Reader’s letters - August 19

'Cadet' carers aren't getting paid enough for the work they do, says a reader. See letter
'Cadet' carers aren't getting paid enough for the work they do, says a reader. See letter
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Pay all carers a fair wage

I am an agency nurse and recently completed a night shift at a nursing home in Lancashire.

I worked with two carers, one on the minimum wage, the other being paid the derisory sum of £2.70 an hour for a 12-hour night shift, with an hour pay deducted for a break.

This 21-year-old ‘cadet’ carer was being paid approximately £30 for a 12-hour night shift looking after challenging dementia residents with all the risks this type of caring involves, such as being kicked, punched, bitten, and so on.

Apparently it is legal to pay ‘cadet’ carers this pathetic amount for one year as they are considered to be in training, after which they may be kept on and paid the minimum wage.

While the government talks about introducing a living wage, why are nursing homes and other employees allowed to exploit employees in this way?

The ‘cadet’ carer did as much work as a normal carer, if not more.

She wasn’t being trained, she was doing the job.

But nursing homes can pay them £2.70 an hour adding to their already vast profits, especially considering the residents are probably charged £700 to ­£800 a week.

No extra staff are employed, even though some are paid only £2.70 an hour.

The ‘cadet’ carer I worked with told me there were others.

This should be illegal.

If you have a relative in a nursing home, ask what the carers are paid and if they employ ‘cadet carers’. ­

Hortense Feuchtwanger, address supplied

Reports show fracking flaws

The recent water contamination in Lancashire will be nothing like the contamination if a shale gas fracking well head leaks radioactive and carcinogenic chemicals into the aquifer, as invariably happens.

Now that the controversial DEFRA report has been published in its entirety, this report completely corrects the shale gas lobby that there’s no evidence of negative impact.

Coupled with the Dantoni independent MEDAC report (not a biased report financed by self interests), it is quite obvious that shale gas fracking causes serious health problems, water contamination, noise and light pollution, and reduction of the countryside and tourism.

Fracking must be banned, as many countries have done, including many states in the USA, the home of fracking.

­Mr D Barker, Poulton-Le­-Fylde

Second chance for Lancashire

The Government is right to limit the time councils can take to decide on shale gas applications to 16 weeks. Lancashire County Council’s development control committee took almost 12 months to turn down shale gas applications which could have benefitted the economy of Lancashire. Cuadrilla invested in my career when I was unemployed after leaving the army, and equipped me with the skills I needed to work in the oil and gas industry. I was born in Blackpool and worked locally at Cuadrilla’s sites at Anna’s Road, Preese Hall, Grange Hill and Becconsall.

It’s in the UK and Lancashire’s interest for shale gas exploration to finally begin. It’s good news that the government recognises this and wants to ensure the planning system works as it should so important applications can be decided on within a sensible time frame. In rejecting the applications in June, Lancashire County Council’s development control committee sent the message that Lancashire is closed for business.

I hope this new time-frame set out by the Government will ensure the whole application process works better and runs much more smoothly.

Neil Harrison, Thornton Cleveleys

Water a taste of things to come?

Fracking has caused problems with drinking water in America, so perhaps our present water problem might be just a taste of what might come if Cuadrilla gets its way with its appeal from the government.

I am concerned that there may be a danger of the chemicals that they use for fracking leaching from the ground into the rivers and bore holes. I wonder if our Queen has an opinion on fracking in her country.

Name and address supplied

Trip to WW1 battlefields

On Sunday, October 18, until Friday, October 23, in this, the centenary of the Great War, I will be leading a coach party from the north of England to the First World War battlefields in Belgium and France.

We will visit Flanders Field, Vimy, Arras and the Somme. It will be possible to arrange personal visits to a family member’s grave, memorial or an area of a battlefield which has personal significance. We have a few places left and I will be happy to supply details if readers contact me at 2, Eden Gate, Warcop, Appleby­in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6PL. Telephone: 017683 41060 or by email at johndavidraw@gmail.com­

David Raw, Cumbria

Swarm can also describe people

I do not have much regard for any politicians, but all the fuss and protests about David Cameron’s remarks about immigrants is just petty point scoring. According to my Oxford English Dictionary, a swarm is not descriptive of insects only,­ but a large number of people on the move.­

OAP, Lostock Hall

Check before your holiday

I read ‘How our dream holiday turned into a nightmare’ (LEP August 7) and feel very sorry for this poor young man who contracted typhoid whilst on holiday.

As a nurse who gives travel vaccination advice, I would urge anyone going abroad for a holiday to check whether any vaccinations are advised before travel.

Elizabeth Jackson via email