WEEKEND WEB: Free Press letter

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Your views on speeding, politics, Glen Park, the planned war memorial and Brexit...

Fines on this road give give a windfall like Euromillions!

Further to your report about the speeding in Backgate, Stonegate and Barrier Bank in Cowbit, the parish council have ignored the worst stretch for speeding in the village, the drag strip that is known locally as Moulton Chapel Road to the east of the new A16.

If the current roads mentioned would give a windfall (in speeding fines), this stretch of the B1357 would be like winning a Euromillions Rollover as the speeds by cars, motorcycles, LGVs and even these new fast tractors are well in excess of the 40mph speed limit at all hours of the day and night.

I have complained to the police on numerous occasions but nothing is ever done as we appear to be the forgotten people to the east of the A16 with neither Cowbit or Moulton Chapel shown any interest unless it’s election time.

It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or worse along this stretch of road.

Russell Woodward

via email

A true patripot and a fine MP

Writing as a former merchant seafarer, it was wonderful to see our MP John Hayes once again flying the flag for Britain at this year’s International Shipping Week in London.

What I had not realised until I read his excellent column was how many leading figures from countries all over the world he had met to ensure our shipping industry remains a world leader in the future and that we sell British goods throughout the world.

It’s so impressive that Mr Hayes has never allowed his important role in Government to come in the way of his service as our representative here.

I’m sure many Ministers might use their position as a reason not to prioritise their constituency, but John Hayes is always here, taking up important local matters and getting things done. He’s always been a true patriot and the finest of constituency MPs.

Michael Richards

Spalding

They can put the council tax up without another survey

I’m astonished, but not surprised, that Surfleet Parish Council now appears to want to delay carrying out the wish of local residents who overwhelmingly voted to support Glen Park at last week’s public meeting.

With more voting slips still to come in, more than 100 residents so far have agreed to pay £12 a year on their Council Tax to help keep the park clean and in good repair. The result was in line with the house-to-house survey done in Surfleet in 2015 which showed 84 per cent of households prepared to pay towards its upkeep.

Last week’s public meeting, which the Parish Council knew it needed to call three years ago, satisfies the law in providing the Parish Council with the mandate to increase the existing 23p tax by more than 20 per cent.

To now claim that yet another household survey is needed to ratify the change is just one more example of the Parish Council promising one thing in public and doing another in private.

Nick Davis (Chairman)

Surfleet Play and 
Recreation Charity

How has insult been forgotten for more than 70 years?

It was surprising and enlightening to read about the Spalding World War Two Memorial Fund in the column Ward’s World recently as to be honest we were not really aware of there being such a fund ongoing and while we were out to Sunday lunch following its publication it was interesting to hear the assorted chatter from people on other tables discussing it as Mr Ward seems to have picked a topic close to a lot of people.

However there was a huge question that most seemed to agree on as why was it now a publicly funded matter when so much money has been spent or squandered over the past 70 years on some projects with prime example the Red Lion Quarter white elephant that cost us taxpayers millions and was sold off for a fraction of its true cost as the money was found for that and no doubt other readers might bring to mind other questionable or vanity projects paid for out of the public funds in the intervening 70 years since the war’s end.

We have no idea as to how much is required for this memorial but perhaps had it not been for those who gave their lives in order that we are now here today, we as well as others find it deplorable that it’s now down to what would appear to be jumble sales and bingo events or whatever to get the money to pay for such a memorial and quite shameful and an insult to those who died.

We think it can be said along with many others how grateful to know that Mr Ward chose to highlight this subject in his own entertaining style in his column as it appears more people are now aware of it but the question remains is how has this insult to those locally who perished been forgotten about for now over 70 years?

Mr and Mrs D Warner

Long Sutton

Things must change if we are to get the best deal

The 17.4million voters who voted for Brexit are not a majority of those entitled to vote but under our increasingly dysfunctional democratic system the views of the minority will be imposed on our country.

John in his Hayes in the House column continues to promote arguments for Brexit which are at best disingenuous, at worst false. If we are to secure the best possible deal for Britain then as Theresa May said things must change. As a child I was taught that however difficult it could be, and I have often found it to be so, telling the truth was always the best option.

The free movement of Europeans to look for work is not an unqualified right. It only applies to EU citizens. Britain has an opt out, enshrined in EU, from the Shenegen passport free travel zone. A valid passport establishes your identity and nationality. No passport no entry into Britain. Under international and EU law people coming into Britain can be asked why and for how long they intend to remain in Britain. Short term visitors and tourists’ passports can be stamped with a time limited visa. Potential migrants with verifiable documentary evidence of an offer of employment can have longer time limited passport stamped visa. Students with a placement at a registered recognised college or university can have time limited passport visa for the duration of the qualification. Passports for people seeking employment can have a three month stamped residential visa if they have sufficient accessible funds to meet their needs while looking for work. Failure to find employment in three months can result in voluntary or compulsory repatriation.

In employment, employers are obliged to inform the DWP and HMRC to register that all employees are in employment and establish their tax and national insurance liabilities and when they leave their job inform the authorities that an employee is no longer in their employment. Almost all EU migrants come to work and can be traced.

Across the EU welfare and in-work benefits are funded by contributions from employers and employees. Determining the level of contributions and benefits remains within the competence of national governments. Across the EU access to benefits remains with each member’s parliament. A position upheld by the European Court of Justice. Almost all EU Governments link access to welfare payments to an applicant’s record of contributions. In Britain access to benefits is linked to need irrespective of contributions. EU law is clear, an EU citizen resident in another EU member state shall be entitled to the same rights and benefits available to a national citizen.

Those intent on exploiting our generosity can, with no record of contributions, actual or nominal, access British welfare payment. This is a magnet attracting migrants into Britain. A strong case can be made for Britain harmonising its access to benefits with the EU model.

There are other ways in which the UK can control immigration. Successive British Governments have been astonishingly lax in exercising the control of immigration, in creating and maintaining organisations to control migration and implementing policies that facilitate integration of migrants into British life and in mitigating the impact of migration on local services. Fluency in English after a period of residency could have been a requirement for continued residence.

Honesty about repeated government failures on migration would not necessarily have produced a different result in the Brexit referendum but would have made explaining why the levels of migration post Brexit will remain so high. The Government of India have made it quite clear that any post Brexit trade deal will only be agreed if Britain in return relaxes its visa controls over Indian nationals.

John could best use his Hayes in the House column to explain why the post Brexit net migration will remain high until the hard policy decisions that need to be made to control migration have time to take effect if they prove successful.

Paul Walls

Spalding

The political classes must be held to account

In July following the Grenfell Tower disaster, Communities secretary Sajid Javid wrote to housing associations and local authorities, saying: “Where such an authority has concerns about funding essential fire safety measures, we will ensure that the lack of financial resources will not prevent them going ahead.”

In September Housing minister Alok Sharma refused a request from Nottingham city council for extra funding for safety work including the fitting of sprinklers, saying: ”The safety measures you outline are additional rather than essential.”

Once the national news agenda moves on the noblest of intentions often get kicked in to the long grass. It is as important as ever that a strong press holds the political classes to account.

Rick Stringer

Sutton St James