I just had to respond...

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:29 10 June 2010

it was with great interest that I perused the letters page this week, for several topics leapt forth worthy of comment. Firstly, Ron Roberts' excellent letter, regarding the supply of affordable housing and his view that the built up capital reserves s

it was with great interest that I perused the letters page this week, for several topics leapt forth worthy of comment. Firstly, Ron Roberts' excellent letter, regarding the supply of affordable housing and his view that the "built up capital reserves" should be used to provide new social housing. Sadly, for Mr Roberts and those in need of a supply of affordable rental properties, as far as I am aware, our great leaders in the Labour government have snatched away a huge percentage of these "capital reserves" to more deserving but very poor Labour controlled councils "up North" because it was against Labour policy to allow local councils to have big cash reserves. So, sadly, the money has gone and no social housing for locals will be built from it. Secondly, it was with no great surprise, that I saw the local primary care trust are to introduce a stealth tax on sickness for those residents of Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton who are sick and require medical attention at either Exmouth Hospital/Claremont Medical Centre or Budleigh Salterton Hospital. This decision left me apoplectic with rage. Why is it necessary, in a time when thousands of pensioners are seeing their incomes decimated by the credit crunch, to hit these most vulnerable of people with another round of stealth taxation, because they need to have medical treatment? The pitiful excuse that "people park in the hospital car parks to then go elsewhere to work" is without a doubt the lamest excuse I have heard in a long time. Please, PCT, tell me where it is that these workers work? There is no industry of any sort close to Budleigh Hospital, likewise Exmouth. This is just stealth taxation of the sick and infirm. I wonder how much Mr Dave Rollason is paid from this "blood money" to oversee another level of "Rip off Britain". If the PCT really wanted to "free up spaces" for patients, they could put automatic token-operated barriers on the hospital car parks and issue exit tokens at ward level to those patients and visitors who needed them. Why not? Because it doesn't make money!Thirdly, and leaving the best till last, I was rendered speechless with incredulity at the article "Resurrecting The Strand to former glory", with the picture of "Impressed Tony Collins" standing outside the former Images shop. I am sorry, but this article beggars belief. The development is being praised for its Victorian design. Mr Collins is quoted as saying "If we are to spend £3 million" and "exactly the look we are looking for in The Strand".Now, I possibly could be forgiven for my cynicism if Mr Collins was raving about some stunning new retail shop about to spring forth on Exmouth but, no, another restaurant in an area where restaurants and cafes are prolific. This is from a man who is Exmouth's town manager. When will Exmouth actually have some people with vision at the helm of its development? I make no bones about being a pro Asda person because Exmouth, as it stands, is without a doubt the most lack lustre, second rate town this side of Eastbourne. The anti-Asda lobby have introduced a new tack of late, that being the phrase "people won't invest in Exmouth because they know Asda is coming". Sorry, but if this held water, I would not get up in the morning because I would know Armageddon is coming.Every week, I go through Exmouth and, every week, there are more empty shops and more disinterested people walking the streets. Are Victorian-fronted restaurants really going to save Exmouth? We shall see...Ian R Woolger,16 Otter Court,Budleigh Salterton.

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