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LETTERS: your views.

Pic of the Past

A COVENTRY man hopes this post-war picture of a city scout group will jog a few memories.

The photograph was taken in 1945-6 of the 73rd Scout Group, which met in Queen Margaret's Road, Canley.

Ken Hancox (circled), aged 72, who lives in Queen Margaret's Road, decided to bring the picture in after having it in his possession for nearly five decades.

He said: "It's been in the family for a long time and I can remember some of them, such as Roy Evans, Harold Wakelin, Ted Carrick, Tim Walker, Matt Brown, Alan Bartlett and Ralph Haines."

Ken, a retired fitter at Massey Ferguson, was aged about 14 when he appeared in the photograph, and wants anyone who is in the picture or with memories of the scout group at that time to contact him on 024 7669 1495.

Airport's sustainability claim is pure nonsense

WE must not be led down the route of just discussing night flights even though sleep deprivation is a very serious health risk for a large number of people living around any airport.

Air pollution and noise pollution is the same during the day as well as night - what about people who are working night shifts? Or children playing in the garden at the weekend?

This blight we are suffering now from the use of the unauthorised passenger terminal is nothing to what will happen if permission is given to expand further.

The basic facts are that this expansion of the airport into passenger flights is just not necessary and is totally unsustainable. The true meaning of the term sustainability is to improve quality of life for people while consuming less of the earth's resources.

Mr Savage has offered to sign a binding agreement restricting the number of passengers to two million a year.

One of the first statements he made when he came to Coventry was that's what airports do, they grow and this was after the application for a terminal for two million passengers had been submitted.

If he is offering restricting passenger numbers and banning all noisy night-time freight flights now, what will he be promising before the planning hearing?

Mrs Diane Francis, (address withheld).

Pension worries

WHOEVER thought of this new pension scheme never thought of the chaos it was going to bring.

I have heard of the trouble people have had and thought everything was going well for me until this morning.

When I received a letter telling me not to ignore it and phone them, I phoned and was asked various questions and told to phone another office.

Altogether I was on my phone for 40 minutes phoning different offices.

The worry of this new system must be for a lot of elderly people who are not able to do this for themselves - and a lot of people aren't.

I have just phoned again and they are sending me another letter for me to sign and send back to them.

Goodness knows how much this changeover has cost the government, let's hope it is worth it.

Doreen Rose, Woodway Lane, Woodway Park.

More police

I AM delighted to see that we have an additional 20 community support officers patrolling the streets of Warwickshire.

Of course, any new recruits in the war against crime should be welcomed. So let me make it clear that I do welcome the new community support officers.

But at the same time, the CSOs must not come at the expense of police officers. And they must not be used to disguise this government's abysmal record on crime.

But why is the government failing so obviously in the war against crime? The reason is that it simply doesn't understand what is needed.

In America, crime is falling. In Middlesbrough, under the robocop policeman and mayor, Ray Mallon, crime is falling. And in Britain, before Labour came to power, crime was falling.

What is needed is tough, high-visibility, neighbourhood policing, backed by a massive increase in police numbers. That's why the Conservatives have pledged to recruit an extra 40,000 officers nationally, and 305 more locally.

We've cut crime before. We'll do it again.

Chris White, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate, Warwick and Leamington.

Arms trade funds must be directed elsewhere

FOLLOWING Tianaman Square the EU imposed a partial ban on arms sales to China. Certain attempts have been started recently to lift the embargo.

Consequently a motion has been tabled at Westminster emphasising the UK's commitment to maintaining the embargo - which, one hopes, regional MPs will have the good conscience to sign.

It is also to be hoped that the vast subsidy of pounds 900,000,000 given annually to the arms trade (pounds 30,000 per job) is, in particular, fully reinvestigated, recognising that the money can be better spent elsewhere possibly even rescuing some of the ashes of New Labour's once heralded ethical foreign policy.

As 65 per cent of jobs in the arms trade are located in the south - where the statistics say is the fullest employment - the usual cry of "job loss through disinvestment" has little foundation; and even less so if greater emphasis were lain, where feasible, upon arms conversion prigs which have to be in the best interests of everyone.

William G Haymes, Compass Court, Norfolk Street, Spon End.

Our livestock markets need regulations for a good reason

I REFER to the recent letter criticising Janet Cummings for pointing out how cruel livestock markets can be.

Unfortunately, everything Ms Cummings said is true - such welfare rules as do exist are often broken, and there is a great deal of suffering at livestock markets. The breaches of regulations also mean that the spread of disease is more likely.

Regulations to prevent the spread of disease were introduced after the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001. Breaches of these regulations mean that if there is another outbreak, it is again likely to spread throughout the UK very quickly, leading to mass slaughter and to taxpayers' money again being used to compensate livestock farmers.

Animal Aid maintains a presence at many livestock markets in order to try to ensure that the rules are followed and to be able to give information to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

DEFRA has welcomed our latest report, and your readers are welcome to their own free copy; just phone us on 01732 364546.

For more information about all our campaigns to prevent animal cruelty, visit our website www.animalaid.org.uk

Richard Mountford, development manager, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street,Tonbridge, Kent.

to the point

POST OFFICE closures and problems with the delivery service have prompted some readers to say what they feel about the Royal Mail:

IN the light of the Royal Mail's abject performance record that has been recently revealed, my wife and I thought that we should add our own experiences to the debate.

I am sure that we cannot be alone in this but we have an absolute gem in Dave, our postie. No matter what the weather he always turns up with a smile and a cheerful word and, on the rare occasions that we do not have any post, he always has a smile and a wave for us as he passes by the bottom of the garden path.

As I am disabled and confined to a wheelchair and my wife is not in the best of health we do more than our share of shopping online, resulting in many packets and parcels for Dave to deliver, but he never complains and is always prepared to "go the extra mile" to help us as much as he can.

I am sure that we are not unique in having such good fortune but we do consider that we have been very blessed in having Dave as our postie.

Adela and Michael Garrett, King's Grove, Stoke.

...IT would be an absolute tragedy if yet more branches were to close.

In my ward (Sherbourne) we lost four branches in a year - where is the justice in that?

The Post Office should be ashamed.

Cllr Gary Ridley, cabinet member for customer services, Council House, Earl Street.

...ON one delivery we had two of our letters delivered to two different streets. On one occasion I was told I didn't need to sign for recorded delivery letter.

I also had to go to Bishop Street to collect a letter but when I got there they had lost it.

After numerous phone calls and visits the letter turned up more than two weeks later.

Also we have mail at 7.30am to 4pm.

Lesley Hooper, Eversleigh Road, Coundon.

...A LETTER arrived at my house from the inland revenue on Saturday, August 21. It was dated August 12 and contained urgent information that required immediate attention - the day we were going on holiday. It came at 11am.

To deal with this caused unnecessary distress and inconvenience just prior to a holiday. If it had arrived earlier it could have been sorted out when the inland revenue was open as it was a major error they had made.

It took two days of my holiday to sort it out with them over the phone which was a costly exercise.

A Elkington, Guardhouse Road, Radford.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 7, 2004
Words:1544
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