I am writing in response to Mr Burton from Chatteris (11/11/2015) who felt unhappy about closing Barclay’s branches, including the one in Ramsey. I have one message in cases like this: Barclays is not the only fish in the sea. I am not familiar with Ramsey and what services the village can offer, but I am pretty sure there is some other way how to access personal finances and manage them. Switching services is so easy and relatively quick nowadays. Even the government encourages people to seek affordable deals and to switch, helping them getting better value for their money. I have switched numerous times my mobile network provider, my main bank account, ISA account, I also shopped around for the best gas and electricity provider… When nothing else then the local post office branch can cover the personal finance management. Leave Barclay’s if they do not meet your needs. When more people will do it they will either try to meet the market demand again or shut the business, making space for some other company that will value its customers. The banks need us more than we need them.
Name and address supplied
Before he was elected, David Cameron had Harold Macmillan’s picture on his desk to show he, too, was a one-nation, consensus sort of politician – part of his “big society” disguise. But how misleading to choose Macmillan – who, appalled by what he’d seen of the great depression while MP for Stockton-On-Tees, built a record 350,000 council homes a year as prime minister. Now Cameron has embarked on the abolition of social housing, both council- and housing association-owned. This isn’t an accident of the cuts, but a deliberate dismantling of another emblem of the 1945 welfare state. Instead of social housing for rent, the only money is for starter homes and shared ownership, out of reach of most average and below-average earners. A third of the population can never own, without some radical redistribution of earnings and wealth currently flowing the other way. But plummeting home ownership is all that worries this government. Those who can never own will only have an unregulated private sector of rising rents, with housing benefit failing to keep up, and insecure six-month tenancies, where 1.5 million children are already at risk of regularly moving and shifting school. This is the end of a 70-year era of secure tenancies in social housing. The housing bill now in the Commons is designed to finish off social renting. It carries out the manifesto pledge of a right to buy housing association properties at heavy discounts. Council and housing association rents are cut by 1%, which sounds good but the institute of fiscal studies says it helps very few of the 3.9 million social tenants: it just comes off their housing benefit. But it’s a bonus for the Treasury, taking £1.7bn off the housing benefit bill by leaving a disastrous hole in council and housing-association finances: they will build 14,000 fewer homes to rent. The FT reports that, as a result of the rent cut, council plans to build 5,448 homes were cancelled instantly. Here’s another hammer blow: section 106 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act requires developers to provide some social housing – a good source of homes to rent – but the new bill scraps it by letting developers build starter homes instead. Worse still, they can build smaller, lower-quality homes. Cameron has again made another broken promise on housing, Roddons/Circle are now rubbing their hands in glee in the rush to sell off all there large houses to the highest bidder, making the housing situation in worse dire straight than before and forcing tenants into smaller homes across fenland.
Great day out
On behalf of the Rotary Club of March, a big thank you to the kind citizens who monthly donate their newspapers to our recycling scheme, held the second Saturday of the month City Road Car Park, 9am-noon. Now in its 43rd year of unbroken collections, we have so far this this year had a magnificent 10.5 tonnes donated
The income raised is used to take local junior school children for an all-expenses payed ‘Fun Day’ out. This year some 35 youngsters, with the appropriate number of adult helpers from their schools went to Pidgeon’s Farm at Thorney. Transport, admission, lunch and pocket money costs were met by the income generated.
We look forward to seeing our regulars, and hopefully many new faces, in December and throughout 2016.