Live Magazines’ Tedd Walmsley asks why it’s so difficult to get a face-to-face appointment with a GP, he questions why we have a new-build programme that is so unrelenting and looks forward to hearing about forthcoming events in the year ahead
As I write this month’s column I’m recovering from a rare bout of gout – please don’t laugh, it’s really not funny. The only consolation is that I have my meds – I couldn’t cope with a 45-minute wait on the phone to my surgery followed by a debate with the receptionist, a call back a day later to be triaged by a nurse and finally, a locum calling me to ask why he was calling me in the first place! What has happened to having a face-to-face with your doctor? This worries me greatly and surely can’t be the way forward – how have you found seeing your GP?
A quick update on the Mumbai-style pavements of Clitheroe – I’m told that by next month we may well have a timeline for the commencement of work. I’m becoming more and more cynical so let’s see.
On a positive note, I read that Clitheroe Police Station is to re-open. Let’s hope it’s manned by serving officers and not civilians and when is Longridge to re-open? Sounds like we may also need extra patrols in Whalley with the recent unacceptable behaviour by delinquent local youths. I’m a zero-tolerance kind of a guy when it comes to crime.
I’ve had a couple of mails this month from readers about the number of new homes being built here in the Ribble Valley. Sadly, I think the fight to contain this is long over and compounded by a central government White Paper encouraging more builds. I can’t see how our feeble and very late neighbourhood plan would cut the mustard. I’m also bemused by the four or five million pounds given to RVBC as a new homes bonus by government over the past five years – could that be part of the reason for the unrelenting build programme?
I’ve had various meetings with local and county councillors this month. One new topic of discussion is I’m told, an appalling report on climate change policy. Once again very late and two-and-a-half years in the making. The content appears very weak on key areas such as sustainable growth emissions (Ribble Valley has very poor air quality) and protecting the natural environment. This sounds ridiculous if you consider parts of the Ribble Valley are in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the importance of tourism on our local economy. I’m told the report concentrates more on ‘bulbs and batteries’ and changes to aspects of the council’s operations. This is huge and yet again appears to be a poor effort from our elected councillors and officers. I was shown some shining examples of great reports from other local councils such as Wyre and Fylde – put pressure on your councillors to be accountable for this.
I’ve pushed hard for information on events to excite both residents and tourists in the run up to Christmas. There is so little on any government or tourism websites and it appears the private sector is once again leading the dance. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a reply from the RV tourism officer in time for this deadline.
I also met the leader of the council Stephen Atkinson and had a lively exchange – Cllr Atkinson is going to set out his vision in an interview in our January issue, when he will announce new capital projects and a host of exciting events for the year ahead – one for us all to look forward to!
Let me know what you think about this month’s topics and anything else you want me to discuss in November – remember what’s really in short supply is common sense and integrity. The views above are my own and I’d be delighted to get some replies to my questions and will report back on any progress and positive outcomes.