Letters - May 17 2017

New free schools have been approved for Leeds to the glee of Tory councillors.
New free schools have been approved for Leeds to the glee of Tory councillors.
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ELECTION

Far worse than scrapping free milk

In Blackpool over many years we have seen increasing levels of poverty still rising, making Blackpool one of the most deprived towns in the country. Living standards are set to fall but for Blackpool with over 50 per cent of children living in poverty, through low wages and unemployment, I begin to despair at the policies of the government that continue cutting budgets in the public sector, meaning lowering wages more and loss of jobs.

As a retired teacher who worked in a school in a poorer area of town, where staff supported the children struggling in education due to their welfare needs, it was good when education came to the forefront of the Labour policy in the Blair years. Funding for new schools and refurbishment of decaying infrastructure in older schools was positive. I was heartbroken to hear Theresa May announce the latest government formula for schools meaning drastic cuts in their budgets, leading to loss of teaching posts and resources to run a school effectively. Teaching and ancillary posts in Blackpool schools have already been cut and teachers are forced to ask parents for funding to keep the curriculum going.

Cutting budgets is nothing new in Conservative management of schools, I am old enough to remember when Thatcher was education minister, she took away free milk rations for pupils in the 70’s. Now we see a far worse development in education with a prime minister who is intent on bringing back grammar schools for the better off at the expense of good primary education and comprehensives. Again the poor pay and I see our children suffering more. In the ward where I taught there are now around 50 per cent of children living in poverty stricken households. What an indictment! It is heartening however that Jeremy Corbyn will restore education for all by ending student loans and introducing free school meals! Voting Labour is therefore essential for the generation of children now in education!

Anne Hoyer

Layton

ELECTION

Walter Mitty figure out of his depth

Jeremy Corbyn is a Walter Mitty politician. His different disguises include: one’s favourite granddad, the saviour of Great Britain, an Athenian Democrat, and a man who sheds tears over the plight of the poor.

He hates grammar schools despite having been to one, he will defend our nation despite having on several occasions criticised our armed forces while supporting the IRA. He is not anti-Semitic yet supports Palestinian terrorists.

He will sanction the use of our nuclear deterrent as a last resort but in the same breath condemns its use. In so doing he revealing profound ignorance of the whole concept of nuclear deterrence. A concept that some of the world’s finest intellects have spent a lifetime constructing, analysing and explaining.

Corbyn says he will reform the UN. In over 60 years a mountain of scholarly writing, plus current and past diplomats, have tried and failed to do this because it is impossible given its composition of sovereign states and the availability of a veto in the Security Council.

He advocates the old appealing notion of talk before military action. Don’t we all. Unfortunately, Jeremy, terrorists and dictators don’t like to talk or if they do they do so with forked tongues. Isis and the Syrian leader regard talk as a sign of weakness, and have said so.

In short, Corbyn’s knowledge and understanding of defence and international relations is even worse than his economics, and far, far more dangerous. He is, along with his shadow cabinet, totally out of his depth.

Barry Clayton

Colonel ( retired)

Thornton Cleveleys

CYCLING

Do cyclists think they above the law?

I have seen cyclists blatantly ride on pavements doing wheelies, totally ignoring pedestrians, some with young children, and when told to refrain giving a mouthful back. I have seen them stop on pavements expecting pedestrians to step into the road, it is the same with the subways, either urban or on railway stations.

Rule 64 of the Highway code states: “You must not cycle on a pavement,” so why is it not being enforced, do they think they are above the law? On one occasion I saw a cyclist angrily point at a car driver who whilst waiting at a junction was just slightly over the cycle lane, yet later saw the same cyclist blatantly riding on the pavement, despite a cycle lane being on the road.

On canal towpaths surely it is not beyond the bounds of courtesy to either have a bell fitted or simply say “passing on your right/left please” it does work, and leads to a far better relationship between pedestrians and cyclists.

Yes, cyclists are vulnerable but are often their own worst enemies.

I have seen them ride without lights at night, on the opposite side of the road into oncoming traffic, riding with no hands talking on mobiles, not stopping at junctions, resulting in near misses which had it not been for the vigilance of the other road user may have had a tragic ending, not to mention thinking they are above the law when it comes to red traffic lights.

Not all cyclists are like this, there are responsible ones just as are there are responsible vehicle drivers, but it is time something was done.

Perhaps a compulsory highway code test, or even bringing back the old cycling proficiency test, or the police doing their job with regards to cycling offences. In an accident there is always sympathy for the victim, but if they are taught and act correctly there is every chance of them not becoming the victim.

Trevor Wainwright

Via email

HEALTH

Fantastic treatment from Ward 16 staff

I recently spent time on Ward 16 after having a hip replacement operation and I would like to thank all the staff both day and night for the wonderful treatment I had on the ward.

I would like to include everybody who dealt with me.

The NHS has such bad publicity so I want people to know what fantastic treatment I had throughout .

Harry Clark

Kendal Avenue

Blackpool