Vote for plan

THROUGH your pages we would like to pay tribute and give grateful thanks to the unpaid, patient and dedicated team who have produced the Idmiston Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan. This encompasses the three villages of Porton, Idmiston and Gomeldon. The plan has been years in the making with the team tirelessly gathering a huge array of facts and figures to form a sound basis for the plan. Involving the local community at every step of the way through presentations, questionnaires and feedback, it will enable those villages to have a real say in any development plans. In fact never before have villages been given such a powerful opportunity to determine the future of their villages.

The team has nursed the neighbourhood plan through countless iterations but now it has been passed by an independent inspector and accepted by Wiltshire Council. Even Idmiston Parish Council has given the plan their unanimous backing. The next and final step of the way is a referendum when those on the electoral roll in the villages will be asked to vote for or against the acceptance of the neighbourhood plan. This will be held in April 2017 and, if a majority vote in favour of accepting the plan is returned, then it will become the document that must be consulted before any decision on development is made. This will benefit everyone so we would urge those in Porton, Idmiston and Gomeldon to get out there and vote in favour of accepting the Idmiston Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan.

Ken and Julie Bradley, Porton

Tunnel vision

THE 2004 public inquiry into the proposal for a 2.1 km tunnel was regrettably adversarial. Objections regarding the risks of a major collision or fire in the tunnel were brushed aside (Google “fire in Alpine tunnel” for background, still relevant today). Concerns about the water table were dismissed likewise. Within a few months of the plan being approved, the scheme was withdrawn as the projected costs had more than doubled – partly (surprise, surprise) due to water table issues.

It is hardly surprising that the current proposal for a ‘bigger and better’ tunnel is received with scepticism by many people. One suspects that the problem is, once again, that egos and reputations are at stake. To quote an old saying, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”

I have drawn the attention of Highways England to the “Statement of Ethical Principles” for the engineering profession, produced by the Royal Academy of Engineering in conjunction with the Engineering Council. Three of its precepts are particularly relevant to this consultation; they are: l hold paramount the health and safety of others; l minimise and justify any adverse effect on society or on the natural environment for their own and succeeding generations; l present and review engineering evidence honestly, accurately and without bias.

In my opinion all tunnel proposals fail on the first two counts, and the previous approach of the Highways Agency failed on the third in respect of accuracy and bias.

Philip Corp, Salisbury

Huge thanks

I HAVE often read letters in the Journal thanking people for helping in an emergency. Until I threw myself headlong on the pavement outside the British Heart Foundation shop in Fisherton Street in January, I could not have anticipated writing such a letter myself. But here I am thanking all those people for looking after me when I was shocked and hurt and unable to move. The tennis playing lady who rang for an ambulance, the trained first aider who knew exactly what to do, the chatty young lady who kept me going with stories of her own accidents, the gentleman who fetched a cushion from the shop, the staff at the shop who provided a blanket and chair and the couple from Frome who won’t even see this letter, all of them gave their time and patience and made all the difference. If you have to do something as silly as racing along the pavement and tripping over a drain cover at the age of 76, then Salisbury must be the place to do it!

I really hope you will print this letter so that all those people can see how grateful I am for their amazing care at a time when I was afraid and shocked. I am very fortunate to have suffered only bruising and my abiding memory will be the kindness of strangers. Thank you all.

Jill Mumford, Salisbury

Praise for head

THE head of the [South Wilts] grammar school in which I myself once operated is to be strongly commended for her reluctance to request parents for financial contributions.

This is a difficult time for schools of all kinds, and Ms Chilcott will naturally be aware of reports in the national press of the disquietingly high subscriptions which some schools in the more affluent areas of the country are hoping to raise.

Such “voluntary” payments over time become levies in all but name, and will only increase, the result being a gradually widening gulf between those who can afford to make them and those who cannot.

Similar, if not worse issues affect the NHS, and I am very much afraid that we are drifting towards a degree of privatisation of social amenities for which we thought we had already been paying tax.


Costly inquiry

I WONDER if Chief Constable Mike Veale misreads our county motto: ‘Where everybody matters’ as ‘Where every body matters’.

Operation Conifer is still investigating the reputation of Edward Heath some ten years after his death, at a £700,000 cost so far, and intends to persist the inquiries.

How refreshing if the attentive mind of our Chief Constable could focus on some of the present day maledictions of Salisbury: the cyclists who race up and down the narrow pedestrian pavements, the continual roar of souped-up car and motor bike engines, the tourist coaches which use St John’s Street drop off point as a permanent coach park, and the total lack of authority on our city streets.


Left an eyesore

AS I have a business (Castle Galleries) right opposite the old Aviva business, may I say I endorse Mr PA Charter’s letter about the scaffolding over the tiling on the property. I have witnessed two men working on one lot on the building for a couple of hours, in the last two years. My neighbour has seen no one working there at all. Why does Wiltshire Council allow this blockage on Castle Street and Endless Street for such a long time?

John Lodge, Salisbury

Exemplary care

AT the end of January my wife of 64 years sadly passed away. She was a resident at the Fordingbridge Care Home where she went when her dementia became too severe for her to stay in her own home. This was over three years ago and the family and I spent much time searching for a suitable home bearing in mind the many bad reports one hears of such establishments. My daughter discovered the Fordingbridge Care Home and we were greatly relieved when my wife became a resident and was able to stay there for three-and-a-half years until her recent death.

The Home was almost new when my wife first became a resident, and it was specially designed and built to cater for those with dementia and similar illnesses. Throughout her stay it remained in excellent condition, very clean and well maintained. The staff were invariably welcoming and courteous and were always anxious to keep in fiequent contact with relatives. But best of all was the tenderness and compassion shown by the staff towards the residents who, at times, could become quite difficult due to their ailments. The loving kindness and tender consideration shown to my wife during her time in residence was exemplary. Even during her final hours they tended her very frequently to relieve any discomfort.

It has been a source of great comfort to the family to know how well our loved one was cared for, and we take with us the comforting knowledge that my wife’s final years were as good and as settled as we could make them.

I hope that you will be able to find enough space to print this letter as I feel that it is only right and proper to tell people that there are first class care homes to be found where the care and comfort of the individual is their primary concern.

PT Wycliffe-Jones, Bransgore

A great comfort

I WOULD like to thank the Waitrose staff members Amy and Karen who assisted a family member on Friday afternoon when she suffered a panic attack whilst shopping in the Salisbury store.

These two girls sat with her, comforted her, sorted her shopping and arranged for a taxi to be booked and paid for to ensure that she got home safely.

The customer service in Waitrose, is second to none.

Eve Elliott-Silvester, Salisbury

Fast response

MANY thanks to the council for repairing the pothole around the drain manhole outside my house on the A27, after my posting it on their website.

DAVID WISE, Whiteparish