Letters - July 3, 2019

Who is to blame for the end of free TV licences for the over-75s?
Who is to blame for the end of free TV licences for the over-75s?
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Government are real culprits in licence row

It was very informative to read the BBC response to critical letters over the abolition of free TV licences for the over-75s.

The furore directed at the BBC by many people and politicians is totally unbalanced and ignores the fact that it is the Government who are the real culprits in this sad story.

As with many promises, they have reneged on a 2017 manifesto pledge to fund the TV licence.

We live in a rich country, but while austerity is being applied to the poor, there is plenty of money to dish out to people who don’t need it.

The BBC says the licence will cost them £745m annually.

Well the Government is dishing out about £350m a year to the Royal family, including a free TV licence!

Tom Farrell

Address supplied

Ofsted

Nursery gets a ‘good’ from me

I write in relation to the Ofsted report and subsequent article published in the Blackpool Gazette in regards to West Park Kindergarten Nursery being rated ‘inadequate’.

Many emotions circled around my head when putting finger to key on this. As a writer, you want your pieces to be factual, pertinent and ultimately, entertaining, but this is something I am compelled to write as I am a grateful parent. This is an establishment I genuinely feel has helped prepare my four-year-old for school and future life in general. Emotions will spill over but what I write is how I, a parent of a pupil of the aforementioned nursery, see it.

Firstly, to dispel any myths, this will not be an Ofsted bashing. The organisation is completely necessary, efficient and does an incredible job at keeping service users and staff safe. It provides a timely reminder to those in their respective professions that standards must be maintained and kept to the highest levels.

My daughter, this September, continues her educational journey and will be attending St. kentigern’s Primary School in Blackpool. From the age of around six months, she has attended West Park Kindergarten on near enough a full-time basis. During her tenure she has continued to evolve into a well-rounded, confident, happy child that is comfortable in any company. Even if I do say so myself.

Now my child has been blessed with a wonderful mother and two doting older siblings, while I happily admit that she is the epicentre of my universe. The array of conversation, nurture and attention within her home has gone a long way to her development.

But so has the hard work of all the staff at West Park Kindergarten.

I will be the first to admit, the nursery is not perfect, but nowhere is. Like it or not, these establishments are businesses, and businesses have to make money.

Staff are not working on a voluntary basis and have bills to pay just like everybody else.

And so to the report itself. Reports of risk assessments not being robust enough as toys were found on the floor. Unbelievable behaviour for a nursery? I think not. But let’s not forget the shocking use of the word ‘piggie’ at story time. I can’t begin to imagine the detrimental effect the use of that word to a group of young children will have on their future development!

Oh wait a second, I do recall using that word myself, along with ‘doggie’ and, heaven forgive me, ‘moo-moo’ cow.

I currently work in the care sector (writing is a hobby) and have worked with children and young people of all ages, including nurseries, as well as establishment for those with special educational and behavioural needs.

During that time I feel I have amassed a pretty knowledgeable opinion of what is harmful and detrimental to child development. I have seen the most tragic cases and all manners of issues and problems.

Not one can I say has stemmed from someone adding ‘ie’ to the name of an animal.

The report goes on to state that the children were ‘happy and settled’ and staff were ‘warm and welcoming’.

Call me what you will, but I place that above a toy-free floor and words being used in a babyish way, for babies!

As I have previously stated, no establishment is perfect, but West Park Kindergarten has gone an incredibly long way to contributing to the happiness and development of many a child, not just mine.

For me, that is what matters and that’s why the nursery gets a ‘good’ from me!

John Howard

Address supplied