Letters - September 5, 2016

HEALTHAction will worsen the NHS serviceThe decision by junior doctors to strike for five days over pay is shameful and unnecessary. They are playing politics at the expense of patient safety. Accident, maternity, paediatric and emergency units will all be affected.

Monday, 5th September 2016, 12:22 pm
Updated Monday, 5th September 2016, 1:26 pm
Junior doctors' strike begins.

Some 30,000 operations and 250,000 outpatient appointments will be cancelled by the strike, was called without a fresh ballot.

At a time when the NHS is in crisis resulting from the demands of an ageing population and emergency units being overwhelmed by people whose problems could, in many cases, be resolved by a visit to a pharmacy, to worsen the situation by striking is disgraceful, needless and selfish.

The previous head of the BMA’s junior doctor’s committee hailed the substantially revised deal offered as good and urged his colleagues to accept it.

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Ellen McCourt, his successor, is apparently unconcerned about the distress a strike will cause and the damage it will do to the image of the profession. She needs to be reminded that the regard that doctors are held in is not limitless.

Meanwhile, Junior doctors should be reminded of the Hippocratic Oath.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys


Time for Mr Farron to accept EU result

What is it about Lib Dem Tim Farron that he clearly does not understand the result of the EU “In/Out” referendum, in which the majority voted to leave, despite the “Project Fear” campaign.

In his latest rant, delivered to the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) in Manchester, he has suggested that the UK has become a laughing stock abroad since the vote to leave the EU, and that “malevolent forces” were seeking to hijack the result for their own political agenda.

Far from what was predicted, foreign investment is pouring into Britain with companies from around the world backing a record 2,213 British projects. The CBI states that the growth in business and consumer services is higher than normal, which confirms all of the scaremongering tactics were unfounded.

Tim Farron also went on to suggest that those who headed the Leave campaign are not representative of Britain. This puts him clearly at odds with democracy and is an insult against the electorate.

Doomsayers like Mr Farron will always find something to whinge about when they lose the argument. Britain has a very bright future outside the EU when we finally leave it, time for people like Mr Farron to accept it and move on!

Philip Griffiths

North West President UKIP


Help us teach kids the joy of reading

As we approach the 50th celebration of International Literacy Day on Thursday, September 8, we are reminded of the importance of reading when it comes to ensuring children have the skills to reach their full potential.

Yet last year alone, more than 63,000 children left primary school unable to read to the expected level. Low literacy skills can have a devastating impact on the lives of individuals and our communities, and are estimated to cost the UK economy £81 billion a year.

At Beanstalk, we believe that life is better when everyone can read well and express themselves with confidence. That’s why we recruit and train volunteer reading helpers to go into a local primary school and provide one-to-one support to a child struggling with their reading.

Our volunteers change lives – without them, thousands of children would still be struggling to read. But we need more reading helpers if we’re to be able to offer this support.

So, as the new school year starts, we’re recruiting a new class of Beanstalk reading helpers. Visit www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk or call 020 7729 4087 to sign up.

Ginny Lunn

Chief Executive of Beanstalk, the literacy charity


Steve looks forward to a 1,000-year life

Nice article, as usual, Steve (The Thing Is..., Gazette, September 1), but you’d have to live another thousand years to find out how England get on in the 3010 World Cup. Whoops!

Bill Phelps

via email


Thanks to all who remember Gerry

I write on behalf of the Trustees of The Superintendent Gerald Richardson Memorial Youth Trust. Your readers will be aware we have recently commemorated the 45th anniversary of Gerry’s tragic death on August 23 1971, when this 38-year-old Lancashire Constabulary Superintendent was fatally shot by an armed robber following a raid on a Blackpool jewellery store. He was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

In 1974 his colleagues from Blackpool North Rotary set up the trust in Gerry’s name, and since its inception it has assisted more than 18,000 young people, who live or work within 15 miles of Blackpool Town Hall.

On August 23, Gerry’s trustees joined his widow, Maureen Richardson, former pupils, civic leaders and guests at a dedication ceremony at Blackpool Aspire Academy for the unveiling of a memorial stone to this outstanding former Blackpool Grammar School pupil.

That evening a well-attended and successful dinner took place at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool to remember Gerry and celebrate his legacy.

The support from so many people and organisations has been wonderful. We would like to thank everyone has supported the trust, past and present.

The commemoration events also raised funds for the Trust. We do not yet have the final figure, but as it stands over £2,500 has been raised. This is a significant sum and I can assure you this will be used wisely to help young people.

The response we have had in the recent weeks has given us great confidence for the future and we are indebted to all who have helped in any way.

Thank you.

Jeffrey Meadows QPM

Chairman of the Trustees