Northampton: Microcosm of Contemporary Britain
By Mercia — Five stories from yesterday’s Northampton Herald & Post newspaper illustrate the chronic malaise affecting not only one provincial city but Britain as a whole.
The lead story was about a woman who for sixteen months cared for her elderly arthritic and stroke-ridden mother.
Despite Northamptonshire county council allegedly having a policy of providing assessments for carers, she has been unable to get any assistance from the local authorities.
The distressed carer-daughter said: “Both my mum and I have worked hard all our lives and paid our dues but when we need help most no one has been here to help out.”
Meanwhile, on page 6, the reader is told that Northamptonshire County Council pays its chief executive £161,289 per year. The corporate directors of health and adult social services, environment, growth and commissioning, and children and young people’s services, are paid £132,648 each while an assistant chief executive for policy and partnership is getting £108,402.
On the opposite page is a story in which local Tory MP Brian Binley warns that Government “cuts will be felt by all.”
This is, of course, not quite true. Westminster MPs have not the slightest intention of accepting any reductions in their salaries or perks.
In addition, Mr Binley, as many Northampton people remember, was the MP who claimed £57,000 in parliamentary allowance over a three year period to rent a flat from a company owned by himself.
In multicultural 'enrichment' news in Northampton, the front page of the newspaper reveals how police halted a bogus wedding between a 'French' woman and an African male from Togo. The latter was in possession of a fake Nigerian passport and UK visa. Both have been convicted and jailed.
On page 3, the reader learns that the body of a Latvian man has been recovered from the River Nene in the city. Police have arrested two other Latvian males in connection with the incident.
This then, is a snapshot of life in a provincial English city. It is a microcosm of contemporary Britain.