PUBLISHED: 12:29 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010
Drug report was unfair AS a father of two children at the King s School I was saddened to read about it described as a drugs inquiry school . Of course, cannabis smoking at the school disco was ill-advised, but the way it dominated coverage near the fro
Drug report was unfair
AS a father of two children at the King's School I was saddened to read about it described as a "drugs inquiry school". Of course, cannabis smoking at the school disco was ill-advised, but the way it dominated coverage near the front of the paper was way over the top
Crack cocaine and heroin busts are commonplace on Ely and Little Downham council estates but merit less column inches - a few meagre paragraphs buried deeper inside, perhaps?
And yet these incidents are far worse than adolescent dabbling in mild narcotics at a school bop.
King's School parents can feel picked on - yet we give so much to this city through our financial support of the school. Would a commercial business have retained the arc of beauty of buildings and green fields behind the cathedral as King's has done? This shows the school takes its charitable status very seriously, it's not just some tax dodge for parents.
I pay £30,000 per year in school fees. It would make a nice return if the paper honoured our investment in Ely heritage with some good news stories about this historic cathedral school.
We do better in the league tables than Oxbridge and the state schools round here. And thanks to the King's International Study Centre we are world players on the educational stage. So how about some 'receipts' in your paper for the investment King's represents and save the indiscretions for off-beat inside pages along with the latest High Barns crack den busts.
Drugs found in any local school is a matter of public interest and debate, and as a community-based newspaper, we have a responsibility to inform our readers that incidents of this nature take place.
Our emphasis was on the fact that cannabis had been found in a school and not "drugs found in fee-paying school", and while you are right to draw attention to drug use elsewhere, these incidents are reported with the balance and fairness that we try to bring to every story.
It would be highly unprofessional, for instance, to refer to drug use at King's as an "indiscretion", while sensationalising a drugs raid on one of our district's estates on the same page.
As the editor of the local newspaper, I feel no obligation to give you any "return" on your investment; our obligation is to honour the investment of everybody in the district - whether they choose to educate their children at King's or not.
The Ely Standard has maintained a strong relationship with the school over the years, something evident in our continued coverage of the school's achievements and fund-raising activities.
You are more than welcome to visit our office and look over our archives if you are in any doubt.
Trust merger meeting
I WOULD like to draw your reader's attention to a public consultation meeting taking place at 6.45pm on February 22 to discuss the merging of primary care trusts within Cambridgeshire into one.
Whilst at first glance this meeting will be about boundaries and other administrative changes, my forum is deeply concerned that the issue of future funding of East Cambridgeshire and Fenland's Primary Care is brought to the fore. Many of your readers will be aware that the existing primary care trust has managed to secure a higher amount of funding for next year to begin righting the gross inequalities in services and funding between the north and south of the county. The consultation document about the changes merely states that "current allocations should be respected". This is a long way short of saying they must remain.
The East Cambs and Fenland Patient and Public Involvement Forum is deeply concerned that this money will be allocated to the reduction of debt of the southern Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust and not to improving services in east Cambridgeshire and Fenland. We are already aware that a very significant refund of money from Addenbrooke's Hospital has gone to south Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City PCTs with none coming to our own PCT who made an equally deserving case.
In addition, it will be well known to readers that our PCT has made strenuous efforts to reduce costs by developing community services and closing in-patient beds at the Alan Conway Court and Iceni ward at Doddington Hospital. We are not convinced that similar measures have been taken to reduce costs and configure services in the south of the County. There are many more issues to consider in relation to this merger of PCTs than space allows here and we would urge your readers to attend the meeting on the February 22, at The Maltings Ely.
East Cambs and Fenland Patient and Public Involvement Forum
Contact: 01353 865351
I WAS amazed to see the way in which you chose to report and headline the very serious issue of pupils bringing drugs into the King's School. You quoted what must surely be the minority views of a parent who wished to remain anonymous. I am sure the vast majority of parents and indeed anyone who cares about children would give their wholehearted support to the prompt and unequivocal response of the headteacher which will have reassured parents and sent a clear message to pupils that drug abuse will not be tolerated at the school.
Proud to be part of fantastic team
On Tuesday, January 31, residents, families, staff, volunteers, friends and supporters joined me in The Long Gallery at The Old Palace to celebrate the end of my 20-year career with the Sue Ryder organisation, and to wish me happiness in my retirement.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank them, for all the help and dedicated support that they have given to me. My colleagues at The Old Palace are the most amazing team of people, doing a fantastic job; I cannot praise them enough, and I am so privileged to have been part of such a fantastic team for so long.
I would like to say a special 'thank you' to Dixie Arnold, my secretary, personal assistant and girl Friday; she has been by my side, predicting my needs, reading my mind, making my professional life a joy each day. Thank you Dixie.
I would also like to thank the people of Ely and surrounding areas for their generous support, in so many ways, to our residents here at The Old Palace.
The Old Palace
Laughing at us!
IT made my blood boil to walk down my beloved Market Street this week and see that one of our city's major thoroughfares has been blighted for years by that ugly eyesore of the boarded-up shop front. The council promised action against this montrosity, but nothing has happened.
The owner must be laughing in all our faces. Imagine the poor tourists. One minute their eyes sparkle in wonder at our cathedral and the next minute their stomachs churn at the urban horror that was once the old fruit and veg shop.
Mr Borland strikes me as being a successful businessman. Maybe he could transform the shop into a trendy wine bar.
Sanctions are the only answer.