Town Hall Fat Cats

Dear Editor,

A damning report on council pay, the Town Hall Rich list 2017, has singled out Liverpool City Council following the £461,823 remuneration package of David McElhinney, former Chief Executive of Liverpool Direct.

I, for one am not the least bit surprised. Once again we have another example of a Labour dominated council compensating its top earners to the extent that it could have paid the Prime Minister’s salary three times over. It’s ridiculous.  Continue reading Town Hall Fat Cats

Victims of crime let down

Dear Editor,

I was shocked to hear last week that 56-year-old Obidzans Bobonazarovs of Crewe escaped jail despite pleading guilty to a raft of sexual offences involving as many as 13 children, some aged as young as nine years old.

 

Suspended sentencing may work for first time, non-violent offenders who pose no risk to public safety, however Bobonazarov’s crimes were of a very serious nature that should result in immediate custodial sentencing. Sadly, he was let off with a slap on the wrist.  Continue reading Victims of crime let down

A worthy cause

A political heavyweight is risking a punch on the nose to help raise funds for youngsters suffering from the same genetic disease that sadly led to the death of a baby from Crewe.

Jonathan Arnott, a UKIP MEP, is taking part in a chess-boxing event on Sunday in London with the aim of raising money for theAlly Cadence Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Sophie Harling

He decided to promote this particular charity after hearing about the death of Sophie Harling, who sadly died last October aged just ten months. She was the daughter of a fellow MEP’s employee, Wayne Harling, who lives with his wife Lizzie in Crewe.

Jonathan is to face Lib Dem Toby ‘Slowby’ White in the contest of “brains and brawn” at London’s famous boxing venue, York Hall, on April Fools Day – but it  is no joke and he wants as many people as possible to show their support by donating to the charity.

The contest involves involves three minute rounds of chess followed by two minutes of boxing. Chess and boxing rounds alternate until there is a winner. Competitors can either knock their opponents out by checkmate on the board, or more fittingly by a knockout in the boxing ring. If neither checkmate nor knockout occurs, then the end result of the bout is determined by the judges’ scorecards.

36-year-old Jonathan has previously competed in international chess tournaments but as a novice boxer he has been practising with a sparring partner to build up his stamina and expertise. Continue reading A worthy cause

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