ANPR causes jams at the­atre car park

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion -

Au­to­matic num­ber plate recog­ni­tion (ANPR) may have some ad­van­tages over the old pay-and-dis­play sys­tem, but that didn’t im­press the lady from Thanet who sat next to me at the Mar­lowe The­atre last Satur­day.

She had de­lib­er­ately avoided park­ing in the Pound Lane car park be­cause she knew that when all the peo­ple pour out of the the­atre at the end of the per­for­mance and need to pay at the ma­chine, the de­lay would be quite hor­ren­dous. It would also bother me that with no at­ten­dant present, should the bar­rier fail to op­er­ate, I would be trapped in the car park! This faulty bar­rier sit­u­a­tion hap­pened to my wife at the Wil­liam Har­vey hospi­tal only this week, but they have a res­i­dent park­ing at­ten­dant there who soon solved the prob­lem.

I fail to see why the Kent & Can­ter­bury Hospi­tal has also re­cently spent a con­sid­er­able sum in­vest­ing in ANPR for its pub­lic car parks, which are now halfempty due to the con­tin­ued run­ning down of ser­vices there.

I can only as­sume that, with the dire fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion that pub­lic ser­vices are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing at present, the sales pitch of the com­pa­nies sell­ing these ANPR sys­tems must be how much money could be saved in the long run. Mike Arm­strong Queens Av­enue, Can­ter­bury

You have asked for views about the pro­posed ex­ten­sion to the tick­et­less park­ing scheme in Can­ter­bury, Herne Bay and Whit­stable.

It is in­evitable that schemes of this sort will be­come in­creas­ingly com­mon; it is the way for­ward and has many ad­van­tages but the rights of blue badge hold­ers are be­ing ig­nored.

The cur­rent scheme in Pound Lane re­quires blue badge hold­ers to pay while pre­vi­ously they had free ac­cess to the spa­ces in that car park. If all car parks in Can­ter­bury be­came bar­rier- and cam­er­a­con­trolled then the rights of the blue badge holder are se­ri­ously af­fected.

There are a few ar­eas in the city where only blue badge hold­ers have ac­cess, Iron Bar Lane, be­hind the Beaney for ex­am­ple, but to re­strict choice to those with lim­ited mo­bil­ity is cruel for it will re­quire longer walk­ing dis­tances. It will also in­evitably lead to more con­ges­tion in those ar­eas as blue badge hold­ers are crammed into the fewer spa­ces of­fered.

Those with blue badges are ex­empt from the Lon­don con­ges­tion charge and many ve­hi­cles are ex­empt from the Dart­ford Cross­ing Charge. It is surely pos­si­ble to adapt the park­ing scheme in a sim­i­lar way to the ben­e­fit of the lo­cal dis­abled com­mu­nity. Can­ter­bury has a rep­u­ta­tion as be­ing ‘dis­abled un­friendly’.

Shop­ping in Ash­ford, par­tic­u­larly the out­let cen­tre, or Folke­stone is much more at­trac­tive to wheel­chair users. Please do not make Can­ter­bury even more dis­crim­i­na­tory. Nick Hunt Stelling Min­nis This view of St Peter’s Church in Can­ter­bury was taken by our chief re­porter, Gerry War­ren when dis­turbed, thus it was called in Kent the pill­bug or peabug.

There are species of wood­louse, how­ever, that do not roll into a ball but run when ex­posed.

In me­dieval times the pill­bug/peabug was swal­lowed alive when rolled up, sup­pos­edly to cure var­i­ous health ail­ments.

Al­ter­na­tively, live bugs were placed in a lock-type box and hung around the neck in the same be­lief to cure.

In Kent, the com­mon wood­louse was also known as the peasie bug, mon­key pea, cheese bug and slater de­pend­ing on the area.

As stated, some of these are still in use. Alan Ma­jor Au­thor, A New Dic­tionary of Kent Di­alect, Heaton Road, Can­ter­bury

Lit­tle of com­fort was heard from the man­age­ment team from the NHS Trust. We heard of a se­ries of stick­ing-plas­ter solutions, a lot of man­age­ment speak and saw in­tel­li­gi­ble charts and graphs (most 10-year-olds could make bet­ter charts), but very lit­tle hu­man-speak.

The mood in the meet­ing room was that the peo­ple of east Kent have had enough of plat­i­tudes, ex­cuses and cries that there is no money. Other trusts per­form many times bet­ter and they too face enor­mous fi­nan­cial pres­sures.

East Kent is be­ing treated as a poor re­la­tion by gov­ern­ment. The buck does not stop with the lo­cal man­age­ment and board or with civil ser­vants in White­hall. It stops with the Sec­re­tary of State and the Prime Min­is­ter. The Con­ser­va­tives have lost Can­ter­bury. They may lose other east Kent seats if the NHS con­tin­ues to fail peo­ple in Can­ter­bury and across east Kent.

Does Jeremy Hunt have the courage to come down to Can­ter­bury to ex­plain to the peo­ple why things have reached this sorry state and what he is do­ing to rec­tify the po­si­tion? Let’s see if he has the courage of his con­vic­tions. Let’s see if he has the courage to face the tax­pay­ers of east Kent, who are be­ing so badly served? One has a feel­ing that if these fail­ings had oc­curred in Maiden­head, where Mrs May has her seat, or in Mr Hunt’s South West Sur­rey con­stituency, ac­tion by gov­ern­ment would have been swift and deep. Martin Roche Can­ter­bury & Coastal Lib­eral Democrats, Stup­ping­ton Court Farm, Can­ter­bury

Please may I through your pa­per thank those who at­tended the pub­lic meet­ing in Can­ter­bury on Satur­day.

It was ar­ranged for the east Kent hos­pi­tals trust and the lo­cal Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing group to al­low them to apol­o­gise for the state they have left our hospi­tal ser­vices in. There were of course no apolo­gies, or ex­pla­na­tion of when they are go­ing to re­turn our ser­vices back to the K&C, just the bland pro­pa­ganda that drib­bles from the mouths of at least some of them.

Let’s be clear, the huge pres­sure on the other two hos­pi­tals can be eas­ily re­duced along with those A&E wait­ing times by util­is­ing the K&C and re­turn­ing or cen­tral­is­ing some of those acute ser­vices that have moved there.

But it’s not all about those acute wait­ing times, it’s also about can­celled out­pa­tients ap­point­ments, if you are lucky enough to get one in the first place. With operations can­celled and fol­low-up ap­point­ments be­ing fought for it does not give con­fi­dence to pa­tients or their fam­i­lies.

We do need to re­mem­ber that the K&C does not just serve the pa­tients from Can­ter­bury – all of the pa­tients of east Kent may need its spe­cial­ist ser­vices, such as re­nal or vas­cu­lar.

This will be the last pub­lic meet­ing in Can­ter­bury for a while as we will be hold­ing in­for­ma­tion meet­ings around east Kent, in­clud­ing in the coastal ar­eas.

We are also keen to hear from pa­tient groups on their con­cerns so please email chek999@bt­in­ter­net.com.

We are ad­just­ing our page and would ask that all of you on our Face­book group join or re­join our page so we can keep you up to date with meet­ings, etc, so please log into this page and keep the de­tails so you are get­ting the cor­rect in­for­ma­tion.

www.savetheken­tand­can­ter­bury.org Ken Rogers Chair­man, Con­cern for Health in East Kent, Lower Road, Faver­sham

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