Cash for hospitals, not new rail links

Money should be spent on hospitals, not HS2, says Stephen Black
Money should be spent on hospitals, not HS2, says Stephen Black

Monitor, the regulator for health services for foundation trusts, currently rates Kettering Hospital both in terms of finance and governance as red, which is a disaster for which the board of directors should be ashamed.

A proposed cut of four per cent in the amount that the hospital can charge for operations in 2014-15 will exacerbate an already critical funding shortfall.

Wages and costs have not reduced so it will result in the hospital having to absorb a revenue cut of approximately £3m.

In addition, when a patient is treated in A&E the hospital only receives 30 per cent of the actual cost of treatment, the remaining 70 per cent is spent on local schemes to “manage” demand.

With an ever increasing need for accident and emergency services because of population growth the hospital should receive the full cost for the treatment it provides.

The public should demand transparency as to exactly where this huge amount of public money is being spent.

Why should Monitor be allowed to insist hospitals treat increasing numbers of emergency admissions for just 30 per cost of the cost of doing so and how is the Government allowed to continue to claim that it will protect frontline services while at the same time cutting a further £500m from hospital budgets.

Inflation in the NHS is always higher than the official rate, so a “zero per cent budget increase” is a huge cut.

The Government and Monitor are accountable to Parliament and the electorate and should be held accountable for breaking promises with regard for NHS funding.

This is not protecting front line services.

The NHS suffers while £30bn can be blithely promised for HS2 to save 20 minutes on a train journey from Birmingham to London.


Barton Seagrave

Pheasants should be under control

Your tragic report of a motorcyclist’s death following a collision with a pheasant is not the first avoidable incident of its kind.

Livestock straying onto a road and causing an accident is the responsibility in law of the livestock owner.

But about 40 million pheasants are released without responsibility for a minority selfish blood sport every year in the UK.

Released pheasants should be ringed and responsibility enforced by law.


Animal Aid

Neighbours were so good after fall

I would like to thank my neighbours, Peter and Heather Watts, who came to my rescue on Sunday, October 6, following a fall in my garden.

Also to Steve the paramedic and Laura and Ian from the ambulance.

I am so grateful to them all for their kindness, warmth and good humour, enabling me to overcome the trauma.


Barton Seagrave

Make a switch and save money

I read that the price of gas could go up over nine per cent, which is not acceptable.

If you want to know how many watts you are using the equation is as follows.

Your gas units multiplied by 2.83 multiplied by 39.4 multiplied by 1.022640 divided by 3.6.

As you can see, it is easy everyone can do it.

I used Uswitch and for our area the cheapest supplier is Scottish Power and you can fix the price until 2015.

The council should supply a service to residents to help them on this problem and save them money which is important in these hard times.



Opportunity to go back to Egypt

I am organising a 14-day Suez Canal Zone/Cairo Campaign reunion visit from April 26 to May 9.

I know that many service people who live in the area were stationed there during the trouble times of the 1950s.

Many of our service personel died and are buried in the cemeteries that we visit at Ismailia, Fayid, Moascar and tel-el-kebir.

Also if any of your readers would like to join us on our next group I still have a few places left and will send full details to any of your readers who may be interested in joining our group visit.

We will be visiting Cairo and staying at a hotel in Ismailia overlooking Lake Timsa and visiting other places in the Canal Zone.

I am limited to 30 places on this reunion visit due to the fact it is still a military restricted area, but spouses are welcome.


Middle East Land Forces Association

PO Box 99

Spalding, PE11 9NS

We should all be microchipped

A microchip the size of a pinhead could hold your entire life progress as a sat nav.

Scanned, it would give your complete identity, which could be updated.

If every child born were microchipped they would never be abducted, no-one would ever get lost, no dementia sufferer would wander far.

Crime would for the best part be eliminated, all bodies immediately identifiable.

Me, a nobody, sees the obvious benefits of microchipping everyone.

The chip could be updated with bank accounts, health issues if you collapsed in the street, the name of your doctor, current medication, your criminal record, only accessible by police or doctors and firewalled against hackers, just like a computer.

This would truly be a world changer, but will never happen as crime, war and death all create wealth and if suddenly the world got peaceful it just could not cope.

Some invasion of privacy to change the world would be worth it don’t you think?



Privatisation has struck a nerve

The privatisation of Royal Mail has hit a nerve in all our emotions, irrespective of political affiliation.

It is more than 500 years old and made a profit of £400m last year.

An essential anchor in our stability is the existence of traditional national institutions which are owned by the taxpayers.

The subtle moves towards the privatisation of our beloved NHS has been an informative forerunner.

The destruction of both is not only economic, social and pragmatic nonsense, it undermines our national identity, pride and sense of common values, and our shared responsinility for each other.

It is a mindset which is driven by ideological madness to benefit the few at the expense of the many.

The sale process was instructive in itself. It was sold for £750m less than its true value and 70 per cent of the shares went to City fat cats to maker a fast buck.

Furthermore, the Royal Mail has a huge property portfolio in prime development areas in London and across the country.

This provides the new private company with the opportunity to sell these assets for development and make huge profits for the shareholders.

Then there was the monstrous bribe to the 150,000 employees offering them 10 per cent of the shares which approximates to £2,000 each before many of them are sacked.

Mr Cameron is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

I suspect he will pay a big price in 2015.



There should be a maximum wage

Everyone now supports a minimum wage. Many support an increase in the minimum wage, but am I the only person in favour of a maximum wage.



Time is running out to have your say

Time is running out for local people to tell the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England what they think of proposals for new council ward boundaries across Wellingborough.

The public consultation closes on November 11.

The commission’s draft recommendations propose that Wellingborough Borough Council should have 36 councillors in the future, the same as the current arrangements.

The proposals mean those councillors would represent three single-member, six two-member and seven three-member wards across the borough.

We are keen to hear local views about our boundary proposals before we finalise them in February 2014.

We want to make sure ward boundaries across Wellingborough reflect the identities and interests of local communities as well as delivering electoral fairness for voters.

This is your last chance to have your say before we finalise the recommendations.

Local people can have their say directly by visiting

The full recommendations and detailed maps are also available on the Commission’s main website at

The commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for Wellingborough.

If you would like to make a submission to the commission, please write or email by November 11 to The Review Officer (Wellingborough), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, Layden House, 76-86 Turnmill Street, London EC1M 5LG.

Alternatively, send an email to


Local Government Boundary Commission