Drink drivers have nobody to blame but themselves

Taxi firm boss Mike Deely has no sympathy for anyone caught drink driving
Taxi firm boss Mike Deely has no sympathy for anyone caught drink driving

Mike McLaren’s letter (January 10) suggesting people might be tempted to drink and drive because they can’t get a taxi home on New Year’s Eve raises a valid concern, but in reality drink-drivers have no-one to blame but themselves.

New Year’s Eve, along with Christmas Eve, is a night of extraordinary demand for taxis.

KLM had a total of 47 drivers out in more than 30 vehicles during the 12 hours from 6pm on New Year’s Eve to 6am on New Year’s Day.

They completed more than 1,200 journeys.

We recently added several new taxis to our fleet and kept the vehicles they were replacing on the road too for the busy Christmas period.

Customers are encouraged to plan ahead, with a 25 per cent discount for pre-booked journeys on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

If all the pre-booked time slots are gone, then we advise other customers to call back on the night to see if we have had cancellations or cars become available.

There is such an incredible demand we are not always able to get to everyone right away.

In addition, from December 1, we had a special call waiting message for customers on hold encouraging people to pre-book, details of discounts and not to drink and drive.

Our drivers and controllers worked incredibly hard on New Year’s Eve to get the maximum number of people safely home as quickly as possible.

Mike and his friends quite rightly walked or got lifts rather than drink and drive, and it is every driver’s responsibility to make that correct decision.


Director of KLM Taxis

Wealth needs redistributing

David Cameron says every family can afford to economise by spending a pound less in every £100 for two years and the amount would pay off the national debt.

He uses this analogy to justify another two years of cuts to public services, the NHS and benefits on top of those already suffered. This is his explanation for how returning to the 1930s is justified.

What does this soundbite fail to mention?

It fails to mention that, under the ConDem Coalition they have increased national debt and are borrowing more now than was the case five years ago as a result of their failure to manage the economy.

Hasn’t he heard of food banks which many, including children, are now dependent upon because of inadequate benefits and low wages?

Doesn’t he know that just a quid is of vastly more value to the least well off, while for the very rich it just accumulates in trillions in bank accounts, mostly lodged beyond the reach of the taxman?

This Government has initiated reverse income redistribution. Every food bank helps support a millionaire’s family’s lifestyle.

We need less redistribution from the poor to the rich and more of the opposite.



Corby area is not a dumping ground

Although the unwanted gasification plant proposed for Gretton Brook Road received planning permission back in 2009, it can still be stopped.

The original planning consent contained a condition requiring all waste processed at the site to be sourced from within a 30-mile catchment area and this may ultimately be the undoing of the scheme.

The defeat of the Brookfield Waste Plant application last month means that the gasification plant, which is proposed for the adjacent site, will no longer be able to integrate with the Brookfield Plant as was originally planned.

The developer of the gasification plant has since submitted an application to Northamptonshire County Council to lift the 30-mile restriction and thus improve the viability of the project.

If the 30-mile restriction is not lifted then it is unlikely the development will go ahead and local people can be saved from the plant which will produce a poisonous and highly explosive “syngas” – a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

I am campaigning along with local people to keep the 30-mile restriction and stop the gasification plant. Corby and its surrounding villages are not a dumping ground!

Objections to the application must be submitted by February 5 and can be emailed to developmentcontrol@northamptonshire.gov.uk quoting the reference 14/00093/WASVOC.


Weldon and Gretton Ward

Corby Council

Spin cannot hide facts about cuts

The Northants Telegraph article on the proposed cuts to the fire service in Corby contained a quote from government minister Penny Mordaunt which I found particularly misleading.

Ms Mordaunt stated: “It will maintain the current two appliance capability.”

Currently, Corby has two fully equipped fire appliances each staffed with four firefighters.

Each is fitted with the Cobra fire intervention system.

These pumps can be deployed together or independently according to need and therefore have the capability to fight two incidents in Corby and East Northants at the same time and, if needed, firefighters can safely enter buildings using the “two in, two outside” procedure that safeguards the lives of our firefighters as they attempt to pull residents from burning buildings.

The proposal is to get rid of one Corby Fire appliance and replace it with a van containing Cobra staffed by just two firefighters.

I would ask: “Can this Cobra van be deployed on its own?”

If the county council say it can, then firefighters cannot safely go inside a building as there are just two staffing the van, meaning they would have to wait until another fire engine arrived – which will most likely also have Cobra equipment in the toolbox.

Any deployment of the Cobra van on its own means a severely reduced capability.

Despite knowing residents are inside the building all these two firefighters can do is stay outside, do their best to put the fire out and pray that a fire engine turns up before someone dies.

That is a terrible situation for a firefighter.

Knowing you could save someone if only there were two more colleagues with you.

I doubt the Cobra van will regularly be deployed on its own, but will surely accompany our only remaining fire appliance.

To sum up, the Cobra system is a valuable tool for firefighters but is no more than that, a tool.

It is no replacement for the current two appliance capability.

This proposal results in one fire appliance and a van, and no amount of spin can make it anything else.



Snow should not bring chaos

I was brought up to be constantly reminded about the British Bulldog and our Dunkirk spirit.

Well, these values go out of the window as soon as the word “snow” is mentioned.

Schools close in their hundreds as teachers decide en masse that all roads are impassable without ever venturing outside their front doors.

I can remember my mum shoving me and my sister out of the house in Wellington boots to walk the two-and-half miles to school with snow that was almost knee high!

I don’t recall ever getting to the school gates only to be sent packing because the school was closed!

With one if not both parents now working full-time in most households they must be dreading waking up to find snow on the ground knowing that one of them will have to take the day off, often without pay, to look after children who should be in school.

Employers also know that snowfall has a cost on their businesses, because gone are the days where the workforce lived on the doorstep.

It seems that everybody is a commuter now – apart from when it is snowing!



Mind boggles at the possibilities

Now that the police and fire service share a vehicle for patrolling the rural areas why not carry a paramedic as well?

Or indeed include the library service and a council member to answer any queries.

The mind boggles!



Toll roads are not the answer

The Infrastructure Bill seeks to transfer our main roads like the M1, A43 and A45 to a new company called Highways England and raises the prospect of tolling them.

The Government denies that it wants to toll existing roads, but we must ask why are tolling powers being given if there is absolutely no intention to use them?

Experience shows that drivers will understandably detour to avoid toll roads.

Has the Government given any consideration to how much traffic will be displaced onto local roads if major roads are tolled?

When it recently tried to bring in a toll on the A14 in East Anglia, the public and business reaction was so strong that it had to back down.

Our roads have been paid for by the public several times over. Readers are entitled to ask their MP to introduce binding safeguards to keep them fully in public hands and remove any prospect of tolling.


Chairman of the Alliance of British Drivers

Nothing is too much trouble

I cannot praise the staff at Seagrave House Care Home in Occupation Road, Corby, enough.

My husband Graham is a resident at the home which has a lot of very poorly people who need feeding and constant care yet they always make me feel welcome every time I visit.

Nothing is too much trouble for them.

Graham has been there since June 2014 and it doesn’t matter when he calls for them they are there for him.

He is 83 and has to use a walking frame as he cannot walk on his own.

My friend Norma visited my husband early on New Year’s Eve around 4.30pm.

She rang me to say he was ok but that they had had a piper in the home entertaining all the residents and he wished I was there with him to hear the piper as we have not been apart on New Year’s Eve for 60 years. After hearing this I called a taxi and made my way down to the home just as the piper was leaving.

When I explained to the piper why I had had come he asked me to follow him back into the home in my wheelchair and then proceeded to pipe me into the home to see my husband Graham.

He continued to play for a further 10 minutes or so which made me and my husband so happy.

My husband, who has dementia, would not let go of my hand throughout the performance.

I was so pleased I had made the trip.

The care home is simply the best and I simply cannot fault it at all. Thank you to everyone who takes such great care of all the residents and their visitors at Seagrave House.


By email

Hope electorate won’t be gullible

A new year, same old drivel from UKIP.

Mr Helmer and Ms Parker know that all electric appliances are subject to the Ecodesign Working Plan that was produced by Deloitte.

It has the aim of increasing electrical efficiency by 20 per cent by 2020 in order to help reduce greenhouse gasses by the same amount in the same time-frame, across the European Union.

In a single market, regulation has to apply to all which can drive innovation not be a hindrance.

Australia, Brazil, China, Japan and the USA are all pursuing similar policy ideas.

Mr Helmer has already stated that he is a climate change sceptic despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary but in order to address an issue that is transnational and requires universal regulation it is best achieved within a powerful bloc such as the European Union.

Mr Helmer also displays a touching faith in the “market” to solve the issue.

It was the “market” that caused the 2008 crash.

Markets are regulated by organisations such as WTO. Without this chaos would surely ensue and would certainly not address issues such as global warming.

If global warming is not controlled future generations will face issues of disease, war and death on a far larger scale than today, but hey, as long Mr Helmer can get a hot cup of coffee!

I hope the British public do “wake up and smell the coffee” because I cannot believe they would be so gullible as to elect UKIP, whose spokesmen spout such trivial and vacuous rubbish.

Their stupidity should not disguise the fact that given the chance they would inflict huge damage on this country with their unique blend of nationalism and right-wing drivel!



Rent property to solve the problem

The idea of owning your own home is to place an uncontrollable mortgage around your family’s neck for up to maybe half your life.

If you are unfortunate and in old age have to sell it to pay for a £500 a week home care it would all have been a waste of time, and a diminishing of your quality of life.

We are all only passing through, borrowing, or using then leaving it behind for the next generation.

Surely it makes sense to build high quality homes for rent, not for sale, leaving people to live much less stressful lives?

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher destroyed the opportunity of the following generation to have a home at all, by letting people buy their rented homes, and it looks like David Cameron is willing to do the same thing just to win votes.

The millstone of a mortgage around your neck for at least 25 to 30 years means you can never become unemployed because if you do, before too long you are out on the street, and you lose everything.

It’s only when that final payment is made that you feel the relief of no more payments and no more worrying.

It’s a total fantasy that while paying a mortgage you have some form of security.

I never felt so insecure while having a mortgage and feel much happier now without one than I ever did.

Rented homes are the obvious answer, as I said we cannot own anything, we are just passing through.



Hallelujah to the party people

I’d like to thank the people of Corby for a great night and an unexpected lift off a resident of your fine town.

My band, Happy Mondaze, played at The Zombie Hut on Saturday and the crowd was absolutely “up for it”.

They were superb.

Thanks to Roddy the sound guy. He really was a sound guy.

Finally, thanks to the thoroughly nice chap who gave me a lift to the venue when I was wandering around a very cold Corby, thanks.

Hope to see you all again very soon.

Thanks again Corby.


Happy Mondaze