Letters - July 4, 2017

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POLITICS

Pay-cut chickens 
coming home to roost

Conservative Mps Paul Maynard, Mark Menzies and Ben 
Wallace should hang their heads in shame for voting against the Labour Shadow Cabinet’s amendment to the Queens speech to remove the public sector pay cap (The Gazette, July 1)

Their government introduced the pay cap seven years ago as part of their heinous austerity plans. Nurses, firefighters and police, among other public sector servants, have been affected with what now amounts to a three per cent pay cut. They use the feeble and lamentable reason that it was a Labour ploy.

To quote Paul Maynard: “This vote was a parliamentary manoeuvre by the Labour Party and did a disservice to many hard working public sector workers on the Fylde.”

This outrageous comment is set against the news recently published about many nurses forced to use food banks to feed their family. To say that the Labour amendment (to quote Maynard) was, “blatantly political” is appalling as the Prime Minister had just done a deal with the ultra right DUP to give them £1bn as a bribe to secure their votes. What hypocrisy!

The real cost is laid bare when we see our loyal workers in the health, police and fire services who have worked so hard following the recent events in London and Manchester, be told they must suffer more pay cuts.

Our ‘chickens’ however will soon be coming home to roost as their other colleagues on the Tory front bench have declared dissent.

Even Jeremy Hunt the architect of the commercialisation of the NHS is said to be calling for a lift on the cap - leaving Messrs Maynard, Menzies and Wallace clearly on the back foot!

As Jeremy Corbyn said after the vote: “Although government ministers said they had learned the lessons of the general election and were listening to voters, it is clear that nothing has changed.”

Marjorie Nye

Knowle Avenue

Member of 38 degrees Blackpool Fylde and Wyre

APPEAL

Celebrating women in our armed forces

This July, SSAFA, the UK’s oldest military charity, is celebrating the centenary of women in our armed forces.

The charity, which has been supporting our troops and their families for over 130 years, was there for the first women serving and we’re still there for them now.

This year, we are recognising the vital role that women have played in the military, during two world wars and in more recent conflicts.

I have worked alongside some truly inspirational women in our armed forces and I am extremely proud of the work they do; we rely on their strength and courage to keep us safe every day and I am proud to be Ambassador of SSAFA which supports these women and their families.

SSAFA has branches working across Lancashire that are made up of volunteers and provide practical and emotional support those currently serving, veterans who have settled in the area and their families.

Dame Vera Lynn

Ambassador of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

HEALTH

Why the shortage of nurses in the NHS?

Why is there a shortage of nurses in our NHS?

Nursing 2000 took nurses away from the bedside and changed their training from hospital to university. Nursing is an apprenticeship and a practical vocation learned on hospital wards,not an academic career.

Finally the nurse bursaries have been taken from them and so now we have 9,000 unfilled nurse training posts in universities, meaning even less nurses in the future.

Paul Muller

Via email

MEDIA

Media patriotism call is justified

The Public Broadcasting Charter charges the BBC with impartial reporting of the news.

But now the BBC seeks to make the news! The reason is the introduction of 24 hour rolling news - a great folly. There are natural lulls in the day’s events, including some quiet days, but the steamship demands stories all day long, it has got out of hand.

The left-wing press plus the media face of the Labour Party, the BBC, are hounding Theresa May by attempting to bring the national nightmare into No 10 Downing Street, yes I mean Jeremy Corbyn.

Is it any wonder Andrea Leadsom called for more patriotism from the media?

All the Remainers in the Commons want the Government to crash-land Brexit, thus letting the Leave voters down.

The rump of the PM’s enemies are in the Conservative Party establishment, led by George Osborne.

Along with big business, they will stop at nothing to keep lining their pockets. Beware the enemy within!

Alan Chapman,

Via email

HEALTH

Pharmacists are 
not tax collectors

Prescription charges deter many people from getting medicines which their doctor prescribes.

Patients on low incomes who do not qualify for exemption suffer the most. Patients sometimes make a decision not to take all the medicines they need because they can’t afford the charges.

From a pharmacist’s point of view, processing prescription levies is part of the job that adds workload but no patient benefit. Pharmacists are healthcare professionals - not tax collectors.

Pharmacists, like other health care professionals, experience great pressures on their time and removing the burden of administering prescription levies would release time for patient care.

This time could be better spent helping patients and tackling the serious problem of under-diagnosed and poorly treated long-term conditions.

Paul Christian

National Pharmacy Association