11:00AM, Thursday 07 October 2021
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No politicians looking at the crisis in care
I read last week’s care sector warning headline article with a sense of anger.
Like the volcano in La Palma, this issue has been bubbling under the surface for years.
However, whereas the volcanic eruption was unpredictable, the growing care crisis, negligently but persistently ignored by politicians, was entirely predictable and tragically inevitable.
I have been communicating with our local MP for over 40 years about the care sector.
I have a disabled daughter and hence a particular interest.
During my only face-to-face discussion with Theresa May, many years ago, I asked her why social services never featured in Westminster debates.
Her response, as I vividly recall and she has subsequently equally vehemently denied, was that it was the ‘hot potato’ that national politicians wanted to steer clear of, because it was so contentious that it was best left in the remit of local councils – in other words ‘too hot to handle’.
Whether my recollection or Theresa's of what was said is correct, it is undeniably the truth that while the problems of social care have inexorably and exponentially escalated, Westminster has wilfully turned a ‘blind eye’ to them.
My latest contact with Theresa May was when it was revealed that RBWM has the highest percentage of EU care workers in the country (32 per cent).
My question to her was what would now happen to the care sector as these carers left and replacements became impossible to find, given the Government’s clampdown on EU immigration?
As she is our local MP I thought it was an issue she should be addressing.
In fact I have always felt that care would be a good cause for her to champion nationally, and even shared this thought with her, unfortunately to no avail.
I can understand her caution, given the response to her one effort as PM at raising funding for care.
My most recent letter on the subject to Theresa was forwarded by her to Matt Hancock, who responded with a plethora of platitudes about what the Government is doing – without once addressing my very specific question – no surprises there.
Meanwhile Boris’ ‘oven-ready plan’, made on his entry to No 10, to resolve the care sector problem ‘once and for all’, turned out to be nothing more than an increase in general taxation, nominally of National Insurance, which happens to be the same thing, targeted primarily at those least able to afford it – including those working in care.
He is unable to say what he will do with the money he is raising, other than to prioritise the NHS over the care sector with minimal immediate action on either.
Meanwhile I find myself wondering what the Government has done with the £350 million weekly windfall his infamous red Brexit bus promised would go to the NHS?
Surely Boris would not have been lying?!
Check the blind corner by Battlemead car park
I understand that plans for the Battlemead site, off the lower Cookham Road, include provision of a car park.
Exiting the car park and turning left or right presents a considerable hazard as this is a blind corner.
Cars are regularly doing 40mph-plus along this stretch which provides minimal time to react.
I urge councillors to check this for themselves before there is a serious accident for which they will carry responsibility.
Saving cash with fewer black bin collections
So, the black bins are to be collected every other week.
I recycle in the blue bin everything that can go in the blue bin.
All my food waste is recycled too.
Reducing black bin collection must save someone somewhere: staff costs, disposal charges, lorry maintenance, diesel etc.
Come clean RBWM council – exactly who is pocketing the resultant ‘profit’ from my current council tax payment?
Pedestrians fear Harvest Hill road
Regarding the article in last week’s Advertiser concerning ‘improvement badly needed for Harvest Hill Road’, every single policy of the RBWM should include a safety – as well of course a climate control and pollution emergency statement.
We have a newly built Braywick Leisure Centre, yet built without any regard to the infrastructure and concern of safety for people getting there.
The quickest way to reach Braywick Leisure Centre from Cox Green requires driving or cycling down Harvest Hill Road – a dangerous road, narrow and unlit with no public footpath in places.
Shouldn’t the road have been upgraded to get there safely as part of the planning application condition?
Belatedly this council should admit that it should have upgraded Harvest Hill Road, and do it now for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
Anyone walking the boundary walk this year must agree that this is one of the most dangerous parts of the walk.
Cox Green Lane
Huge estate will make changes redundant
Why waste time on discussing improvements to Harvest Hill Road ?
Surely the probable development of some 2,000 housing units on Maidenhead Golf course, and a further 300 units on the club’s practice ground, will need a radical rethink of all roads adjacent to these areas to enable traffic flow?
The two proposed development areas both verge onto the Harvest Hill Road so the inevitable surely will happen?
Can we convert empty office blocks instead?
Maidenhead Golf Club was a life-saver for many people during lockdown when we had restrictions on exercising and we were able to appreciate the wildlife, the bluebells and the many trees.
I dread to think what will happen to the trees at a time when we are all being encouraged to plant more.
Wouldn’t the solution be to convert the many empty office buildings which remain empty given the preference for working at home?
Call for more coverage of women’s sport
Please could we see more women’s sport represented in the sports pages each week?
Please help the participation of girls and women in sport by celebrating them in your paper!
Editor’s note: Our sports desk is always looking at ways to make our coverage more inclusive and we would be keen to hear from more women and girls’ teams. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Forecourt jams likely, unlike cranberry sauce
Another letter from D R Cooper (Viewpoint, September 30) bemoaning the failure of the Johnson government to negotiate a reasonable EU/UK withdrawal agreement illuminates the stupidity of the whole process in the first place.
Desperate to be seen to fulfil the promise that the charlatan Prime Minister made to the electorate, any old deal that David Frost cooked up would suffice as long as it signalled a departure from the EU.
As queues stretch outside petrol stations preventing the diminishing number of carers and medical staff from fulfilling their vital roles, while the hospitality industry wonders where it will find staff to serve increasingly scarce food, there is no need to ‘win over world public opinion’ since it became clear long ago that those who fell for the lies and voted Leave have inflicted the most grievous act of self harm on the country that anyone can remember, and the world can surely see that.
The oft-used expression about turkeys voting for Christmas comes to mind.
It is a shame that turkeys are due to be in short supply along with so many other desirable items come December.
With empty shelves and soaring prices, let’s hope there's some room at the inn.