CARE: Questions still need answers
When The Mount Nursing Home closed all those years ago, like many, I was saddened as I half-hoped I would spend my latter years there and benefit from the high standard of care it offered.
At the time there were big questions about how care would be provided for people in their own homes and in nursing homes.
All these years on and there are still more questions than answers as to how to provide and fund the care people need, leaving them stuck in hospital for longer than they need be and families to cope with stressful situations.
But seeing positive examples of the care process working within my family keeps me hoping the answers will come.
The debate over the need to increase affordable housing in the county has been going on for decades, since the end of council houses being built.
Keeping a wide age range of people in a community is important to protect its identity.
Over the years there has been a wide range of definitions of what makes housing affordable, definitions often so convoluted it would take an expert to translate.
But if you are a school or a university leaver, affordable housing would be something you could afford on your salary and savings, which on limited amounts might cover the cost of a flat, not a house.
Talk about the impact of budget cuts on the police service concerns many people, particularity as the nature of crime we are at risk of dealing with gets more complex. For example, in many areas you are more likely to become a victim of online, telephone or postal fraud than of being burgled.
But whatever the crime, if you have been a victim your concern will be for the culprit to be caught and face legal consequences.
Each type of crime has a clear-up rate and the police have to prioritise their resources.
With talk of changing the nature of short-term sentences, and even improving access to telephones in prison, I hope there is still thought on how to improve the clear-up rate for crime.
I assume there is a timetable for building work at Ashington Bus Station. It is, after all, a long time since the relocation of County Hall was stopped.
The new bus station will be a considerable improvement on the various stations over the years, but it has taken a long time.
You do, however, get a view of the new trees as you walk to the bus stop outside a sports shop to catch a Morpeth-bound bus.
As I don’t have a computer or internet device at home, if I wanted to conduct an appointment using Skype with a doctor, I’d have to use a computer at my local library.
Unfortunately, this is no longer open when I’ve finished work so I would have to go when I wasn’t at work.
I’d walk past my GP surgery to go to the library, and given it is on the small side, talking about personal medical matters would have an unwanted audience, so I remain old-fashioned enough to want to see a GP face-to-face.
However, if a GP could talk to a consultant via Skype with the patient in the room, there are positives as a way of avoiding a lengthy referral to a consultant.