Letters, July 5, 2019

What things do you think this country wastes our money on?
What things do you think this country wastes our money on?
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BBC, peers and aid... stop wasting money

I am in sympathy with the protesters over the removal of free TV licences for the over-75s and I declare an interest.

However, are we not looking at the BBC in the wrong light?

For the last 20 years, it has lost its way paying obscene rewards to so-called ‘talent’, first class travel, hotels and fine dining.

It needs a wake-up call as it is irrelevant to younger generations already and this will increase.

I propose that the television licence fee be cut by £31 each year for four years and then the BBC should be required to be self-financing thereafter.

Why should we pay anything towards this failed project?

Whilst on my bandwagon, what about the House of Lords? They promise reform but do nothing.

Minds need focusing and my view is that membership is a privilege and, for the future, we should not pay daily attendance fees or expenses.

This should drastically reduce the numbers, which would be a beginning.

Another economy is the overseas aid budget which should be swept away.

Come on people, let’s stop pouring money down the drain.

Let the so-called entitled shoulder some of the burden which would be a refreshing change.

David Smith

Address supplied


Children need sun hat and cream

What a fantastic afternoon it was on Sunday at Stanley Park, celebrating the Band Stand’s 90th birthday.

The only disappointment of the day was seeing the number of young children in the very hot sun without a hat on. It’s worrying to think how at risk of sunstroke they were. Also, it makes you wonder if they were also without suncream.

We are all aware of the dangers of skin cancer so you would hope parents take this seriously.

Pamela Parr

via email


Documentary on literacy

My name is Tim and I am a casting researcher at Shine TV, part of the Endemol Shine Group. This is the production group behind the award-winning global hits including Masterchef, Ambulance and The Island with Bear Grylls.

We are currently making a sensitive documentary series for Channel 4 about adult learning and hoped that you may be able to help?

The UK has staggeringly low levels of literacy.

Today, English teenagers are the most illiterate in the developed world, with 20 per cent of school leavers lacking the literacy skills necessary for coping with most jobs and many everyday situations. This is worse than every generation before them in living memory.

But what these figures don’t reveal are the millions living with crushed confidence from the shame of their illiteracy.

Through a four-month process of experiences to shed their shame and accelerate their learning, we’ll aim to take a group who are lacking the literacy skills necessary for many everyday situations and transform their abilities, enabling them to live fuller lives. Living in an age of economic austerity, this documentary subject could not be more poignant. We aim to lift the stigma of adult illiteracy and deliver an empowering, positive, and uplifting series that will capture the hearts of the nation.

We are looking for eight inspiring individuals, aged between 18 and 100, from different parts of the UK. They will come from different backgrounds and have different personal motivations for wanting to improve their reading, writing, spelling and overall literacy skills.

For an informal chat, contact us on 0207 483 6710, text on 07921 694 530 or email spell@shine.tv.

Tim Fairclough

Shine TV


Strangely silent on pressing issue

It is clear this planet is in an extraordinary critical crisis. The level of population is literally destroying the planet. There are numerous reports that echo this sentiment.

Climate change dominates the media and protest groups.

Yet the massive over-exploitation of this planet’s resources to satisfy human greed and over-population is so very evident. The level of pollution is one symptom of this. One could ask, is it already too late?

Our politicians and leaders around the planet are strangely silent on this most important crisis facing this planet now. Spare a moment to log on to the world population counter on the internet. It will give you much pause for thought.

David Pearson

via email