Your Say - Wednesday 07 November

Last orders: Fylde Tavern pub in Preston closed last year
Last orders: Fylde Tavern pub in Preston closed last year
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Pub goers being forced from bar

After the closure of another 44 pubs across the north west in the past six months, the case for scrapping the 2% plus inflation beer tax escalator is stronger than ever.

The claims by Sajid Javed from the Treasury, that scrapping the duty will cost the government £35m in revenue next year does not take into the consideration the revenue from closed pubs. Let’s not forget the pub industry is a big employer giving work to not only those behind the bar, but kitchen and entertainment staff too.

British pub-goers are already paying through the nose for an honest pint after seeing their beer tax rise by 42% in the past four years. During this period, 170 pubs in Merseyside and north Cheshire alone have been lost.

I fear that if the beer tax escalator is allowed to continue, it will merely push more drinkers away from pubs who will instead choose to drink at home, exposing children to the effects of alcohol.

Paul Nuttall, UKIP North West MEP

Experts fears on wind turbines

There is a growing awareness of health problems experienced by people who are unfortunate to live close to commercial wind turbines. Dr Nini Pierpont has studied the health problems associated with wind farms, in six different countries and her book Wind Turbine Syndrome provides an informed insight into the extent and severity of problems that can arise when wind turbines are sited too close to residential property.

Her recommendation is that, in order to ensure the many problems arising from wind turbines do not effect peoples health, they should be sited 2km from the nearest residents. An increasing number of countries and local authorities are now introducing minimum distance requirements.

Noise is a health problem with wind turbines, but it is not only the audible swish and thump as blades pass the mast or the thrum of air passing over the blades, especially in high gusting winds but there is also the noise you can not hear. This noise is called “low frequency amplitude modulation” and has become a major topic at the international conferences on wind turbine noise.

We are all aware that we can not hear a level of high frequency noise that is audible to dogs and cats and so it is with low frequency noise. This does not mean that these low frequency noises are harmless.

American professor Alex Salt, who has conducted extensive research on the effects of amplitude modulation on the inner ear, claims ,“Although subjective hearing is insensitive to infrasound, the ear itself does respond to such sounds... after long-term exposure there is a scientific belief that the brain learns that the infrasound represents an external signal and locks in on it. In our view. The possibility that this wind turbine noise may have an effect on humans, cannot be dismissed.”

Professor Salt is not alone in his concerns about amplitude modulation, for at the last international conference on wind turbine noise, there were 14 other papers on the same subject which represented the concerns of 12 other countries. The only safe answer is a safe distance from residents.

D J Roper

Greater care for old folks in homes

Growing public concern and helpless outrage at the vastly increasing abuse and maltreatment of severely vulnerable in private care and nursing homes which flout the Health and Social Care Act 2008 is in part being gradually remedied by the Coalition Government.

The Department of Health notify me that on July 11 2012, the Government published a Care and Support White Paper and Draft Care and Support Bill enabling everyone in England to prepare for their care needs, access high quality care when they need it and exercise choice and control over the care they receive.

Unfortunately, this does not go far to protect vulnerable patients in private care and nursing homes which are a law unto themselves.

The Care Quality Commission needs to be enlarged allowing more inspectors with more powers to investigate individual complaints of concerned relatives instead of the current buck passing to social services.

The commission also needs power to commission or employ undercover care attendants to go in and assess suspicious care/nursing homes.

Robert McDougall, Blackpool