Readers' letters - February 16

Act now and we can shake up childcare

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16th February 2018, 2:16 pm
Updated Friday, 16th February 2018, 3:25 pm
A correspondent is appealing for a childcare system 'that gives children the best start and parents choices'
A correspondent is appealing for a childcare system 'that gives children the best start and parents choices'

Fore more letters: all want a childcare system that is more affordable and easy to use, so parents face less stress and can access the nursery hours they need, and one that delivers the best possible start for children.

The childcare system in England isn’t working. Great childcare sets up young children for life – helping them to learn, express themselves and get along with other children.

It’s where they learn the communication skills, and gain the confidence and curiosity that will mean they thrive once they start school.

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Nursery workers and childminders are doing an incredible job.

But right now, our broken childcare system isn’t giving families the support they need – at the most important time in their children’s


Even though changes have been made, many parents are still finding it tough to make choices about going back to work – with mums who are struggling to make ends meet being hit the hardest.

Parents tell us that childcare bills are so high that it’s not worth going back to work, and that finding a way to get the support on offer from the government is tricky.

We need a childcare system that fits around families’ lives and gives parents the choice to go back to work if they want to. It’s better for parents, and better for their children.

Please consider signing a Save the Children petition calling on Theresa May to make childcare work for everyone by visiting

By signing the petition, you will help Save the Children raise childcare up the UK government’s agenda and show them how many people want a childcare system that gives children the best start and parents choices.

Garry Richardson

via email


Let’s give hope to the homeless

I am writing this letter in the hope of starting a fund for the homeless people of Preston. However, this would not just be a fund but an idea to give them hope, direction and a purpose in life.

Firstly, it would be a voluntary contribution fund in that people of all ages, over 18 years old, could give as little or as much as they would like to. I myself am an 81-year-old pensioner with little or no savings, but I could manage a few pounds per week, sometimes a little more.

Imagine if all the people of Preston over 18 gave, say, just £1 or even 50p a week. This would amount to a considerable sum per month. Perhaps even a website could be set up. Of course some people could give more, plus there is the possibility of some firms in Preston making a donation, with the amount published. This would be a feather in their cap and would generate goodwill all round, also maybe pricking the consciences of other local organisations.

I would not like to be involved in the collection of the money, it is just my idea.

I would like the fund to be handled by, say, that excellent enterprise for the homeless, Emmaus, possibly in conjunction with that other admirable organisation in Preston, Recycling lives.

But, as I say, it is not just the money collection, my idea is for the accumulated monies to be used to provide accommodation for the homeless of both sexes, with food, warmth, clothing and shelter. Companies, like the excellent enterprise Recycling Lives, could also provide them with some work.

I am sure the Preston town (sorry city) council could find some empty buildings, such as empty office blocks or vacant work premises.

My idea is to also appeal to volunteers such as retired tradesmen to teach and pass on their skills to others.

Think of all the different trades – electricians, plumbers, joiners (was not our Lord a carpenter?), bricklayers, painters and decorators, motor mechanics, machinists, labourers and even professional people who could teach IT skills. I myself have no particular skills but, as an ex-HGV driver, I could teach someone to drive, as could other drivers. The vehicles to be provided by the fund.

With these new-found skills and confidence and secure accommodation, I am sure this would give all these people new direction and purpose in life, many of them could also become self-employed.

Just imagine if my idea took hold, it could spread to other towns and cities in Lancashire. It could even spread nationally.

The scheme, having been started here, could help us to live up to our motto of “PROUD PRESTON”.

Just think of the holy saying: “There but for the grace of God go I”.

Burt Finch



Electric cars and fracking

If you have an electric car, you have to plug it into an electricity supply.

The electricity has to come from the power stations which will have to be massively increased in number to supply all the electricity needed for the millions of vehicles.

The power stations in this country use mainly coal and gas, and so they will pollute our atmosphere even more than our cars and buses do at the moment.

The only solution to this problem is to frack for gas or to build many small nuclear power stations throughout the country, as they do in France.

Paul Muller

Address supplied