In an open letter published in the Journal, you say "The STP is not something that is being done to us.". Dr. Diamond, it may not be something done to you; it is certainly something being done to me. In that process, I have no say: neither does my elected MP. Equally excluded are my elected town, district and county councillors. I am "represented" (your word) by unelected individuals, none of whom I have reason to trust and, indeed, some of whom I have every reason to distrust.
You go on to say "I would like finish by reassuring you that, as the accountable officer for the Trust, I am responsible for delivering high-quality and safe services". I am afraid that your reassurance means nothing; no more, in fact, than did your repeated reassurance last year that the in-patient beds in the Tyrrell were closed only temporarily, until, mere weeks after your last such "reassurance", the beds disappeared forever.
To put it bluntly, Dr. Diamond, the people of Ilfracombe and of North Devon generally do not trust you. We do not trust you to deliver "high-quality and safe services" or, indeed, anything. Neither do we trust those in charge of the STP, at least some of whom do not give the impression of being totally impartial or have interests which, whether or not they in fact do, appear to result in a conflict of interests.
David G Tubby
Mr Rodney Cann is a busy chap, and very good at attracting publicity. Just the sort of fellow we need as an ambassador for our town. In recent weeks, I have seen him appear in local papers talking about refuse and recycling, promoting Fremington, promoting Bickington, promoting Ilf…. No, wait, I haven’t seen him say anything about Ilfracombe. So why on earth does anyone think it is a good idea that he should be our ambassador? If there is to be an ambassador at all, we demand an ambassador who will take a genuine interest in us and who will work in OUR interests, not in the interests of other parts of North Devon, no matter how worthy.
Over the last few weeks, we have seen a lot of reports of exams taken and passed by our young people. Many of them have gone off to university, and I most sincerely wish them well. However, whilst I certainly do not want to depreciate academic achievement (that, after all, is what my career was founded upon), it has to be said that in Britain we do tend to overlook other forms of excellence.
What do you think?
The Victorians will be holding a Halloween Fancy Dress Party at the Pier Brewery Tap & Grill on Sunday 30th October from 4pm. Entrance is free, although there is a £1 charge if you wish to enter the fancy dress competition. There will also be a raffle and all sorts of other things to do. Children are welcome, especially during the early part of the event. Please, if you can, attend and support us.
The Save Our Hospital Services demonstration on Saturday was a triumph. I was pleased to see Peter Heaton-Jones there. It was brave of him to come and I am glad he is on our side. It was unfortunate that a few people there took a partisan line and booed him. You may not approve of all he stands for, but he stands for a full service general hospital in Barnstaple, and that is what we are fighting for. It was brave of him to come.
It is important to remember that all political parties are a coalition of several streams of thought. You can see this very clearly in the Labour Party, but it applies to them all. Given that the government is Conservative, the most effective thing we can do is persuade other Conservatives to join our cause. We will not do that if we go out of our way to make them unwelcome.
I have a lot of time for Paul Crabb, our mayor. Regardless what his political affiliation may be, he is a good local councillor. If he knows of something that needs doing, he doesn’t just sit on his backside and wait for someone else to do something, he gets out and does what needs doing himself. However, I think he has got it wrong over the Barnstaple hospital issue. Paul says, quite correctly, that no decisions have yet been taken and concludes from this that we should wait for the formal consultation when plans will be put before us. Unfortunately, our experience last year with the Tyrrell leads me to believe that awaiting formal consultation is too late. Consultation is a sham and, by that time, decisions will have been made. We need to change minds before they are made up.
Ilfracombe Museum will be closing from the end of the month to enable some much-needed maintenance to be done. Why not go along before it closes and then go after to see what improvements have been made. If you go, please fill in a gift aid form – it means the tax man adds 25% to your admission charge at no cost to you.
See you next week.