Letters - April 18, 2017

The English National Opera's production of The Mikado.

The English National Opera's production of The Mikado.

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Have your say

THEATRE

I understand why show was scrapped

I am writing in reference to the cancellation of a scheduled English National Opera 10-night run of a Gilbert & Sullivan opera at the Winter Gardens (The Gazette, April 13).

I’d be the first one in the queue for tickets to see an opera by G&S - they were the Andrew Lloyd Webbers of their day.

The Mikado is my favourite of all the Savoy Operas but honestly, I don’t think such a show would fill the Opera House regardless of it being performed by the English National Opera Company not even for one night. While full operas and ballets may well have numerous enthusiasts, the National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company performed two Savoy Operas at the Grand theatre in November 2015 one of them being The Mikado and brilliant it was albeit without the authentic Japanese costumes and traditional style and still worked but the theatre wasn’t full. Don’t forget that G&S works are fading with National Opera Company’s simply because audiences that love these operas have become scarce, yet at the same time Marton Operatic Society who specialise and stick with traditional G&S have much local support when performing their annual productions in the Lowther Pavilion but transfer them to the Opera House their audiences would surely be thin on the ground. So unfortunately Gilbert & Sullivan operas it seems are relegated to amateur societies who fortunately keep their works authentic and thankfully continue on until one day perhaps enthusiasts aren’t around any longer. A shame but I understand why ENO pulled the plug.

Clifford Chambers

Ashton Road

Blackpool

HEALTH

Tories continue to run down our NHS

Many Gazette letters have praised the treatment received from the NHS and rightly so, staff within the service show a commitment to their responsibilities, whilst caring for patients. That’s despite staff often being under extreme pressure due to alterations within the NHS.

The Sustainability and Transformation plan is designed to try to cope with escalating numbers of patients without increasing funding, and NOT something that has been developed to improve services. There is now a shortage of doctors and nurses, 80 nurses from the Philippines have been recruited. One wonders if this government is capable of any forward thinking. Whilst they recruit staff from abroad the government has from 2017 stopped bursaries for those training for a career in nursing. Now instead a young would be nurse can apply for a loan to pay for training. The Royal College of Nurses opposed this change claiming it was ‘unfair’. The Royal College of Midwives said the prospect of graduating with debts of £50,000 would discourage many, although the NHS is struggling to fill vacancies.

In my opinion the planned Tory erosion of our NHS is proceeding as more ‘for profit firms’ are given lucrative contracts within the service.

I have seen a letter from the Fylde Coast Memory Assessment service received by a carer of an elderly person who has memory loss; they have received excellent care from the Memory Assessment Service. It states changes, have been agreed between the memory service and local GPs and the next review will be undertaken by GPs.

In the meantime if they need, help or advice about medication or feel the condition is changing they must contact their GP.

In short the wonderful help on a very regular basis often in the patient’s own home has been removed from vulnerable patients. GPs offer good service but not the specialist service patients need, are accustomed to, and benefitted from. This is just one of many services that underfunding has adversely affected.

Jack Croysdill

Chairman. Blackpool North/Cleveleys Labour Party

BREXIT

Defence cuts must be reversed

Now that Article 50 has been triggered and we are on course to leave the EU there are many important issues that need resolving.

There are further cuts being planned, cuts that will affect most of us and they need immediate attention from the government.

One in particular is defence, which should be the first priority of any government. After years of savage cuts under Cameron’s coalition, our armed services suffered severely, while it became set in law that we must give 0.7 per cent of our GDP away in overseas aid, which now equates to more than £13.5 billion each year and continues to grow as our economy grows.

Yet, there is speculation that more cuts are in the pipeline for our armed services, in particular for the Royal Marines with their capability reduced and the Royal Navy and their flagship HMS Ocean, which may be sold next year, as well as an exodus from both the army and RAF personnel for a variety of reasons including poor accommodation.

The world becomes more dangerous by the minute and with the escalating trouble and rising tensions between Syria, Russia and the US as well as North Korea, it is high time that we invest properly in our armed services and with it the defence of the realm and our interests around the world.

As we are about to become an independent nation again it is important that we prioritise what matters most for our future and that the first priority is defending it.

Philip Griffiths

UKIP North West President