(July 2001) Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir and all Villagers

I have been compelled to write this letter on the grounds of actually being allowed to live in one’s own village. Just what is happening to all villages? After purposely leaving my own home (town) environment for the better, I have spent the last 21 years raising 4 children, all conceived and 2 born in this beautiful place. My husband has lived here for the last 44 years and can honestly say that he knows hardly any one in his own home place. What’s happened to the good old neighbourly community? The car perhaps?

‘The Sibfords’ have obviously become a ‘very sought after’ area to live in, but isn’t it about time everybody began to seriously consider where the ’locals and less well off’ can claim the right to a roof over their heads!

With the mass sell-off of council houses, exorbitant rents in the private (and also very often insubstantial accommodation) sector, it could almost be seen like only certain types of people will be living in rural areas!

Rising house prices, lack of affordable accommodation, can only already add to the ever increasing problem of homelessness. Is it not about time that all parties addressed this issue?

Villages in surrounding areas are already dealing with this problem now, by either allocating Alms Houses or buying and designating land to build affordable accommodation for those villagers who choose to stay ‘on home ground’. Could ‘The Sibfords’ not look into similar ideas?

I do not intend to offend or insult any resident of any village, but do feel very strongly for the need to do something positive soon, to protect the future and preservation of a healthy village life. We are all very privileged to be able to live in such beautiful surroundings, lets try to make sure that everyone can be allowed to do so.

Bernadette Jones