Letters to the editor: 03/08/17

(03 August, 2017) Letters

This week's letters include a call stop the cull of seagulls; an open letter to the Secretary of State for Health; and discussion of EU nationals' rights after Brexit

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What a waste of time

If you are going to devote a half page “crimestoppers” report in the News at least try to make it worthwhile.

With what’s going on in the world at the moment, the continuing campaign of the Met Police harassment of Millwall supporters is cringingly embarrassing, with the latest media campaign to publish pictures of those “hardened criminals” who carried out the heinous crime of going on to a sports pitch to celebrate their team’s victory. They do not even respond to people reporting burglaries, but waste resources hunting down the threats to society from Wembley! Get real!!!!

Complete WASTE of time and money and lazy fodder filling reporting from you lot.

Carole Brady, via email

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EU want hard Brexit

To any fair-minded observer the British proposal for a straightforward affirmation of the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, is eminently reasonable.

So what happened to the promise of grown-up dialogue with the European Parliament over the terms of Brexit?

All EU nationals resident here for five years or more would be entitled to ‘settle status’ and be able to bring over spouses and children. All entitlements to work, study and receive health and welfare benefits would remain unchanged. Those who have been here for a shorter time would be allowed to stay as now and then apply for settled status after five years.

Yet the EU chief negotiator Guy Ver-Hofstadt, claims indignantly this is ‘second class’ citizenship, writing a letter to newspapers branding the proposal “a damp squid” and threatening to hold up the negotiating process by rejecting it.

What this lot in Brussels seem unable to grasp is that while Britain is absolutely committed to playing fair by EU nationals living here, free movement and unconditional residency will soon be over.

Figures released recently give an idea of why so many fair minded people migration into Britain needs to be controlled. There are now 255,000 east European children living in Britain and around 1.2 million adults. This has placed enormous pressure on our housing, schools, transport and the NHS, but Britain will soon be a sovereign nation, with our own basic immigration controls and residency requirements.

The British people voted in the referendum (17.4 million), to take back control of bordersand this is what our negotiators must do.

With annual net migration still running at around 280,000, one wonders how much longer our public services will be able to cope?

With their stance at this first hurdle, it appears that Brussels is determined to make every decision a ‘hard Brexit’.

Reg O’Donoghue, Walworth

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Don’t cull the gull

During the summer period, there are always alarmist stories of gulls ‘attacking’ people – which inevitably lead to calls to cull them.

The holiday period coincides with the birds’ breeding season and, being such fierce defenders of their offspring, the birds may occasionally become aggressive in order to see off any perceived threat to their nest and children. These ‘attacks’ are usually exaggerated by the media and are very rare indeed.

To cull wild animals for protecting their babies is nothing short of ludicrous.

Despite this, if gulls are causing issues, there are a number of effective, humane methods of deterrence that can be used to discourage birds from nesting on flat roofs or chimneys, or from rummaging in our rubbish. Animal Aid has free advice sheets that detail the number of humane, non-lethal methods of deterrence available.

In any case, we should show tolerance to these birds, not least because they are just being good parents, and six of the seven gull species are in decline.

To order a factsheet please email: info@animalaid.org.uk

Tod Bradbury, Campaigner Animal Aid

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Dear Mr Hunt…

Here is our open letter to Health Minister Mr Hunt.

We at SPAG (Southwark Pensioners Action Group), welcome extra funding for mental health patients!

We have a huge problem in Southwark and Lambeth despite some sterling work done by our local MP Helen Hayes!  You need to get involved personally to right the wrongdoing for our mental health patients in Southwark and Lambeth!

SLAM (South London and Maudsley), closed their A &E at the Maudsley hospital several years ago, despite historicaly defying the government at that time, that they can only close the Maudsley A&E when Kings College Hospital opposite, have a unit in place that is fit for purpose for mental health patients. This never happened!

We now have a situation where the busy Kings A &E has to cope with often 400 mental health patients a month! And most wards in Kings are shared by physically and mental health patients, which is unfair to both sets of patients and very difficult for the nursing staff!

We think there is a simple solution. The SCCG (Southwark Clinical Commission Group), should have the funds to commission SLAM, who are renowned as the world experts on mental health, to reopen the Maudsley A &E which legally should never have been closed anyway!

I would also remind you that the CQC (Care Quality Commission) have stated that a busy A &E is not the right environment for mental health patients!

The acid test is for you to stand on the pavement outside the Maudsley, imagine you are feeling suicidal, look across the road at Kings A&E, with police cars, ambulances and sirens going off, would you cross the road to Kings A &E? This also applies to children with mental health issues!

I await your reply with interest.

Tom White, SPAG health spokesman

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