I READ with interest your article in last week’s Chronicle on the proposed sale of County Hall for £10m and the proposed purchase of new offices in the new HQ building for £20m.
I was led to believe that the creation of the two new councils for Cheshire would produce levels of savings in expenditure that would place no additional financial burden on council taxpayers, so would council leader Mike Jones explain where the missing £10m is to be found.
If I understand the correct meaning of the word ‘saving’, money is not spent but saved, NOT spent on some additional project or works.
If the new council is to be seen by council taxpayers across the county as true to its word in making real savings in expenditure (hopefully resulting in minimal rises in future council tax demands), the following questions need to be answered by Cllr Jones and his fellow councillors:
Is a move from County Hall really necessary?
Is the proposed choice of new offices in the new HQ building really appropriate?
Is not the choice of more ‘sober’ accommodation appropriate?
On top of the missing £10m to purchase new office accommodation, what will be the additional expenditure associated with move itself and where will that money be found from?
I’d suggest the full council thoroughly discusses all the financial implications and their impact on council taxpayers before it makes the final decision that an office move during the current economic turndown is in the best interests of all the residents of Cheshire West and Chester.
We should have been warned
I WAS very pleased with story on the front page of the Chronicle last week about the reported cases of swine flu in Northwich and Winsford.
My wife and I are pensioners who live next door to Weaverham High School and we both have very weak immune systems. We’re glad something is being done about the possible spread of the disease in our area.
We knew a boy had been sent home with flu symptoms but no-one from the school told us. It’s a real concern and people need to know.
There are around 1,200 kids at the school and those of us who live near the school are nearly all elderly. We, more than anyone, need to know if we are at risk.
Stop trampling on OAP dignity
THE Equality Bill, which is currently working its way through Parliament, is a significant win for older people who have been waiting for years to gain the same protections from discrimination as other groups in society.
However the Bill’s still not everything we’ve been hoping for. Key regulations for protecting older people in heath and social care and in the financial sector will not be part of the Bill in this Parliament.
There’s no word yet from the Government on whether they have plans to scrap the unfair and unpopular national default retirement age of 65.
My experience as a young person working with the elderly for several years has given me much insight into the way that older people are disregarded by our society.
They are not given the care that they need and deserve, particularly in nursing homes. I’ve worked in some and in the community caring for the elderly – and I’ve witnessed first hand the sub-standard care that’s being given.
The main reasons for this is a lack of money available to train the staff and provide equipment.
Another reason is the low wages paid to overworked and undervalued staff, making them feel despondent and de-motivated.
Another complaint I often heard from the people I cared for was the sub-standard food on offer, particularly to people with special dietary requirements such as diabetes.
This is my personal experience and opinion but these are known problems within the elderly care sector.
I think the more attention that can be given to these issues the more likely it is that something will be done about it.
I’m personally going to try to do all I can to help draw attention to the problems that are faced by the elderly in whatever way that I can.
I’ve written to my MP asking that they, and their party, stand up for older voters and give their wholehearted support to the Equality Bill.
They must also make a clear pledge to introduce an unbreakable legal commitment of strong regulations as soon as possible and to discard forced retirement.
I urge your readers to do the same by supporting the Just Equal Treatment campaign led by Age Concern and Help the Aged.
They can take action by calling 0207 239 1982 or going to http://www.helptheaged.org. uk/justequaltreatment
This is a critical issue for older people and if we don’t hear the right noises soon, we’ll vote with our feet in the next election.
Miss Elisabeth Slater
Baldock Close, Thelwall, Warrington
SO NOW we know Nick Griifin plans to scupper boats carrying immigrants to Europe.
He says they should be put in lifeboats and sent back.
God alone knows what his plans are for our ethnic minorities. Well done all the other people who voted for this evil man.
Melchett Crescent, Rudheath
Word of honour
I WAS browsing through my dictionary the other day and came across an extremely long word to do with honour.
Luckily, it’s such an unpronounceable mouthful that it will never feature in common parlance – and never connected with the politicians caught out in the disgraceful expenses scandal at Westminster.
The word is a 22-letter whopper: honorificabilitudinity.
It pays to check
OVER a year, more than £1bn of benefits were underpaid.
In other words, people who made a claim for benefit and were awarded the benefit were not paid the correct amount (eg £120m of pension credit and £250m of disability living allowance were underpaid).
The recipients were none-the -wiser as they believed they were getting the correct sum.
It pays to have an independent check of the figures.
EDITOR writes: The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help. It does sterling service.