Frustration at call times

Call waiting

Frustration at call times

I write to express my frustration at the response whenever I attempt to contact St Helens Council. It is always the same response: “We are currently experiencing an increase in calls.” They suggest I go to their website but unfortunately I am not on the internet like many residents in St Helens and unless I write to them or visit in person, my calls go unheeded. I’m convinced the council is quite happy to frustrate callers because it forces them on to their website.

Bernard Holmes

Kenyons Lane South, Haydock

Council resignation

Democracy must wait

I notice that there has been a vacancy for a councillor in Billinge caused by the sudden resignation of Alison Bacon in May following the local Labour Party’s recent internal turmoil (St Helens Reporter, September 11). I can only assume that everything has run smoothly as, to date no-one has felt the need to call a by-election. It is normal procedure for one of the political parties to prompt such action. Could it be that they are looking at the considerable savings they could accrue, both in terms of saving the cost of an election and also the allowances that the new councillor would have been entitled to claim? There is no doubt that the rapid expansion of modern technology has eased councillors’ administrative workloads, leaving more time to deal with residents’ problems. Given that Billinge is one of the largest wards in the borough in terms of population, and also size, and that it has managed for so long with only two councillors, perhaps it is now time to consider whether wards really do need three councillors. The annual savings on 16 councillors would be considerable. I wonder if this might be the reason for the delay.

Wally Ashcroft

Kiln Lane, Dentons Green

Wasp nuisance

Insects make the best bait

Ask any old fisherman from the old school about wasps and they will tell you they were the king of baits.

Salmon, trout - in fact, anything with scales and fins - you could catch as long as you had a wasp grub. Me and George Martindale once caught the biggest bream ever to come out of Carr Mill Dam. They were as big as dustbin lids! We would take it in turns to use the landing net on the bank below the arches.

Stan Robert

Berwyn Close, Parr

Smoking

Ban was the best thing

I should be allowed to go in any premises without having to inhale toxic and foul smelling smoke which then means I have to wash my clothes when I get home, and potentially even result in me having an early death. The smoking ban was the best thing ever. In fact smoking should be banned full stop. People have a right to do anything they like, but only if it doesn’t affect other people. Would smokers object if I spat on them? Is it my right to do that? It’s the same principle. People arguing about the right to smoke are just plain selfish. Non-smokers have rights too.

Name and address supplied

Health

We must not attack the ill

How low can this country get?

This government is now going to attack the most ill people.

The chronically ill, even the terminally ill, will not escape this wicked government’s ideas.

They constantly get things wrong, they are willing to believe the medical practitioners when it comes to whiplash, but will not take their word when it comes to the very ill.

They insist on harassing these people by trying to get their benefits cut.

Can they tell me, for a start, what firms would employ these people when they know they will obviously have to take many sickness breaks?

The Government should spend this time chasing the many long-term layabouts.

Dave Croucher,

Address supplied

Doctors

We need GPs at weekends

Can I ask why consultants and GPs do not seem to realise that we no longer have a Monday to Friday five day working week in this country?

Instead we operate a seven day calling week.

People do not choose to be ill at a weekend, but I feel consultants and GPs must be available at all times.

I suspect they go out at the weekends for meals or shopping or to garden centres, thereby expecting people to be there, for their needs, just as we patients expect them to be there for our needs.

We do not choose to be ill at a weekend but surely are entitled to the best possible care seven days a week.

Patients, through their NHS contributions actually are paying their wages. Let’s face it, they are more than well paid.

I would be interested to know what others think.

Very concerned patient

Address supplied

Saints finances

Progress is being made

It is great news that Saints’ finances are slowly being brought back to some kind of normality. Even a cursory look at the club’s books will tell you that the coffers were hit very hard when we moved to Widnes for a season. It is important to remember that when fans complain about lack of spending or the team’s perceived underachievement. No British sporting organisation could have sustained the kind of upheaval Saints endured without suffering major cash flow repercussions. Money talks in sport, and our lack of it in recent years has helped quieten our ambitions. But we remain, unquestionably, one of the biggest names in rugby.

Shaun Lobato

Clinkham Wood