Reader’s letters - Tuesday, September 01

Prince Charles visiting a WaterAid project in tanzania

Prince Charles visiting a WaterAid project in tanzania

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Use compensation as aid

If you live in Blackpool, Preston or the surrounding areas, you will have been experiencing the inconvenience of having to boil or buy safe drinking water due to the contamination of our water supply.

Whilst I appreciate this is a difficult situation, it really has brought home to me how much we take this for granted!.

Is it really such a hardship to have to boil our water or take a trip to a local shop to buy bottled water?

Compare this to the 748m people around the world who live without safe drinking water. Around 2.3bn (one in three) people do not have access to adequate sanitation. And 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea, caused by unsafe drinking water. That’s 1,400 deaths every day.

But it’s also the other implications that are affecting these communities, the children can’t go to school as they are often the ones who make the long, dangerous, daily journeys to collect water.

The process of collecting water every day is so time consuming and exhausting that they have little time or energy left to do anything else. United Utilities has promised to compensate every household and business affected.

This compensation is estimated to be around £45 per customer, with the total bill expected to be about £15m.

If we can raise just a fraction of this it will save lives, transform communities and give children around the world a chance for a better future.

So I’m asking that, when you receive your compensation from United Utilities, you use it to change or save a life and donate it to this cause. Of course you don’t have to wait for the payout, you can donate any amount, at any time by visiting my JustGiving page.

Obviously I’d like you to donate the full amount of compensation but please give whatever you can afford, any contribution is greatly appreciated.

Also, when all the money is in, I will be writing to Steve Mogford, CEO of United Utilities, to ask his company match our donation. To donate to WaterAid please visit http://www.justgiving.com/lancswateraid

Alan Hey, WaterAid

Time to review e-cig policy

I am writing to ask if Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust will be reconsidering its policy of treating e-cigarettes the same as tobacco in the light of this week’s Public Health England review.

This policy applies in the Royal Preston Hospital; Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and, I believe, at other premises controlled by the trust. The review concluded that e-cigarettes are 95 per cent less harmful than smoking. It said that almost all e-cigarette users are people trying to quit smoking.

Indeed, Professor Kevin Fenton, director health at Public Health England, concluded that the NHS should support e-cigarette users as it may help them quit.

In the UK we have 2.6m e-cigarette users. The devices could be a major step forward in helping people to quit – far more effective than the expensive sprays, gums and patches the trust spends public money on.

Moreover, this major step forward in public health is entirely self-funding. The trust, however, bans e-cigarettes.

Many people are trying to wean themselves off tobacco and find themselves treated unfairly as they are not allowed to use the almost entirely harmless devices in the vicinity of the hospital. I further understand – I may be wrong – that e-cigarettes are banned even within the hospital grounds and that users have to stand on the public highway.

The review also points out that 44.8 per cent of people do not realise e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking. It is this lack of knowledge, I suspect that is driving the unfair and authoritarian stance the trust has adopted.

Will the trust, in the interests of public health and a sense of fairness to members of the public, be reviewing its unfair policy?

James Barker, vice-chairman, Lancashire UKIP

Exposing life in Labour Party

Chris Moncrieff’s ‘Labour’s very existence put to the test’ (LEP August 25) seems to me to be the wrong question. The more pertinent question should be.

What would have been happening to our economy had Labour gained power on May 7.

By failing to win the election in May, Labour has allowed voters to see the internal power struggles, policy battles and internecine warfare that would have been going on in the background whilst they were trying to run our country.

It has become crystal clear, due to the leadership battle, that a very large and influential faction in Labour thinks that hard left government control, as espoused by Jeremy Corbyn is the answer to all our problems.

Labour has not changed, and it would seem has learned nothing from 13 years in power.

They are still the same unreformed tax and spend party they always were, proposing the policy of opening the taps on spending public money by abandoning the more cautious austerity approach.

We should thank our lucky stars, and the good sense of the English silent majority, for seeing through the rhetoric of Labour’s election promises in May.

It looks like our economy is entering a new and very uncertain future, as economic reality dawns in China and across the world.

If Labour had won in May we would have been in the midst of a reversal in the policy of trying to live within our means, starting to spend, spend, spend, trying to keep the SNP’s Alex Salmond on side to get policies through in Westminster.

Whilst all the time trying to stop the party fracturing in a thousand directions. All this just as the economic storm clouds are gathering in the Far East.

Great Britain has had a very narrow escape if what we see happening to Labour in the full glare of press scrutiny was happening whilst they were trying to run our economy.

Gordon McCann, chairman. Preesall Branch, Lancaster And Fleetwood Conservative Association

Keep rap music out of stores

Thank you, Waitrose, for being the only shop in the area not to play very loud dance and rap music all day.

I choose to patronise shops where I can at least hear myself think whilst selecting goods.

Mr A Wilkinson, address supplied