Fish v frogs

I SHOULD like to reply to the fish v frogs letter in your December 21 edition.

Mark Smith’s letter raises an interesting point. As custodians of the Bourne Hill Secret Garden (by the way, this is the official name and goes back at least 40 years) we have to balance our aims of providing an amenity for local residents and providing a secure habitat for wildlife. There is in fact a second part of the garden which is devoted solely to wildlife. However we do not always get the balance right first time and our consultant ecologist had already warned about the fish. Our thought was to provide a smaller pond for the fish at the southern end of the garden but this will require both power and, believe it or not, planning permission. We are currently in talks with Wiltshire Council as owners of the land and will report on the result. Meanwhile rest assured the frogs will be cared for especially as we rely on them to keep the slug population under control.

Mark Brandon, Salisbury Garden Volunteers

Bad news

WHY, oh why, doesn’t the Journal publish good news on its front page when the opportunity arises? Do we really want to hear about criminal activity in the city (pages 1, 3, 5, 6, 14 and 17) at this season of peace and goodwill when there is something to celebrate. Relegated to page 18 of last week’s edition was the news that the former canon treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, Sarah Mullally, had been appointed to the third most senior post in the Church of England, Bishop of London. The time she spent in the city will, I’m sure, have improved enormously her credentials for such a rapid rise in the Church of England religious hierarchy. We should all be extremely proud on her behalf!

Tim Hawkes, Pitton

Cull report

I BELIEVE that the article with a picture of dead badgers in your edition of December 28 was overly emotive and highly biased. Although the deputy president of the National farmers Union was quoted in the article, would you agree to publish a photo of cattle that have been slaughtered as a consequence of contact with Bovine TB infected badgers?

Graham Browning, Amesbury


CHICKSGROVE residents are not the only villagers suffering from “disastrous” broadband speeds (Journal, Dec 28).

Living at the end of a short rural cul-de-sac but with reasonable access to a cabinet, my broadband speed is 0.7mbps against the government target of 10mbps for the country as a whole by 2020. Over the years there have been confused messages as to whom and where the responsibility lies for upgrading the service but at the moment we live in a twilight zone of “haves and have-nots”.

Meantime we are being urged to go digital for many of our household requirements but without having sufficient fuel in the tank to get the car started. Could we please have some clear assurances from the responsible authorities as to when this situation will really be rectified?

Julian Johnson, Nunton

Thank you

I WOULD like through your newspaper to thank the players and officials of Salisbury FC for their recent visit to the children’s ward of Salisbury Hospital.

My grandson was unlucky enough to be in the ward when they attended and his spirits and demeanour were immediately lifted once he saw them. Please pass on my personal thanks to all the officials of Salisbury FC as everybody there really did appreciate their attendance and the time they spent with each child.

Well done a credit to you all and the city of Salisbury.

Kevin Reed, Salisbury

Council tax

IT is dispiriting to open the New Year by noting a likely rise in council tax. The relaxation of a cap sets a dangerous precedent for the council tax payer to be regarded increasingly as a cash cow.

Granted that some of the additional funds raised are to be devoted to “adult social care,” it remains the case that a certain percentage of the population would be paying for a service used by all.

As to police funding, it is tempting to wonder whether the Wiltshire taxpayer will be in part making good the large sum set aside for the largely useless Heath inquiry — in effect paying for it twice.

Administrative costs and such expenses as those noted in Mr Chivers’ letter ought to be rigorously addressed before any rise in taxation is even contemplated.

Richard Merwood, Salisbury

Traffic woe

I am glad to see the City Council are pressing for a bypass as the City traffic is appalling. I do not think that dualling the A36 to the College will make any difference to the A338, A30, A360 and Wilton Road. It may shorten the queue in Southampton road slightly.

All the towns surrounding Salisbury have bypasses but much of our current problems are from traffic just passing through as they have no alternative routes.

The City Council in the 1970s betrayed by having an inner ring road which had outgrown the City even before it was finished.

I do hope the City Council are stronger willed this time.

Ray Hand, Salisbury