LETTERS: MP Lucy Frazer’s response to Dominic Cummings’ ‘varifocal vacation’, surprise lockdown gifts and lack of statues

Parkinson's well being bags

Parkinson's well being bags - Credit: Archant

MP’s response to reader’s letter about Dominic Cummings

Parkinson's well being bags

Parkinson's well being bags - Credit: Archant

Following the revelations relating to Dominic Cummings varifocal vacation I felt compelled to write to my MP, Lucy Frazer, to express my feelings on this.

Whilst we have become accustomed to Ms Frazer’s world class fence balancing skills over the years her reply on this subject reaches a new high, or should that be low?

I appreciate that she will have received a vast amount of correspondence on this issue and whilst it is impractical to believe that she will personally reply to every letter her failure to acknowledge the points raised demonstrates the contempt with which she regards her constituents.

The amount of correspondence she has received should be indicative of the level of feeling in SE Cambridgeshire, many will have spent a considerable amount of time composing these letters.

The uniformity and banality of the reply that people have received, suggests that neither Ms. Frazer nor her staff have invested much of theirs.

Here is her reply:

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Thank you for contacting me regarding Dominic Cummings. I appreciate you taking the time to contact to me.

I have received a very large number of emails about this matter, and it has not been possible to respond to each of them individually and I am sorry that this is a standard response.

I know that the measures that the Government have implemented to tackle coronavirus have made ordinary life extremely difficult for many individuals, and huge sacrifices have been made in order to be able to follow them. Some people have lost their loved ones, and others have been unable to see their family for some time.

As you will be aware Mr Cummings gave a detailed account of his actions and answered questions from the press. Having listened to his statement on Monday, it seems that his actions were motivated by a desire to protect and safeguard his son and his family in difficult and uncertain circumstances. I appreciate that many people are disappointed with his actions.

I should say that some constituents have written to me to say that they understand his actions and wish for him to stay in his role as an advisor to the Prime Minister.

Over the past few months, I have seen our country and our communities come together through generous acts of volunteering and kindness.

This has been especially true in our area. I know that there is a lot of concern and anger at the actions of Mr Cummings, but I hope that this united community spirit will continue, as officials across the country implement measures that will keep us all safer as we tackle this virus together.

As a government, we need to focus our attention on fighting the virus, getting the economy back on track and supporting the vulnerable.

We have come a long way in this journey and our full attention needs to be on the next stage.


No statues

Several towns on the River Ouse have statues. Bedford has three, both St Ives and Huntingdon each have one.

Why is that Ely, the only city on the banks of this great river, has none ?

Should we put up a likeness of that great local benefactor, James Palmer, Mayor of the Combined Authority?

And then like the people of Bristol, we can unite in dragging him off his pedestal and throwing him in the river.


H.M. Queen’s visit - Ely Cathedral July 1972

I am sorting through my family photos and have a photo of my father and mother walking into Ely Cathedral in July 1972.

They were to be presented with many others to H.M the Queen Elizabeth II. I am looking for any photos please.

My father was Mr. T.B.Walker who was headteacher of the Midlle Comprehensive School in Downham Road. Thank you.


Disabled bays a lifeline for so many

I have recently been made aware that Cllr Bailey and the Mayor of Ely are looking to possibly close Ely High Street to public vehicles during this Covid-19 time.

I feel that this would be very short-sighted. The High Street has both regular parking bays and vital disabled parking bays.

The disabled bays are a life-line for so many, whether it be to visit the doctors, dentist, church or for shopping.

I am the organiser of ‘Fenland Chronic illness Support Group’ and several members have said that they need these spaces.

There are too few disabled bays in Ely as it is, so losing these may be the difference to visiting much-needed services in Ely or not.


Villager’s concerns

As a concerned mother and daughter who are part of the Little Downham community and who will be directly affected by the Rectory planning proposal, I have worries regarding the planning application in our village from the Diocese of Ely.

We are circulating posters and information in Little Downham to make people aware and also online so as many people are made aware as possible and can address their concerns to the parish council and ECDC.


Parkinson’s members receive a surprise gift

The Ely and District Parkinson’s UK Support Group last met in February and an important part of people’s lives currently no longer exists in the format it had done for many years.

Members of the committee have been sending newsletters and other written correspondence to members but were aware that many were self-isolating or shielding or simply complying with the Governments instruction to ‘stay at home and to stay aware.’

The committee therefore decided to bring some joy and happiness to members by delivering them a ‘wellbeing goodie bag’.

Isolation can be challenging, lonely and can have a negative effect on some peoples mental health and wellbeing.

While we have stayed in contact with members, we wanted to do something more and came up with the idea of a wellbeing goodie bag.

The bags contained some essentials such as hand sanitiser, hand wipes and soap along with some luxury items including chocolates, fruit cake, jams and marmalades.

We also took this as an opportunity to support local business including The Lemon Tree Deli, Unwrapped and The Rain Wizard.

The response from members was fantastic and all were delighted with their wellbeing goodie bags.

CAROLINE NICKLINSON, Ely and District Parkinson’s UK Support Group lead volunteer

We must deglobalize the food system

Pandemic apart – a particularly inappropriate couple of words at this time and I apologise but this is so much more than Covid 19.

It is about the health of our planet- the agriculture that produces our food, the air we breathe, the water we drink and our capacity to engage with the earth that sustains us.

We must now deglobalize the food system which is driving climate change, disappearance of species and a systematic health emergency.

The coronavirus and the response to the crisis needs to become the ground for stopping processes that degenerate our health.

We know that industrial agriculture and industrialised, globalised food systems based on fossil fuels and toxic chemicals derived from fossil fuels are contributing to species extinction, climate change and the chronic disease catastrophe.

Food is big business! A myriad of commercial and political interests are involved at every step of food production and distribution.

As a result, our world is full of commercial misinformation about food. Because it is ‘science’, people believe it.

Corporations need to be held responsible for the damage they have done and continue to do.

It is time for governments to stop using our tax money to subsidise and promote a food system that is making the planet and people sick.


Council faces multi-million-pound shortfall

So, the coronavirus is to blame for the council facing a multi-million-pound shortfall due to the coronavirus?

I don’t think so... if they didn’t pay their senior management and other staff ridiculous salaries, or make up a job role when there is restructuring so they have a job and also didn’t waste so much money on buying stock from companies that charge a premium the council would not be in the state it is in.

That’s been many years so they should not blame the coronavirus pandemic. If they were running their own business, they would be much more money conscious.