Letters to the BV Editor April 2021


Thank you so much for sending the pdf files of the Magazine. We have printed them off and will put them in her Mothers Day card. I’m sure it will give her a thrill to see herself in print.
Kind regards
Peter and Cathy Valteris

We are grateful to Simon Hoare MP for support after the very distressing experience of having found ourselves erroneously thinking we had sold our property, and therefore committing ourselves to an offer elsewhere, with our buyers then “pulling out”.
This has left us with not only a tremendous amount of heartache and anxiety but also with the fact that we have let others down through no fault of our own.
The buying and selling of houses here in England is fraught with peril – with which Simon Hoare agreed stating “the system is not fit for purpose”. Seemingly would-be buyers (and perhaps vendors too) can, and often do, pull out on the flimsiest of pretexts without any thought to the expense or any compensation already paid out to solicitors etc.
The estate agents are equally frustrated and upset on our behalf – they are doing their best under very difficult circumstances.

We have lived all over the world: in other countries, an offer is legally binding and a deposit paid, whereafter if either party defaults, quite rightly the deposit is forfeited. We have been told “everyone complains about the system, but nobody does anything about it”.
Well people, it is time to change this nefarious practice and have

the law changed, which would benefit everyone concerned.
Distressed of Shaftesbury.
(name supplied)

The digital BV is a triumph – many congratulations on this much needed innovation and the current issue in particular which is packed with useful and interesting articles. I especially liked the inclusion on NHS and other care workers. On this point I thought you might like to see my own tribute entitled ‘Bravest of the Brave’ (below).
I think this poem echoes the thoughts of the whole nation and as I would like as many doctors, nurses and others serving in the care and allied sectors to see this tribute. Do ask readers to show or forward the poem to anyone they know who may be working or volunteering in those sectors or in similar family situations – that would be wonderful.

Paul Hooley

Bravest of the Brave

The greatest of courageous acts
Are shown by those with clearest eye
of the grimmest of all certain facts –
The knowledge that they themselves could die

Yet who, undaunted, still proceed –
Own lives at risk and so aware –
To nurse those in the greatest need
Whom fate’s entrusted to their care

Each time they don a mask or glove
They too confront the terror rife
Exists therefore no greater love
Than that of those who risk their life

To save another or comfort give
To those about to say goodbye –
Who may not have that long to live
But will not, alone, be left to die

Let those who follow not forget
The selfless love each carer gave
For we will, forever, be in debt
To the bravest of the brave

I just wanted to say My Mother in Law was very happy to see [her Mother’s Day message], she lives in Gloucester and we haven’t been able to see her since March last year as I’m a shielder. It reduced her to tears – in a good way! – so thank you for including our message, it was greatly received and appreciated.

The Chaters.

Thank you so much for the features this issue [March 21]on local Town & Parish Councils – it’s easy to laugh at the national drama that places like Handforth have created, but it’s no laughing matter when such matters occur within our own local councils. I don’t live in Shaftesbury, but were it my own council I’d certainly be following the progress of this story; one hopes our elected officials can disagree with kindness and respect, and manage to all work together. A divided council is never an effective one, which can only harm the whole town.

The fact that you followed this rather sad story up with a feature on how important local councils are, and just why we should all get involved, was timely and very well-placed. It was an excellent read, and I certainly enjoyed Cllr Craven’s perspective. I for one was rather inspired to be a little less vocal in my complaining, and a little more proactive in my approach in the future.

Margaret Green, Wincanton.

In response to your article on the closure of the last three Tourist Information Centres; I have thought for some time that these are a dying resource. Like so many of our habits, our method of travel has changed so much in recent years. Where once one had to wait to be in a town to collect leaflets about what was available, now we have a wealth of information literally at our fingertips in the weeks before we travel, and most of us arrive fully equipped with armfuls of knowledge – and the ability to instantly find out anything else we need. Surely if they were still a much-needed resource, they would be far busier and no one would consider closing them? It’s the old adage – Use It or Lose It. Rather fascinating that the coun cil’s report shows the biggest users of TICs are the local residents themselves!

To me it’s budget spent on an archaic system which can be better spent elsewhere – unless there is more investment to change the way they operate in high-traffic areas, offering more to a visitor and local than simply ‘tourist information’.

David Seaton, Sherborne

I just wanted to write and thank Barry Cuff and Pete Harcom for their excellent gardening columns. I don’t ever grow veg except a few tomatoes in a pot and some salad leaves, and yet I never miss Barry’s column – much like I never miss Gardener’s World.
I enjoy the gentle, calm tone and the obvious experience and passion that comes through his words. Who knows, maybe I’ll plant some carrots this year, just to join in.
And Pete’s column always has a couple of jobs for me to get on with – despite not having a huge garden, I do love to keep on top if it. His timely reminders on a Friday always give me a task for the weekend ahead.
Could you thank them both for me, and tell them they are much appreciated?

Iris Bell, nr Blandford.

Andy Palmer’s column did make me laugh last month – probably my favourite one yet (I also rather enjoy how he and Roger Guttridge seem to be having a conversation in print, month by month!). Please let me know where to sign up for CARDA? I b’aint seen no address, zee?
Harry P, Stalbridge.

Did Andy Palmer really have to descend into toilet humour in the latest issue? I usually find his column entertaining, but his Shillingstone sewer jokes stink, and made my wife flush.

Bill Whitchall, Blandford.
(Don’t you start, you’ll just encourage him. Ed)

Rupert Hardy’s excellent discussion of Local Plan failings was timely and made for alarming reading.
I always enjoy Rupert’s column, finding them a balanced insight into local issues. But his scathing criticism of the Local Plan was rather less subtle than usual – and so it needed to be.
What a mess of a plan – the fact that there were 2,000 pages of it might sugggest that it was a work of scope, depth and considered research. However it felt more like a rushed jumble of random documentation that had been haphazardly scooped together from previous surveys and plans.
We clearly need more homes locally – especially truly affordable ones for those trying to get on the housing ladder. I have seen a number of excellent eco-housing schemes mentioned over the last couple of years – light footprint pod housing, community developments, simple build starter homes, all with the young and first time buyers in mind.
And yet there didn’t seem to be any mention of such specific developments in the plan at all – and so I suspect we will be left to individually battle the profit-targeted planning applications of the developers eyeing our expanding villages with a confidence emboldened by that ‘30,000 new homes’ requirement baldly stated by the Local Plan.
Martin Palmer, Gillingham.

I know it has been said so often that everyone’s rather bored of hearing it, but I felt compelled to write after experience for myself the wonder that is the vaccine clinics.
I had mine in Blandford, and not only was the system a well-oiled wheel (I’ll admit my heart sank when I sawe the queue snaking across the car park, but the speed we all swept through was a marvel) but every single volunteer and member of staff was kind, cheerful, patient and lovely. It must be exhausting, and repetitive and probably a bit tedious – and yet they seem to leave every patient feeling nurtured and smiling.
What a wonder they are.

Amanda B, Blandford.


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