Readers' letters - March 22
We should do more to help refugees
We are in the worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War and a main contributing factor has been the catastrophic war in Syria.
Public attitudes to refugees and asylum seekers fluctuate unpredictably.
A great deal of sympathy was aroused when a lifeless toddler was washed up on the Turkish shore in scenes which were seen by millions worldwide.
Here was a general problem suddenly and acutely made personal.
Then the never-ending columns of refugees began to be portrayed as invaders, alien and hostile, and the mood in Europe changed.
Nobody abandons their home, their possessions, their whole way of life, on a whim, and if you and your family are in constant fear of annihilation by bomb or shell and your town lies in ruins around you, the need to escape to somewhere safe becomes overwhelming.
Almost all refugees seek asylum in neighbouring countries and these too are almost always poor countries, their resources strained to the limit by a grossly swollen population.
Britain is host to fewer than one per cent of the world’s refugees.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees believe that, by the end of 2015, there were almost five million Syrian refugees – 2,539 of these claimed asylum in Britain.
Lord Dubs persuaded Parliament last year to give asylum to 3,000 or so unaccompanied refugee children, obviously all at grave risk of every kind of abuse.
This agreement was suddenly and arbitrarily withdrawn by the Home Secretary earlier this year and the number was reduced to 350.
Surely we can, and should do, much better than this?
Attitude leads to problems
Why has this Fishergate Bus Lane caused a problem?
I’ll tell you what is happening.
I have regularly stood waiting for my park and ride bus outside Boots chemist.
I have watched cars, especially 4X4s, BMWs and Audis, blatantly ignore the well signposted (in my opinion) signs telling anyone who is supposed to be driving, and being aware while driving a vehicle, of an instruction telling them that the only vehicle allowed to go down Fishergate is a bus, taxi or a cycle.
It even has a picture of the aforesaid vehicles which are allowed down the road.
But, no, I have seen these motorists drive up in a queue.
Other cars turn right or left, but not them!
They just watch as the others turn, and they just blatantly ignore the sign and drive past us at the bus stop, with noses in the air!
That is what is happening.
Nothing to do with them not seeing the sign, they just think they are above the law.
Why not put a few of the same signs on the lamp posts and another few before the junction? Maybe they will see them, or maybe not.
Drivers are whinging because they have been caught.
Please consider vision services
I am writing to you regarding vision rehabilitation services for blind and partially sighted people living in my local area.
When a person loses their sight this can be a life-changing experience.
Vision rehabilitation offers invaluable support, equipping people with the skills and confidence to live independently.
This can reduce, prevent or delay the need for more expensive care support in future.
As national charity RNIB has stated, blind and partially sighted people are at risk of being left behind unless these services are properly resourced.
I understand that councils across England are now deciding on their budgets for the coming year and urge our local council to ensure that vision rehabilitation services are properly funded and supported.
If anyone else would like to do the same, or find out more about this campaign, they can go to www.rnib.org.uk/seeandplan or contact the RNIB Campaigns Team on 020 7391 2123.
Re: Rail Delivery Group claiming to increase capacity by 6,400 trains a week.
Like most people we
will believe this when we see it. There simply aren’t the trains and staff available to make this plan happen. Fault for that lies smack at the door of more than two decades of privatisation.
The train operators are already struggling to run current services and timetables due to a chronic lack of investment and the drive across the industry is to hack back on staff in the search for fatter profits.
Our guards are in the frontline of that attack on jobs and safety.
Like so much of the spin from our rip-off private train companies, these big promises of additional capacity are doomed to turn to dust.
With the British public paying the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed-out and unreliable trains, the only solution to this on-going transport crisis is public ownership.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash
£10m to ruin noble building
I can’t express how much I agree with Ian Flitcroft’s comments in today’s
Post (‘Don’t disfigure glorious Harris’, LP March 16).
Why would we spend £10m on ruining the front of such a noble building (artist’s impression of the new-look Harris is pictured, above left, copyright Purcell Architects)?
Have we got that much money to spare, and can’t we find something better to invest in?
Who decided it needed doing anyway?
Are there people out
there who can’t find the entrance?
Still, this is
I am pleased they don’t lump it with the other
lovely buildings we have had in the past and knock it down!
Unfair changes to pensions
It is wrong that people who have contributed for the full 35 years under the old scheme get a lower state pension than the people under the new scheme.
In the case of the former, the Government should pay them the same amount also – of £155.65.