Spalding Guardian letters - Thursday, May 30, 2019
Our great MP listens, acts and achieves
Speaking recently in the House of Commons, our superb Member of Parliament, Sir John Hayes, emphasised how welcome the news is that the Competition and Markets Authority has blocked the merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda supermarkets.
Quite rightly, the independent CMA concluded, following a detailed investigation, that the merger would ‘raise prices at the supermarkets’ petrol stations and lead to longer checkout queues’.
It would also have meant many Sainsbury’s and Asda stores closing.
That is certainly true, but, if anything, an understatement of what yet another concentration of power would mean for high streets - as they become even more uniform, customers would get even less choice and farmers and the food industry would get even less fair terms of trade.
Of all the MPs in Parliament, no one has seen this more clearly or acted more decisively than Sir John.
Together with him, I successfully pressed for the establishment of a supermarket regulator to clamp down on the sharp practices of these corporate giants (John’s words, I think).
The result was that when he was a Government minister in the Department of Business, working with Vince Cable, John successfully pressed for the introduction of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, who, along with other farmers, I met and briefed at my home.
That significant achievement has been followed by the excellent section of the Agriculture Bill which gives details of fresh powers to bear down on the unfair treatment of their suppliers by supermarkets.
Now the CMA, following the continuing hard work of our MP has stopped an amalgamation which would have placed enormous power in to the hands of a huge business, disadvantaging those suppliers who sell to it and customers who buy from it.
I am pleased to have played a part in this and proud that we have a great Member of Parliament who listens, acts and achieves.
Sir John is right on both accounts
In his recent column, Sir John Hayes writes that “decoupling the UK from the vast bureaucracy of the EU was never going to be easy”. He’s also said there’s no excuse for not unhitching the wagon.
He’s right on both accounts. The astonishing rise of the Brexit Party should be a wake-up call for MPs to get on and deliver on the referendum result. We should be thankful that at least one MP gets it, and doesn’t need that alarm bell.
Dr Lee Rotherham
Formerly of Vote Leave
‘Jewel in the crown’ looked so tired
I wanted to let off steam regarding my visit to Ayscoughfee Gardens in Spalding recently.
I am drawn to Spalding, as my late mother and her family were raised in the locality. My grandfather, Harold Preston, was a watchmaker and had a shop in the town. Sadly the shop was burnt down by incendiary bombing in 1941.
I spent several joyful holidays at my grandparents’ as a kid in the 1950s
My wife and I visited Ayscoughfee Gardens yesterday.
There have been many happy Spalding visits in my life time, but I thought the town looked tired yesterday, specifically the ‘jewel in the crown’ Ayscoughfee Gardens. Hardly any flowers, long weeds growing out of the tarmac tennis courts, bowling green not looking its best and the onsite toilets a disgrace.
Not what I remember from the past.
Thanks for attending country evening
We would like to thank everyone who attended our country and western evening on Saturday, May 11.
The entertainer was Steve Carmel, who was brilliant, and a very good time was had by all.
Macmillan event raised £1,127
On behalf of the Spalding and Holbeach Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising committee I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported our Easter Egg Hunt in Ayscoughfee Gardens, Spalding, on Good Friday.
We raised the magnificent amount of £1,127 for the charity.
The committee also thanks everyone at Ayscoughfee Hall for their help and support in staging this, our second Easter Egg Hunt.
Spalding and Holbeach Macmillan Cancer Support
Thanks to all who took part in week
I want to thank every person in Lincolnshire who joined the conversation for Dementia Action Week this year (May 20-26).
The week united workplaces, schools and communities to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia.
We all have a role to play in making Lincolnshire a dementia-friendly place to live and that’s what Dementia Action Week was all about.
Starting a conversation is just the beginning. Help us beat dementia by taking part in Cupcake Day on June 13. Whether you bake it or fake it, you can sign up at cupcakeday.alzheimers.org.uk
Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for Lincolnshire
Winner of our reader’s Pictures prize for April is Maz Culy with her picture of Spalding in the autumn in April 11’s Spalding Guardian. Please contact Veena Cornish, using the information in the Readers’ Pictures section, to claim your prize.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
Thursday saw an important Christian festival. Years ago, children would go to Church, then have the rest of the day off school. It marks the return of Jesus to Heaven on Ascension Day, 40 days after his Resurrection on Easter Day.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ was God living a human life on earth, from the moment of his conception (remembered on March 25, with his birth nine months later on Christmas Day) to his death on Good Friday.
After Easter Day he was different – no longer limited by space and time – he appeared among his friends, talked and ate with them but then disappeared. After his Ascension his presence was felt and his words were brought to life by the Holy Spirit, poured out on the Apostles, when the Church began at Pentecost (also known as Whitsun).
That is why when you pray, you have a sense that you are talking to someone and they are listening, and sometimes you hear them speaking to you in your thoughts.
Heaven is not far away. Heaven is where God is. Wherever God is, healing, forgiveness, peace, kindness and love are too. The Ascension of Jesus means that he is present everywhere.
Rev John Bennett
St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding