Serious punishments needed for animal cruelty

Dear Editor,

The tragic case of a five month old kitten who was dumped and left to die in a sealed box with no food or water outside the entrance to Blackpool Zoo, highlights the urgent need to give the RSPCA the sharper teeth they need to catch and prosecute cases of animal cruelty. Sadly, these cases are happening all too often and not enough criminals are being brought to book.

We are famously known as a ‘nation of animal lovers’ largely due to pioneering legislation to safeguard animal welfare and the establishment of the RSCPA by William Wilberforce and other great social reformers of the time. However, with every case of animal neglect and cruelty that goes unpunished, we lose that title.

I would very much like to see animal welfare legislation toughened up so that anyone who is convicted of animal cruelty receives a full life-time ban on keeping or looking after animals in the future whilst tripling the maximum jail term for serious offenders.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Bours MEP

New sports facilities welcomed

Dear Editor,

The opening of a brand new £11.3 million state-of-the-art leisure centre and 25 metre swimming pool complete with outdoor 3G football pitches is good news for Workington as it ensures local residents will have somewhere modern to exercise.

One of the main objectives of the London 2012 Olympics legacy was to get more young people into sport and regular exercise. However, last year a damning report found that even with the backdrop of a growing population, a further 1.5 million adults were not participating in any sport whatsoever since 2010. 

The largest decrease in sport participation was in swimming which saw a decline of 264,000 people or 9.4%. Football, the nation’s most popular game, has lost a staggering 11.1% of its participants in the same period.

We need to get people back into sport for the obvious benefits it provides to both physical and mental well-being.

The recent Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio De Janeiro have been a high water mark for elite sport for Team GB. Unless we have the facilities in place to nurture those inspired by the likes of Adam Peaty and Ellie Simmonds in the pool, the success of our elite athletes will always be bittersweet.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Bours MEP

Soft-touch judges slammed

Dear Editor,

In most walks of life, people make mistakes on more than one occasion and we are happy and ready to forgive and forget. However, the same most certainly should not be the case for violent thugs such as Jason Bamford who has been spared from going to prison despite throttling his girlfriend whilst serving an 18 month suspended sentence for a previous assault. cell

I am sick to death hearing of soft-touch judges who seem too petrified to send a violent man to prison.

How many more times must a violent offender be found guilty before this judge passes a custodial sentence?

For the sake of public safety, convicted violent thugs should be removed from society and put in prison where they belong.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Bours MEP

Heart failure test concerns

HEART FAILURE TEST CONCERNS BY LOCAL MEP

Concerns over failure by some health authorities to provide a simple heart failure test which could save the NHS £3.8 million have been raised by local MEP Louise Bours.

Early diagnosis of heart failure greatly improves outcomes for patients and saves the health service money with reduced hospital referrals, admissions and procedures.

In the wake of a report by the All Parliamentary Group on Heart Disease, which has highlighted the problem,  Ms Bours is writing to all the Clinical Commissioning Groups and hospital trusts in the North West. NHS

“I want to know if they provide this test, which measures natriuretic peptide, and if they do not I want to know why not and if the situation is to be reviewed and the test introduced,” said Ms Bours, MEP for the North West..  Continue reading Heart failure test concerns

Perpetrator must pay for crime

Dear Editor,

The UK has for many years provided a safe refuge for those escaping persecution, particularly in the twentieth century. Jews in Europe in the 1930’s and Asians in Uganda in the 1970’s faced almost certain death and I am particularly proud that we as a nation were ready to accept those fleeing for their lives.

However, the recent case of Oldham resident Arshad Kharajan, now serving a 20 month sentence for taking sexual advantage of a vulnerable underage girl should bring in to question whether his continued refugee status should remain intact.

Whilst we have stepped up and taken responsibility for Mr Kharajan, he too should step up and take responsibility for his own actions.

I am of the firm belief that refugees and those seeking asylum who commit serious crimes, particularly those of a sexual nature should be stripped of any protected status and returned to their country of origin once their sentence has been served.

Surely we should prioritise protecting the safety of our own citizens above the protection of others.

Yours faithfully

Louise Bours MEP

Town twinning welcomed

Dear Editor,

I would like to congratulate Ellesmere Port and the German city of Reutlingen on celebrating 50 years of twinning. elle

English towns and cities have twinned with those in Europe for over a hundred years and the Ellesmere Port – Reutlingen friendship pre-dated the UK joining the European Economic Community. Twinning is now becoming common with cities in China and America.

I would therefore like to assure everybody that there is no reason why this twinning would not continue long after we leave the European Union.

Last month, the nation voted by a clear majority to leave the European Union and I now hope that the process of formally applying to leave, so called Article 50, is carried out as soon as possible.

But let us be clear, we are leaving a political union. We are not leaving Europe. We are not moving our isles into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. An independent Great Britain will still be very much European in a geographical, economical and cultural sense and we will always be good neighbours to our friends across on the continent.

Therefore I see no reason why twinning of Ellesmere Port and Reutlingen cannot go on for another 50 years to come.

Yours faithfully

Louise Bours MEP

Accept the will of the people

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Dear Editor,

Warrington and Halton Green Party leader Steph Davies has shown her utter contempt for democracy with her apparent labelling of Brexiters as a ‘Tory-UKIP Alliance”.

Whilst ‘Remain’ campaigners are obviously disappointed in the result, most are taking it on the chin and yielding to the democratic process, forgoing the need to insult those who happen to have voted differently.

I must remind Steph Davies that across Warrington, voters backed ‘Leave’ by 54.3% to 45.7%. This is a decisive result that must be respected. Also, I can assure the Green Party in Warrington that many people on both the left as well as the right of politics voted ‘Leave’.

As UKIP’s health spokesman at the last General Election, I can say with gladness that now we have voted to leave, our treasured NHS will now be safe from the clutches of the EU/US TTIP agreement that would have seen American drug and insurance companies elbow their way into our healthcare. I would have thought that the local Green Party would at least join me in celebrating on this issue.

Yours faithfully 

Louise Bours MEP

Concerns over FGM

Dear Editor,

While I am glad to see that new government guidance about reporting cases of female genital mutilation appears to be working I am nevertheless shocked at the extent of the problem in this country.

It has just been reported that 1,242 cases have been reported to healthcare providers in England between January and March. The NHS’s own estimate last year of 137,000 women and girls having been harmed in this way is simply appalling. fem

And what is also terrible is that there has never been a single successful prosecution for FGM in the UK.

It may not be regarded as an appropriate topic in polite company but it is a serious issue and must not be swept under the table. 

Yours faithfully

Louise Bours,  MEP

Anti Slavery campaign welcomed

Dear Editor,

As a Cheshire MEP, I very much welcome Operation Activity which saw police and other agencies raid businesses across the county in an effort to tackle the scourge that is modern day slavery.

Forced labour has no place in this country nor anywhere else in the civilised world and must be stamped out at every opportunity.

Sadly, gang masters and sex traffickers have been able to take advantage of our membership of the European Union in order to facilitate the movement of people seamlessly across the continent. A sad consequence of an open borders Europe is that vulnerable people, often women and children, can be shipped across Europe and abused without much impediment. 

Last year, children’s charity Barnardo’s warned of a ‘surge’ in the number of children who had been trafficked to Britain from Albania. Many of these children have been forced into prostitution or to work on cannabis farms.  Continue reading Anti Slavery campaign welcomed