May I say a huge thank you to all those people in Swindon that helped my mother in the last seven years of her life.
Mum passed away on June 11 at the fine old age of 90.
Mum – Phyllis Cartwright, of Meadowcroft – had a very virulent form of Alzheimer’s which had all sorts of problems associated with it, but through it all she laughed and smiled with everyone.
I have only just realised how many people made my mother’s life tolerable because of their input and there is no way I can personally thank them all.
To the doctors and staff at Merchiston surgery that always fitted her in at the last minute, and Lloyds Pharmacy at Stratton. To Homeline and the district nurses called out so many times in the middle of the night.
To the meals on wheels and the carers that came in three times a day and took the time not just to do their job but also to have a chat with her.
To the Social Services and housing departments that talked me through all that paperwork and helped mum to stay in her own little council bungalow.
To the ambulance drivers that turned up within minutes each time they were called, and the hospital nurses that held her hand and calmed her down.
To the podiatry department and staff at Carfax Street and the Memory Clinic at the Great Western Hospital.
To the friends, neighbours and her relatives who sat with her for so many hours.
To all the staff at the Kings Court Nursing Home who looked after her in her brief stay with them.
To the funeral company A E Smith who showed so much compassion and gave so much good advice.
Plus all those that I have forgotten to include, please forgive me.
Sometimes it is very easy to think of these people as just doing their job but they all go way past what is expected of them, not just the extra mile but in many cases the extra marathon.
Some spent more time than they were officially allocated with mum, some left their private phone numbers with her, some bought her little gifts, and most gave her cuddles which meant everything to her.
I have read many times in your paper about complaints of these people but every time we had an appointment that was missed or someone did not turn up mum had the perfect answer to this. “If they are not here with me son, it’s because they have someone else that needs their help more than I do.”
My mum had a real understanding of the priorities in life. We should be very proud of our Welfare Services in this country and I know that the rest of the world envies us.
From a very grateful family, God bless you all.
Roy and Hazel Cartwright Covingham Swindon
It comes as no surprise that a new strain of the superbug MRSA has been found in cows’ milk.
When animals are raised in close proximity to one another – often in highly-stressful, filthy, factory farm conditions – it would be naïve to imagine that they will not suffer high levels of infectious diseases that place people as well as animals at risk.
In order to keep them alive long enough to reach slaughter weight, farmed animals are fed antibiotics.
The industry’s overuse of these drugs has allowed pathogens to mutate into more dangerous forms and become drug resistant.
This has led the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation to warn that global meat production poses a serious threat to human health.
The recent European E.coli outbreak is also thought to have originated in farmed animals.
Although scientists have yet to pinpoint the precise source, they believe that salad vegetables were infected by bacteria in animal manure that was used to fertilise the crops.
The best way to prevent future food-borne disease outbreaks and an increase in drug-resistant superbug strains is to stop farming animals and switch to a meat-free diet.
Kelly Slade Animal Aid
We would be forgiven for thinking that the Norwegians know more than the British Government when it comes to the EU.
Once again and by a growing margin the Norwegian people have made it very clear they do not want to join the EU.
Only 22.5 per cent of Norwegians say that they support the EU, according to a Sentio Survey made for newspapers Nationen and Klassekampen in January 2011.
No fewer than 65,9 per cent of those polled say that they are against Norway joining the EU. (1994 referendum 52 per cent against).
Is it any wonder they have no desire to join when Norway is the EU’s fourth most important import partner for trade in goods with €91.85bn in 2008, after China, USA, and Russia and the sixth export market with €43.58bn after the USA, Russia, Switzerland, China and Turkey.
Thus, Norway’s trade with the EU shows a surplus of €48.27bn.
Contrast that with Britain’s net deficit of almost the same amount and it then it is clear you don’t have to be in it to win it. When will the Government wake up to this and give us a referendum we were promised.
Robert Feal-Martinez Chairman UKIP Swindon
Not much honour
Yet again it is the silly season – to dispose of Royal Honours. How the Queen must ponder, when instructed to present these once esteemed awards to people who, in the main, are fortunate enough to achieve fame and fortune in sport, entertainment and the dubious profession of politics.
She is of an age to recall a period in history when outstanding people of courage and commitment to the realm only received (and deserved) such awards.
This institution is an anachronism and a farce and should be abolished.
George Humphreys Purton
Why not offer £1 parking at the now disused Groundwell Park and Ride site and include a free minibus ride to Great Western Hospital?
The route could use the A419 to Commonhead roundabout then into GWH.
Bristol Royal Infirmary offers a free minibus from Cabot’s Circus car park every 15 minutes to the hospital’s entrance.
It is an example that works very well for a situation where parking nearer is impossible.
If Swindon Borough Council and GWH could join forces, this could be a chance for a disused facility to be brought back into use, job’s created and GWH parking nightmare solved.
Just a thought Malcolm Cole Eastleaze, Swindon
End fuel poverty
The recent price rises announced by major energy suppliers are once again a major cause for concern.
Coupled with an increase in food prices, these mounting pressures are going to have an enormous impact, especially for the poorest among us.
As a national charity which helps people in financial need, we recognise the reality of this situation, with 60 per cent of the people we have helped saying that before they came to the charity, they had not been able to keep up with bill payments, and over half saying they had been forced to miss one of their recommended three meals a day.
In today’s modern, affluent society, people should simply never be in a position where they are forced to choose between whether they “heat or eat.”
No doubt this coming winter we will hear more stories of people struggling with their rising fuel bills.
With 3.3 million households in the UK still living in fuel poverty, we urge action by all stakeholders to prevent further price rises and ensure further provision is made for the most vulnerable.
Rob Tolan Elizabeth Finn Care Shepherds Bush Road, London
Praise for judge
At last a member of our judiciary has finally reflected public opinion.
Judge Sean Morris put away a violent burglar for 15years at Lincoln Crown Court.
The burglar Leonard Johnston's, party piece was to pick on elderly victims.
When he was confronted by the house owner, he bit her finger and attempted to gouge her eyes out.
Her screams alerted her neighbours, who apprehended him. Not the type you would invite to a family barbecue. Sadly, he will be out in half that time.
As the life span of our nation increases, the judge’s words should be pinned up in every court and police station in Britain.
People in the latter years of their lives are entitled to live in safety and dignity.
I would go further than that. We all should be entitled to live in safety and dignity.
The soft on crime and the causes of crime brigade, had better waken up to the harsh fact that they have failed.
Bill Williams Merlin Way, Covingham, Swindon