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Your letters on NHS dentistry, railway station ticket offices, help for the disabled and the Freemasons

Here are the letters appearing in this week’s Fenland Citizen...

They have left the NHS so quickly

I think that the population of Fenland are all dismayed, shocked and astounded in the speed with which the dentists in our area (and the UK) have managed to extricate themselves from the NHS.

I now ask all of them to heed the words of the John Lewis Group's CEO speaking of this companies policy: “This company has never been motivated by greed.”

Stuart Stevens


This shows why we need new party

In the latest instalment of their scorched-earth plans for our railways, the Tories have announced the closure of all but a handful of England’s 1,007 ticket offices.

Passengers had been granted a mere 21 days in order to take part in the ‘consultation’ and posters have been placed in stations informing of ‘changes’ to ticket offices with the actual closure of the facility being buried deep in mountains of text.

This is one of the most brutal elements of the assault on the railways, which will hurt vulnerable and disabled people hardest.

The government claims that only 12% of tickets are now sold through ticket offices. But that includes individuals who are unable to use self-service machines or would like assistance from a trained member of staff.

Likewise, staff employed in ticket offices are on hand to assist disabled passengers on and off trains, with luggage, and can be a deterrent against antisocial behaviour.

But this all counts for nothing to the Tory government, which directly contracts and subsidises the largely privatised, for-profit train operating companies (TOCs). It is trying to force the companies to ram the policy through to de-staff the railway and save costs.

Anyone expecting a fightback from Keir Starmer’s Labour will have had their hopes dashed. Neither Starmer nor Louise Haigh, shadow transport secretary, have said they will reverse the Tories’ disastrous proposals if they take over after the next general election. They simply criticise the “rushed” nature of the plans.

Further managed decline of the railways is all that is offered by the Tories, and Labour.

To fight the cuts, the working class urgently needs political representation.

For that we need a new party of our own – one which will end the disaster of privatised rail by renationalising the whole network under democratic working-class control and management, and fund a fully staffed, high-quality rail network.

John Smithee


This is a blow for the disabled

Due to outside funding cuts, Disability Cambridgeshire announced in July 2022 that this valuable service for welfare claimants had no other option but to close its doors to new claimants.

For years Citizens Advice and local council libraries referred disabled people to this vital service.

Since July 2022 they have only processed their existing clients. I believe ‘DC’ was finally closing its doors forever at the end of July.

After 30 years of service, this will be a great loss to disabled people and those with disabilities across Cambridgeshire.

You are now referred to the Law Society website, only to find Welfare Benefit Solicitors do not exist.

Mark Burton


Just put it down to experience

In reply to Mr Burton’s letter, anyone should be free to join Freemasonry, so I fail to understand why there is a restriction.

As long as you haven’t committed a crime within the last five years, and you do not belong to a secret society there should be no problem. It is expected that you are raw and imperfect when you join as an apprentice.

The purpose of Freemasonry is that through masonic teachings you better yourself from the initiate to the enlightened one - to do this you must show various qualities. Clearly you display truth, justice, integrity and honesty, you clearly have no reservation in giving your honest opinion. Charity, I know you donate your money to various charities, you also donate to local groups like Bloom and Christmas Lights etc.

You also donated boxes of Lego to set up the Lego playgroup at Chatteris library, you also donated bags full of food ect to the Chatteris food bank over the years.

In fact you were a volunteer at Chatteris food bank for a while, Chatteris in Bloom and Chatteris Pocket Park.

I know this as my partner has also done the rounds.

You have also help disabled people with their Personal Independence payment claims and appeals, prepared evidence and represented people at court.

So, just put the Masonic issue down to experience.

Mr Johnson


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