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Why are teachers constantly criticised?

IN RESPONSE to the enlightened views of Mr Wilkins (Your Views, February 28), does he think that teachers take training days out of choice?

They are a necessary part of the job in order that we can keep up with government-led initiatives and changes to education (from MPs who get paid far more than us, have longer holidays while undergoing less training) including:

l National numeracy and literacy schemes

Performance-related pay

National testing for seven and 11 year olds

Three revisions of the National Curriculum in the last 11 years.

Why, as a profession, are we constantly attacked in the media from all sides in a way that can only undermine our respect and confidence? (I don't see too many letters having a go at nurses or doctors or other vocations)?

If Mr Wilkins hasn't got anything constructive to say, then maybe he should lock himself away with his Dad's Army videos and Vera Lynn records and keep his views to himself.

Spencer Keogh, Sykesmoor, Wilnecote, Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Unfair charges

I WOULD like to add to the article on care service fees (Evening Telegraph, February 21).

For the learning disabled in Coventry, who use day services, charging is a fact of life.

Charges for meals have been paid for over 20 years, transport charges for over 10 years and day services since October 1998.

However, only service users who live with a parent are required to pay these charges.

A user in professional care, ie in a foster home or residential home, does not have to pay for anything. A financial assessment was not carried out on this group.

A day service user living at home will only have their benefits to pay the charges.

One in care will have their benefits to pay the charges plus a care package from the city council.

This care package, I believe, covers the provision of transport, meals and day service for the user. It is grossly unfair that service users with parents are the only ones being required to pay, while those who have been given the means to pay are not being asked.

John Naylor, Wordsworth Road, Stoke.

Fear of beggars

AFTER leaving the Kingsway library in Stoke, I was walking towards Ball Hill when I was approached by four very well dressed refugees.

The boy, aged about 12, thrust a card at me saying,"you give money". I refused. The father then ran after me, grabbed my elbow saying, "you give now, you give now."

I am sure if I had not shouted and two men passing by had not stopped I would have been attacked.

The police say they can't arrest these people for begging as there are too many of them.

I feel the decision about these people staying in this country is not the government's. The decision belongs to the people of this country and if the truth is told we don't want them.

Name and address supplied.

Small change

I CAN'T be alone in noticing the little old ladies who carry a bagful of small change to the council tax payment desk.

Apparently, many people pay by weekly instalments, while they still have the money.

This isn't just old-fashioned prudence. They know, as does everyone else, that in the Warwickshire area the community council demands are ever rising.

Neither does it take a Poirot to discover that an applicant for housing benefit nowadays has to be close to the breadline despite official utterances by local and national government.

In reality, central government, Tory and now Labour, keep all councils dependant on grants while allowing them to be ever more parsimonious towards those who are gradually at rock bottom.

You see, there are no votes in helping the needy - or the disabled - in a right wing morality contest between the two main parties, one of which still labels itself left-of-centre.

The money saved on all benefits is routinely promised for those most deserving, who never seem to get it.

Jeremy Wheeler, Hoarestone Avenue, Nuneaton.

Not that bad

YOU published a letter from me in Your Views last Monday.

Unfortunately it contains a crucial error. I wrote to tell you that, having been referred by my doctor in January 1990, I had been offered an appointment with a consultant in June 2000. You printed June 2001. Things are pretty bad in Coventry but not that bad.

Barbara Moore, Marlborough Road, Stoke Green.

Belgrade theatre is here for everyone

I WRITE in response to the letter from Mrs B Ivy (February 28) who seems to find it alarming that we are encouraging gay people to come along to the Belgrade.

Why shouldn't we welcome gay people into our theatre?

The Belgrade is for ALL the people of Coventry, old, young, black, white, straight and gay.

One of the great things a theatre like the Belgrade can do for its community is to bring together all kinds of people from different backgrounds.

I appreciate that Mrs Ivy might have got the mistaken idea that we are having an exclusively "all gay" night.

This is not the case. Like the vast majority of the shows we put on here, Dusty is high quality entertainment designed to appeal to a wide and diverse popular audience, and that is the audience Mrs Ivy will be among if she comes any night next week.

Her suggestion that the Belgrade is "obviously struggling" is totally wrong.

Four years ago the theatre was indeed on the brink of closure. Since then we have built ourselves up into an extremely strong position and are recognised as one of the most successful and innovative theatres in the country.

Bob Eaton, Theatre Director, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.

Straight to the POINT

THE Alzheimer's Society is the leading care and research charity for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias, their families and carers.

You could help us raise much needed funds by using your place in the London Marathon to run for us. If you have a place, please phone 024 76 652602 or write to:

Bette Lissaman, Information Officer, Alzheimer's Dementia Care and Research, Alzheimer's Society, 31 Barras Court, Coventry.

I AM sure that many of your readers would want to be aware of plans to build a brash, modern, three-storey, glass and steel nightclub frontage in the heart of Coventry's mediaeval Spon Street.

The plan is to extend the Venue night club (former jazz club) from Lower Holyhead Road into Spon Street. The Spon End Building Preservation Trust has submitted an objection.

Kevin Noble, Spon End Building Preservation Trust.

COULD someone please explain why there are no recycle bins for plastic bottles?

We have can banks, bottle banks, paper banks, even recycle bins for old shoes and clothes.

So where can we take all the plastic bottles - milk and pop bottles, for example?

Sue Richardson, Crecy Road, Cheylesmore
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 6, 2000
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