Letters: Don’t reward people for just doing their job

Fred Wooding has questioned the honours system
Fred Wooding has questioned the honours system

You hit the nail on the head in your item “Unsung heroes deserve praise”.

The hundreds of “recipients” in the New Year Honours List this year is an even worse demonstration of rewarding people for doing the job they are paid to do.

Politicians, actors, professional sports people, holders of well-paid – and often overpaid – jobs.

Far too few of the people who do wonderful things for the good of the community often for years on end and usually unpaid, go unrecognised.

There are far too many of the luvvies and far too few of the deserving. Is that whyy so few are nominated for awards?

Personally, I worked unpaid for more than 50 years, at least two evenings a week and usually weekends, before being recognised.

Of course, I did it because I loved the athletics I served, but hundreds of people benefited.

And yes, I enjoyed them benefiting from my work, but 50 years before recognition!

I hope the deserving enjoy their day at the palace as I did and I am grateful to the people who nominated and supported me – not the sport.



Hospital staff were so good

With the news about hospitals being under immense strain all over the UK, I wanted to say that the recent experience I had at Kettering General Hospital was excellent.

I was in hospital from October 19 to December 1 last year, most the time under sedation in ICU until about the last week of November, when a bed became available in the discharge ward, because I had complete organ failure as a complication of asthma and pneumonia.

I was admitted via A&E as I was apparently having trouble breathing and couldn’t walk.

I’ve been told this by my family as I do not remember anything from October 18 until I came out sedation towards the end of November.

The staff were amazing under difficult circumstances of low bed availability and staff shortages and budget issues and such like.

I had to be sent to Leicester at one point while I was sedated because of lack of beds, again I was told this.

Once in the discharge ward I found that the other patients were all 30 or so years older than me and several of them seemed to be “stuck” in the discharge ward because although their medical issues had been resolved, they were unable to go home because nearly all of them were also suffering from dementia and need social care adjustments in order to be safe once out of hospital.

The staff in the discharge ward were also excellent, even though they were working under the strain of looking after patients who still needed care while also caring for dementia sufferers who were prone to wandering if they felt like it and who also frequently got upset because they didn’t understand why they couldn’t go home.

I just wanted to give some praise to the excellent work the staff of Kettering hospital were doing under very difficult circumstances.


By email

Blame the system not the claimants

The current flavour of the month among other issues with politicians, press and television appears to be “benefits”.

We have politicians from the mainstream parties all pledging to reduce the benefit budget without actually saying how they intend to do this.

We have all the tabloids rushing to “name and shame” anybody who they think is abusing the benefit system.

Benefit fraud is a criminal offence, but most of the people “named and shamed” in the tabloids are never charged.

Why? Because they are all claiming benefits legitimately.

If someone tells you to fill a form in to get X, is any right minded person going to say thanks, but no thanks?

Most people don’t even know what benefits they are entitled to, so many millions of pounds go unclaimed every year.

Finally, we have had “Benefit Street”. Now we are having to watch “benefits, too fat to work”. What’s next? Benefits, too thin, too old to work?

Benefits are not new, I entered the work place when Margaret Thatcher was doing her level best to eradicate all the big British industries.

There were almost four million people claiming benefits then through no fault of their own. The only difference between now and then is that successive governments have created more and more benefits to be claimed.

Blame the system, instead of the benefit claimants.

They are just doing what they have been told!



Wake up and smell the coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee!

So now we have to drink tepid coffee in dimly-lit rooms – assuming we have time after taking an extra half an hour doing the vacuuming thanks to our low-powered cleaners.

Yes, the EU has struck again. Not content with meddling over light bulbs and vacuum cleaner power, now coffee machines have come under the spotlight.

New regulations will mean coffee machines will have to switch off after brewing the drink – leaving what is left completely unpalatable.

It is yet another example of how we are losing control over the tiniest details of our own affairs.

We wish the EU would find something better to do – these type of laws should be a matter for the industry, the market and perhaps national legislation – not a matter for yet more interference from Brussels.


UKIP MEPs for the East Midlands

Did I miss the charge increase?

I received a card from Royal Mail saying that they couldn’t deliver an item and that I would have to pay £1 handling fee.

When I went to collect the item, it was a Christmas card and normal size, with a first class stamp on it.

Did I miss the post price rise which now includes a £1 handling fee?



Appeal for your old festive cards

I would be very grateful if, after you have finished with your Christmas cards, that you could get them to my address.

I want to do work for charity by making gift cards to sell on their behalf. Thank you, in advance, for your support.


74 Taunton Avenue,

NN18 0BQ

Major A6 safety work is needed

Roger Lovell (‘How many more need to die’), can read Highway Code Rule 130, to learn that it is not an offence to use the red hatched area.

It is there to discourage overtaking, but because it is bordered by broken white lines, it can be entered if “necessary and safe to do so”.

But I totally agree this new arrangement is still dangerous.

It would have cost much more, but surely after so many years of very serious accidents, funding could have been found for the best and safest solution.

That being, of course, to widen the overbridge and make this stretch of road a proper dual carriageway with central reservation.


By email

Battlefield tours are planned

Battlefield Memorial Tours is one of the few UK organisations that will locate but also take interested parties to the last resting places of servicemen and women who fell during the conflicts of the last century.

And this year the group intends to visit a number of key European battlefields.

We strive to deliver exceptional value tours to major European battlefield sites, providing an informative insight into key historical events.

We are continuing a long tradition of taking friends and relatives to military cemeteries within the areas we visit.

Battlefield Memorial Tours builds on more than 40 years of experience, ensuring that today’s visitors can gain an understanding of events that happened during the two world wars. Our tours are hosted in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

For more information visit www.battlefieldmemorialtours.co.uk or contact Brian Long on 01629 650780.


Battlefield Memorial Tours

Overwhelming generosity made appeal great success

Following your overwhelming generosity, this year’s Christmas appeal has been really successful.

We have yet again been blessed with many fabulous donations consisting of gifts, soft toys, toiletries, gift vouchers, food hampers and lots of toys, plus monetary donations to help our disadvantaged families and our teenagers, enjoy this Christmas.

I therefore write to say a very large and sincere Thank You to all my little Christmas Helpers based in and around Northamptonshire, who have very generously offered their time, practical assistance and/or financial support in contributing to this year’s appeal and on behalf of the children, families and young people living in our County, ‘Thank you’.

Your gifts have now being distributed across the county to all my colleagues working within Children and Young People’s Services covering the areas of Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Wellingborough and Rushden, so they can take them to the families in need.

Thanks to your valuable support, many children and families living in our county enjoyed a better Christmas.


Personal Advisor with Northamptonshire County Council Leaving Care Team