Invest in broadband and public transport to solve traffic issue
Published at 11:09, Thursday, 09 August 2012
SIR – Surely building yet more big car parks is the wrong approach (“Sellafield traffic ban”, The Whitehaven News, August 2). The London Olympics give us a good example of how to do it.
Many workers have been asked to work from home for the duration of the Games and, as a result, traffic is lighter than a normal August in most places.
How much work actually needs people to be on the Sellafield site and how much could be done primarily from home? If that question was tackled, with appropriate spending on good broadband links and much improved and efficient public transport for those who need it, there would be no need for yet more concrete.
Flexible working could drastically cut the ridiculous peaks of traffic in morning and afternoon, allowing others to get around efficiently. Priority for public transport and proper integration of trains, buses and cycles could give a speedy journey to work for those who need it and improve services for locals at the same time. Small changes such as box junctions and traffic light priority make a big difference.
Sellafield is already investing in additional train services but these need to improve to give everyone who lives on the coast the opportunity of a quick and comfortable journey when they want it. A bit of joined-up thinking is needed here rather than encouraging a continuation of the pollution and delays we have got used to.
Lonsdale Place, Whitehaven
SIR – It is highly disturbing to learn that both Allerdale and Copeland Councils are apparently having to organise food relief parcels for numerous impoverished people resident in these boroughs, aided by the generosity of local supermarkets and private citizens..
Despite the current serious state of Britain’s economy, the International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, resolutely declines to reduce the annual multi-billion-pound aid package to Third World countries in Africa and Asia.
Some of these states – particularly India, with a rate of growth and development we in Britain can only dream of – do not need this aid and, indeed, have expressed a wish for it to cease. The impoverished masses in other countries in receipt of these vast handouts do not receive any improvement in their living standards as much of the aid disappears into the maws of the despotic rulers and their hangers-on.
Andrew Mitchell well knows this but is sublimely indifferent to public demands for this waste of our money to cease and, instead be channelled into “Aid to Britain” projects where it will serve a better purpose.
David Cameron apparently agrees with Mr Mitchell as he has placed no strictures on future hand-outs.
Isn’t it well past time for action to resolve our domestic problems, before considering how to help others in need?
SIR – Once again the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust’s blatant misuse of public money by allowing interim chief executive Neil Goodwin to stay on is a disgrace.
Has Mr Goodwin negotiated a substantial financial deal like his predecessor Ms Heatly? She cost the taxpayer around £19,000 a month over eight months (in salary and benefits), under the terms of a severance agreement, after she had left the Trust. The payments only ended when she left the NHS (she is now chief executive of a New Zealand health trust).
The answer and indifference from health minister Simon Burns on this issue puts the government and the Conservatives to shame.
Mr Goodwin, you have not solved the conflict since you first arrived. You have not tackled the uncertainty and low morale amongst the nursing and medical staff. A good manager would guide and help their staff through difficult times, not ignore their concerns. Your failure to face the public and allay their concerns is a benchmark of your inability to manage any public relation issues.
The less involvement you have with the new health trust, the better it will be for the local community.
My thanks to Workington MP Tony Cunningham for wanting answers as to the excessive financial salaries that the NHS is allowing to be paid to managers when reducing services and crying poverty.
West Lane, Flimby
SIR – What’s in a package? If you go to or live in Seascale, Gosforth or Beckermet you can buy many packages. Their contents are usually printed on the package so that you can contemplate the use of the contents within the package.
Some packages are bright and cheerful, and some are sinister with “warning”, “poison,” “inflammable,” or “electric shock” to warn the buyers to beware of the contents of the package. So let us look at four packages that are available in Seascale, Gosforth and Beckermet.
Let us look at the package that contains cigarettes. It is perfectly safe to handle. Its contents are perfectly safe until you light the end and inhale the combustion products of nicotine. Then you are drugged and in the end you are short of breath for walking and finally you end up in hospital with lung cancer. Smokers harm themselves and they harm non-smokers too.
Let us look at a can of beer. It is perfectly safe to handle. Its contents are perfectly safe until the alcohol is ingested. The alcohol affects your brain so you cannot walk properly, you make odd noises, you cannot drive a car safely, you are drugged. Beer drinkers harm their livers and they harm other people too.
Let us look at the fuel tank of a car. Its contents are inflammable but safe, that is until you turn on the ignition. The power generated moves the car and the driver and the passengers. They are happy but 85 per cent of the fuel changes into the dreadful carbon dioxide and pollutes the atmosphere.
Some clever scientists and their political friends have dreamed of greenhouse gases causing damage to the environment resulting in catastrophic droughts or equally catastrophic floods. Few people know that this is just political mythology because these clever scientists do not know how a greenhouse works. Greenhouses are useful to gardeners who use them for our benefit. Carbon dioxide is nothing like the glass in a greenhouse.
Some time ago tetraethyl lead was added to petrol. It improved the performance but the lead harmed the children in cities so it is now banned.
Now let us look at the packages containing radioactive material from Sellafield. They are perfectly safe because you cannot buy them. People in Gosforth can buy cigarette packages, people in Beckermet can buy beer cans, people in Seascale can buy petrol. All these products are dangerous. But nobody in these villages can buy a can of plutonium, they are carefully regulated.
The product in the can has some odd properties. It emits A rays, which change into helium gas, as used by the divers in the North Sea oil rigs.
The product in the can also emits B rays which are the electrons that you use in all the wiring in your home – they fuel your TV set and your mobile phone. The product also emits electromagnetic radiation, the same stuff you receive from the sun.
Radioactive materials present no hazard after use. Hiroshima has been rebuilt, Chernobyl has created a great nature reserve by scaring off human beings. But the very clever scientists in Seascale, Gosforth and Beckermet have forgotten that when or particles change into helium gas there is a massive expansion in volume and this expansion (a thousand fold) set the Windscale Pile on fire on October 10, 1957.
Today there are 100 tons of plutonium in sealed cans in Sellafield and one day in the distant future they will burst because they have not been fitted with vents. Plutonium should be stored in ventilated packages, like storing potatoes, so that the helium and the carbon dioxide can escape into the atmosphere.
Cigarettes have killed hundreds in Cumbria, beer has killed hundreds in Newcastle, petrol has killed dozens on the motorways of the UK. But the radioactive products that did escape from the Windscale Pile fire have harmed nobody in the United Kingdom.
Storing of packages is easy but when you open a package it all depends what you do with the contents, and that depends on human beings. Long-term storage of packages is nothing new, Tutankhamen rested in his package for 3,000 years before Mr Carter opened the package for all to see.
Radioactive elements are not intrinsically hazardous: they are only hazardous when misused in bombs or radiotherapy. Long-term storage is easy, provided that it is above sea level like Tutankhamen.
What is needed to protect workers from the radiation of radioactive materials? For A radiation (helium), rubber gloves are quite adequate protection. For B radiation (electricity), about one inch of steel plate is adequate. For Y radiation (light waves) three inches of lead or 3ft of concrete are quite adequate.
What is needed to protect the public, who have no use for radioactive materials? If it is buried in containers 10ft underground they would be ignorant of its existence and it would have no effect on their health. The deep mine concept of Nirex and GDF is politically expensive nonsense.
CORE (Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment) should campaign to eliminate tornados and gales that do so much damage along the Cumbrian coast. Compare this with the a particles that become helium gas and the minimal damage that they do.
CORE should campaign to eliminate thunderstorms and lightning that hurts golfers and ramblers in Cumbria. Compare this with B particles in Sellafield, made of the same stuff but do no damage to humans in Cumbria.
CORE should campaign to eliminate the sun, that huge radiation source that appears every day and causes skin cancer to Cumbrian tourists. Compare that with the y radiations at Sellafield that are under strict control and they are easy to avoid contact with human beings.
I prefer the love, joy and peace that I experienced when I lived in a house just outside the Pile Gate at Sellafield, where the ever present aBy radiations from the disintegrating nuclei were carefully controlled. On Black Combe the sheep wandered about totally unaware that they had a bit of Chernobyl within them and then we humans killed them and ate them.
Near the centre of Cambridge there was an underground radioactive store, carefully designed and managed by qualified staff. It so happened that there was a terrible thunderstorm that flooded the adjacent room, the waters from that room seeped through the cracks into the radioactive store. The liquids in that store tipped into the water and when the flood waters receded they went with them to the sewerage works. No townsfolk were aware and there were no after effects.
Near the centre of Barrow-in-Furness there was a tank of water and it was contaminated with Legionnaires Disease, it escaped into the street and injured a number of citizens of the town, even killing some. CORE should take the plank out of their own eye before they tackle the mote of radioactive material in Drigg.
According to the New Scientist this week not one cancer will be attributable to the Fukushima incident, but there will be plenty of deaths from cigarettes, from alcohol, and from petrol – all available in Copeland.
SIR – My father recently died, and it was his wish that I do my best to extend the family tree he’d started.
I’ve got as far as Anthony Stainton who was christened at Holy Trinity in Whitehaven on September 6 1808. I believe his parents were named William Stainton and (?) Mary who would have been born towards the end of the 1700s. I do not know if either were local to Whitehaven, but if any of your readers have “matching” ancestors, and have information they would be willing to share, I should be very grateful.
I believe many of my past family were involved in the ship building industry, some of whom settled in Barrow-in-Furness.
I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIR – We are overlooking one seriously important point about David Cameron’s and Nick Clegg’s House of Lords Reform.
House of Commons interference with the House of Lords is against the law. It is a criminal act. Under Common Law, each House has full cognisance as to who sits in it and how it conducts its business. Neither House may interfere in the business of the other.
Though the proposal is now abandoned, Cameron and Clegg have seriously broken the law in planning to close and replace the Lords with an elected senate. They have no legal authority to do so. Tony Blair is equally guilty because of his House of Lords Act 1999.
When are these villains going to be taken in for interview by the police for their criminal actions which are very much for their own political gain ?
SIR – The grandkids are coming!
It’s that wonderful time of year for grandparents, especially if distance or family break-up has meant absence has been prolonged or painful. Our not-seen-enough bundles of energy will soon come bursting through the door expecting to find their bundles of energy grandparents.
As soon as the doorbell rings there will be loads of larking about, handstands, silly hats, and fun; and sometimes even the grandchildren join in!
When these kids arrive, we are the bestest, hottest, grooviest “grandies” arround. We’ve got to be. We want them back next year, if we score high, we might even get them for half-term!
Our hearts break when they don’t come, and when they go. Whilst they are here we will have a ball.
Isel Road, Cockermouth
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
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