Letters on Brexit trade deal, foodbank donation and more

Slimming World Whittlesey & Eastrea members Charlene and Anna.

Slimming World Whittlesey & Eastrea’s members donated to the local food bank just before Christmas. Charlene and Anna are pictured delivering the food. - Credit: CHARLENE KNOWLES

Wonderful generosity

We write on behalf of March Lions Club and the Rotary Club of March, and, of course, not forgetting Santa, to express our thanks to the people of March who have once again shown wonderful generosity during our nights with “Santa on Tour”.

We have been amazed at how much money we managed to collect amounting to over £1000 which will be shared between the four causes we were collecting for: Young People March, 20/20 Productions, Christians Against Poverty and MIND.

Your generosity will mean that these organisations will receive over £250 each.

As well as the above cash collections, we also collected food for March Foodbank, the total donated was a magnificent 325kg.

This has all been handed over and will be available to be distributed.

DEREK RUTTER, March Lions Club president, and JOHN LATTIMORE, Rotary Club of March president

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Which dictatorship?  

I do not know whether government regulations telling us that we should or should not do in the present panic are effective or not. I 

I do care when an apparatchik, such as Dr. Liz Robin, tells us, as reported in your paper, "… we must all comply with government regulations”.   

Medically trained she may be, but she has not been granted dictatorial powers, even benign ones. Expressing her opinion is one thing; dictating to us is another. 

From the look of the streets there seems to be a lot of people who are disobeying her.  

What does she propose to do about remedying this criminality?  

Build some more unused Nightingale hospitals, or make a start on some Gulag or concentration camps? 


Water level on the River Nene near Richards Close in March.

Geraldine Cook, of March, "has not seen the water level on the River Nene as high as this, near Richards Close, for many years. The trees do not normally stand in the water. It would be interesting to know exactly how much rainfall there was on that particular day". - Credit: GERALDINE COOK

Miserable failure  

The Brexit deal by Boris Johnson is a miserable failure after four long years of Conservative negotiations.     

It is better than the alternative of no deal at all – but securing the lesser of two evils is no cause for hope.    

This is the first trade deal in history with the express plan of making it harder to trade. It does not deliver a deal on services, which make up 80 per cent of our economy, so will limit access for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough businesses to vital EU markets.       

We will be shut outside the customs union with more burdensome customs checks and red tape for our exporters and supply chains. We are outside the world’s largest Single Market.     

And I warn such a useless deal means we will be back at the negotiating table in no time at all, because no sane country would want to go on like this.     

ALEX MAYER, former East of England MEP 

Cruelly taken away 

After Boris Johnson's latest U-turn, millions had their Christmas plans shattered. Many of us know that new restrictions are needed. But did Johnson stop to think of the hundreds of thousands who work on Christmas Day?  

Our nurses, our doctors and our carers who worked on Christmas Day had planned to have their Christmas get together with their families before or after Christmas within the five-day window previously announced by Johnson.   

That was cruelly taken away from them. After nine months putting their lives on the line during this COVID-19 crisis, this was heart-breaking for them and for their families.  

Johnson and his ministers were so eager to clap for our carers, an easy gesture that doesn’t cost anything or require thought.   

But they are incapable of acting with empathy towards the hundreds of thousands who have had their Christmases stolen from them or following through with promises of pay rises for healthcare workers.   

Surely, a little flexibility would have allowed them to take their “Christmas Day” on Christmas Eve say, or Boxing Day? After all they have given, it was the least they deserved.  

Dr NIK JOHNSON, Labour mayoral candidate 

RNLI says thank-you  

On behalf of our volunteer crews, I would like to say a massive thank you to all those wonderful people who contributed £597 to our funds by donation and purchasing of goods when we had a market stall at Ely. 

It was absolutely amazing and we met a lot of lovely people including some who had been rescued over the years off the coast. 

GEOFFREY HEATHCOCK, Cambridge & District RNLI chairman 

Shopworkers are people as well  

This year is likely to be even more stressful as a result of recent lockdowns and worries around Coronavirus.  

I want to gently remind your readers to remember that shopworkers are people as well. They will be working really hard to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible.  

Talking to our members who work in retail, I know that verbal abuse cuts deep. Many will go home after a shift upset about an unpleasant incident that took place at work that day and worried that it will happen to them again.  

During this appalling pandemic we have been shocked to find that incidents of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers have doubled.  

The main flashpoints are enforcing Covid rules, queueing and shortage of stock. None of these are the fault of shopworkers, but too often they end up on the wrong side of customers’ frustrations.  

That is why Usdaw, the shopworkers’ trade union, is asking customers to ‘Keep your Cool’.  

I would also like to ask your readers to support our members by signing the petition to protect shopworkers: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/328621 

PADDY LILLIS, general secretary of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw)