Letters - Thursday, January 23, 2020

Seagulls can look after themselves just fine

By Suzanne Steedman
Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 5:00 pm

Re: Feeding seagulls. Otherwise reasonable people who indulge in this thoughtless activity need to be made to sit up and take notice.

Gulls can look after themselves very well.

I’m sure I am not alone in having had picnics ruined by these aggressive creatures that have learned that human beings are a soft touch.

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As well as warnings on takeaway boxes, I would like to see notices asking visitors not to feed the gulls.

My neck of the woods is infested with magpies, wood pigeons and grey squirrels - yet I know people who encourage them.

I would welcome a cull of all three.

I know that wouldn’t go down well with mawkish Brits who sometimes appear to care more about animals than people.

Brian H Sheridan

Address supplied


Sometimes targets can be useful

The Government’s proposal to scrap the four-hour A&E target does appear to be a cynical approach towards scrutiny of its record when it comes to the National Health Service.

The A&E target has its problems. Indeed there are problems with all targets. My view is that all targets are flawed, but some are useful.

The A&E target is no exception.

It does not measure outcomes or the whole patient experience.

However, given that people don’t like spending over four hours in a hospital casualty department when they are often in pain and anxious about what will happen to them, it is not an irrelevant target and may be useful as one measure of NHS performance.

Recent data confirms that the proportion of people waiting over four hours at major A&E departments in England has risen from less than five per cent to over 30 per cent since 2011 – a sixfold increase.

The priority for the Government, at this time, is to address this problem and then decide what to do about the target.

Max Moullin

Director, Public Sector Scorecard Research Unit


Now is time for big

change in Whitehall

What Boris Johnson’s policy aide Dominic Cummings is doing is fundamental to the successful future economic wellbeing of Britain as Whitehall without change will continue to act like a millstone around the neck of any possibility of having a successful future for the British people.

Unfortunately the majority of people do not know Whitehall gets away with, literally, doing nothing positive, year in, year out.

Time for great change, therefore, and Cummings has to fully succeed in his attempts to change Whitehall and its inner workings of for the overall good of the British people.

For without this great change in mindsets and operational workings, we certainly will not succeed.

Dr David Hill CEO

World Innovation Foundation


Play Ode To Joy?

At 11pm on January 31, Boris Johnson should ensure that Ode To Joy is played on loudspeakers throughout our land, to hold out the hand of reconciliation to our brothers and sisters who genuinely felt differently to we, the majority.

Dai Woosnam

Address supplied


Delay the bells

Given there is mixed opinion on the likely outcome of Brexit, perhaps we should delay the bell ringing for a few years until we know how it is working. That way we can all celebrate together if it is the roaring success the people voted for, or commiserate if it has been deeply foolish as most global experts are predicting.

Phil Cray