Letters: Looking forward to major rail improvements

There will be improvements to East Midlands Trains service
There will be improvements to East Midlands Trains service

Limited capacity on the rail network limits what can and cannot be run on the rails.

However, we are on the cusp of a revolution in capacity increase over the next year or two with the fourth line being re-instated from Bedford to Kettering giving a 25 per cent increase, and the second line re-instated between Kettering and Corby giving a 50 per cent increase in capacity.

Vegetation clearance work at the Corby end last week has seen the formation cleared to the north of Corby station in readiness for new point and track work to be laid. Similar work is now under way to the south of Corby station.

Travellers will also have noted preparation work near Kettering and Wellingborough.

Work on the overhead electricity pylons is due to start in April when the pylon erection contract begins at the Bedford end.

Published proposals for the new electric train service shows a doubling of frequency to two trains an hour departing Corby and calling at Kettering and Wellingborough, with an alternating limited stop service to St Pancras upper and the other via St Pancras lower and continuing to London Bridge, Gatwick Airport and Brighton.

I for one would celebrate a direct train to Gatwick Airport, and some may be enthusiastic about a direct train to the seaside at Brighton.

With the increased capacity also enhanced by the acceleration capability of the new electric trains currently being built at Derby and entering service incrementally I look forward to more innovative timetabling and accelerated timing.



We need answers over long wait

I was horrified to read of the near three-hour wait young Corby Town footballer Paul Malone endured as he waited for an EMAS ambulance after breaking his leg in two places during a match.

Questions have to be answered here and lessons have to be learned.

This is a shockingly bad response time and Paul and his family – and indeed the wider public – expect answers.

We all treasure our NHS and we all appreciate the work our ambulance crews do, day in and day out.

But in this case the service left a lot to be desired and I back calls for a thorough investigation to find out just what went wrong.


UKIP MEP for Corby

Putting boot in on dirty footballers

May I bring to the attention of yourself, Kettering Council and last but not least the Kettering Weetabix Youth League management about the constant practice of the footballers’ parents cleaning their children’s boots on the pavements, walls, in and around adjacent side streets next to the North Park and then putting the boots in plastic bags into their nice clean cars, leaving the pavements and private property filthy with mud.

As a dog owner, if I was to deposit filth like this on the paths I would be given a fixed penalty fine of £60.

So come on Weetabix Youth League management, get your act together and do something about this problem.

It has been going on too long.


By emai

MPs should sign job contracts

Should an MP be allowed to have a second job?

The answer to that question is an emphatic no.

MPs are elected and paid to represent their constituents, not to have paid directorships and consultancy positions with businesses, big or small.

The reason why many MPs are approached to act as consultants is because an individual or a business wants issues that are specific only to themselves to be raised with a Government department for gain.

A clear case of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”.

The current salary for an MP is £67,000 per annum.

This is more than your GP local receives.

I don’t see my GP having the time on his or her hands to take on a “second job”.

If an MP feels he or she is giving 100 per cent to their constituency duties and still has spare time at the end of the working day to take on a second job, then perhaps the time has come to review what it is an MP actually gets paid to do and reduce their salary accordingly.

How many times have we seen televised debates and noticed that the Government and Opposition benches are virtually empty.

This is the biggest to clue to where your MP is and what they might actually be doing.

I hope your MP will be back working in their constituency looking after the interests of the people that elected them. However, the cynical side in me thinks otherwise.

Kettering has an excellent MP, but I am sure the same cannot be said about some of his Parliamentary colleagues who have hit the headlines after being caught on camera.

One actually said he had so much spare time on his hands that “he would have no problem representing the interests of the business” that had approached him.

Most contracts of employment issued to the employee as standard today will almost always include a “no moonlighting” clause.

What is good for the goose should be good for the gander!

Perhaps all of our MPs ought to be made to sign such a contract with their constituency party chairman to avoid any further embarrassment to themselves and politics in general.

So, perhaps the honourable men and women who are all paid very handsomely to represent the people will do the “honourable” thing and sign such a contract of employment?

I can just see them in the House of Commons bar – which is also subsidised by the taxpayer – choking on their gin and tonics at the very prospect of having to commit to such a promise.



MPs get enough from us already

MPs should not have second jobs. They already get paid expenses for their travel to Westminster and office expenses.

We can’t pay them any more as they don’t listen to the general public as much as they should.

They do not monitor things in England and Great Britain as they should and are sometimes more interested in businesses in other countries.

Politicians and ministers wanted a high-speed train when it is not necessary and does not have enough stations for the general public.

They do not monitor the quality of buildings in towns and cities run by local government.

They need to be far more accountable.


By email

We are investing and protecting

The Corby Council Labour group presented its budget to the full council meeting on Thursday, February 6.

The main points are as follows.

1. Corby Council tax to be frozen for the fifth year running and maintaining front line services.

2. Increasing council reserves to help protect the council in case of future cuts in income from the Government.

3. Building council houses, with 50 more being built in the next three years, bringing the total to 200 new council homes.

4. Investing £5.3m per year in the council stock for the next 30 years, helping provide high quality homes for our tenants.

5. Increasing council rents by an average 2.3 per cent, with average rent in Corby being around £80 per week.

This is is the lowest in the county and approximately £6 a week less than the average. A 2.3 per cent rent increase amounts to approximately £1.84 a week.

The Conservative leader commented that it is a robust budget, and praised the Labour group on its commitment to increase the council reserves.

Overall, it is a robust budget while helping hard-working families in the borough.

We are still able to invest in Corby’s future and protect council services.


Corby Council
lead member for finance

A message about being in and out

The Church on the outside is always challenged by the Church on the inside.

There has always been a tension between being seen to be credible to oneself and being faithful to God. This reality has been with us since the beginnings of faith. We find it with the Old Testament prophets who constantly reminded God’s people that real faith lies within and not in outward observances.

“Rend your heart and not your garments”.

Jesus encouraged his followers to “seek first the Kingdom of God” and taught them that “his kingdom was not of this world” but his opponents did not believe him and killed him thinking they had put an end to such ideas.

They failed because what is true is eternal and cannot ever be extinguished by the swords of this world.

Henry Vaughan, the 17th century poet wrote these words which reflect that which lies deep within human yearnings.

He wrote: “My soul, there is a county far beyond the stars, where stands a winged sentry all skilful in the wars.

“There, above all noise and danger, sweet peace sits crowned with smiles.

“And One born in a Manger commands the Beauteous files.”

The poem was worked into the much loved hymn I Vow To Thee My Country by Sir Cecil

It is very easy to forget sometimes that we live in two very real worlds – one we can see with our eyes and the one we know is within us because it is eternal.

That is why we have an outside church and an inside church.

The two churches are meant to complement each other but sometimes they don’t.

We look for the Church to be more aware of the Kingdom of Heaven and not just its own structures and organisations.

The recent consecration of the first woman bishop is not recognised by certain sections in the Church but is accepted by God because prayer is more powerful than politics.

The homophobic interpretation of the scriptures has put the official church out of line with the changing understanding of human sexuality.

It would be far better if the grace bestowed through Baptism is understood as a sign of God’s acceptance of all of his children and that loving relationships are given the joy of celebration.

It is the challenge of forgiveness that enables us to look again at our judgemental views on human failure.

This truth which lies at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer brings the outer and the inner Church to come to terms with the reality of the coming Kingdom of Heaven.

The words of forgiveness uttered by Christ on the Cross, enabled the stone to be rolled away from the tomb.

The other Country won the Easter victory for all.

May we all through the time of Lent and the festival of Easter recover this eternal dimension in our Churches and in our lives.


By email

Who has shown common sense?

In response to Mr Bernard’s email in last week’s Telegraph regarding his recycling bin not being collected due to the polystyrene put in his bin by his wife in error, and the council workers not apparently using their “common sense” in removing the polystyrene and emptying the bin.

Where on earth was Mr Bernard’s common sense when after filling a whole bin of items to be recycled, he then placed it all in general waste.

Could he not have left the bin until the next time the recycling was collected?

He appears to care about the emissions he used while having to use his car to get to the recycling centre, but clearly doesn’t care about the bin load of items that could have been recycled being added to landfill.


By email

We should ask more about services

Re. Gerard Bernard’s letter published Thursday, February 26, “No common sense in Wellingborough recycling bin crackdown”.

I believe Mr Bernard was the one who applied no common sense, not only did he pay the council and Norse to remove his household waste through his taxes, but he paid again by taking his own waste to the recycling centre.

In 2012 Wellingborough Council and Wellingborough Norse entered into a 10-year partnership, worth around £50m, where Wellingborough Norse would be responsible for refuse collection, street cleaning, grounds maintenance, environmental enforcement, public conveniences, markets, car parks cleaning and security, and civic buildings facilities management.

Wellingborough Norse, who are Norfolk-based, and the council also agreed to share any savings Norse made.

Between 2012 and 2014 Norse cut services in Wellingborough and saved over £600,000 and handed over £300,000 to Norse’s head office in Norwich.

Mr Bernard should be disgusted with the cuts in the services in Wellingborough and he should be asking his councillors why Norwich and Norfolk councils are having their services enhanced by the taxpayers of Wellingborough.

Mr Bernard should have just removed the offending pieces of polystyrene or simply stop recycling altogether, recycling is a very suspect process in its current form and I doubt if the current process benefits the environment.



Bid to get school friends together

This year will see the 40th anniversary of our leaving Ousedale School, Newport Pagnell, and a lot of school friends came to Northamptonshire.

In order to celebrate this auspicious occasion there will be a gathering of the clan at the Swan Revived pub in the High Street, Newport Pagnell, for drinks at midday on Saturday, April 25.

Everyone that left Ousedale School in 1975 and anyone who knew Caroline Pipes, Julie Stephenson, Diane Tate, Maureen Maloney, Janet Timpson and others are welcome.

Come along for a chat and a trip down memory lane. Spread the word, bring your partner and join your old school buddies.

For more information contact Caroline on 07793 107441.


By email