MELKSHAM Seniors’ Forum praised the local MP, Michelle Donelan, for her candidness at a recent meeting held with local people.
Michelle visited the group at Melksham Town Hall recently and gave residents a chance to grill her in a Q&A session.
Chair of the Seniors’ Forum and meeting organiser Brian Warwick said, “The visit went very well. We had a good turnout and people were impressed by Michelle’s frankness when answering questions.
“We spoke about local issues like access to doctors, and national ones like disability benefits and, of course, Brexit and the EU referendum.
“Though not everyone agreed with her opinions people felt she answered the questions well and very much appreciated the opportunity to hear her speak.
“There were certainly many interesting questions and debate, along with some strong exchanges of views. The discussions around the NHS and the lack of sufficient doctors hours to provide adequate medical coverage raised the heat quite a bit.
“A very strong case for Melksham to have it is own combined medical centre or another doctors surgery possibly on the West side of Melksham was well supported.
“The seniors raised the problem of lack of revenue funding and the need to change the way local grants are made to ensure greater equity in funding local organisations based on their value to the community.”
“It’s certainly something we’d like to do again, and will also be looking to meet with local politicians on the area board later this year.
“Many thanks to all who attended and to the staff of Melksham Town Hall who looked after us so well.”
Melksham Seniors is continuing to campaign on a variety of issues affecting the 55+ age group.
“A key issue for an organisations like Melksham Seniors is getting people to volunteer to give us just a few hours of their time per month to organise activities, perhaps help with refreshments or undertake a few admin jobs,” said Brian.
“We cannot exist without fund raising, so occasionally organising a fund raising coffee morning, or bring and buy or similar event is essential to our existence. We don’t need huge sums just sufficient revenue to pay for venues and the regular projects we undertake to improve the quality of life of our older citizens.
“One of our key ambitions is to improve our website and keep it regularly updated. We also need to cater for those people who do not have IT facilities. One way of doing that is to produce a newsletter that can be circulated throughout the community; if you believe you can help in any way give me a call on 01225 792959.
“Producing a good newsletter of course requires IT graphic skills. It was very pleasing to learn some local secondary school now have active Technology /IT groups. It would be fantastic if the students who are developing such great skills were encouraged to support the local community as part of the school curriculum.
“I would love young people to become actively engaged in helping seniors to produce a newsworthy newsletter for older people, one that not only provides news items but is also funny and challenging in its editorial. Such a challenge would also benefit their knowledge on other school subjects including art, English and allied editorial skills, graphic design, public affairs and would also be a key part of any local community intergenerational activity.”