Shocking attacks on NHS staff

Dear Editor,

It was both depressing and alarming to read that assaults on community nurses and mental health workers in Cumbria have shot up.

We all know that regrettably attacks on our NHS staff take place far too often. Violence, both physical and verbal, on health workers, also including paramedics and doctors, should never ever occur.

Understandably patients and their relatives are often in a tense state when needing medical care, both in a community and hospital setting, but they should not vent aggression on anyone, let alone those trying to help. 

Mental health problems in society are on the rise, through a combination of factors, and staff are specially trained to help them, ideally without being assaulted. Sadly some of those with serious mental health issues are always going to be a potential risk and drink and drug abuse exacerbates this.

A total of 17% of staff within Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust reported suffering physical violence while working last year.I sincerely hope that the next set of figures does not show a further rise. Our selfless health workers, both in the community and in hospital settings, should be able to carry out their duties free from fear.

Yours faithfully

Louise Bours, MEP

Keep plants in UK open

Dear Editor,

With an agreed £1.9 billion sale of General Motors-owned Vauxhall/Opel to the Peugeot Citreon group, understandably the focus has now moved on to the fate of the Astra plant in Ellesmere Port.

However, we should be reassured that the UK car industry is not the same today as it was in the 80s and 90s. Gone are the days of British car manufacturing being nothing more than a ‘sick man of Europe’. In 2012, the plant in Ellesmere Port was under threat of closure. However, it was soon revealed that the Cheshire plant was producing 47 cars per hour compared to only 30 at its sister plant in Bochum, Germany.

It may be true that it is logistically easier to close a factory in the UK compared to France or Germany, but economic arguments don’t lie. Cheaper business tax rates, more flexible workforces and greater political stability has already secured the investment of VW-owned Bentley in Crewe, Indian-owned Jaguar Land Rover in Merseyside, and Nissan in the north east.

Vauxhall’s new owners will soon see that the smart money is on keeping their plants in the UK open for business for the long term.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Bours MEP

Food safety dates debate

Dear Editor,

It is so refreshing to learn that the waste reduction charity, Wrap, is advocating ditching ‘use-by’ dates for milk.

Like many others I was brought up to tell whether milk was okay by sniffing or sipping it. Using old-fashioned common sense has served generations well in terms of sussing out if food and drink is safe or not. 

Food safety is obviously very important but we now live in a risk-adverse namby-pamby society where more than 100 million pints of milk and more than 4 million tonnes of food are needlessly chucked out each year.

Unfortunately some people get confused between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates and education by Wrap can only but help.

Meanwhile I am delighted that they are in talks with the dairy industry, Food Standards Agency and government officials over whether to scrap the use-by dates to reduce milk wastage.

I hope this comes about and is also applied to other food stuffs that don’t need such labels.

Yours faithfully

Louise Bours MEP

Do your bit for Fairtrade

‘DO YOUR BIT’ FOR FAIRTRADE

People in the North West are being encouraged by local MEP Louise Bours to “do their bit” during Fairtrade Fortnight, which begins today. ( Mon)

“These days we are all used to buying products which have been shipped here from all over the world.

“But how often do we pause to think about the farmers who grow these items, such as coffee, chocolate, bananas, tea and sugar?” queried Ms Bours, UKIP Euro-MP.

“The reality is that millions of farmers who grow food in developing countries are barely making a living. Fairtrade Fortnight is a timely reminder of this and the need for us to do our bit to help.   Continue reading Do your bit for Fairtrade

Salad crisis?

Dear Editor, 

Oh no, I can only buy three Iceberg lettuces at a time! How ever will I cope?

And broccoli rationed too, also thanks to bad weather in Southern Europe. I’m sure there are children all over the country in floods of tears at the veggie news.

What occurs to me, as it often does, is that we should go back to eating food in season. How I remember looking forward to June and the first English strawberries and later on lovely sweet home grown tomatoes.  Continue reading Salad crisis?

Local police praised

Dear Editor, 

The police come in for a lot of criticism these days and sometimes it may be justified.

But little gestures like the officers who came to the aid of the stranded newlyweds in Burnley helps restore faith in our police force.

For those who missed the story, the bridal car taking Emma and Georgia Garnett to their wedding reception was involved in a crash, and the police called to the scene volunteered to take them.

All our emergency services personnel are over-stretched and under-funded and it is increasingly difficult for them to meet the demands made of them. But thoughtful and kind gestures remind us that they are all human and doing their best and we should not forget that.

Yours faithfully

Louise Bours MEP

New E-mail scam

PRESS RELEASE

TAXPAYERS WARNED BY MEP ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT SCAM

Taxpayers have been warned by local MEP Louise Bours not to be tricked by bogus emails purporting to be from HMRC.

“Although the Inland Revenue has introduced controls to stop such phishing emails reaching their customers it has not completely eradicated the problem,” said Ms Bours, UKIP Euro-MP.

“While many people these days are on their guard against identity theft some people could be fooled into thinking they have received a genuine HMRC message and unwittingly hand over all their private information. 

“Only today I was contacted by one of my constituents who had just received such a  bogus email saying that they were due a tax refund and to click on a form that then asked for absolutely all the information a fraudster would need to hack their accounts and set up new ones,” said Ms Bours.

“They wisely ignored it and forwarded it to the HMRC at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, and I would advise anyone else who receives a suspect email like that to do the same.

“I hate to think of people being taken in by such scams, particularly the more vulnerable in society, and I hope that those unscrupulous people behind them are traced and prosecuted, though as I suspect they are often based abroad, this can be difficult,” said Ms Bours.

ends

Asylum seeker employment debate

Letter to Oldham Chronicle

Dear Editor,

Marzia Babakarkhail, the former Judge who escaped Afghanistan after the Taliban tried to kill her makes a very compelling case for allowing asylum seekers the right to work, however I do not believe it would work in practice.

In her own individual circumstances, there was a clear and present threat to her life and therefore I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the authenticity of her asylum claim.

Sadly, as the ongoing crisis in Syria has showed us, the very question of who is a genuine asylum seeker is very much open for debate. Thousands of mostly young men have travelled across the length of continental Europe under the guise of seeking asylum from war torn Syria when many in fact have come from Africa and other parts of Asia in order to permanently migrate and seek a more comfortable life.

If we were to allow all asylum seekers to work in the UK, it would just encourage non-genuine ‘refugees’ to become more determined to come here as economic migrants. As a result, genuine refugees would find that it would take longer for their case to be heard.

Yours faithfully 

Louise Bours MEP

Wigan shamed Doctor row

To Wigan Post

Dear Editor,

Our NHS is in the grips of its worst crisis in years with patients being urged to stay away from A&E, yet disgraced heart specialist Doctor Gohar Rahman is still on the payroll despite serving a 12 month ban for assaulting his teenage daughter. 

Whilst his generous salary is still being paid in full, the trust will no doubt be struggling to fund a replacement, meaning our hospital will be under even more pressure and patient care will consequently suffer as a result.

 

Doctors such as Gohar Rahman, who are unfit to practice and essentially struck off should have their pay suspended until they are cleared and ready to return to work so replacement staff can be hired to take their place.

Yours faithfully 

Louise Bours, MEP