Future of tourism project is at risk if these plans go ahead


For nearly two years, I have been a member of a committee formed to encourage more tourism in the area.

Committee members are drawn from many local attractions and other interested parties such as providers of bed and breakfast and places to eat, for the hordes of tourists that we hoped to attract into the area. The whole scheme is based upon the expertise of the staff at Sandy TIC, indeed the meetings have been chaired by Ros, one of their staff members.

The first year of the project proved successful and an area booklet was produced and distributed widely. The second year work is based on expanding these ideas even further with an even better guide book. If Sandy TIC is forced to close, I do not know how the future of our project will fare.

Sandy Town Council took on the TIC voluntarily when Central Beds Council decided to close it a few years back and it has been very successful. However, it should really be the District Council running this scheme, not a smaller town council.

It was a shock when the closure was announced, but maybe the anger produced should be directed back to Central Beds for their original action. After all, the Central Beds area are the winners if our scheme to attract more tourists into the area succeeds and that, it is true to say, has already shown just what our area can offer. People are coming into the area and enjoying what they find. Come on then Central Beds, take this TIC back and let it continue into the future. I think I speak on behalf of our committee when I say that.

Dave Thompson,

Deputy Curator, The Signals Museum, RAF Henlow


Not surprised to hear of delays

Re your article of 02/01/15 concerning the five month wait that had to be endured by Mr. Lombari to find out whether or not he had cancer, I have to say that I am not surprised by the incompetence of the Lister, nor by their inevitable excuses.

I myself had a nightmare experience there, lasting several months. I suffer from a severe and potentially fatal condition, and was formerly receiving excellent treatment from Papworth hospital. Because of transport difficulties getting out to Papworth, I asked my G.P. to refer me to the corresponding Lister hospital department. She kindly did so, but it was a decision I came to profoundly regret.

Instead of the highly professional yet relaxed care I received at Papworth, I discovered at the unit at Lister a culture of carelessness and arrogance, and ‘we know it all’ attitude. My condition actually worsened and I had several nasty and frightening episodes at home. The staff in the unit just would not listen to me, and this resulted in these potentially fatal episodes.

The worst part of my Lister nightmare was one I shall never forget. Because (during a supposed ‘consultation’), I disagreed with a member of staff, I was threatened with the callous and spiteful words ‘we can take your machine away, you know!’.

The final straw was her reminding me of my begging- bowl status under the NHS trust. When I was eventually stung into raising my voice, she threatened to have me removed by the security officers.

I must add that now I have returned to Papworth my condition has improved noticeably. Now I can go to sleep of a night without fear and anxiety. Oh, and by the way, Papworth has said in writing that I am a patient who fully complies with my treatment.

When I put in a formal complaint to the Lister – surprise, surprise – there was an immediate closing of ranks, and history was suddenly rewritten.

Nevertheless, I would urge people to complain if they are treated badly. I am thankful that my local G.P surgery is wonderful and that my doctor referred me back to Papworth when I requested this. I would add that there are many decent and caring staff working at Lister, but the hospital management really needs to discard the rotten apples, and to treat complaints not as an attack but as an opportunity to make necessary corrections and to improve.

Michael Le Breton,

Back Street, Biggleswade


Hidden backbone of nation intact

Before memories off2014 end, can we remember the wives of the survivors of The Great War. I can list some of my relatives amongst them.

Often they were too proud to accept charity in carrying out their duty. Often their husbands were severely mentally scarred.

Often they acted as unpaid carers for 30 or 40 years there being then no Benefits Society.

The silent hidden backbone of our Great Nation still remains intact.

David Lawrence

address supplied


We still have a great NHS

After reading last week’s front page story regarding the failure of an NHS patient, I think it’s only right that I give praise to them.

I had a recent illness (which came about quickly) that left me in hospital for a total of 16 days and also resulted in surgery.

I cannot thank enough for the care and treatment I received at Bedford Hospital and at Dr. Kirkham and Partners in Biggleswade.

I’m not a regular visitor to the health centre or hospital, but after seeing what the Consultant’s, Doctor’s and Nurse’s do first hand recently, they really do deserve more praise and appreciation. It’s a shame the media only concentrates on the negative stories.

We are very fortunate to have a fantastic health service. Don’t take it for granted!

Andrew Clark

Osprey Road, Biggleswade


Apologies while work carried out

Regarding the letter on the pathway scheme in Langford, I would like to point out that this is not yet complete. Ultimately this scheme is expected to improve the route between Langford and Biggleswade for walkers and for cyclists but we do appreciate that some disruption is inevitable whilst the work is carried out.

We understand concern about the green having been somewhat churned up by the construction activities and plant movements, but can reassure residents that the green will be reinstated and seeded at the end of the job. Whilst it is suggested that the lampposts are “in the wrong place” they have been positioned in the best possible locations to comply with the nationally determined maximum transfer distances whilst maintaining the minimum acceptable footway width. We will also investigate the suggested damage to the bus shelter which may have been affected by the relocation.

As always, we do apologise to residents for any inconvenience that our work may cause them. In the long run, however, we hope it will be worth the disruption.

Paul Mason

Central Bedfordshire Council Head of Highways


Power of press tracks friends

We recently asked you to help find two lost friends. On New Year’s Day we had an email from them thanks to your paper,

We can’t thank you enough.

Leslie and Carole Hirst


We need helpers

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of your readers who have supported the work of the NSPCC during the last year. Without the backing of local people the NSPCC would not be able to help abused children rebuild their lives, or be there for parents who desperately need advice and support.

As we move into 2015 I would like to appeal to your readers to make a very special kind of New Year’s resolution for the NSPCC. ‘Just One Day’ is a call for people to come forward and volunteer some time to support our work – even if people can only spare one day, it will be a massive help.

In Biggleswade, we especially need fundraising volunteers. So whether you’re interested in running a marathon, running a stall at a local fete, or just sparing a few hours to help at a collection, we would love to hear from you.

Abuse ruins childhood, but it can be prevented. That’s why the NSPCC is here.

Please join us in the fight for every childhood by volunteering some time to support the NSPCC, whether you can spare a day a week or just one day. To find out more please email sally.phipps@nspcc.org.uk or log on to nspcc.org.uk/volunteer

Sally Phipps

NSPCC fundraising manager


Vital role

The Centenary of the start of World War One was enthusiastically embraced by the British people.

The centenaries of major battles and other key events within the war will naturally be commemorated in various ways until November 2018, providing us all with an opportunity to examine other aspects of the conflict.

If we choose to treat the next four years as a chance for education and awareness-building about the war, “social media” is in a position to play a vital role.

For example, there are a growing number of Facebook pages and groups which are endeavouring to place and maintain aspects of the war in the public mind. All can be located by using Facebook search terms such as “Great War”, “World War One”, “First World War” or “WW1”.

Ray Thompson,

N. Lincs