Tax burden

AFTER reading in the local press of some of the eye-watering council tax increases, I do wonder if some councillors really know how the other half live. Yes things have to be provided and paid for, but local town and parish councils just can’t be expected to pick up the bill for services that have been axed by Wiltshire Council, due to the lack of funding by their own Conservative government.

Just about every service has faced cuts of some kind and hundreds of jobs have been lost, yet in many cases town and parish councils have been forced to fund these services pushing up town and parish rates. How are residents expected to pay these increases, yes many can but so many can’t.

There are thousands of hardworking families out there on little more than the minimum wage who are struggling to make ends meet without the added burden of large increases in council tax.

Terry Chivers, Melksham

Council robbers

WITH tongue in cheek, I wondered if a couple of proof reading errors were not spotted before publication of the Salisbury Journal dated February 22. Page 2: ‘City homes to pay £180 more on council tax bills’. Paragraph three read - ‘As expected, Wiltshire councillors rubber stamped their leaders’ proposals for a 6 per cent rise in their share of the bill.’ Should this have read: ‘As expected, Wiltshire councillor robbers stamped their approval, etc’?

I notice Salisbury City Council have also announced increased tax charges, and am concerned about the frequency of polishing the Guildhall Square eroding the new surface, while the pavement in my home road still has the Autumn tree berry fall of both 2016 and 2017 unswept and treading in.

Looking forward to a Spring clean soon! 2020 maybe.

Geoffrey Herbert, Salisbury

Secret pride

LAST Wednesday I experienced a mixture of pride and humility in being a citizen of Salisbury.

I watched the film “Secret Spitfires” at Salisbury Rugby Club.

It was overwhelming to learn that around 2,500 local people built 2,300 Spitfires in five years here during the Second World War in complete secrecy. And for the past 70 years still hardly anyone knows about it.

Apparently it took the Civic Society many years to be granted permission to place a blue plaque informing about a spitfire factory at the old Capita building in Castle Street. How many locals or tourists have seen that? Viewers of the film were led to understand that those in authority in the city would not allow this tremendous feat to be recognised by some form of memorial.

How lacking in vision for one of Salisbury’s greatest achievements!

Could this not be re-addressed “Lest we forget?”.

Those 2,500 people were ordinary folk who achieved an extraordinary miracle. But for them we could be living in a very different Salisbury today.

Christine Haines, Salisbury

UCU strikes

MANY of my colleagues and I will be participating in the UCU strikes this week, which are affecting many universities throughout the country.

They are happening because Universities UK, the employer organisation that represents the ‘old’, more famous universities (eg, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, Southampton), wants to reduce its pension risk.

This means that lecturers are likely to lose up to £10,000 per year in their retirement. It will disproportionately affect younger, newer lecturers just starting out on their careers.

I have extremely mixed feelings about the union that represents us, and strikes in general. It will negatively impact many students who already pay a lot of money for their education.

I feel extremely privileged to work in my job, which I love, and I am very upset that it has come to strikes – we do not want students to bear the burden for this dispute. Academics are already modestly paid compared to similarly qualified professionals, and the removal of a decent pension scheme will lead to fewer high-quality applicants for research and teaching roles.

This will lead to a decrease in the quality of education and research in the UK. And all this comes as well at a time when many vice chancellors of universities are paid more than £400,000/year.

Nick Evans, Salisbury

Thank you

I’M writing to thank the people of Fordingbridge. On Monday, February 19, I stupidly tripped and fell over a kerbstone.

I had barely hit the ground before two people from The Ship [Inn] had dashed over to see if they could help, followed by others offering their coats, as it was a cold day.

They were followed by a First Responder, a team doctor, and a community Policeman.

I was there for some time before the ambulance arrived and they all stayed around keeping me talking and involved and introducing themselves to me and each other, I apologise as I don’t remember their names.

The ambulance duly arrived and I went off to hospital for an overnight stay, nothing broken, nothing displaced, just bruising.

In this age when everyone is accused of being selfish it is very warming to know that, when someone obviously needs help, there are many people only too willing to go out of their way to assist with no thought of a return and many of them live in Fordingbridge. My repeated thanks.

Colin Eldridge, Alderholt

‘Death trap’

ANOTHER accident last week on the Devizes Road between Wilton Avenue and Snakey Hill Crossroad, is it going to take somebody getting killed up there before traffic lights or a roundabout can be put in place?

If you’re turning right down to the Woodford Valley you really do see your life flash before your eyes as you sit there like a sitting duck. With all the new houses being built up Devizes Road this only increases the chances of a really bad accident.

Please somebody sort out a much safer option than this death trap waiting to happen .

Rob Nixon, Salisbury

Lethal junction

IF ever a road junction needed looking at then the one that crosses from Camp Hill (Snakey) to the Avenue to Wilton with the A360 dissecting it does. It is without doubt the most dangerous junction in Salisbury.

At least 12 different directions can be achieved, in the rush hours it’s lethal!

It needs sorting out before more accidents occur.

Richard Mogg, Boscombe

Litter grief

I WAS appalled and saddened by the amount of litter I saw today alongside the A36 Southampton Road. I haven’t been that way for some time.

What an introduction for visitors to the beautiful city of Salisbury.

Pam Dewey, Potterne

Lower the road

I WRITE in support of Christina Mason (Journal Postbag, February 15). Lowering the A303 out of view and altering it’s path to avoid most of the barrows is the simplest solution.

The money saved from the cost of a tunnel could be used to improve the rest of the A303.

David Wise, Whiteparish