Supporting refugee

PETER Curbishley suggested (Journal Postbag, January 11) last week that my concern over the plight of Afghan asylum seeker, Reza Maghsoudi, is somehow at odds with my views on immigration.

In support of this bizarre assertion, he quoted a speech I made in 2013 referring to the policy of ensuring that new immigrants to this country do not have immediate access to full benefits. This is simply a means of ensuring that people do not come here without a plan to support themselves – either through work or with the assistance of family.

I am afraid I fail to see what this has to do with Reza’s situation or with the distress of the many Salisbury people who have grown to love him.

Reza is not an economic migrant – he is a refugee seeking asylum.

Reza is not new to the UK – he came here as a child.

Reza has neither had nor does he require access to benefits – he has friends eager to help, support and employ him.

I would therefore suggest that these comments I made to the Journal in 2016 may be more pertinent: “I believe that as a compassionate society, it is right that we extend shelter and protection to some of the most vulnerable people in the world fleeing conflict and persecution.”

JOHN GLEN MP for Salisbury

Chubb grave

I READ in the Salisbury Journal (January 11) that English Heritage are holding a series of events to mark the centenary of Cecil Chubb donating Stonehenge to the nation.

I contacted English Heritage to ask if they knew that Sir Cecil Chubb’s grave is in Devizes Road cemetery in Salisbury which happens to be directly behind my father, Peter Chubb’s house in St Gregory’s Avenue.

Some years ago my father was mayor of Salisbury and he campaigned to have Cecil Chubb’s grave restored as it had fallen into disrepair and this was duly done in the early 1990’s by English Heritage after he made persistent requests to them.

I asked if English Heritage could continue to keep the grave in good repair as it marks the resting place of someone who bequeathed one of the world’s most important monuments to the nation. They responded that this was not something they would get involved in and suggested I contact Historic England in Bristol.

It is somewhat surprising that an organisation that receives considerable income from Stonehenge visitors is not prepared to honour the grave of the man who was once the owner of the monument. The grave is now derelict again which is a great pity. The article about the newly refurbished grave was printed in the Salisbury Journal on May 4, 1995.

Margaret Cluett (nee Chubb), Shaftesbury

Stonehenge entry fee

YOUR article on the 100th anniversary of Cecil Chubb’s gift of Stonehenge to the nation (Journal, January 11) omitted to mention his condition that nobody should be charged more than one shilling (5p) to look at it.

Rod Job, Salisbury

Not an ivory tower

AS Jane Martin is one of my constituents I claim the ‘right of reply’ to her “ivory tower” letter in last week’s Journal (January 11).

Jane shows a remarkable ability to conjure ‘facts’ from thin air.

The real facts: l Councillors do not have ‘expense accounts’ – massive or otherwise. We receive an allowance from which we have to pay our own telephone, postage, petrol costs etc whilst working on constituency business.

l As the Journal points out councillor posts are non-pensionable – non-contributory or otherwise.

l Taking into account all the hours I do in serving my constituents and my wider responsibilities I receive less than the minimum wage.

“Lucrative public service”? You’re on another planet Jane.

But be clear about this: I’m not complaining. Having members of the public put their cross against my name on election day is a huge privilege. I do what I do because I’m obliged to do my very best to live up to their expectations of me. Nothing could be more satisfying than working to further the interests of constituents and communities.

Wiltshire Cllr Richard Britton, Alderbury & Whiteparish division

Traffic lights

YET again the traffic lights at Park Wall corner Wilton have been damaged. If the lights were repositioned 10 metres back towards Salisbury, then they would be out of the way of turning traffic and also, coming from Netherhampton, we could then turn right towards Salisbury instead of driving the half mile to Wilton roundabout and back again!

Richard Worbey, Wilton

Kind lady

I SHOULD like to thank the kind lady who helped me on the afternoon of Friday, January 12 when I found myself with no warning from feeling perfectly well to being suddenly on the edge of passing out in central Salisbury. She helped me to a nearby cafe and sat with me for 40 minutes until my husband, who is a parish priest in West Wiltshire, could come to the rescue (he was visiting a parishioner in hospital in Salisbury and I had gone along to undertake some necessary errands). The incident gave me heart, because obviously despite all the bad things which hit us day by day in the news, there is clearly much good still in the world. The kind lady told me her name but I was in a very poor state at the time and now I cannot recall it but I am very grateful to her nonetheless.

Julie Sinclair, Bratton


WE would like to express our grateful appreciation to all the exhibitors and visitors who supported the thirteenth Christmas Tree Festival at St Thomas’s Church in the first week of December, which raised over £14,500.

At the Carols for Busy People service before Christmas the beneficiary charities, Salisbury Trust for the Homeless and Wilton Riding for the Disabled Association, each received a cheque for £4,900. The residue of £4,757.50 will go to the maintenance and redevelopment of St Thomas’s.

Many thanks are due to the generosity of about 13,000 visitors to the festival and to our sponsors for helping us to raise such a wonderful total and to create such a joyful community event in celebration of Christmas.

Diane Emsley and John Cox, Christmas Tree Festival co-organisers

Thanks for help

I WAS taken ill on the Wednesday before Christmas in the Culver Street car park and called 999 for assistance. I would like to thank the kind gentleman who assisted me in the car park and waited with me until the ambulance paramedics arrived. I did not get his name but I am very grateful for his kind help in my hour of need. I could not fault the amazing I service I received with an ambulance arriving within a few minutes and whisking me off to A&E where I was seen straight away by highly competent staff. After stabilisation I moved up to the Tisbury cardiac ward and received further excellent treatment.

The speed of response and the level of attention could not be faulted and I wish all the staff at the Salisbury District Hospital a prosperous New Year and a big thank you from myself and family.

Richard Jeffery, Salisbury