Isle of Man Examiner letters: November 29, 2016

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Impressed with the level of care

I am not a person that believes there are perfect institutions (any more than there are perfect people) and so I was most agreeably surprised at the extremely high level of treatment and care which I experienced across a wide range of health service departments during recent weeks.

From first seeing a hospital doctor as an outpatient I went on to need the help of my GP, a practice nurse, a paramedic, ambulance personnel, radiologists, dieticians and specialist nurses as well as doctors, nurses and support staff of Noble’s Hospital ward 2.

In every case I experienced highly professional and skilled help; what is equally remarkable (given the breadth of my contacts) is that this help was universally delivered in a very kind and caring way.

I should add that I became aware of the large teams of people that I did not have contact with but who are also responsible for the smooth delivery of services e.g. those in the path labs, kitchens (food in Noble’s was excellent), those who deal with the supply chains and many more.

I am most grateful that we in the Isle of Man have a service which in my case was worthy of ‘Centre of Excellence’ status and I am equally grateful to all those that helped me.

Pam Kerruish, Folieu, Maughold.

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Thank you for attending church

On behalf of the Royal British Legion Lonan and Laxey branch may I extend a heartfelt thanks to all those who attended our recent service for Remembrance Sunday at All Saints’ Lonan. Despite there being no heating or lighting and most of the pews out of bounds, you did us all proud, standing room only!

And although this was a ‘one off’ it was wonderful to gain access to our mother church after nearly three years and to be able to pay homage at our memorials once again.

Special thanks go to: our two MHKs who shared attendance both here and at St John’s; the Captains of Lonan (Jack Faragher) and Onchan (Peter Kelly) parishes for their attendance; Andrew Smith our organist; and Trish Dudley and the excellent Laxey School choir.

Very special thanks also to Tony Pass and Stewart Clague, who worked so hard to make this happen, and along with the Venerable Andie Brown, Archdeacon of Mann, without his help and co-operation none of this would have been possible.

Graham Hooton, Branch Secretary, Royal British Legion, Laxey and Lonan branch.

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Inconsiderate at the hospital

The Manx Independent reported a hit and run in Noble’s Hospital’s private patients’ car park (November 24).

I work at the hospital and unfortunately people have been parking in the middle of that car park when the spaces are full, sometimes four at a time, leaving no turning area and making everything so tight that it becomes almost impossible to move your car out with added poor visibility.

Also, a lot of visitors are elderly and can’t move their necks and upper body the same way as fitter drivers, despite mirrors.

I sympathise with the person whose car was hit, but if they were one of the ones parked precariously out of marked spaces I’m afraid they took that risk rather than parking safely in an identified space. I think perhaps walking a little further is better than having your car damaged. And healthier.

Name and address supplied

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Govt should act in public good

Don’t you think, Mr Bleasdale (Examiner letters, last week), if government is there to do things in the public good, then it should consult the public first on what it wants?

In the case of Laxey bridge it did not.

It instructed its architect to design a ‘modern’ bridge and then went to secret consultation simultaneously with the unelected regeneration committee, most of whom had personal interests in Lower Laxey, and the elected commissioners.

Not even the commissioners were given the opportunity to consult the public before being pressurised into selecting a specific design.

Any then, of course, what was the second choice of design by the public, the first having been taken out by the Department of Infrastructure on the basis of lack of capacity, was then described as a non-starter even though it represented the simple design that was deemed by the public most appropriate to the area. And no, a bailey bridge which would have given sensible time for design, consultation and guaranteed availability during TT even though it would have had to come down for a replacement to be built – that too was rejected.

How many other jurisdictions, following a disaster such as happened to Laxey last December, would stuff a proposal in residents’ faces and say you are having this regardless of what you think?

You will be reminded of the disaster your village has forever more because not only will you not get the design you wanted, we will give you such an appalling replacement you will never forget the night of the flooding and any loss you suffered and the loss of TT celebrations you may lose again for good.

Is this an acceptable attitude for people elected and officers employed to act in the public good?

I think not; and it clearly is not an attitude adopted in the UK where similar disasters have happened.

And no, I never asked for a replacement lookalike; however, I did right at the outset request the Minister, MHK and officers to give great weight to any decision on the bridge prior to taking any action including its deliberate, and possibly unnecessary, demolition.

Fifteen years previously I had been engaged to write a report on the possible registration of Old Laxey bridge / Monks’ Bridge.

I recommended registration; government did nothing. I also stated that if nothing was done about the increasing weight of traffic and inappropriate use of the bridge that its long term survival was in doubt. I never thought I would actually see it go.

Regretfully I did. Even more regretfully I have also witnessed over the past 12 months the most appalling example of government arrogance, misinformation, abuse of power and position in the demolition of the old bridge and the designing and construction of the new.

I trust that Laxey residents and others will voice their opinions to Ray Harmer, Minister of Infrastructure, and to their local MHKS when the no doubt Christmas ceremony and lights and razmataz are used to crane in and reveal [the Department of] Infrastructure’s ‘breakwater lights / pepper pots/ phallic symbols’ in their 13ft-high lit-up glory.

With such taste I am amazed that the department so far has not gone down the line of painting the railings alternate red and black to match the colours on the Laxey wheel – the latest suggestion from the planning office, who admit they have no idea on conservation.

Patricia Newton, South Cape, Laxey.

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Our view about this type of fuel

Your article (Examiner, November 15) on the possible import of Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) concludes by asserting that ‘Green groups say... while nobody likes the idea of importing waste, RDF is the best alternative as the money earned supports the incinerator...’.

I don’t know which green groups your reporter has consulted, but this statement is not entirely accurate.

It is true that importing waste may be the least bad of alternative options, but Friends of the Earth do not see that the principal treason for it is to financially subsidise the incinerator (or Energy from Waste plant).

We and other groups would urge the government to use any net new income to allocate a meaningful amount of money to developing recycling initiatives and education, as this has got to be the best long-term goal of waste management.

As RDF content is not regulated, we would also want any possible imports to have a strict specification in terms of practicably recyclable material having been removed, and regarding content of pollutants: and that as it is waste, rather than fuel, that transport, and any storage facility, are closely monitored by the Departments of Infrastructure, and Environment Food and Agriculture.

Pete Christian, Co-ordinator
IoM Friends of the Earth

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