SEEKING DAVID SPOONER
HELLO lovely people of Macclesfield, I need your help please.
I am looking for an old friend of my brother Peter Newton. He was very close to his friend, David Spooner, but they have lost touch over the year.
My brother is unfortunately in a care home and I know it would be an absolute thrill if David was to get in touch or could manage a visit.
If you’re out there David, or you are able to help me find David, please contact me on 07748 696331, or email newtonreeve@hotmail. com. Julie Newton Reeve via email
INDEPENDENTS HAVE NO CLOUT
FIRST of all my congratulations to James Nicholas for his victory in the Bollington by-election.
Alas I think he is in for a disappointment if he thinks an independent councillor is more likely to be listened to by CE Council than his Conservative predecessor.
A vote against a ruling party is often wasted as only those from a ruling party carry any real clout.
That is why I was successful a few years ago in stopping the decision then to discontinue the school buses to Tytherington when I was a Conservative councillor for Bollington.
After several protest walks down Middlewood Way, meetings galore and many words written and spoken all I had to do was telephone the then leader of CE and tell him I would resign and thereby cause a by-election if he did not reverse this dreadful decision.
He was on Bollington Radio the next morning to give us all the good news and I soldiered on for another two years until Jon Weston replaced me.
When the same issue reared its ugly head again,on his watch, he pulled the same trigger, indeed he went further and actually resigned, BUT things have changed and the mix round the cabinet table is not the same as in my day so his gesture was unsuccessful.
If a sitting ruling party councillor cannot get a decision changed by resigning, a councillor from no party at all – that is an Independent who has no clout whatever – has no chance.
This is not to say the battle for the children at risk from Middlewood Way is lost. I am no longer a councillor for Bollington or anywhere else but I feel as strongly on the issue as ever and I am doing what I can (behind the scenes as it were) with others to get the buses reinstated – or a better solution than send children to school on such a potentially dangerous route.
If we are successful it will not be down to me or to James Nicholas but a victory for common sense for all of us who believe the way forward is not labelled Middlewood! Peter Hayes via email
ASHAMED BY OUR RUBBISH
I HAVE always enjoyed living in Macclesfield but recently I have been appalled and ashamed of the amount of rubbish floating round the town.
The Silk Road, which is our gateway into Macclesfield, is appalling. Rubbish is spread all over the embankments, plastic bags are hanging from trees.
When our visitors, both local and overseas, laugh and say we love the way you decorate your trees with plastic bags in Macclesfield, it’s time we did something.
People in our local authorities must drive down the Silk Road and see this disgusting mess. A Hurdsfield resident via email
HOPING TO FIND 1960S PEN PAL
MY name is Evan Harris and I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. I am now 64 years old.
In the 1960s when I was at primary school, I had a pen friend about my age in Macclesfield. We corresponded for a few years then the letters got less and less frequent.
If remotely possible, I would like to reconnect with the gentleman.
Here is the issue, I cannot remember his name and am unsure if he still lives in the area that your paper is distributed, but I wonder if there is even a faint chance that if a letter to the editor was published by you, that the gentleman in question might see and read it, or perhaps a relative – even another ex-pupil from the same school because I seem to recall that the pen friend connections were arranged through two schools.
The school I was at is called St Martins School in Christchurch NZ. Evan Harris firstname.lastname@example.org FOR the first time since I have been writing a column for publication I will focus on a single issue, albeit an issue that in some ways affects many families.
The issue is that of housing, or rather homes that are affordable, safe and secure – surely something that we ALL agree should be a basic requirement of our society in the 21st century?
Even the government minister responsible for housing, Sajid Javid, has admitted that ‘Our housing market is broken’ when he published a white paper outlining the government’s strategy to tackle the crisis last month. I, as someone who worked in housing for over 30 years, am pleased that the government has at last acknowledged England’s housing crisis.
The white paper belatedly accepts the Tories’ obsession with home ownership, started by the introduction of Right to Buy in 1980, has seen millions of high quality affordable rented homes sold off and not replaced, and that owner occupation has failed many millions of our citizens.
For many, owner occupation is neither a realistic nor the most suitable option.
Indeed, in recent years, housing associations (not for profit) such as Peaks and Plains have been forced to cut rents year-on-year to help massage the government’s uncapped multi-billion pound Housing Benefit bill which is being driven ever upwards by the growth in the uncontrolled and largely unregulated private (for profit) rented sector.
I am deeply disappointed there is little in the white paper to help our homeless and those trapped living in unsuitable housing. Indeed, the document is little more than a sticking plaster covered with a dollop of whitewash. What we urgently need is to divert land hungry speculative developers away from their siege of our greenbelt, and to instead encourage them to build the homes our communities really need, on brownfield sites and in places close to transport and services. Is it too much to ask?
This week’s Big Picture of Three Shire Heads was taken by Robert Barlow. Email your images to macclesfieldexpress@ menmedia.co.uk or add them to our Flickr page at flickr.com/groups/maccpics. We’ll print the best ones