Readers' letters - April 16
It's a clean sweep at estuary litter pick
I would like to thank everyone – more than 50 men, women and children – who turned out despite the rain and made the community litter pick of the Lune Estuary a huge success last week. The beautifully clean areas of the foreshore around Aldcliffe Hall Lane and Conder Green are witness to their efforts.
Due to their enthusiasm and other comments from people who couldn’t make it this time, we will certainly make this a bi-annual event.
The next one will be in the summer holidays with a date to be confirmed shortly.
Credit should go also to both Rosemary Cutler and Pamela Duff, who spurred us on to organise this one, and to Lancaster City Council for providing equipment and promptly removing the many, many bags of both general and plastic waste for recycling.
Lancashire County Councillor
Poor teaching at school
In response to the letter from Mike Hardman, nothing surprises me any more (LP Letters, April 3).
My daughter passed the 11-plus exam and was given a placement at a grammar school. It was co-ed, despite my request for a single sex girl’s school. I was tempted to refuse the place but after pressure from the family, who felt she should be given the chance of a better standard of education, I capitulated and, in 1957, she took the place.
I was invited to the open evening. When I arrived, her work books were on display and I looked through them. I then waited to see her English tutor. The conversation was not what I expected.
I gave her name and he said, “Oh yes, she is a bright, interested child and works well”.
I said, “But she obviously lacks something. Tell me, how would YOU Spell Reindeer?”
“REINDEER,” he said.
“Correct,” I replied, “But why, when she wrote Raindear, was there not a red pen mark through it and instructions to look up the word in a dictionary and write it (and other incorrect words) six times correctly at the foot of the exercise?”
“But”, quoth the teacher, “the meaning was clear and so we don’t bother.”
“So”, I continued, “when the GCEs are being taken, the examiners will not bother either. Suppose she goes to work in an office as I did, she would either not hold the job or ‘get a rocket’. I personally attended a small village Church of England School and grammar and proper punctuation was rigidly enforced. I shall expect that, in future, this will apply to her writings.” He did take it on board because, in her case, I kept a close watch on her set homework.
Incidentally, when she sat the GCE examinations, she only got ONE pass. ‘Art but with Distinction’ – not good enough. Eventually, in her 40s, she did attend university and gained a 2.1.
So no progress to speak of since 1957. I too have noticed the lack of grammar in print.
Name and address supplied
Ban exports of live animals
I hope that calls by Michael Gove for industry experts and campaigners to submit evidence about the live export of animals is not just another Tory sound-bite.
EU rules currently prevent the UK banning exports of livestock but plainly after Brexit that is something we would be free to do.
It is estimated that 20,000 live sheep were exported last year to Europe and, like many, I think that is 20,000 too many.
We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world but putting live sheep in transporters for slaughter or fattening hundreds or thousands of miles away is not good enough.
The Environment Secretary is said to be considering a ban but all other options will also be up for discussion.
Obviously those involved in the industry may have a vested interest in the status quo but a firm stand needs to be taken over this issue.
North West MEP
UK Independence Party
We need to use common sense
An excellent letter from C Cross about the problem of immigration in this country (LP Letters, April 11).
We are a relatively small island and we cannot
sustain the growth in this country.
Surely that’s common sense.