TOOTH DECAY FEARS
I look forward to reading Steve Canavan’s musings in The Gazette every Thursday and I was not disappointed to read his latest story concerning sharing the use of his toothbrush.
While it is written with great humour it also carries a serious message about oral and general hygiene. He rightly draws attention to the risks to health associated with shared use of toothbrushes.
Yet I learn from some of my dentist friends that this is not an uncommon practice among many families in Blackpool.
Surely this is a matter of concern and suggests the public needs to be informed and educated of the importance of using personal toothbrushes and oral hygiene in general.
The fact that children living in Blackpool have a very high incidence of tooth decay emphasises the need for such action.
While on the topic I cringe every time I see someone tasting a dish while cooking and using the same spoon again without washing.
This practice carries with it the all the risks of cross infection.
HAIRSPRAY WAS TOP SHOP
I have seen a lot of shows by the Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company but their production of Hairspray could be aired in London- it was fantastic.
Everyone involved are stars, the beautiful dresses from the fifties, plus scenery made for a spell bounding show.
Congratulations to every one of you; especially the main stars.
TACKLE CHILD POVERTY
When it comes to vulnerable children and their families, the new Government has a mountain to climb.
Currently, 3.7 million children live in poverty in the UK. Following years where the amount of children living in hardship went down, the number is now flat-lining and looks set to rise steeply again.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies predicts by 2020 more than 32 per cent of UK children will be living in poverty.
Poverty has a huge impact on the life chances of children and young people. Starting from the cradle onwards, poorer children can expect to typically lag up to 15 months behind in their vocabulary than their richer peers.
Poorer children attain fewer good GCSEs and are more likely to be unemployed on leaving education.
Barnardo’s works with the families who struggle daily at the coal face of the UK’s stubborn poverty problem.
There are some crucial steps the new Government can take to improve the poorest children’s life chances, but they must heed lessons from the previous administration.
Firstly, they should guarantee that welfare cuts will not fall on the most vulnerable.
Another major factor driving hardship is that, whilst these families’ benefits have been substantially cut, no real alternatives have materialised to help them escape the poverty trap.
The Government must take steps to make sure every child has the same life chances.
Starting from the cradle onwards, they can commit to protecting Children’s Centre funding, to increasing support for disadvantaged three and four-year-olds, and assisting poor pupils through schemes like the Pupil Premium and free school meals.
Marginalised school-leavers too need intensive personalised support and training to help them succeed in the work place.
Under the Child Poverty Act (2010), the main political parties have a duty to eradicate child poverty by 2020.
The new Government needs to wake up to the on-going issues that affect children around the UK.
Is the prospect of a copper round the corner the best deterrent?
I was walking on the pavement in Blackpool town centre and noticed two boys meandering on the pavement while riding their bikes.
This is very irritating indeed, and particularly unsafe for elderly pedestrians.
I slightly grazed one of the boys with my shoulder when he sped past me.
His reaction was rather abusive.
I am 82-years- old, so you can understand my anger at this.
Just around the corner, I spotted a police van with two officers inside drinking tea.
I told them about the boys on the bikes and one of them answered, ‘I don’t see any bikes around!”’
I showed them the front page of last Thursdays’ paper with the little girl in a hit and run cycle accident and I told one of the police officers that I was disgusted about police never showing any attention to cyclists using the pavements.
His reaction was, ‘can I help you.’
J.H. van Grinsven
Stony Hill Avenue
Thank you to customers of Aldi Waterloo Road who helped raise £202.46 at a recent collection in the store.