Letters - August 19, 2015

Activity at the Franklaw Water Treatment plant on Catterall Lane, Garstang, after news of water contamination
Activity at the Franklaw Water Treatment plant on Catterall Lane, Garstang, after news of water contamination
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PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ

Our spirits 
were uplifted

My friend and I had the privilege of attending the Grand Theatre this week to see Puttin’ on the Ritz.

What a show and certainly one to remember. It was the most vibrant show from start to finish that we have seen at this beautiful theatre and a show not to be missed.

The cast of some 12 energetic young tap dancers and singers was a joy to behold. The audience, though small in number, sang their way through all the old favourites by Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin with enthusiasm and verve. The applause and appreciation were wonderful to hear.

This was a fast moving and beautifully dressed show which was perfectly choreographed and it was very apparent that the cast radiated happiness and fun within its members.

The professional dancers and soloists were a sheer delight and Becky (from Britain’s Got Talent) though small in stature gave a big and powerful performance of the songs that made Judy Garland a star.

The standing ovation at the end of the show spoke for itself. The audience left the theatre knowing that their spirits had been uplifted and that they had had the best two hours entertainment ever.

Well done and thank you.

Betty Crighton 
and Fiona Teal

Blackpool

IMMIGRATION

Current rate 
is ‘unsustainable’

Royston Jones (17 August letter) uses grossly outdated statistics to argue the indefensible.

The very latest figures show net migration as 318,000. In 1997 it was 47,000, and in 2000 it was 154,000. Under the Labour government, 1997-2010, an extra 2.6 m net foreign immigrants arrived here.

Since 2000 the UK population has increased by 400,000 a year. It is now 65m. By 2025 it will be a minimum of 71m. Two-thirds of the increase will be down to immigrants and their children.

Already we are one of the most densely populated states in the world. We already have a serious shortage of houses. Millions will have to be spent on expanding school places, health, roads, rail, and other infrastructure even without a rise in net immigration.

A March 2015 survey showed that 71 per cent of the UK population want immigration reduced.

Some leading members of Royston’s party agree. The current rate is simply unsustainable.

Also the more migrants there are the more difficult it will be for migrants to fully integrate in our society.

It was Trevor Phillips, the former head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, who warned that the UK was: ‘ sleep walking into segregation’.

These facts cannot be swept under the carpet. They need addressing, and urgently.

Dr Barry Clayton

Fieldfare Close

Cleveleys

FRACKING

Water pollution fears will rise

The recent water contamination in Lancashire will be nothing like the contamination if a shale gas fracking well head leaks radioactive and carcinogenic chemicals into the aquifer, as invariably happens.

Now that the controversial DEFRA report has been published in its entirety, including the 63 paragraphs they tried to omit - this report completely corrects the shale gas lobby that there’s no evidence of negative impact; coupled with the Dantoni independent MEDAC report (not a biased report financed by self interests); it is quite obvious that shale gas fracking causes serious health problems, water contamination, noise and light pollution, and reduction of the countryside and tourism. Fracking must be banned as many countries have done, including many states in the USA - the home of fracking.

D. Barker

Poulton

GPS

Seven-day plan

‘undeliverable’

The government’s plans to recruit thousands of extra GPs and introduce seven day opening are undeliverable as new figures reveal that one in five GP trainee posts in England remain vacant.

The North West is one of the worst affected areas in the country with 127 of a possible 351 vacancies, remaining unfilled. This is at a time when local GPs are already unable to cope with the current pressure, and patients are understandably frustrated at the lack of appointments and delays getting the treatment they need.

The issue is that whilst demand has been continuing to rise, the government has failed completely to provide the support that local GP practice’s need, to offer their patients the time and care they deserve. That’s had a damaging effect on GPs’ morale and well-being, with many doctors getting close to burn-out; young doctors are no longer choosing general practice as a career; training places are going unfilled and senior GPs are choosing to leave the profession.

The failure to recruit new GPs is happening at the same time that a third of existing GPs are intending to retire in the next five years. This combination is incredibly concerning and represents a threat to the delivery of effective care to patients, as there will be too few GPs to meet their reasonable needs.

The government must stop burying its head in the sand and address the real issues facing the GP workforce. Ministers need to undertake a sustained, long term programme of investment in general practice that gives GP services the ability to cope with rising patient demand and makes it an attractive career option for all medical graduates.

Dr David 
Wrigley

British Medical Association