Letters - April 8, 2014

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Facts are wrong on care costs

With regard to the letter by Sam Rushworth, Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, ( Your Say, April 3).

It would be helpful if the facts regarding childcare costs were actually correct instead of creating a platform to throw stones at the current Government.

As the comments were made in a Blackpool newspaper by a candidate for a Blackpool constituency, let us refer to childcare cost in Blackpool which have not risen by 30 per cent since 2010.

Any local childcare provider will confirm that they have barely kept pace with inflation and in real terms have fallen behind.

The funding of the free childcare entitlement for every three to five-year-old has risen to date by only 17 per cent since its introduction in 1997, what other service has gone up by so little in that time?

Minimum wages have risen by more than 70 per cent since 2007, business rates by more than inflation and power costs by more than 400 per cent in 10 years.

Childcare in Blackpool is of the highest standard and yet at about the lowest cost in the whole country. Providers in this area are struggling to keep afloat.

The problem with politicians ( and would-be politicians) is that figures coming out of Westminster only ever reflect costs in the most expensive area of the Country – the South East.

Yes, in the South East childcare costs are far more than in the North West due to rental and employment costs.

Sam Rushworth would be better served speaking to local childcare providers to give a true and accurate picture of the situation before letting off steam with inaccurate statements

Keith Beardmore

Chairman, Blackpool Private Nurseries Association

Praise for MP

Mark Menzies has worked for us

I have nothing but praise for our MP Mark Menzies; he and the councillors have worked hard around the Fylde area to get the bus back every hour on the 76 route which me and many other people are pleased about and the 80 to Preston every two hours.

Shortly, I will put my vote in for him so keep up the good work – his private life should say private.

Sharon Grisenthwaite



Drinkers will buy whatever the price

After writing to The Gazette on the subject of binge drinking I am shocked to see, yet again, ‘experts saying’ and ‘studies finding’ the apparent low price of alcohol is behind countless deaths because they will drink more if it is cheap.

What I resent is these experts such as those in the medical field can certainly correctly advise us on the damage caused to the liver and other organs, but are using this expertise to advise on matters beyond medical issues for which they are no more expert than the rest of us, which is in a way, rather cowardly done when in addition they hide behind unexplained study findings.

So I challenge any one of them to explain in detail publicly the findings in the form of characterising the nature of the person who ends up in A&E and show how price is the cause of their affliction. I qualified this in my previous letter but re-iterate more plainly. Those who drink in excess have a problem of either addiction or peer pressure or both as a result of the British culture or lifestyle. Mr Meak, manager at Buy Low Bargains is 100 per cent correct to say people who drink in excess would buy the cider even if it was £20. This is precisely why the pricing issue is a ‘red herring’ and side steps the real issue which is much harder to address because it would require a much longer programme to eventually steer our culture away from binge drinking.

So come on experts, come out from hiding behind the ‘findings’ label, stick your heads above the parapet and answer my challenge. I already know if you do, it will be just rhetorical drivel.

Chris Wiseman

South Shore


Elementary error on wave power

I’m afraid the ‘usually correct’ Jack Croysdill has made an elementary mistake in his letter on wave power (Your Say, April 3). A barrage has nothing to do with waves, it is a tidal power source.

There are many and various wave power ideas, most don’t get past the drawing board.

They mainly consist of floating machines tethered to the seabed that rock back and forth with the rolling action of the waves.

This movement is used to create a pumping action, hydraulic or gas, that stores the energy in accumulators.

Many of these units are connected together along the wave line and the stored energy drives electric generators.

A secondary effect of these wave energy absorbing machines is that they damp-down the power of the waves and therefore reduce the effect of coastal erosion.

The tidal barrage works by the water passing through tunnels in the barrage and driving water turbines to generate electricity. As the estuary fills up the flow decreases until the flow is not enough to generate.

It is important that the estuary is allowed to fill up to same as the high tide level on the sea side of the barrage. As the tide turns the flow through the tunnels starts to generate electricity again until the low tide level is reached.

Again, it is important for the estuary level to drop to the same level as the sea low tide.

Whenever a tidal barrage is proposed, silly pictures purport to show a body of water, similar to a lake, with sailing boats swanning around. As if that lake would be there constantly. Well it wouldn’t as the tide has to have somewhere to go to on the way in and then it all goes out again, just like it always does and the estuary would be tidal, just like it ever was!

Keith Hallam

First Avenue, Blackpool