This is too high a price to pay

Just read a very interesting article about a gentleman who is planning to leave the country to be with his wife, who cannot enter this country long-term because she is £15,000 short of an amount the Government set as enough to support herself to prevent her becoming a burden on us taxpayers.

Please take a few moments to consider your answer to this question.

How many immigrants to this country from Eastern Europe do you think arrive here with even a fraction of this figure to support themselves?

Judging by commonly known economic histories of these countries, I doubt if many people from them would be able to support themselves here.

We already have enough parasites of our own, without inviting more to come here with so many financial incentives as we currently offer under this current Government.

BRIAN GILLIS

By email

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Motorists paying an extra tax

On Saturday, August 17, I called at Kettering Council’s offices at about 9.15am. I parked legally near the front of reception.

Previously there was a system whereby I could ask for a ticket at reception to put on my car so that, for a visit to the council on business, I would not be charged.

This I would think is a normal business practice.

Tesco does not charge me for shopping with them, neither does the vet nor the GP. However, I paid Kettering Council £1.50 for 15 minutes’ parking.

Furthermore, when I asked why I was now being charged I was told it was to help the funding.

This could be interpreted as imposing an additional tax on me, as a motorist.

From recent articles in the national press I gather it is illegal to impose taxes in England that have not been discussed and voted in by Parliament, a wise and democratic safeguard for the general public.

Could someone please direct me to the section in Hansard in which this Kettering tax has been agreed.

Was I being taxed for my visit?

DAVE LOWRY

Kettering

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Excellent service from 111 number

We received an excellent service from the 111 number a couple of nights ago.

My wife had a hip replacement at Northampton General five weeks ago. I rang 111 about midnight as the area around the scar looked red.

The advisor answered quickly but probably not within 60 seconds and the doctor was more than 10 minutes calling back, but he was excellent.

He decided to visit us from 10 miles away. He examined my wife and by 2am she was taking her first antibiotic pill.

An excellent service example that probably failed to hit arbitrary targets that are unrealistic and fail to measure quality.

Thanks to the NHS for a brilliant job by Northampton General Orthapeadic team and to the 111 Doctor who ensured my wife had no setbacks in her recovery.

TONY HUNTER

Sudborough

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Let’s have a vote on bedroom tax

What is Tory housing policy?

With high unemployment and falling wages, the Government gives the better off incentives to buy. Everyone else pays more rent. In public housing it means imposition of the iniquitous bedroom tax no one voted for.

All credit then to the Wellingborough Tories who either voted for or abstained in a vote not to evict those who fall behind because of this unjust tax.

Shame on the Tory group who went along with evictions of tenants who cannot afford the increased rents, the disabled and families both in and out of work.

Lets have a by-election in Croyland ward to let people have their say on the “Bedroom Tax”.

TONY BANKS

Wellingborough

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Treat all such cases the same

We recently had a case of a Muslim girl being served with food not accepted by her faith – albeit the girl asked for the food.

The dinner lady was dismissed from her job.

Now we have the case of Monty Panesar being served with alcohol in a night club – albeit that he was wearing his Sikh headwear and knowing that it is against the Sikh principles to take alcohol.

Does the bar person now get the same treatment as the dinner lady?

They both committed the same offence – serving a person with what they asked for.

On the other hand why should anyone be punished?

These religious principles only matter to the people who live their lives by them. It is for them to manage.

BARRY TUNN

By email

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Proper cameras are still the best

The camera is still more efficient at taking photographs than smart phones; and some of the modern cameras can send pictures to smartphones as well!

It is also nice to capture the wonderfulce things that Britain and the world offer with both the old and the new, modern technology.

JACK RICKARD

Rushden

Have you got any stamps or pens?

I am writing to see if anyone can provide me with used stamps, fountain or ballpoint pens and phone cards. I collect these and forward them to The National Kidney Patient Appeal.

ROBERT GIU

26 Kingsway

Wellingborough