I attended Palatine in the 1950s and keep in touch via email with an old classmate of mine Jonno Johnson who lives in the Philippines.
His house constructed of concrete survived the typhoon which left the area completely devastated.
He is a member of the Kiwanis, an unpaid voluntary organisation which provide free doctor and dentistry services and free meals for children.
He says that Kalibo and the surrounding district have not received any of the foreign aid and the Kiwanis are running daily relief missions to surrounding villages, like Balete Manhanip Malinao, and previously hidden villages of the original Ati tribe of Aklan situated only two kilometres outside of Kalibo.
They managed to reach outlying mountain villages where people have seen their shacks scattered around the jungle.
They are destitute and power won’t be restored for up to three months.
Why is the many millions of foreign aid, which the politicians were so quick to boast about, not reaching those in need?
Even now the stench of rotting corpses is being overridden by alleged corruption.
The Finches Poulton
booths helping trade
I was concerned by your story (Gazette, December 13) which might have left some readers with the impression the Booths card offering was harming local trade.
Booths aims to complement small businesses in the communities in which it trades.
The company provides free parking to both shoppers and visitors in many town centres for up to three hours providing a valuable benefit to local businesses and shoppers.
In terms of ‘shop local’ credibility, Booths has a 160-year heritage of retailing regional foods and is committed to sourcing products from local producers in the region.
Throughout our 29 stores, at least 25 per cent of all of the products sold at any one time are locally produced; 80 per cent of fresh meat comes from the region and 65 per cent of our bread is baked within the region by family run craft bakers.
Furthermore, Booths has donated more than £1m to local organisations over the past 10 years and prides itself on the close relationships it holds with the communities surrounding its stores.
The Booths card is to reward regular and loyal customers.
The incentives are offered to compete favourably with our supermarket competitors and encourage customers to shop locally.
food banks needed
Reading the article about the rising numbers of food banks, I have to say, left me somewhat confused.
It is terrible the number of families that require help to feed themselves in this country.
Indeed, it is testimony to the poor management of this country’s finances by our governments for decades but, I read comments in the article, supported by the pictures too, that mince pies, crisps, biscuits etc, are ‘foods’ being distributed in the parcels.
Need surely dictates, only the more substantial, from a nourishment point of view, should be the parcel content and Christmas shouldn’t come into it.
I think it does send a mixed message from the organisation about the definition of plight and need, which makes me question whether they have all of their focus in the right direction.
There is no question of the increase in poverty, so I hope the advice they give regarding debt management is better focused than their food parcels, towards starter measures, where appropriate, of stopping smoking and cutting out all alcohol consumption as these items, while they exist, cannot constitute being needy, since 20 cigs a day and an average one pint a night for example can run to £45 or more a week!
At least half the nation is in some kind of unintended debt by now and food banks and other charities are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I see the coalition government is flattering us.
A consultation document is calling for residents to be able to sign petitions to force council debates and votes on parking policies.
It is existing UKIP policy to have local referenda on important issues, which would include not just parking but any other important local matter.
We are the only political party truly in touch with the electorate, as shown by our policies, which explains why we are the fastest growing in the country.
Coun Louise Bours
UKIP MEP candidate for the North West