‘The buck stops with cost-cutting cabinet’

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Councillor Mary Stiles follows up on last week’s front page by offering her view on the election ‘shambles’ in this weeks letters page.

The buck stops with cost-cutting cabinet

from Councillor Mary Stiles, North ward, Thame Town Council

Further to your report about the problems on the day of the count for the local elections (Gazette, May 13) I am one of the Thame town councillors who signed Councillor Dyer’s motion, as it is right that the returning officer should be held to account, but there are further points that I would like to make.

It was obvious that everyone working there was doing the very best he or she could, but there were just not enough officers for the amount of work.

The ruling group on South Oxfordshire District Council prides itself on saving money and many posts have been cut. Therefore the buck stops with the council’s cabinet, which makes the decisions, and not the officer employed by them.

It was very annoying and tiring that the count took so long, but it was not a matter on the same scale of importance as housing or benefits issues, for example.

Can South Oxfordshire councillors who are members of the ruling group assure local people that there are enough officers to deal with matters such as these?

Helping offers advice as life nears its close

from Elizabeth Bridges, Thame

Yesterday marked the launch of an important initiative – a national free End-of-Life Rights Information Line. It is the first of its kind to support people who are nearing the end of their life, their loved ones, carers and healthcare professionals by providing information on their existing end-of-life rights and how they can prepare for a good quality end of life, for example, by making an advance decision or lasting power of attorney.

The information line is on 0800 999 2434 and information can also be found online at www.compassionindying.org.uk.

Having seen two of my friends suffer unbearably during the last months of their life, making their families feel so helpless, I sincerely hope this new information line will ensure that more people will be able to find out their rights and access help at this difficult time.

Rowdy pub regulars who give me a real headache

Name and address supplied

I write to you on behalf of the residents of Rooks Court, which is some 150 yards down the road from the Black Horse. Your correspondent (Gazette, May 6) was quite right to complain about the noise and rowdy behaviour of its clientele.

We are disturbed by the noise until the early hours of the morning and by the screaming and foul-mouthed shouting.

My sympathy goes out to those who live in the flats opposite the pub and in new houses to the rear of the Money Spinner shop.

Something needs to be done about this continuing disturbance and about the broken bottles and glasses and the vomit we have to contend with next morning.

When the pub’s music licence comes up for renewal then the public should be advised in a very positive way so that objections can be made to protect a residential area from such blight.

I came to live in Thame because it offered a charming quiet atmosphere, and I did not expect to have to lie in bed and listen to such disturbances.