Letters - March 8, 2016

A nurse rushes past the only empty bed in Royal Preston Hospital - ward
A nurse rushes past the only empty bed in Royal Preston Hospital - ward
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Cash will support victims of violence

It was with great interest that Soroptimists International Blackpool and District read about the Police and Crime Commissioner’s announced spending of the £500,000 recovered from offenders in the past year.

As Soroptimists, we applaud Mr Grunshaw’s proposed spending of £100,000 for the Enlighten project, to support young victims of sexual violence in the Blackpool area and that Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre women’s refuges will receive a total of £17,000 to improve security and make much-needed repairs at the Fylde Coast Women’s Aid (FCWA) refuges.

Our club, SI Blackpool and District, have ownership of two refuges in Blackpool and the members of the club support FCWA in the work that they do, both by raising money and collecting items for the residents.

The club has also taken a very active role in promoting the awareness of sexual violence and trafficking over the years.

Indeed, just last year, in April, the club hosted the United Nations Gift Box Project in Blackpool to raise awareness of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Julie Patel and Marcia Roper

President of SI Blackpool and District Programme Action Director


Democracy is the key to EU debate

Neither Mike Turner nor Colin Shrive (Your Say, Gazette, March 2) seem to agree with my financial interpretation regarding the UK contribution to Brussels. All I can say is my figures are from Governments statistics. My point, however, was should we leave the EU we would pay nothing.

In my letters about the EU I have never shown any political bias, as our future in Europe is above politics. Unfortunately, both Mr Turner and Mr Shrive resorted to political references, which was unnecessary.

For some reason they both highlighted financial matters, nothing about mass immigration and our welfare systems, sovereignty, border control, freedom of movement, our proposed Bill of Rights, self-governance, or law making. These matters are what concern most people.

Mr Turner’s definition of democracy is different from mine. I believe it means ‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people’ He believes it means Government by unelected bureaucrats. That is undemocratic, almost dictatorial. How can the people vote them out if they are dissatisfied?

Nor have they made any reference to the thousands of ‘directives’ issued by the European Commission that blight our lives, from banning mothballs, closing our post offices, refuse collection. More than 30,000 over the last 20 years. Some of these are not even debated in the Commons.

To me the question is – do I want to be governed by a regime over which ordinary people have no control, or governed by a democratically elected Parliament who the people can remove?

Derek Bunting

Birkdale Avenue



Nurse shortages must be tackled

Working in any environment experiencing staff shortages can be incredibly challenging and have potentially serious consequences. This is particularly true of nursing.

New figures, obtained through Freedom of Information requests, suggest there were more than 1,876 nursing vacancies in the North West and some 23,400 nursing vacancies in the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as of 1st December last year. The latter is the equivalent to nine per cent of the workforce.

Sadly, this is no surprise to the Royal College of Nursing. Nursing posts are often the first target when savings need to be made, leading the NHS to find itself dangerously short and having to spend more on agency staff and recruitment from other countries. The UK is not training enough nurses to meet our needs and changes to student funding are yet another threat to staff.

The consequences are felt by nursing staff and patients alike – nurses work under pressure and patients face delays and unmet needs.

Tackling the problem is made no easier because vacancies are no longer collected, held or published centrally, so we could effectively assess workforce gaps. Freedom of Information allows us some insight, but is by no means perfect.

The gap between NHS staff needed and staff available must now be reduced as a matter of urgency.

Estephanie Dunn

Regional Director

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the North West


The PM is blissfully unaware of our fears

Cameron’s scare stories – repeated with such conviction – are because he knows that, if he remains as PM after a Brexit win, he has not got the strength or guts to give Britain the leadership that would be needed to overcome any of the ‘scare’ stories he is currently promoting, such as more crime, terrorism, price increases, however unlikely, if we were to leave the EU.

The real worry on the minds of most of us ordinary people is the state of the NHS, overcrowding in our schools, housing, congestion on our roads etc, due to immigration and larger families. Let alone the dilution of our culture, way of life and Britishness.

Mr Cameron seems blissfully unaware of these worries.

Greater protection of our borders and paying £20bn a year to the EU is not even on his radar.

“Will no one rid us of this troublesome PM” who is incapable of controlling his country, his party or even his own feelings?

Harvey Carter

via email