Your letters page for Wednesday, June 3...

MP on chief advisor’s actions

Thank you for your email regarding the behaviour of Dominic Cummings. My office has been inundated with messages over the weekend regarding this matter and I hope, therefore, that you will accept this standard reply. If you have any particular issues regarding your own circumstances or would like some individual advice, please come back to me and I will endeavour to answer as quickly as possible.

I have been most impressed with the stoicism and fortitude that my constituents have shown in abiding so closely to the rules imposed by the Government. The police have told me that they have experienced very little trouble enforcing the restrictions and the people of North Shropshire have been as good natured and responsible as ever whilst we work together to deal with an unprecedented health and economic emergency.

I fully understand the depth of your disappointment and anger. I attach a link to Dominic Cummings’s personal statement, in which he explains why he feels he had to make the decisions that he did.

I can assure you that I have already passed on the strength of your feeling to the highest levels of Government and I have now written to the Prime Minister outlining your concerns. Thank you once again for taking the trouble to share your views with me on this matter.

Rt Hon Owen Paterson,

North Shropshire MP

Scouts thinking differently

Scouts are thinking differently for volunteers’ week.

Volunteers are always important. But in challenging times, when our communities need them most, they are invaluable.

I’m so proud of the Scout volunteers in Oswestry. Together, they are helping hundreds of young people to gain skills for life - helping them speak up, play their part and find their place in the world.

To keep everyone safe, Scouts aren’t able to meet face to face. But this hasn’t stopped our volunteers from supporting young people. So many of our brilliant leaders are still running meetings online, helping Scouts catch up with their friends and continue to earn their awards.

At a time when our children’s education is so badly disrupted, these sessions are providing a sense of normality and continuity that’s so important for their well being. We have also been supporting families across Oswestry with free resources at #TheGreatIndoors.

So I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers, whether you drive the minibus, make the drinks, look after the accounts or help deliver vital skills for life we couldn’t do it without you! It’s your kindness and resilience in these tough times really is so inspiring – and it really is making a difference.

Tim Kidd,

UK Chief Commissioner (The Scouts)

What can be done?

On PAGE nine of your May 27 edition, you report that Birch Road Pond in Ellesmere is now a nature reserve. You announced this also on August 14 last year.

I would ask again, what is to be done about the more and more frequent and increasingly serious flooding which occurs, rendering maintenance work on the pond difficult, with water extending onto the recreation ground, the cricket pitch and as far as Jebb Court across Dairy Grove?

We heard that work was waiting for fine weather to provide suitable ground conditions to be able proceed. After several weeks of drought, one feels that the window of opportunity may rapidly be closing.

Brian Slater,


Volunteers’ thanks

This Volunteers’ Week, Royal Voluntary Service would like to say a huge thank you to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who have stepped forward to help their communities and the NHS during the pandemic.

We are incredibly grateful and proud of our army of volunteers for readily adapting services to ensure those who need our support, have it – isolation shouldn’t mean coping alone. Many volunteers who gave their time in hospitals or ran lunch and social clubs now take meals or groceries to the doorsteps of our participants, and we’ve donated our stock from our shops and cafés to NHS staff working on the frontline. Volunteers who supported clients on a one-to-one basis now call them each week for a chat and to make sure they’re safe and well, and patient transport services have continued, ensuring patients can safely attend medical appointments.

Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we have opened the ‘Virtual Village Hall’ on Facebook, where those experiencing isolation and disruption can find community and fun activities to try, all from the comfort and safety of home.

The coronavirus pandemic has challenged us all, but there have been rays of light shining through as a result; 600,000 people are now NHS Volunteer Responders, and we hope that moving forward, more people will be inspired to volunteer in their communities.

To all of our volunteers, who give their time so generously to help others, we thank you.

Sam Ward,

Royal Voluntary Service