'What about pension promise'

Sir, Ref Derek Fearnside’s comments (However tongue in cheek) about following America’s example of the elderly providing for themselves.

I was born in 1939, started work in the NHS Service in 1954, worked hard all my life in various jobs, until the day I was 60 and retired having paid a full stamp all my life.

I then received my OAP, which I think I earned over my lifetime.

If I had paid that money into a private pension, I would now be well provided for, if the government had invested it well and thought about the future we wouldn’t be in this pickle now.

When the NHS started and you paid your stamp, you were told you would be looked after “From the cradle to the grave”.

That was a government promise!   Something to think about!

Anne Jordan


'Article upset my uncle'

SIR - I am concerned about an article by John Phillpott “Darker side to the days of National Service”.  I have an elderly uncle who did National service who was very upset about this article.

It felt to him that the reporter was saying that many who served gave their lives whilst taking part in bar room brawls.

My uncle served in Korea and came home deeply scarred by what he went through as did many others.

To blacken the memories of those who served doing national service was very offensive to an elderly man who saw many comrades lost NOT in bar room brawls but at the hands of a brutal enemy.

Perhaps if your reporter had himself done National service he would have a better knowledge of the reasons behind the discipline of those sergeants who needed to instill an immediate obeyance from his men in a war zone?

Judith Underwood

Market Harborough

  • Editor’s note: John’s article was based on talks he had with former National.

It was in no way derogatory or belittling of their sacrifice, merely reporting facts given to him by men whose experience was quite obviously different to that of the writer’s relative.

'Killing what you love?'

SIR -D J Renney of Nimrod Vet Products suggests that he would prefer being killed in a slaughterhouse to death in his own bed.

What an insult to these gentle animals who are killed for something we don’t need.

Undercover footage from random slaughterhouses completely refutes his assertion that it is in any way humane.

The captive bolt pistol requires precision, and application for 7 seconds, and needs regular cleaning to keep it effective.

Who, paid piecework and spending every day killing animals for which he needs to shut off his feelings, is going to make sure that this all happens?

Obviously he will make an effort when under the vet’s observation.

Modern science tells us that cows’ milk is not good for humans. It is designed for calves - vastly different from us.

Grassland may help local wildlife, and possibly climate change, but the UN told us in 2006 that animal farming is the greatest contributor to climate change and if anything things have got even worse since then.

Is Mr Renney being naive or cynical when he suggests that farmers farm because they love their animals?

They farm to make a living and the animals are the commodity.

It’s fun making the animals look pretty for the local show, and they might win something, but they will still be killed at a fraction of their natural lifespan.

Is that how we treat those we love?

Roberta Balfour


'The doctor’s discretion'

SIR - I am glad the prescribing of paracetamol has been left to the doctor’s discretion.

My late husband had cancer and had  a morphine patch and that was not enough he had to have paracetamol  four times a day unless the pain had eased.

Buying two packs at a time from the supermarket would not have been enough.

I could not have been able to have fetched them either.

We went through three years of hell as it was.

I am intolerant to gluten, it makes me ill, and have had all the tests, but I buy what I need from supermarkets. and have no problem with that., though bread is expensive cereals are the same price now and normal breakfast cereals.

Heather Kelly (Mrs)


'Outrageous decision'

SIR -I was appalled to read how a pensioner’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was cut because she could not name the doctor who diagnosed her 67 years ago.

Betty Whyley, who contracted Polio when she was only six weeks old and now lives with the late effects of Polio, could understandably not remember the name of her doctor from when she was just six weeks old.

Mrs Whyley received a letter from the DWP which informed her that her PIP claim was disallowed because she left her form incomplete.

This is a frankly outrageous decision and leaves me wondering how many other people are being shamefully denied the support they desperately need.

As CEO of The British Polio Fellowship, I see our Support Services team providing our members with daily support to challenge and overturn such arbitrary, insensitive PIP assessments.

With over 120,000 Polio survivors in the UK now struggling with a debilitating new medical condition - Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) - we need to reach more of these people to ensure they are receiving the correct benefits and additional support available.

Anyone who has had Polio and is experiencing any such benefits injustices, should contact our Support Services team on 0800 043 1935 or visit www.BritishPolio.org.uk We will be only too pleased to help if we can.

Ted Hill MBE

CEO, The British Polio Fellowship

'I stand by the way I voted'

SIR - Through your letters page Joe Amos has criticised me for supporting plans for a small part of Pitmaston Park to be fenced off from dogs to allow children to play sport without the fear of treading in dog muck.

There are good arguments on both sides but this has become a quite polarised debate between dog walkers, the local school and some parents about a fence.

For many months the planning committee has been trying to encourage both sides to reach a sensible compromise.

The school has expanded massively and they don’t have a lot of space.

The issue has come back and forth to the planning committee a few times, the compromise plan was to have public access to the area through a gate at weekends and school holidays.

I stand by my decision to vote with the school teachers and local parents wanting a safe space for children to play sport.

Being an elected councillor means taking some difficult decisions, is seldom glamorous and it quite often seems to revolve around dog muck!

Louis Stephen

Green Councillor for Battenhall

'Service is unreliable'

SIR - With regard to Diamond Buses I think they need to treat their passengers complaints very seriously.

In the case of the No 3 service suggestions have made to the company to revise the timetable and certain parts of the route to hopefully improve the situation.

Although they seemed to have taken councillors proposals on board still nothing has been done about this.

I appreciate road closures and road works can cause hold ups and delays.

However delays are happening on a regular basis even when there are no problems.

They are currently operating a very unreliable service throughout the country not only in Wyre Forest.

Robert Lloyd

Stourport Town Councillor

Areley Kings