Readers’ letters - February 1

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Have your say

We should not be charged to see GP

We have recently had a ridiculous suggestion from back bench Tory MP Edward Leigh where he suggested that people should be charged to see their GP.

It is remarkable but not unexpected that the Tory front bench was not prepared to dismiss this outrageous suggestion in regard to charging people to use their GP services.

It is only a suggestion but we have before us a true picture of Tory Party ideology in regard to the future of our NHS.

The Tories are placing the future of the NHS, and well being of people who use the NHS, in doubt because they are failing to understand the issues that are currently impacting on NHS services.

We are not getting any constructive ways forward by the Secretary of State, and our Member of Parliament for Morecambe and Lunesdale has been conspicuous with his silence.

I wonder if he agrees with his colleague in regard to charging people to see their GP?

It is clear that our NHS staff in accident and emergency departments are currently working under severe pressure, as well as our paramedics who work under great pressure to save lives due to the ongoing cuts by this Government to the NHS.

We are hearing stories of people waiting in the back of ambulances because accident and emergency departments are full and, on many occasions, we have people waiting longer than four hours before being admitted into a ward in some parts of the country.

This situation impacts on paramedics being unable to get back out on the road to respond to serious 999 calls.

Waiting lists have increased and are getting bigger under the watch of this Government.

The good people of this country were guaranteed an extra £350m a week for the NHS during the referendum campaign among many things promised. I would like to ask where that investment is?

Coun David Whitaker

Harbour Ward
Lancaster City Council


The irony of Brexit and immigration

One of the arguments used by those who campaigned to leave the EU (Brexiters) was the alleged strain put upon the NHS by so-called “health tourists”.

Wildly exaggerated claims were made (now known as “alternative facts”) but the most recent official estimate reveals that treatment for foreigners took up a mere 0.013 per cent of the NHS budget for 2016, less than half of what is spent in one day.

Now that Brexit seems inevitable, the 1.2 million British people living abroad in the EU will almost certainly lose the subsidised health care they are entitled to in Germany, France, Spain etc.

Most of these people are elderly and they will need to return to the UK, where they will add to an ageing population already deprived of adequate care provision and the tax revenue to fund it.

So where could these care providers and tax payers come from?

As long as this Government refuses to make the rich pay the taxes they owe or scrap Trident, the only possible source is via immigration. Perhaps Nigel Farage could be persuaded to tour abroad and lead a recruitment campaign. It is about time he did something useful.

John Prance



Things have got

to change soon

Outside of London and the South East – the centre of the known universe – where productivity is 79 per cent above average and they have never had it so good, the rest of Britain – with productivity down to 19 per cent below average in some regions – is rapidly becoming a Third World country.

We have record numbers of people relying on food banks, child poverty escalating (3.9 million kids in 2015) and wages plummeting. Family living standards in the UK have suffered to such an extent, it is “unprecedented in modern history” (London of School of Economics), and now the NHS is relying on the Red Cross charity to cope.

Thatcher decimated regional manufacturing and other industries (70 per cent gone since her catastrophic reign), centralising and relying on finance in the capital where bankers have given themselves over a billion pounds in bonuses since the global crisis they created with their insatiable greed and unethical dealings.

The Conservative ethos and drive to make the rich richer so the wealth can filter down does not work. We all know it goes into tax havens and luxury lifestyles.

Cameron and Osborne’s austerity measures hammering the poorest and most vulnerable in society, while giving tax breaks to the highest earners and most wealthy, does not work.

Fat cat directors in this country earned more in the first four days of 2017 than the rest of us will make in the full year. Why, then, is our MP not frantically waving papers in Parliament demanding a better deal for us, instead of just trotting out the party line that everything is wonderful? He was elected to represent us, not the Conservative Party. Things have got to change – soon.

Ian Hughes



No room for abuse in Bilsborrow

Vehicular access to some of the cottages adjacent to the A6 at Bilsborrow can be difficult at times, with motorists regularly stopping to visit the busy post office or Turners Chippy, so last year I approached the Highways Authority to ascertain if there was anything I and my neighbours could do to ease the problem.

I was advised an “H” bar could be painted on the road across the access at a cost of just under £200 to stop motorists parking at this point and causing an obstruction.

Quite a few motorists still park on the “H” bar which we duly commissioned and paid for, but when this is pointed out, they apologise and duly move their vehicles.

On January 24, I noticed a Range Rover parking on the “H” bar, so I went outside and politely asked the driver if he would refrain from blocking the access as my neighbour was due home from work in her car. He remonstrated with me so I quietly pointed out the “H” bar painted on the road. At this point, the driver shouted loudly: “You should have something better to do you old bat!”

I wonder how the driver would feel if someone blocked his driveway so he couldn’t get either in or out of his property, or if someone shouted at one of his loved ones in such an angry fashion? Abuse is not justified in any circumstances.

Angela M Washington



Export some of our own red-tape to EU

One of the reasons cited for Brexit by ‘Yes’ campaigners was to escape the ‘dead hand’ of EU bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, as your article about the South Ribble Cross-Borough Link Road (pictured above left) revealed so starkly, we have lots of our own home grown ‘red tape’ in the UK (LP January 30). Since they are reputedly so fond of bureaucracy in Brussels, perhaps we could export some of ours to them as part of a post-Brexit trade deal?

Phil Howard