Letters - November 18, 2019

Need to rebuild homes to withstand flooding

Monday, 18th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Flooded homes

Flooding is a national catastrophe - one which has affected various areas of the country for far too many decades and one which has the undeniable potential to increase in its potency as the damaging effects of global warming increase.

Flood barriers can bring with them the potential to channel troubled waters away from one existing crisis point only to create another catastrophe and more undeserving victims up or downstream.

Because this problem brings with it the probability to repeat itself in the same geographical areas, year after year, most insurers will no longer offer cover against the risks associated with such flooding. The immediate costs for residents - financial, practical and emotional - are evident, but, added to this, the value of their property evaporates with the ebbing waters. They will feel eternally vulnerable. What was once a loving family sanctuary and a financial asset has now become a worrisome and life-sapping millstone.

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My potential remedy, for those whose problems could be solved by its implementation, may seem relatively costly in the initial stages and will need funding from the Exchequer. But it has the potential to alleviate the flooding problems for at least several generations and, in the process, add value and peace of mind to affected home-owners able to benefit from this very basic technological remedy.

Sacrifice the ground floor of affected homes and substitute the space lost by building another storey above the existing top floor of the building. New methods of construction, including factory-built timber-framed walls, plus other new lightweight materials, may well remove the need for improvements to existing house foundations. However, modern technology has ensured that even this is a readily achievable strategy. This is not necessarily the most appropriate solution for everyone. Nevertheless, I believe we should be ‘raising the roof’ for all those whose situation would benefit from its application.

David deVire

via email


Statue of hero would be better

So the council wants to spend over £35,000 on a statue of a ‘contemporary mermaid’ (I don’t know either) to ‘revive the town centre’.

Obviously, this money would be better spent on something that would revive the town centre, like incentives to open up the boarded up shops or reduce anti-social behaviour.

If money must be spent on a statue, can I suggest one of Det Sgt Frank McKenna OBE (page 6 in Thursday’s Gazette)?

This would be more appropriate than the plaque recently unveiled and visible to everyone. Well, everyone walking past the briefing room at the Police West Division HQ on Gerry Richardson Way.

Rob Longworth

via email


Leave European Union for peace

It has taken a while to get my head around the political positions of the main parties in the coming General Election.

I am not a member of any political party, though I am a ‘peacemonger’.

To me, the European Union is a major threat to peace in Europe.

The EU cannot expand to the West (Ireland and the UK are already members of the EU). The EU can only physically expand to the East.

I believe the undermining of the democratically elected anti-EU government of the Ukraine by the EU has led to the deaths of thousands of innocent Ukrainian citizens, civil war and the Russian invasion of Crimea.

At the time of the demonstrations, the EU representative Baroness Catherine Ashton turned up in Kiev to give the new pro-EU Government its support.

The rulers don’t seem to care if there is a nuclear war with Russia, all they apparently care about is power.

The peoples of Europe have been demonstrating against the EU in major rebellions this year like the ‘Yellow Shirts’ in France. Will there be an EU to rejoin?! But who to vote for?!

The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has a history of campaigning against wars. In fact, even Tories say what a nice guy he is after meeting him.

He is by far a better man and leader than most other party leaders.

But there is a major problem. The Labour Party is full of remainers, and as soon as the General Election was announced, Jeremy Corbyn MP said he would support a second referendum on the EU, a major demand of the remainers.

This also sent a coded message to the resurgent remainer Lib Dems that a coalition between Labour and the Lib Dems is on the table.

It seems the only choice for people who value peace above war is to back the Brexit Party and Conservatives for now (with gritted teeth).

Mrs Dorothy Perkins

via email


Carers need

a break too

We’d like to invite your readers to nominate a deserving carer who will be in with the chance of going on a free holiday, while the person they care for comes on a free break with us, Revitalise, through our brand-new Grace Award for Caring.

There are approximately 7.3 million carers in the UK and this award has been created to recognise and reward those partners, relatives and friends who spend their lives selflessly devoted to caring for their loved ones.

I work for Revitalise – an amazing charity that creates holidays for disabled people and carers at three fully accessible holiday centres in the UK. The centres are located in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport.

The Grace Award for Caring was named not only because it takes grace to care for someone, also because it takes grace to accept care from someone. That’s why we’re showing our support for carers across the UK, calling for people to nominate a carer they know who truly deserves a break. To nominate a carer, please visit www.revitalise.org.uk/graceawards or call: 0303 303 0145.

Abby Kessock-Philip