Readers’ letters - February 27

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Home baked cake or half-baked idea?

Imagine the scene at the FSA.

The head of the agency calls a meeting to discuss its financial situation, for it has been told to increase its revenue stream.

One upstart says his gran has just raised £300 for Macmillan Cancer Relief by having a coffee morning with all the cakes baked by herself.

At this point the team start salivating (hmm ironic, that!)

Wow, £300 for inspecting the kitchens of all those charitable people who bake cakes for charity.

I am not talking here about people who have set up a commercial cottage industry baking from their own kitchens, for the potential for mass food poisoning if food is being prepared in an unhygienic kitchen is obvious.

The trouble is that the FSA do not see the bigger picture.

In imposing these ridiculous and unnecessary inspections, bakers up and down the country will be baulking at this cost. They do, after all, impose a cost upon themselves with all the ingredients and baking. This revenue stream for Macmillan Cancer Care will be restricted, so will not be able to employ as many Macmillan Nurses to supplement the cancer care being provided by the NHS.

But the NHS won’t be able to step in as it has neither the money nor the nurses to do the work that Macmillan Nurses do.

This scenario could be replicated among all the charities who rely on this form of income stream, with each charity suffering in different ways.

There is one big question mark over all this inspection of people’s kitchens. Is it actually NECESSARY? How many cases of food poisoning have occurred?

And why up to £300 per inspection? Ah, but I had forgotten all the bureaucracy.

You may think that you are doing this country a service but a service which reduces charities’ legitimate income stream has no place in this country. Well, I’m afraid, FSA, your ideas seem more Half Baked than Home Baked.

Neil Swindlehurst

Walmer Bridge

n Editor’s note: The FSA has clarified the situation regarding cake sales (LP, February 25). Regulations which apply to small food businesses are not applicable to one-off or occasional community events like charity cake sales and there are no plans to charge charities for holding them.

health service

Taking radical action for NHS

Dear Mr Lindsay Hoyle MP,

I write to express concerns I’m sure you are well aware of with regard to our National Health Service.

This institution means so much to so many UK residents but the public are continually told, on a regular basis, it costs too much to run.

I believe by those who wish to see this replaced with a system adopted in the USA and possibly other countries too.

‘Treatment for the wealthy’ should not be considered under any circumstances in this country.

The NHS is the envy of the world, so why not make it work and take radical action?

The suggestion outlined may have been considered but never implemented and this remains a complete mystery to everyone.

Along with thousands, maybe millions of others, I can’t understand why those in Parliament, who truly wish to save our great NHS, do not adopt the approach used by many successful businesses and apply Economies of Scale and the Just in Time concept.

Examples include supermarkets, clothing stores, car industry, high street chemists –the list goes on.

Parliament should consider this solution and control purchasing from a central location. (Maybe in the North of England rather than London).

This will keep costs down and remove the duplication of each authority “doing its own thing”.

The result would be to remove “incentives” offered by suppliers to individual authorities (even individuals) whose aim is to create wealth for “their” companies, but at the expense of our NHS.

It works in other industries so why can’t we or won’t we just do it?

Let’s hope this suggestion will be discussed and acted upon.

A concerned UK resident

politics

Does Blair have a hidden motive?

Tony Blair’s recent cajoling of Remain voters to “rise up” against the Government’s drive for Brexit is highly ironic considering the way he ignored those who rose up against his personal drive for war against Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wars which have not only cost this nation billions of pounds, but which are arguably responsible for the rise of ISIS, as well as the current refugee crisis.

It’s an irony matched only by arrogance, as Blair declares that the public desire for Brexit was “based on imperfect knowledge”.

Now, where have I heard that one before? Oh yes, the Chilcot report.

However, Blair is probably correct in some ways. Much of the information presented by both Leave and Remain was indeed poor, and not always based upon fact, but argument, assumption and half-truths. We should also not forget Cameron’s and Osborne’s own attempted cajoling of the electorate via ‘Project Fear’.

And it is clear that some people do have a very ill-informed perception of the EU and its processes, judging by the comments you hear all the time upon social media.

Perceptions such as the EU being ‘unelected’ and ‘imposing’ unwanted rules and regulations upon us.

Having said that, the vote has been cast and it is not Blair’s place to instigate a public ‘uprising’.

However, his latest intervention may be less to do with instigating a Brexit rebellion and more to do with rallying his former troops within the Parliamentary Labour Party to instigate another leadership rebellion?

Paul Dodenhoff

Address supplied

politics

MP does not represent me

No sooner had Donald Trump been elected, than our MP was inviting him to visit Ribble Valley, and in Monday’s Parliamentary debate over the State Visit, he was defending him against racism. Trump treats the truth with disdain, can’t string a sentence together, has appointed a white supremacist as his chief advisor, is supported by the Ku Klux Klan, and his own words condemn him as a sex pest, yet our MP is full of admiration for him.

Well, I’d like to take this opportunity to state that Nigel Evans does not represent me.

Keith MacDonald

Longridge

overseas aid

Money going to wrong places

I read with interest in the LP that Britain has ploughed an extra £1.5bn in aid to India (LP February 22).

I was staggered to see that we have written into law that we must spend 0.7 per cent of our GDP– i.e £16bn/year and rising – and of this £300m goes to Pakistan which has its own space programme.

How ridiculous is this when we don’t look after our own elderly and homeless and can’t even afford to pay for our own health service?

This must stop, I understand that Theresa May has stated that it may be up for review and so it should be.

Charity begins at home then we can look after others.

Cliff Fazackerley

Address supplied