I write in response to the bus route issues in Broughton, Mawsley and Walgrave.
This follows a recent change to bus routing.
Here in Finedon we have a similar problem.
I live on the Wellingborough Road near to the Gladstone Club.
Route 45 used to run between Wellingborough and Crow Hill, Irthlingborough, or Wellingborough to the Pinetrees estate, Irthlingborough, via Finedon, half hourly – alternating the Irthlingborough destination.
I could travel to either area on one bus each way.
Route 45 now runs half-hourly from Crow Hill to Wellingborough via the Pinetrees estate and Sidegate Lane, no longer calling at Finedon.
So to do the same journey is three buses, needing two stops on the A6 and crossing the road for a 49 or 50 into Irthlingborough town centre.
I find it easier to travel into Wellingborough on the X1 and then on the 45 to Irthlingborough.
The half-hourly frequency is obviously an “improvement”, but also an inconvenience in not calling at Finedon.
The replacement through Finedon is the former Corby to Burton Latimer X1 – which is now Corby to Wellingborough but does not call at the Irthlingborough end of Finedon – with a stop on Burton Road or along Wellingborough Road, inconveniencing the elderly and less mobile, and causing a long walk to and from their new nearest bus stop.
A reader’s letter appeared in the Telegraph on this issue so bus “improvements with inconvenience” is not that uncommon.
Many bus routes are county council run and put out to tender to bus operators.
It would appear that often the route planners do not live locally.
Open letter from county council
Open letter to Cllr Tom Beattie and Andy Sawford MP
To begin, if I may, with your final paragraph, I have to advise you that warnings and threats cut no ice with me.
You will not have such short memories as not to remember the note that Liam Byrne, the Labour first secretary to the Treasury, left in his desk after the General Election of 2010, advising his successor that “there is no money left”.
The Labour Government had squandered every penny and the whole of the public sector has had to scrimp and save ever since to pull the country out of the economic morass that Labour left us in.
Not that financial expediency, actually, is the main reason for the changes that the county council is proposing for fire cover at Corby.
The real reason is, of course, to modernise and improve fire cover for the town.
One traditional fire appliance will be replaced with the latest technology available incorporated within a Cobra Intervention vehicle.
This will be based at Corby Fire Station and will enhance the flexibility of the response with Corby town and the surrounding area, as well as increasing the safety of firefighters and the general public.
Therefore, there will continue to be a minimum of two dedicated firefighting appliances based at the station.
Even after this proposal, Corby Fire Station will be crewed by more whole-time firefighters than any other fire station in the county and I take particular exception to your insulting accusations that the county council has “targeted Corby for cuts”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We are looking at further plans to build the community links within Corby and are working positively with the crews at Corby to achieve the best staffing establishment while addressing the budgetary pressures that you are fully aware of, and were briefed on before the public consultation started.
Cllr Andrew Gonzalez de Savage and the Chief Fire and Rescue Officer Martyn Emberson met with you to brief you on the consultation proposals, and also attended two detailed meetings at Corby Councuil to discuss them, as well as a full public consultation event with the Fire Brigades Union that you did not even attend, despite being specifically invited to.
It’s a pity that the coming General Election forces people to take unreasonable political stances. I much prefer it when you and I are able to talk sensibly about the needs of the town and how we can collectively work together in Corby’s best interests.
CLLR JIM HARKER
Leader of Northamptonshire County Council
Don’t bother me with propaganda
With about 100 days to go before we change politics in the UK again, I would like to let local politicians who intend sending me flyers, faux newspapers, posters etc not to bother. Save the trees, and petrol, print and shoe leather.
It’s time to stop the silly baby kissing and hand shaking at the speed of light. We are not so gullible nor stupid as to assume it’s sincere.
Would you waste your time knocking on my door if you knew I would not vote for you?
We do not have to see who stands for what we want, we just need to hear good clear easy to understand policies given in honesty.
We don’t care much if you are a man or woman, it makes little difference.
Remember Mr Cameron?
“If you don’t like what I do vote me out.”
We will let you know after they count the ballot papers just who we voted for. Let’s not tell anyone who we are voting for and throw the whole media in chaos.
Keep it a secret.
Please clean up after your pets
I live in Bradshaw Way, Irchester, and consider it lucky that we have a play area for children and walking dogs.
My husband is undergoing chemotherapy and I need new knees, so without this area we would probably have to have rehomed our dog.
However, could I please ask that the people who use the area for exercising their dogs clean up after them!
This also applies to the surrounding pathways which just lately have become a minefield of dog poo.
Cigarette ends are another problem being dropped all over the place adding to the general untidiness of the estate.
People with extending dog leads and coming off the main road onto the estate just seem to walk on with the dogs trailing behind and not taking much notice of what is happening the other end of the lead.
This is also more of a problem during the winter months, so please dog lovers clean up after your pets
Create a national power company
I thought I’d write to you because of the joke that is the Big Six.
British Gas has cut it prices by five per cent, but not until the end of February. And why?
Well, they buy their gas anything up to a year in advance. What rubbish. If that’s the case we would still be paying less than we will be at the end of February because gas was cheap a year ago. You can put money on that excuse because it’s safe and it’s not hard for the PR people for the Big Six to remember.
The whole thing is becoming a total joke. We have Ofgem, who will bend over backwards to help the Big Six while not doing much at all for the customer, while the Government keeps coming out with a mixture of incoherent gobbledygook and a rehash of a mixture of other parties’ policies from yesteryear.
In the meantime, the poorest pensioners and the disabled are unable to heat their homes and there’s a large chance of a major increase in death from hypothermia. Sadly the only picture I have in my head is Ian Duncan Smith laughing the way he was when he was in Parliament listening to a statement about benefits and homelessness. He couldn’t help himself and, sadly, it’s not a pretty thought.
So what’s the answer?
Well, the simple one is to go back in time and stop Margaret Thatcher privatising the power generating industry, but I’m not Dr Who.
The answer still isn’t that far away. We need to create a nationalised power generating company.
I’m surprised with all these super advisers that both the Conservatives and Labour have working for them that they haven’t come up with it.
By using renewable energy for electricity and gas at cut prices they would put the Big Six out of business in no time unless they wanted to actually pass the price cuts on and bring their prices down. Maybe I should run the country because I’ve just thought, I could use any profit to pay off the deficit.
Two birds with one stone!
Plain packaging is not the answer
Here we go again – the Government rushing into legislation, this time on plain packaging for cigarettes.
These new laws are wrong on so many levels, not least it could lead to worse health outcomes for smokers.
There are all sorts of concerns on why and whether the Government should rush through this legislation before the election, when there are so many other important issues crying out for change.
But the most devastating failure of these proposals is they do not work.
If the idea is to reduce smoking, particularly among the young, then the evidence from Australia shows that is has no impact.
Instead poor quality counterfeit cigarettes flood the marker – which are even worse for health.
It also, of course, funds the black market and organised crime.
UKIP MEP for the East Midlands
Political system is breaking down
A new poll from Survation shows that UKIP now lead the polls in the Midlands among voters certain to vote.
UKIP 35.3 per cent
Conservative 33.4 per cent
Labour 26.5 per cent
Liberal Democrat 0.4 per cent
The political system is breaking down as the tired old parties finally lose their power to scare their own former supporters into voting the same old way.
With less than 100 days to the election, UKIP have just released 100 new policies to restore Britain after too much Conservative and Labour rule.
If voters in the Midlands hold fast to what they believe, they will get UKIP MPs who will introduce common sense to British government.
UKIP candidate for Wellingborouigh and Rushden
Disabled charges are a disgrace
I’ve just found out that Corby Council will be taking over the running of the car park at Corby station.
I’ve also just found out that they will then start charging for disabled parking. For five or six years this has been free.
The council’s reasoning for the charge is that there will be a discrepancy with the parklands disabled parking as that is a paid for parking as well.
Are they serious? Two wrongs do not make a right!
This is morally wrong and the council should be ashamed of themselves. It’s disgraceful.
How long again until they increase the general charges for parking?
Less than a year?
Two cinemas is not a good plan
I have just read the article about having two cinemas in Corby town centre.
I previously wrote stating that it simply does not make sense to have two cinemas in such close vicinity to each other.
My own choice would have been a ten-pin bowling alley or something else that gives the people of Corby and surrounding villages a greater variety of ways to spend their leisure time.
I have to give great credit to Cllr Rob McKellar, who has done a tremendous job in his crusade to prevent Corby from being the waste-dumping ground for the East Midlands.
However, in my opinion, I believe the two cinemas situation is so wrong. I hope that even at this late stage that some sort of alternative entertainment can be obtained for the town centre complex.
Let common sense prevail.
Cap payments at two children
Channel 5 are bombarding us with even more documentaries revolving around “benefits”.
We have moved on from Benefit Street and Benefit Street: Too Fat to Work.
The latest and most infuriating instalment in the “franchise” to date is Benefits and my 26 kids.
This focuses on a 61-year-old man with 26 children from 15 different women!
What an insult to all the hard working people in this country that pay their taxes and make their own way in life through hard work.
I have no objection to the amount of children that anyone wishes to have so long as they can afford to pay for them.
Cap the child benefit and child tax credits to the first two children only.
If a “normal” married couple were to get divorced and children were involved, the father would, by law, be required to pay maintenance.
Has not one of these 15 women demanded “maintenance” and gone through the proper channels?
He may be the father of these children, but if he is not living with any of the mothers he has no rights to any of the benefits that the taxpayers are bestowing on his children!
Victory in getting faster internet
Two years ago I pledged to campaign for Superfast Broadband in Gretton, which often experiences low levels of internet connectivity.
The service had already gone live in Weldon thanks to the £1.2bn of investment by the Government in rural broadband sevices and I was keen to see Gretton also benefit from this funding.
My campaign bid was to bring Superfast Broadband to Gretton by Christmas 2015.
After much hard work, two petitions, several grant applications and endless lobbying, this dream has now become a reality.
Infrastructural works in the village are set to begin this summer with a view to the new superfast service going live in September.
The telephone exchange has already been upgraded and we now await the installation of the improved fibre optic cables.
Finally Gretton will be able to enjoy decent broadband speeds for the benefit of the families, the individuals and the small businesses in the village.
CLLR ROB McKELLAR
Weldon and Gretton ward of Corby Council
Do you remember the Kettering Flea?
In 1936, members of the East Midlands Aviation Club at Sywell built one the many ‘Flying Flea’ aircraft constructed by amateurs as a cheap and simple means of getting airborne.
Sadly, many took its French designer Henri Mignet at his word when he claimed in his book of the same name that “if you can nail together a packing case, then you can build an aeroplane”.
However, the Kettering-built Flea, registered G-AEGV, was one of those that did actually fly on several occasions and, in 1967, members of the newly-formed Midland Aircraft Preservation Society discovered the wings, which had survived for 30 years, and constructed a new fuselage to replace the original that disappeared during the war.
In 1981, an exhibition was held in the Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering, at which the fully restored Flying Flea was put on display.
While there, it was spotted by one of those who had built it 45 years earlier.
In the words of the article in the Kettering Evening Telegraph of August 24, “Mr George Fielder of Northampton could hardly believe his eyes”.
The founders of the Midland Aircraft Preservation Society/Midland Air Museum are working on a comprehensive history of its first 25 years and would like to contact anyone in the Kettering or Northampton areas who may have memories, photographs or further information on the Kettering Flea.
Any help you can provide us would be greatly appreciated.
I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOHN BERKELEY OBE
Chairman of Midland Aircraft Preservation Society/Midland Air Museum, 1972 to 1993