Readers' letters - June 7

Staying In is better for NHS

Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 4:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 6:13 pm
Council workers have mowed down wild flowers such as wild garlic (pictured) says a correspondent Picture: Sebastian Oake

As the campaign to leave or stay in Europe reaches a crescendo with irate politicians making their case for in or out, we the electorate are left trying to make sense of the rhetoric. Many issues I know need to be looked at in detail as they have not been covered in a rational way.

One of our main institutions at risk is the NHS, which is currently under-funded by our Government and, most certainly, if Brexit were delivered, it would be extremely vulnerable, as the current staffing crisis would surely worsen.

Leaving the EU would create a further vacuum in staff shortages and would surely hit the quality of services as the TUC has pointed out. Just fewer than 50,000 citizens from the European Economic Area (EEA) currently work in the NHS, including over 9,000 doctors; 18,000 nurses, midwives and health visitors; and 2,500 other professionals, such as physios and radiographers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

These workers provide vital skills and expertise – and they plug gaps left by the under-funding of training places.

Given the Government’s plans to end training bursaries and another five-year squeeze on NHS funding, getting the necessary turnabout in the numbers of home-grown health professionals does not look likely to happen any time soon.

So we will end up with a staffing crisis that hurts our health service.

Then out of the union, we will no longer qualify for the European health insurance card that covers us with NHS insurance while travelling to other EU countries.

Out of the EU will mean we pay for treatment. The NHS is a key battleground that will affect us all and Brexit would harm it.

Our NHS has suffered under this Tory government, but leaving the union would in my view put it into intensive care for good.

Roy Lewis via email

Stop ‘official vandalism’

May and June sees Preston’s riverside path, in Frenchwood, with a beautiful display of wild flowers: wild garlic, pretty cow parsley and other wild flowers.

Walking or cycling along the dappled charming lane is a great pleasure.

Yet Preston Parks Department once again has trashed this natural beauty by mowing a metre-wide strip along both sides and even behind some trees.

They destroy wildlife habitats and flowers and leave shredded litter and trashed dead plants.

It all seems so unthinking, wasteful and environmentally destructive.

Why do they do it?

I can see the need for the edges of the Guild Wheel to be kept clear but giving a North Korean haircut to a beautiful country lane enjoyed by many people seems like pointless vandalism.

Who decides this?

We’re told that Preston City Council has reduced funds, yet there seems to be money and staff time to unnecessarily ruin our environment.

We council tax payers are paying for this wasteful damage.

Please can it stop?

Please will someone think before starting up the mower?

Let’s have an intelligent wild flower policy in our parks for a change.

Aidan Turner-Bishop, Preston

Remember the crying wolf tale

So. It’s decided. For me, after hearing the two sides of the Europe debate, I’ve reached a definite conclusion.

I am not about to sacrifice my country or my children’s future on the altar of jingoism, xenophobia, ignorance, self-deception and wishful thinking.

As for the Brexit baying of ‘scaremongering’ (can’t they come up with a new jibe after all these weeks?) and ‘crying wolf’, remember the ending of that particular fable? The wolf came...

T Ithebarn, Lancashire

Put trust in your country not MPs

How poignant were the words highlighted by Tom Roberts, when quoting the words of Sir Winston Churchill: “If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea , she must always choose the open sea” (LEP, June 1).

This must be the greatest asset that our islands possess.

Yet last week it was revealed how refugees were crossing the English Channel, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, in a rubber dinghy – apparently not the first!

To add to this amazing story, we were then told that GB had just three patrol boats to cover 7,700 miles of coastline. France, however, had 40 vessels to cover 2,100 miles of coastline.

The day following the above events, Vote Leave, who were chosen to lead the OUT Campaign, made little or no mention of guarding the “open sea” around our Islands, but ‘buried’ the whole incident under their new announcement regarding the Australian points system for immigrants, a system proposed by Mr Farage several months ago!

If the positions had been reversed, I feel sure Mr Farage would have stressed the immigration and terror threat we faced from these breeches in security – announcing his plans for immigration at a later date. David Cameron said on the 50th commemoration of Churchill’s funeral: “History has been kind to Winston Churchill, not because he wrote it, but because he shaped it. He left a Britain more free, more secure, more brave and more proud, for that we will always be grateful to him.”

It appears to me that Mr Cameron, on one side of the Tory fence, and Mr Johnson, on the other side, pay lip service to Sir Winston, but neither take in a word he has said !

Trust none of them. Put trust in your country, and be sure to vote leave on June 23.

Harvey Carter, Newton

Blair inspires me to vote Out

Recently, Tony Blair made an appearance on the Andrew Marr show.

If anything will encourage me to vote leave, it will be Tony Blair “advising” us to vote Remain.

That geezer has caused more damage to this country than any politician in history. Both Blair and George W Bush should be charged with war crimes.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool