Letters, November 10, 2015

Blackpool Cricket Club's Bonfire night celebrations
Blackpool Cricket Club's Bonfire night celebrations
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GUY FAWKES NIGHT

Restrict fireworks to the professionals

The annual ‘celebration’ of the failed Gunpowder Plot has almost subsided and like the survivors of a battle, we are able to count the cost.

Fortunately, this year, we suffered no physical injuries in the family, although a spent casing of a sky rocket, weighing over 200g, punched a hole through the conservatory roof on the rainiest night of the autumn so far, with all the damage you might imagine.

The greater damage of course, is to the animals; the cats, dogs and many others that do not understand the repetition of the bangs, flashes and not so minor explosions.

In earlier years I had to have a family pet dog put down as his behaviour, following November 5 explosions, made him too dangerous to keep in a house with children.

This year, as in many preceding years, the sound of explosions has disturbed the peace most evenings since mid-October. As the days of November progressed, the explosions started earlier, and very loud explosions were still being heard and felt at 11.45pm.

May I suggest the time is right for at least a local regulation allowing organised pyrotechnics and placing a blanket ban on the retailing of any firework above the rating of a sparkler. This will come as a surprise to many who know my frequent “there is too much regulation” speech.

However, the use of powerful rockets, flares and ‘bangers’ in open, managed displays seems to produce much better and safer result than allowing those same devices to be used in an urban environment.

It must be time to restrict the sale and use of these dangerous items to professionals only. The sort of display seen in Blackpool at the World Fireworks Display Championships in the autumn is far more attractive than a few seconds of flashes and bangs in a suburban garden, and how much safer for all concerned. I wonder how many others will agree.

D A Armitage-Johnstone

via email

HEALTH

Trying our best to keep the NHS going

I am writing this on the day after being an ‘on call’ GP and in my view and others, the NHS in England is in crisis. Ministers are not being honest with the public about this fact, but as an independent GP I feel I should be.

Until recently, I had a role as national clinical lead and have had personal contact with ministers. I treasure the NHS and believe it is probably the best system in the world for delivering healthcare equitably to our population.

We live in a society with a rapidly aging population, a sign of NHS success, but their rising healthcare requirements are placing a strain on a system trying to maintain quality without sufficient resource.

The crisis is currently mostly financial, but healthcare staff working in the NHS are being invited to make ‘efficiency’ savings of £ 22 billion. Asking staff to do the impossible is crushing to morale, making recruitment and retention of staff problematic. In my view, the NHS is not an inefficient and bloated bureaucracy as some would say, and by international standards spending on the NHS is relatively modest, and becoming more so.

There needs to be an increase in the level of expenditure we give to the NHS, so it can deliver care that the public expects. Failing to meet expectations is leading to complaints and threats of legal action.

Finding the required funding will not be easy for a chancellor committed to cutting public spending. In the meantime, healthcare workers and the public need to work together as we fight to make the best use of the insufficient resources we have.

Heroic attempts to build new structures of care are being undertaken locally. Hopefully, economic growth will improve the situation, but in the meantime please look after yourselves, your family and neighbours as well as possible. Consider supporting or volunteering to help with organisations such as your local hospice, and understand that most NHS workers are doing their very best to keep the service running.

Dr Peter Nightingale

via email

TERRORISM

Let’s stop slaughter of the innocents

I write regarding the bringing down of the Russian airliner over Egypt last week.

This has to stop – there is no excuse for it, I don’t care if these groups have a grievance or not.

All the civilised countries in the world banding together can stop this, and we should not give these people anywhere to go.

Let’s get moving on this and if any country is not with us, they are with them and should be treated as such, don’t put these people in the jails, put them in paradise as they supposedly wish. Let’s stop this slaughter of innocents.

Bruce Allen

Hawkshead Terrace

Blackpool

CONVENIENCE

BHS will leave us getting caught short

Regarding the BHS toilets. I totally agree with Mrs. Rennie Fry, (Your Say, November 7). Surely this comes under the umbrella of the human rights act?

As she said in her letter, a lot of people with a medical condition may need a toilet urgently and might not be able to get a receipt in time.

Tesco Extra in Marton have no objection to people popping in for that reason alone, indeed most of the bus crews rely on them. It will only take a few people in desperation who don’t know that they are not available to get caught short at the entrance, (which is also the entrance to the cafeteria), and then they may change them back again.

Malcolm Boyce

Deepdale Road

Marton