Page 16

Thoroughly entertaining

16 Village Voice May 2019

OUR party of four attended the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton, to see yet another thoroughly entertaining performance (The Yeomen of the Guard) by Melbourne Operatic Society. It was a show that I hadn’t seen before and I was not to be disappointed because, from beginning to end, the stage was filled with vibrant acting and beautifully bright coloured costumes that lit up the theatre. As always, the performance of the cast was of the highest quality with melodic singing and acting throughout. It is extremely difficult to single out any particular performance as the whole cast were so good with excellent harmony and acting. If I were put on the spot to select any that were particularly enjoyable to me, I would have to mention the roles of Strolling Singer, Elsie May-

nard (Rhia Fingerhut) and Sergeant Meryll’s daughter, Phoebe Meryll (Helen Blatch); but one cast member had me laughing throughout the show due to his looks and amusing acting – and that was the role of Head Jailer and Assistant Tormentor, Wilfred Shadbolt (Mike McGhee). Just looking at him brought howls of laughter from the audience; he only had to walk on stage to cause a stir. I also give special mention to the 13 musicians in the orchestra, led by Karen Everson, and as always, very professionally musically directed by David Henshaw and I look forward to the Melbourne Operatic Society’s next offering. Colin Barker, Melbourne. n Frank Hughes’ review of the performance is on Page 19.

YOUR front page article (No 317 April) on whether Melbourne may have a street market claims in paragraph six that Willington market has stopped because shopkeepers were getting ‘none of the benefit’ and then says further on that the market gave ‘a boost to local shops as well as traders’. So which one was it? Liz Hepplewhite, Woodhouses.

n We apologise if our report wasn’t clear. In the April Melbourne Parish Council meeting where the update about the street market was heard, it was said of the Willington market that shopkeepers had felt it was too successful and they were seeing no benefit, while the Swadlincote market was said to have boosted economic vitality in the town.

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VILLAGE VOICE Postbag Why such a long waiting time to see the doctor?

RETIREMENT brings with it much more time for reflection and enquiry. It can also bring the onset of age-related illness. Consequently, I recently found myself in the waiting room of our local surgery asking myself the questions which must be familiar to many patients not only in Melbourne but throughout the UK. I was shocked by being given a waiting time of about four weeks before I could talk to a GP. Why is this? This cannot be good for either party. This lack of continuity in care and assessment may prove critical in late or failed diagnosis of illness. We are asked to assess the seriousness of our own illness since a serious illness might find a speedier appointment. But we are not doctors. Illness may begin with mild symptoms which only a trained GP could interpret. It is also grossly unfair to expect a receptionist to be the one who makes these decisions. I am sure it is as embarrassing for these front line staff to hear patients’ symptoms as it is for a patient to have to reveal them to someone with no medical training, particularly where all those seated nearby can overhear the details. I understand that there have been attempts to improve the situation. We may now consult a pharmacist on site or in the chemist. We may talk to a nurse practitioner. Each of these would be a splendid support in a practice with sufficient GP numbers. However, as welcome as they are, they do not offer the support of critical examination from a trained and experienced doctor. So, where are the doctors? I spent part of my professional life preparing youngsters for university entrance. Latterly, it proved so difficult to get qualified and suitable youngsters into medical school that some UK students went instead to medical courses in Prague and Bratislava in

order to qualify. Why have the UK medical schools not been instructed to do better? Are UK students rejected to allow a higher number of more profitable overseas students? Which government was it which raised the salaries of GPs while taking away night visits to patients? Why do we have so many GPs who, apparently, can set their own hours of work so that they can spend time with their children? This is a laudable ambition and many of us would wish to do it. However, we cannot afford to and our terms and conditions of employment would not permit this. In addition, why can’t surgeries be open in the evening when people who work can attend? We are getting older, our illnesses are more complex and we require more consultation. However, we see our doctors less often and for less time, and this cannot be good. If doctors maintain they are currently underpaid they might be interested in exchanging salaries with a range of other professions who have experienced several years of pay freeze. Yet it is not my intention to attack GPs. The health service is under pressure and GP services in particular seem to be under strain, at least in some areas, and we all need to understand why this is. We need a dialogue with our surgeries. We need a clear understanding of why these things are happening and to be able to identify those who are responsible. If the Health Service wants support then it must be open with us and explain, for example, why we have a four-week waiting time. If we understand these things then the community can begin to help and support and the dissatisfaction may evaporate. JW (John Williams).

READERS of Village Voice may be interested to hear of the proposals in the new Government National Aviation Strategy and the possible effects at East Midlands Airport. Remarkably, for a national policy, the strategy specifically nominates East Midlands Airport (and no other airport) to have increased night freight flights and thus increased night noise. The strategy supports noise growth up to the existing night noise cap applied by NWLDC which is, of course, much higher than current noise levels. So, effectively, Government is sponsoring an almost 50% increase of night time noise in this area. The strategy proposes that major airports will be required to produce noise reduction plans, but only if there is no existing noise cap. So EMA, already having a high noise limit, will be exempt from producing a noise reduction plan and, it seems, can just let noise increase. The strategy also talks of improved sound insulation grants ‘to mitigate against sleep disturbance’.

The existing EMA noise insulation scheme is the only one in the UK based on night noise, and the only one actually designed to reduce sleep disturbance. But the strategy makes no mention of improvements to the EMA scheme. So this Government strategy seems to hit the EMA communities with a triple whammy: state sponsorship of increased night noise, exemption of EMA from a producing a noise reduction plan; and no improvement to the EMA sound insulation scheme. The proposals are included in a public consultation, open until June 20. The consultation document, giving details of how to respond, may be accessed by a web search for ‘Aviation 2050’. Melbourne Civic Society will make a detailed response to the Government consultation, available on our website at Our response may be helpful if anyone wishes to respond personally. Paul Grimley Melbourne Civic Society.

I READ the letter (Dog poo bins, please, April edition) with interest; such a shame the poor dear had to take their dog mess back with them! I fail to understand why this does not happen anyway? Do dog owners feel they have a sense of entitlement to not only exercise them on the streets of Melbourne but also unfortunate farmers’ fields and at the same tIme have access to disposal bins? Surely it is more responsible to let them do their business at home and, before owners respond by saying they could not know when, here’s a clue – it happens at the time you take them for their regular walk, so surely a few minutes in the back garden before going out should be sufficient. That would save them the hassle of picking up

off the street which more often than not still leaves a residue for residents to avoid. I suspect that suggestion will fall on stony ground as it would mean they have the inconvenience of keeping their own mess rather than the rest of us. I suspect I am in the minority as, judging by the number that pass our house each day literally every man (and woman) seems to have said pet, in some cases two or more. On a separate note perhaps they could ask their pooches not to urinate against residents’ properties and hedges on their daily jaunt, leaving the usual tell tale marks. When did that become acceptable? Name and address supplied.

Airport noise strategy

Be more responsible

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