Today our readers are talking about... housing problems, knife crime and Brexit

Is quality of life still important in this country?
Is quality of life still important in this country?
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Letters from Gazette readers today focus on how where we live affects our quality of life, the dangers of children becoming victims of crime and how history will judge the MPs taking a stand against a "no deal" Brexit.

Apparently the quality of life for the people of the UK is no longer important.

As those with money gain control of our country and treat it as a place that deserves to be asset-stripped, with the proceeds transferred into their bank balances, morality ceases to be an issue and democracy goes out the window.

Planning for dwellings now include areas in our cities becoming replicas of those built in Moscow in the 1950s.

High-rise after high-rise crammed together so closely that they can see bedroom into bedroom.

And, in some areas, permission has now been granted for single room dwellings to be constructed, based upon storage containers.

A bed, toilet, small cooker and sink/basin - all in one room.

How on earth will going to jail matter when there is so little difference?

The dignity of people is reduced.

Their imaginations are stymied.

The life adventure has been eroded.

The devastation of the countryside is also terrifying. In a nation that traditionally believes no village, town or city should have housing growth demands enforced upon it for undemocratic and irresponsible reasons, last year, in terms of percentages, we concreted over and thus destroyed an amount of our own earth surface that in no way allows us to complain about Brazil.

Martin Powell
Address supplied

Society
Working together to beat knife crime

Re: People are becoming more concerned about children being the victims of knife crime.

A recent Barnardo’s YouGov poll of more than 1,000 adults across cities in England and Wales reveals that 66 per cent of adults surveyed are worried children aged 10-18 may become knife crime victims.

Similarly, 61 per cent of respondents surveyed worry children feel unsafe in their local area because of knife crime.

Nearly 6 in 10 (58 per cent) said they believe children carry knives for protection because they feel vulnerable. This matches Barnardo’s experience of working with children.

Almost two thirds of adults (65 per cent) responding to the YouGov survey agreed that more safe places and activities for children such as youth clubs, sports clubs, community centres would make their area safer for children from knife crime.

While 60 per cent surveyed think more investment in neighbourhoods to combat poverty, inequality and unemployment will help.

This polling shows that most adults realise that knife crime is a complex issue. The answer does not lie in tougher sentences but in making sure our children and young people are safe.

We want the Government to ensure children can thrive in their own communities; provide safe environments and activities for children, alongside more investment in neighbourhoods and services to combat poverty.

We need to urgently work together as a society to get a grip on this national crisis. Government needs to work with children’s services, educationalists, charities, social workers, youth workers, the criminal justice system and local communities to tackle the real causes of knife crime.

For more information, please visit www.barnardos.org.uk.

Steve Oversby
Director for Barnardo’s
North West



Brexit
Johnson right not to forgive rebel MPs

History will rightly ensure that those misguided MPs who voted to stop a ‘no-deal’ Brexit will never be forgiven for putting their selfish interests before those of future generations.

Whatever the disruption caused to our lives by a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, it would be relatively short-term and nothing compared to the disruption and misery that will be caused to the lives of our children and grandchildren by remaining in an EU, which, amongst many other objectives, seeks to extend its power over sovereign nations, jeopardise the NATO alliance by its ridiculous plan for a military role and bully member states on political issues (Poland and Hungary being just two examples). The majority who voted Leave did so because they wanted to escape enslavement by the anti-democratic EU.

Now the Prime Minister has been deprived of his key negotiating stance to deliver the will of the people and we face the equally dreadful prospects of leaving on the EU’s terms or not leaving at all. How right the PM was to withdraw the whip from the rebel Tory MPs.

All strength to Boris Johnson’s elbow in the forthcoming general election which is the one remaining chance for democracy to prevail.

Michael Armitage
Address supplied