DOZY’S RAMBLES: Time running out before PCC elections

Mike Mendoza
Mike Mendoza

How old will you be when you retire? The days of sitting about and just living at the age of 60 or 65 are now well gone, with many expecting to work up to their 70s and even 80s.

Not many of us expected pensions to be so small and the cost of living so high.

I can highlight my own case as a warning to others. Nearly all of my life I have been self-employed, paying the lowest level of stamp (at the time when stamps were still used).

Prior to my ‘retirement’ age I received a letter from the government informing me of the amount I would receive in the way of state pension, which was pretty low, but if I was to pay in an extra £17,000 I would receive the full state pension!

My dilemma was do I pay the £17,000 or accept the sum I was offered? I could not afford the payment and I wasn’t sure how long I would live to recoup the ‘investment’. So I had no choice but to go with the amount offered.

Two weeks ago I received my council tax bill and realised it was almost half of my entire pension. How do those on a fixed income survive? I am lucky because I have managed to get a job, but how many who are close to the age of 70 are going to get job offers?

It is very easy to make comments in hindsight, but if you ask for my advice, pay the full weekly National Insurance payments all of your working life – it will pay off in the end.

I am sad for the relatives and friends of the Shoreham Airshow disaster victims having to attend the coroners’ court only to be told there will be a further significant delay before they get any sort of closure, which is the least they deserve.

Two GP surgeries are to merge at the Shoreham Health Centre at the end of this month.

These two surgeries have enjoyed excellent reputations in our town for many years, but this is the second change at the centre in as many years.

Many would say the changes have not been for the best.

When I first joined the then Lyons Practice, I was amazed at the level of care on offer, and the facilities available.

With many surgeries around the country undergoing drastic changes and closures recently, we hope that this practice will now go from strength to strength.

If you fancy yourself as the next Police and Crime Commissioner, you have until next Thursday to register your intentions, but you will also need to get the backing of at least 100 local electors – and, before I forget, a deposit of £5,000.

If the thought of five grand is a bit out of your reach you can always do what one future candidate has done – crowd funding.

You can stand as a candidate as long as you have never been convicted of an imprisonable offence or employed in any way by the police service.

So far only two people have come forward who are not backed by political parties to say they intend standing.

I was surprised to read in last week’s Herald that the so-called ‘preferred’ developer for the toilet block on Shoreham Beach’s Beach Green plans to meet with the council after being told that it is only the toilet block on offer, not the green itself.

Brian Wilson, the developer, had said previously that it would not pay for him to carry out the development if the deal did not include the green, so what has changed?

Is the toilet block alone now an attractive proposition for him? All of a sudden it will pay to develop? Or will the next set of plans be to build up, maybe three or four stories?

No one expected the Lancing Green development to be as good as it is, so hang in there, Mr Wilson, you could be onto a winner.


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