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WEEKEND WEB: Spalding Guardian letters

John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon.
John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon.

Your views on education and Brexit, plus Thought for the Week

They just won’t listen to us

READERS' PHOTOS: Mallcolm Pepper's picture of a collared dove.
READERS' PHOTOS: Mallcolm Pepper's picture of a collared dove.

I feel the need to respond to the letter you printed from Coun atricia Bradwell on April 19.

Firstly, I would like to point out that I stand with John Hayes MP wholeheartedly and for him to be called a liar is a disgrace, especially by someone who has been working with teams of people who have lied, manipulated and even discriminated throughout the whole process.

They have been stating that the main drive for these proposals is to allow children to attend a more localised school rather than travelling long distances each day, yet the most recent Local Authority Report (2017) states that “children were already able to access places at their nearest schools in accordance with parental preference”.

They have also constantly spun their badly biased questionnaires and responses to allow them to state that most are completely behind these proposals, yet have failed to explain that in most cases the schools backing these proposals will not change the way they run currently, only enhance.

The only school that would be majorly affected is the only autism specialist school in the county. This is the multi-award winning school that people are fighting so vehemently to keep as it is.

We all agree that all schools need improvement and investment but changing what this school does and is will not only be of detriment to the autism community in which we live and love, but inevitably all SEND (special educational needs and disability) children.

We should all work together to tweak these proposals to work for all, not just for some and certainly not just for locality. Unfortunately, they won’t listen to us, or to the petition with nearly 6,000 signatures on trying to save autism provisions in our county.

Brendan Barnes

Very concerned Autism parent

So detached from reality

In reply to Coun Patricia Bradwell’s letter Thursday 19th April 2018... I don’t know where to start.

Coun Bradwell has really put herself in a bit of a position here with her reply to Jane Peck. She has come across INCREDIBLY unprofessional and I can imagine there will be a few people behind her squirming after her shameless rantings and she clearly NO CLUE as to what everyone (parents, carers, teaching staff etc) are shouting from the rooftops.

She is SO detached from reality and only interested in her pay check that she and those above her are willing to put, at minimum, a whole generation at risk. You want to discuss budget cuts and investment to travel costs? How about you explain to those that work in transport how their livelihood will be affected? Do you know the training and personal investment these people put into keeping the children safe and happy? They go above and beyond their own call of duty.

How will this extra money benefit the children who still wish to travel to their school of choice? Will it? Or will you have another excuse saved up?

I am afraid this is another person who cannot be fobbed off by a pat on the head and told it’s going to be ‘great’ when really we know you have no idea how the bare bones of this daily life really works.

Tell you what Coun Bradwell, I challenge you to spend ONE MONTH working in Gosberton House Academy, and live what these children and staff are experiencing and then talk. Until then, we are not interested.

Worried parent

Name and address supplied

Project Fear? More like Project Fact actually

Paul Foyster (Readers View, April 12) berates Alan Meekings for daring to question the wisdom of Brexit. He claims this is undemocratic and “likely to damage our country”.

However, Paul forgets two things. First, as the famous economist, John Maynard Keynes, reportedly said: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” and, second, as David Davis said in a major speech:“If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”

Prior to the Referendum in 2016, the Leave campaign made a whole load of promises to voters – promises about how easy it would be to achieve a successful Brexit, about how they need us more than we need them, about how this was going to be us taking back control.

In reality, they’ve proven that Brexit is proving to be extremely difficult to negotiate, that we had no idea what we were trying to achieve in the first place, and that the only people that seem to be gaining any control are those that hold the balance of power as a result of May’s foolish attempt to gain a stronger majority in parlaiment – people like the ERG and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Also, when Leave voters voted as they did in 2016, they had no idea what Brexit would look like.

Indeed, nearly two years later, still no one has any realistic idea what Brexit will look like and what the eventual consequences will be. For instance, I don’t remember any Leave campaigners mentioning that leaving the EU would put the Good Friday Agreement at risk in Ireland, create a divorce bill of nearly £40billion or leave everyone in the UK worse off financially than they otherwise would have been – in fact, I distinctly remember two of those three warning coming from the Remain camp, labelled Project Fear by the Leave camp.

Well, Leave campaigners – Project Fear just so happens to be looking more and more like Project Fact.

It is clear, to me at least, that the facts of Brexit have changed.

And so, clearly, the democratic answer is to give voters the final say, once the exit terms are agreed later this year. What do Brexiteers, like Paul Foyster, have to fear? If they’re correct and Brexit is destined to be the fabulous success they promised, then they’ll secure an overwhelming majority in favour of Leaving. The issue of EU membership will be settled for years to come, and we can get back to being a united country. What’s not to like about this?

Besides, isn’t this just one more way we can make sure that we, the people, take back control?

Jordan Swallow

via email


On Friday, the Spalding Branch of the RNLI held their annual quiz night. We were delighted to have raised £285 for the charity. We would like to thank everyone who supported the event, including Spalding Yacht Club who kindly allowed us to use their club house.

All of the money raised will be paid directly to the RNLI in this region and will help ensure that the charity can continue to provide the first class rescue service for which it is renowned.

Despite the service being provided by mainly volunteer crews, the cost of maintaining and updating equipment and vessels is ever increasing.

Just providing one member of a lifeboat crew with full protective kit costs over £1,000, making fundraising events such as this vital.

Peter Warren

RNLI Hon Treasurer Spalding Branch

Thought for the Week

The tulip fields that once made Spalding famous across the country have gone, but flowers are still a significant characteristic of South Holland.

Walking through the churchyard in recent weeks has been a pleasure, as snowdrops, aconites, crocuses, daffodils and narcissi have come into flower in turn. There has also been a profusion of a less well-known spring bulb, Chionodoxa, whose blue flowers have been especially striking.

We, along with a number of other churches in South Holland, are getting ready for our annual flower festival, which starts next week. In recent years we have been able to offer some beautiful displays of flowers arranged by some talented people, and have explored a theme which, we hope, will get people thinking and talking.

With “Root of all evil?” we will be asking “What do we value most?”, “How do we use money?” and “When do we think we might have enough stuff?”. Do you agree with “Love people and use money, not the other way round”?

The Bible will be a voice in our conversation. It was Jesus who advised not worrying about money or clothes and pointed to a flower as something more splendidly dressed than King Solomon.

Rev John Bennett

St Mary and St Nicolas Church



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