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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 5 February 2009
What would Peggy say to building a road through the Heath?

ON paper it hardly seems as if the integrity of Hampstead Heath is being put at risk by the planned road designed to run up to the Parliament Hill staff yard.
But any development on the Heath merits the sharpest of scrutinies.
Public-spirited campaigners have successfully fought for nearly two centuries to keep the Heath intact, free of any form of urban sprawl.
This is not to say the proposal should be thrown out. Simply a warning: Be very careful with this precious piece of land.
Another doubt centres on the views of residents of Lissenden Mansions. Have they been properly consulted?
In a week when a memorial plaque was unveiled for Peggy Jay, we also wonder what that most redoubtable of Heath campaigners would make of the proposal?

Profit will cost care provided

IT is an enticing argument that the private takeover of three Camden surgeries is but the first step in a long march leading to the creation of a privatised NHS The takeover firm UnitedHealth UK – a subsidiary of a US company – is naturally in business to make a profit. If, as undoubtedly it will, UnitedHealth prospers, why shouldn’t it turn its eyes elsewhere? And why shouldn’t other companies, such as Virgin or Boots, follow suit?

Unless Health Minister Alan Johnston steps in with a red card – and there are no signs of this in the present climate – other surgeries in Camden could easily go down the same slope.
Local NHS leading figures have persuaded themselves that all that matters is efficiency. But once a surgery or a polyclinic falls into private hands, efficiency will make way for profit, even at the cost of good health care.

‘Snow’ reason to close

FOR 24 hours most of Camden was turned into a wonderland of snow-covered streets and parks.
Only a misanthropic soul would have been unmoved by the sight of so many children and adults enjoying themselves with such a sense of release on Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath on Monday.
But once so many schools in the borough closed their gates that day many parents had to take time off from work in order to look after their children.
Most of them would have lost a day’s earnings.
Most parents probably accepted this as an inevitability for the sudden snowfall on Monday – but was it necessary for schools to close on Tuesday as well? We wonder whether headteachers and their colleagues – as well as Town Hall officials – realised how necessary it was to keep the schools open on Tuesday.
Did they really take into account the impact of a closure would have on parents?
In years past, much heavier snowfalls didn’t cause half the disruption the mere six inches caused in Camden this week!

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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