Greg's Occasional News & Views

19 January 2020

After the excitement of last week, a relatively straight-forward one and therefore there is little news to relate this week apart from the appearance on page 4 of a national newspaper of someone exceedingly important in the local community.

Long story short – the medical centre which we attend in Byfield is grossly over-subscribed and desperately needs expanded premises. It was designed and built to support the needs of about 4000 patients and now there are more than 8000 on its books. Because the space and facilities are in such short supply it can be difficult to get an appointment to see a doctor or nurse practitioner.

A planning application has been made to the local authority to build a number of new houses and, if the application is successful, the landowner is prepared to donate land to enable the construction of a new medical centre to meet the needs of the local community. Unfortunately, many local residents object to the plans because of the additional road traffic which would be the result of building 80 or so new houses.

The planning decision was to be taken on Wednesday evening so several hundred villagers and a number from outlying regions in favour of the development and new medical centre went along to the council meeting to show their support.

Imagine our surprise to see, on Facebook, a photo of page 4 of the Daily Mail!

Yes, that is our very own Ms Playchute in the top right holding a placard beseeching the council to support the planning application and to “Save Our Surgery!” (We won’t mention that the Daily Mail is one of the nastiest, ultra-right-wing, racist, pro-Brexit rags in the country. But this is a case of any publicity is good publicity, I guess).

With the UK set to leave the EU on 31 January there has been some debate as to the proper “celebration” to mark this historic event. We’ll probably huddle in our living room sobbing but some want to spend £500,000 getting Big Ben to toll a “victory” peal. (Another long story short – Big Ben is currently undergoing some repairs and renovation. In order to carry out the EU peal the work would need to be paused and various temporary measures put in place to enable to bell to ring safely). The looney Brexiteers liken leaving the EU to victory in Europe in World War II and are falling over themselves organising various schemes to raise the money required to make it happen. Thankfully, it seems unlikely but we have no doubt there will be countless other equally stupid “celebrations”. Celebrations that seem likely to end in tears once the proverbial s**t hits the fan.

Happy Birthday this week to our Nick (Monday) and to Max the Magnificent on Friday. Max will be two; Nick just a few years older than that.

Lots of love to you all,

Greg

 

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