Call for breakdown of Somme costs: Reader

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Sir - I read with interest the letter published in your paper 13/7/11 entitled “Cost query of the battle of the Somme visit” The writer calls into question three important points, all of which affect us the ratepayers.

I have always been of the opinion that we should send representatives to the Somme to commemorate the fact that on that single day, July 1st 1916 our Borough lost twenty-nine brave men, so intense was that fighting that day that the bodies of only four of these men could be retrieved for a Christian burial, for this reason our Borough needs to be represented, but why should the delegation be all Councillors and why so many?

I totally agree with the writers’ sentiments that perhaps it would be a good idea to send a relation of one of the twenty-nine men who sacrificed their lives that July day, criteria could be drawn up and a selection made to send a person who has lost a relative in that terrible day accompanied by the Mayor alone, this would cut down on costs and also give someone the chance of visiting their relatives grave.

Imagine the impact on a pensioner from this area receiving the letter that he/she would be able to visit the grave of their family member and represent their family at the Somme Commemorations escorted by the Mayor?

The writer also calls into question the cost of the 2011 trip, this is a question on many rate payers lips, but this is easily resolved by our councillors publishing in the two newspapers circulating the Borough a break-down of their cost of the visit and let the people who actually pay for it decide if it is resonable to send so many councillors.

Peter Thompson