Election questions

Yet again, in the recent local elections less than half of those entitled to vote did so. Why?

Is it because they are not interested in local services? Is it because they did not favour any of the candidates? Is it because they think that “they are all the same” and, often, fail to fulfil their promises (made when canvassing) once elected?

Is it because they think that, in many wards, the result is a foregone conclusion – so their votes won’t make any difference?

Yet again, in most if not all wards, the successful candidate received less than 50 per cent of the votes cast. Why?

Is this because the present voting system (first past the post) encourages such results? And is this because, nowadays, it is rarely a straight contest between two candidates form different parties?

Is it because, when there are more than two candidates, a different system of counting the votes (proportional representation) is needed to ensure that the successful candidate is supported by a majority, if necessary by second or third choices of the voters?

Yet again, the local elections were contested as a party-political battle. Why?

What has party ideology to do with mending potholes, road maintenance and the provision of local services such as buses, schools and care of the elderly? Are the descriptions of ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’ relevant today?

Most of the public are middle of the road and are not members of any political party, so is party politics no longer fit for purpose?

Malcolm Morrison

Prospect Hill


Surgery appointments

Since the start of the pandemic the way we are communicated with by doctors at our local surgery has for most people changed considerably.

My own mum has been lucky and has always been seen when she has asked to see a doctor.

However a friend of mine who has a serious conditionas well as other medical problems had a real struggle before she was eventually given an appointment, she found it was hard to get past the reception team at her surgery. She was eventually given a telephone appointment with a doctor for later on that week. When the doctor called she explained her pre-existing condition needed a visual examination rather than describing it over the phone. She ended up telling the doctor she wanted to be seen but had to be insistent to achieve this. Another friend in Marlborough is an aggressive form of cancer survivor and she has a medical problem that is stopping her doing her usual work. She has been trying for three months or more to be seen by a doctor face to face but all she can get is telephone appointments. The problems are not sorted out and her condition is getting worse.

It’s possible I’ve missed it and if this is the case I apologise in advance but with Covid case numbers considerably falling and the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions why is no mention given to a return to more traditional ways of contact between doctor and patient? It would be nice to think that come mid to late June when all restrictions are supposedly going to be lifted completely that we could return to booking an appointment and having an in surgery face to face consultation rather than over the phone.

Somehow I don’t think it will happen I think things are going to stay as they are. This is a shame because not everyone is able to express themselves adequately over the phone and things could end up being missed by the doctor, things that would be obvious with a face to face appointment. Let’s all hope for a return to the old days where our doctors surgeries are concerned, somehow I have a feeling this will not be happening

Steven Blanchard

Woodstock Road