Time to listen

I WRITE in response to the letter “Did union strike at failing school?” (January 29). I read the letter with pure confusion.

Firstly, communications from the Union have been very clear on their reasons for industrial action at Cardigan Secondary School.

They have spoken openly to the media, where the LEA and the school itself have refused to comment. They have stated that they are striking over “adverse management practices”.

In my opinion, if 17 current employees are following protocol in order to attempt to improve the running of the school for their own well being, as well as the pupils’ well being, then I will fully support them.

I also work in the private sector and I would argue that there ARE clear ways to improve performance. Improvement comes from instilling a feeling of value and respect in your employees and by providing support for all staff. If an employee feels valued, he or she will always work beyond expectations.

Having read the recent investigation report, it is clear that the current teachers at Cardigan school do not feel this.

In my eyes, the report gives the readers an insight into the frustrations and misery that the teachers feel at present.

For the LEA to lead with “no evidence of bullying” seems absurd when you actually read the issues being raised by staff. I doubt very much that the “complainants” will now, all of a sudden, not feel bullied anymore.

The report describes concerns of nepotism, the feeling that several policies were not being adhered to, low morale, excessive scrutiny and workloads. This report, to me, simply tells the public how unhappy staff are feeling. The report also describes that a closed chat group was “obtained” which included private discussions between teachers. I find this fact disgusting and a huge breech of privacy and trust, as well as a lack of respect towards staff. It doesn’t add to the report and simply attempts to further crush staff. The atmosphere at the school at the moment must be unbearable, the relationships must be strained and the environment must feel quite hostile for all staff and pupils at this time.

I do not want my child being taught by a teacher who feels this stress or misery on a daily basis. Given that 17 of the current teachers have reluctantly chosen strike action, I think it’s crucial to listen to these concerns, rather than to judge and belittle their actions. If we can’t trust the very people who are teaching our children, who can we trust?

Obviously, a great school is indeed a boost for Cardigan; there is no question that everyone in the community wants the school to be the best that it possibly can. However, the facts of the matter are, there is a high staff turnover at Cardigan, dozens of complaints have found their way to the county, an investigation was launched at the school and that the union is discussing further strike action. This only begs the question: “Are the LEA going to actually do anything about this? Or are they going to sit around, eat cake and pretend as if nothing is happening?”

Name and address supplied

Pothole problem

A FEW months ago, town councillors expressed concern at traffic speeds through certain parts of Cardigan.

Well, in parts of the town, the traffic is certainly moving at a reduced speed with not a speed restriction sign to be seen!

The answer is potholes,which commence outside the council offices in Morgan Street and continue towards our ancient castle and the Teifi bridge.

There is no shortage of tarmac, as evidenced by the resurfacing last year of pavements along the Mwldan and Pontycleifion, for the benefit of pedestrians.

Outside the town boundary, there are further problems. I refer to the Gwbert View Point - a spot popular with locals and visitors alike.

The entrance to this parking area has potholes two feet in diameter and several inches deep - not a good advert towards tourism.

At the far end of the area is a row of wooden bench seats, donated in memory of departed loved ones, practically hallowed ground.

A few bags of ready mix is all that is required. How about some remedial activity?

John B Armstrong


Crippling town

WHY in our beautiful, historic market town are we crippling the traders with parking charges?

Why do they have to pay at all? Why aren’t the council supporting these local people instead of making them pay parking charges just so they can come to work?

The work that for many barely covers their overheads.

The council should be encouraging local enterprise not trying to drive them away.

There are shops on the high street that have stood empty for years and more will follow. Crippling rates and parking charges do nothing to encourage people to set up business in our town.

Why not give the local trader free parking passes?

Jean English


Molly appeal

I WOULD like to ask for your readers’ help in having harmful items removed from social media websites, as you may have seen on the BBC News on January 22.

An item regarding the death of a 14-year-old girl called Molly Russell this suicide was caused by her viewing items on social media on self-harm and suicide.

The minister in question Ms Jackie Doyle Price mentioned in the news item that the government were going to keep an eye on these sites with a view to try to get these companies to remove this material.

I feel this is not enough, they should be threatened with closure NOW!

I lost a dear schoolfriend a number of years ago to viewing harmful material on social media causing her to take her own life.

I am hoping to enlist the help of yourselves to start a national campaign.

Jessica Hurst

By email

Letters, January 29, 2019

Slow death

I NEVER thought that the death penalty would return, but sadly it has - though now it is fiendishly disguised as NHS waiting lists.

“There is a six-month waiting list,” I was told when I phoned the appointment contact centre last week.

I was referred on December 5, but I will have to wait, I was told, until June for an appointment.

Presumably, the referral was made because the GP could not be sure that there was not something sinister lurking. In other words, there is some doubt over my condition.

If something awful is detected in June, it will - by then, I suspect – probably be too late, meaning of course that my six-month wait was effectively a death sentence.

I would like people to know, however, that I am not a queue jumper and if this letter results in the offer of an earlier appointment, I can assure you that I will turn it down.

I must wait my turn like all the others sentenced to death by the NHS.

SP Walters


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