A greater good

2:49pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

WHAT an excellent and well-stated letter from Mrs S V Kielty (Argus, July 24). It contained all my thoughts, and I think many others’, perfectly. Whilst the death was tragic for someone so young it is by no means unique and as the writer says there are millions in the same boat.

What recovery?

2:47pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

THE Government’s latest economic figures tell us that despite there being more people in work, wages are still not keeping up with the cost of living. In the past rising employment was always followed by rising wages. However, this time it’s only those in the top 15 per cent that have seen their income increase – by a whopping 180 per cent in four years – whereas everyone else has seen their wages grow by a pitiful 0.3 per cent –down 0.9 per cent – with inflation running at 1.9 per cent. This shows that things are getting worse, as many are effectively suffering an annual pay cut of 1.6 per cent.

Tireless effort

2:44pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

I WOULD like to put on record my sincere thanks to the Risca West and East Community Events Group for their tireless work over the past six months organising this year’s family summer event in Risca Park.

In praise of men

2:43pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

COULD I write in praise of men? They really are able to do more than women, very often. They can release the fuel cap in your hire car and tell you whether or not it is diesel; they can open the tops of hermetically sealed milk pouches in motorway services; they know where your hotel really is when the sat nav tells you ‘you have reached your destination’ in the middle of a nondescriptcouncil estate; they are happy to reach items on the top shelves in supermarkets and can also translate from alien measurements into British; they will wait patiently at the check-out while you retrieve the contents of the handbag you inadvertently tipped upside down looking for your purse, and they can reverse your car down a narrow, winding hill with vehicles on either side. All in all, men are stars. God bless them!

Parking charges

2:42pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

HAVING CAERPHILLY Council Car Park charges for parking at its five country parks. just read an online report about the Caerphilly council meeting on July 16 16/08/14, I am disappointed at the way the members seem to have totally disregarded the views of many residents – including a petition signed by 3,000 people – who raised concerns about the charges for car parking in its five country parks, about charging for parking at its Country Parks. There appears not to have been much discussion and a dismissive attitude towards the objections that were put forward.

City's blooming

2:40pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

NEWPORT comes in for a lot of criticism, but praise must be given to the people responsible for the wonderful flower displays in and around the town. The wild flower areas lift the spirits. The new wild flower area at the exit of the bus station is stunning. Well done.

Putin's bullets

11:22am Tuesday 29th July 2014

HITLER started with Poland, Putin with Ukraine. The downing of the Malaysian airliner is the sole responsibility of Putin and he provides the bullets for others to fire.

Caring hospital

11:21am Tuesday 29th July 2014

IN THIS current era of ‘complaints’ and ‘litigation’ against the public services, and hospitals in particular, I felt it necessary to write this letter in recognition of the care I received on 4/2 at Nevill Hall Hospital, during a recent illness.

Assisted killing

11:20am Tuesday 29th July 2014

THOSE of us involved in defending the culture of life, not death, are familiar with terms that tend to hide the real fact of the matter. Before the Abortion Act became law on October 27 1967 and before its implementation on April 271968, it was described as the “Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill”. This description hides the reality of what was in fact being debated (the legalisation of abortion) because when a woman gives birth to her child her pregnancy is terminated.

School closure

11:19am Tuesday 29th July 2014

I WAS very shocked to read the letter from Jason Baxter suggesting that no-one from Torfaen Council was at the closure assembly of Pontymoile Primary school that he attended. This was only one of three concerts and assemblies that took place. Both of the other two were attended by Cllr Neil Waite (Lab Cwmynyscoy) and he gave an impromptu speech at each.

Family support

11:18am Tuesday 29th July 2014

AROUND 200,000 children in England and Wales will spend their school holidays this summer with a parent in prison. When a parent is incarcerated, their children are left behind in the shadows. Sadly, some young people never recover from this early trauma. Indeed, the children of prisoners are twice as likely to experience behavioural or mental health problems. Despite the potentially devastating effects of parental imprisonment on their families, no agency has responsibility for identifying or protecting these overlooked and isolated children or vulnerable adults. This is a tragedy because with the right support, it is possible for families to both keep in contact and to break the cycle of offending for good. However, with the right support and government intervention there is a golden opportunity to help turn life around for prisoners’ families. We are calling on the government to amend the Criminal Justice Bill so that in future courts will be legally obliged to ask if individuals being sentenced have children or vulnerable adults dependent on them, so they can be properly supported. To find out more about our campaign, visit: www.barnardos.org.uk/get_involved/campaign/releaserachel.

Sour taste left

1:14pm Monday 28th July 2014

I SEE the post office on Bassaleg Road is being turned into an Indian takeaway.

Imperialist war

1:13pm Monday 28th July 2014

WHILST trawling through the mainstream media “guff” there is no doubt some British historians believe it was just a “war on the Western Front”, clearly a myopic view as no single country can apportion blame, however, the most penetrating answer is imperialism.

Murder case

1:11pm Monday 28th July 2014

YOUR readers may be interested in knowing that the Sky TV documentary featured in the Fred Dinenage Murder Casebook is now being featured on YouTube on the internet. (Google Harold Jones – Killer).

Greens threat

1:10pm Monday 28th July 2014

I AM disgusted in the way Caerphilly council is intent on closing local bowling greens. As a bowler myself I have many friends from those threatened clubs.

Tale of two cities

1:02pm Monday 28th July 2014

IT REALLY makes me laugh when Labour nationally complains about the two track economy in the UK, ie London and the rest. A situation in part brought about by mainly private sector and overseas led investment when Welsh Labour have used billions of government and grant money to replicate the same environment in Wales. An environment they claim to bitterly oppose.

School 'failure'

1:01pm Monday 28th July 2014

I AM writing with regard to the article in the Free Press on July 16 concerning the changes to school transport provision by Newport council. Every local council in Wales has a legal obligation to provide Welsh medium education to children whose parents request it. Newport council provides Welsh medium nursery and primary education, but chose to shirk its responsibilities to provide Welsh medium secondary education within Newport and decided instead to send pupils to Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypool.

Fine councillors

1:00pm Monday 28th July 2014

IN REPLY to the front page of the Argus on Wednesday, July 16, Council Chiefs Talking of Fines to Parents of Children out of School Terms.

End of city?

1:10pm Thursday 24th July 2014

’VE JUST read my copy of Newport Matters and I see that Edwina Hart has given £4million to Newport in the first phase of the Cardiff Capital Metro plan. Is this the first phase of Newport becoming a part of Greater Cardiff, a district like Splott or Ely? Dave Woolven, Aspen Way, Malpas Park, Newport

Bus climbdown

1:09pm Thursday 24th July 2014

TRANSPORT operators have won a moral victory after the Welsh Government accepted that its planned cuts to funding for free bus travel were wrong. The Welsh Government had been forced into an “humiliating climbdown”.

Pay upfront

1:09pm Thursday 24th July 2014

I HAVE been reading in the national press of ideas being proposed by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to charge migrant and EU patients who receive medical treatment through the NHS.

Safe spraying

1:08pm Thursday 24th July 2014

ON BEHALF of Torfaen council and Bron Afon, I would like to reassure readers that the weed killers we use in Torfaen (see letter ‘Spraying danger,’ July 15) are fully approved by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate for use in public areas. They have been the subject of rigorous testing and found not to pose a risk to animals, humans or the environment. As such, there is no need to cordon off treated areas, and the public have no need to worry should they come into contact with a treated area.

A fine concert

1:07pm Thursday 24th July 2014

WHERE were all the moaners on Sunday afternoon, those who complain that nothing takes place in Newport of a high standard of music?

Do the maths

1:06pm Thursday 24th July 2014

FANCY Cllr. Nigel Dix wanting to know what eight times seven is! Even Ed Balls could have told him (I think).

Lots to admire

1:02pm Thursday 24th July 2014

SO, KEN Bowen of Whitson, Newport doesn’t want Britain to become another federal state of Germany (Argus, July 14). Why not? Think of the benefits! No HGVs on the roads at weekends, most garden centres and supermarkets closed on Sundays, more part-time traffic lights instead of them being switched on all night when the roads are deserted and, as for motorways, lane hoggers jumped on from a great height and no upper speed limit for any gas guzzlers. Bliss, oh bliss! Although, I’m not so sure that I want to drive on the right.

Views ignored

1:01pm Thursday 24th July 2014

THE LABOUR cabinet at Caerphilly council is not known for listening to the views of residents, so the decision to press ahead with charges for parking will not have surprised many.

Help charities, not one child

1:01pm Thursday 24th July 2014

I READ the story about the little girl whose mother died tragically in childbirth (July 14).

NATO logo no no

2:50pm Wednesday 23rd July 2014

IN David Deans’ and Becky Carr’s article (The Argus, Tuesday, July 15) it was stated that Mr David Jones, the outgoing Welsh Secretary, defended the Nato summit logo, saying that Newport wasn’t missing from it, “Newport Transporter Bridge is an integral part of the logo. (We) were always clear from the outset that this was Wales’s opportunity to be in the spotlight”. What a load of slimy, weasel-worded rubbish. As The Argus described the logo – it was pathetic. Had we not been been told, very few people in Wales and the rest of the UK would have had a clue what the logo represented. The so-called official logo was obviously designed by some incompetent jobsworth - probably at the behest of some equally incompetent, self-serving jobsworth from the “Cardiff Taffia”. The logo should have shown the Welsh flag (representing Wales), the Newport coat of arms (the host city), and the Nato symbol. Newport Transporter Bridge is one of 12 other transporter bridges in Nato countries (six in Europe, six in the USA).

SDR not solution

2:49pm Wednesday 23rd July 2014

THE opponents of the M4 relief road persist in advocating the alternative of “improving” the SDR.

New M4 is right

2:48pm Wednesday 23rd July 2014

FOR ONCE the Welsh Government has got it right. Even with drawbacks, the route suggested for a new M4 to the south of Newport is the logical and sensible choice. The so-called Blue route using Newport’s Southern Distributor Road (SDR) and the steelworks road would spell disaster for Newport.

End cold-calling

2:48pm Wednesday 23rd July 2014

ON JULY 4 a gang of rogue traders who had swindled older people across South Wales was jailed.

This is apartheid

2:54pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Well done, Ray Davies and H Roland ap Watcyn for speaking out against Israel’s barbaric onslaught on Gaza.

Defence is just

2:53pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

As usual, we see people writing about the Israel/Palestine conflict, telling us how evil Israel is as it occupies and oppresses the West Bank and starves and destroys the Gaza Strip.

Gaza stalemate

2:47pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Reading the many letters in various newspapers, national and local, on the Palestine/Israel conflict it is clear that there is not going to be a quick end to this sad and deadly conflict.

Protecting rape victims in court

2:46pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

WITH reference to a recent South Wales Argus article highlighting a case involving the rape of a ten-year-old girl (Two boys convicted of raping girl of 10, Argus, July 15), it may help your readers to understand the legal considerations involved in bringing a case like this to court.

Car smoke ban

1:38pm Monday 21st July 2014

I WELCOME the joint statement by the first minister and minister for health and social services that the Welsh Government is preparing to legislate to ban smoking in cars carrying children. I have been putting pressure on the Welsh Labour Government to act on the overwhelming medical evidence about the harm to children caused by passive smoking for a considerable time and I look forward to legislation now. The British Lung Foundation is clear that the effect on children of passive smoking in a confined area such as a car or van is very harmful. In fact, 82 per cent of the public said they supported prohibition of smoking in cars carrying children and the same percentage said they would comply with a ban if one was introduced. This law will not be an assault on adults’ freedom to smoke. It will be a law upholding the rights of children to be free from harm.

State of paths

1:37pm Monday 21st July 2014

I WENT for a bike ride with my grandchildren along the canal from Risca to Fourteen locks. It’s great along the Caerphilly area as the banks are well maintained and there is a smooth tow path. Then we hit the boundary with Newport and what a difference! A rough tow path and the banks and canal are in a terrible state. Come on, Newport City Council, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Council pay

1:36pm Monday 21st July 2014

I HAVE read with interest in your pages about local council planned pay increases. Strange how the 1 per cent increases only ever refer to the lower grades/wage earners. When low increases are agreed, they should refer to all – senior officers, officers, councillors and all employees. Everyone across the board. A case can always be made that to have/keep the best, the pay must be high. Well, that applies at every level. I also think that no-one paid out of the public purse should, under any circumstances, receive a wage higher than the prime minister.

School closure

1:35pm Monday 21st July 2014

I RECENTLY attended my son’s leavers and school closure assembly at Pontymoile Primary School, Pontypool. I must congratulate all the staff and children for a highly emotional and enjoyable service. Watching many of the children, staff and parents in tears is a memory that will stay with me forever. What I must comment on is the lack of attendance from anybody from Torfaen Council. If you are to make such decisions regarding school closures affecting so many, please don’t be so spineless and gutless. Show your faces and witness the distress you are causing. This school was open for 104 years and has been quickly sold for less than the market value. TCBC might quote “student number decline” or “poor condition”. If only they’d maintained it accordingly.

New anthem?

1:32pm Monday 21st July 2014

THERE are two things I have learned from watching the Football World Cup: England were out of their league; They have the most uninspiring National Anthem on the planet. While other nations sing with verve and passion about their countries, the English trip out the dirge about God blessing a queen. After the unforgettable, disastrous sporting season, they should be singing God Save Our Country. Why they don’t adopt Land of Hope and Glory baffles me, but as long as they remain in that medieval bubble of kings, queens, knights etc, what more can you expect.

Vote for cause

1:30pm Monday 21st July 2014

FARESHARE Cymru, which works in Newport and across Gwent, is in the running for Best Environment Project in this year’s National Lottery Awards, and now needs your readers’ support to help it win.

No morals

12:29pm Friday 18th July 2014

WHY do some elements of the political left in this country continually resort to uttering or printing the most obscene and vile remarks they can think of when criticising the right wing opposition? The latest being the Socialist Worker newspaper comment: Eton by Bear, referring to the privileged education of a seventeen year old boy killed by a polar bear whilst on that school’s expedition near the Arctic Circle. If he had attended a bog standard comprehensive, would they have called for the culling of those bears instead? It’s on a par with the offensive remarks made about the late Baroness Thatcher within minutes of the announcement of her death. Why do a lot of left wing voters keep supporting the same party activists who sink to the lowest levels trying to get their political opinions across? Or are they morally just as bad?

Stop pressure

12:29pm Friday 18th July 2014

I WAS given an informative leaflet from the National Union of Teachers entitled Stand Up For Education in Wales which made five important points regarding more funding, ending banding, etc. There was also a request to stop testing the very youngest pupils which, as a parent of a five year old, I wholeheartedly agree with. By all means, assess children’s work, but don’t put children off reading, writing and maths by making them sit formal tests. Indeed, very young children are being put under too much pressure. Education should be child centred, fun and not formalised by central government or the Welsh Assembly Government. Point 5: a good local school for every community: perhaps Torfaen Council’s superschool proposal which actually closes local community schools against teachers’ and children’s wishes could be rethought? Although, given the council’s grasp of democracy, I doubt this will happen unless we put pressure on them!

End madness

12:28pm Friday 18th July 2014

IN REPLY to Ray Davies’ letter in the Argus of 11th July, could I say that he ought to get some of his facts right. Hamas has said and always will say that they are out to destroy Israel completely. They (Hamas) put children and people in buildings deliberately to attract attacks from Jewish forces by placing rocket launchers on the rooftops of these buildings and then fire rockets into Israel. Who started this current conflict in Israel? Hamas did by kidnapping and then murdering those three young Jewish boys going home from college. One way to stop this madness is for all the European governments, including ours, to call into question what our aid money to Gaza is being spent on? It is not going to those in need, it is going to buy arms for Hamas and the like to destroy Israel which is a legitimate nation under the United Nations charter of 1947. The simplest of answers is for Hamas and the like to stop hating Israel and to start to love their own people more than the hatred that they show to the Jewish people.

No vote for us

12:27pm Friday 18th July 2014

TO USE the elegant words of Ken Brown, Newport, as a proud Welshman, I have no wish to have the laws that govern me made by a bunch of unelected, overpaid, egocentric, self-serving, inward looking little Maggie Thatchers that I am unable to remove from power. Like Scotland, Wales have never voted for a majority Conservative government who closed Welsh pits, introduced the poll tax and now the bedroom tax. Under a Tony Blair Labour government, Wales never had a vote on whether to invade Iraq or to be Robin to the USA Batman when it comes to crime fighting around the world. In doing so, Wales and the rest of the UK have become more of a target to the terrorist attacks.

Options

12:27pm Friday 18th July 2014

I WAS interested in Nick Webb’s assertion that by allocating differently the block allowance granted by the UK Government, the Welsh Government could avoid reduction to local government spending and instead reduce spending elsewhere. I am not sure where “elsewhere” might be - health perhaps or housing? Education might take a hit as well. The truth is that the funding allocated to the Welsh Government by this Tory/LibDem administration is already insufficient to allow services to run efficiently and maintain the standard of living expected by civilised people. People who are not in a position to access private social care will suffer. The family silver in the form of properties and assets belonging to the council will have to be sold or farmed out to tender, emergency services will have dangerously low staffing levels, yet only 130 miles up the M4, those who make these decisions barely know we exist. Mr Webb is quite right, however, the Welsh Government can spend its meagre allowance on whatever it chooses. So indeed can the UK Government – it too has finite resources and it chooses not to spend very much on Wales! The point is, they too have the option!

Doing the maths

12:14pm Thursday 17th July 2014

YOU would hope that the man in charge of our finances would know what 7x8 is? However in an interview with Sky News, Mr Osborne was asked that very question by a seven year old boy who started his question with: are you good at maths?

Cut councils

12:14pm Thursday 17th July 2014

IT is utterly ridiculous asking councils to self regulate their demise. These “executives” have their snouts deeply entrenched in the trough and have no desire to pull them out.

Food is a priority

12:13pm Thursday 17th July 2014

NOW that the NHS has moved up the list of priorities for the electorate, the standard of food needs to be looked at. With more and more of us getting older the stark reality is that at some point we are going to be spending a spell or two in hospital.

Correct meaning

12:03pm Thursday 17th July 2014

I REFER to my letter “Payback time” published in the Argus on July 14. Due to a typo in the last line of my letter, it subsequently makes less sense than if corrected. The last line should read “Surely this is a better way for them to “pay” for their crimes than fining them or giving them short prison sentences, which cost the taxpayer and give nothing positive back?






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