Newmarket Journal readers' letters to the editor
The resignation of Matt Hancock a d the closure of West Suffolk Council's office in the town are among this week's topics.
OFFICE CLOSURE ILLUSTRATES TOWN’S PLIGHT
First and foremost, my thanks to the many people who have contacted me to support the proposal for Newmarket to be transferred into Cambridgeshire.
Cllr Alan Sharp was correct in his letter published last week, in that local electoral boundaries come under the jurisdiction of the Local Government Boundary Commission. However, my contention is that the current parliamentary boundary review should work in partnership with the aforementioned boundary commission and not in isolation. The current structure is bureaucracy at its worst.
The reason my colleague, Tom Kerby, and I have highlighted the matter is that we disagree with the merger of Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds to form a new parliamentary constituency. We feel that geographically Newmarket merging with Ely would be eminently more sensible.
Your front-page story last week, regarding the permanent closure of West Suffolk Council’s office here in Newmarket, illustrates again how disadvantaged the town is being stuck out on the edge of Suffolk. The town deserves so much better. Sadly, from a financial viewpoint Suffolk missed the boat by not joining the Combined Authority, which has seen Cambridgeshire benefit by millions of pounds devolved from Government to ensure prosperity and future growth and development.
Cllr Sharp has suggested that during the last five years he has ‘tried’ to influence decisions taken by West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council. Perhaps he would care to advise the electorate and the readers of your newspaper how successful he has been.
Peter Cresswell, Peterhouse Drive, Newmarket
OUR MP’S FAILINGS GO BEYOND PRIVATE LIFE
On May 19 I wrote a letter, which was published in the Newmarket Journal, headed: How dare you Matt Hancock?
I accused him then of hypocrisy for clapping the NHS on Thursday; for dismally failing NHS workers (and other key workers) over the lack of PPE; for voting against a modest pay rise for nurses; for choosing to spend billions of taxpayers’ money on creeping privatisation of the NHS; for spending billions on private companies to run Test and Trace rather than funding tried and tested local GP and public health services.
Since then, we have learnt more about the extent of cronyism and avoidance of democratic scrutiny rife throughout this Tory government. We see almost daily how he and Johnson slide past the truth.
We have learnt, from cross-party evidence, that the test and trace programme (run by his friend Dido Harding) has been at best ineffectual. Matt Hancock at the heart of it. His friends stacking up their profits at the cost of the people of the country.
Under his watch, many thousands of lives have been lost unnecessarily. With his complicity Johnson and the cabinet delayed closing the borders to the new Delta variant, despite knowing about it, in order to stitch up a trade deal with India. We can all see the cases soaring now. May I suggest that his resignation yesterday was way overdue. Let us not forget that his failings go way beyond a bit of sleazy personal dishonesty. He is responsible for far more than that.
Time to resign as MP, Matt Hancock.
Hilary Appleton, Gazeley
I'D SUPPORT DE-SELECTION OF MATT HANCOCK
Whilst it saddens and disappoints me to hear and read the terrible news about Matt Hancock MP, as health secretary he has overseen the Covid pandemic that hit the country throughout the past year with passion.
He has had to make some very difficult decisions and place restrictions on what as a government were thought best for the population. To flout those rules himself is indefensible and in my opinion to resign was correct with all trust and integrity in Matt Hancock lost.
At present I am a West Suffolk Conservative Association member and in light of the circumstances surrounding this affair I would fully support the de-selection of Matt Hancock as the MP for West Suffolk.
Tom Kerby, Newmarket
ALLEGATIONS MUST BE INVESTIGATED
Our MP has fallen from grace after an indiscretion within his personal life, to all appearances.
However, matters of national import remain unexplained. Whatever one’s political allegiance, there are some central precepts upon which the concept of democratic representation depends.
It should not need re-iterating that the proceeds of taxation must be spent for the good of the people the citizens. And the current allegations that suggest funds were allotted, via contracts intended to safeguard the lives and health of the British people, to ‘those who knew, rather than those who could’, must be fully investigated.
Public life places an obligation upon its incumbents never more so than when senior political figures are steering their country through a disaster. Mr Hancock must answer for his alleged actions regarding allocation of public money. His private life can remain just that. His public profession must be open to scrutiny.
Linda Johns, Gazeley