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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Why are motorists so slow to learn about dangers of speed?

SIR – There are, alas, far too many motorists who either cannot read, understand or know their Highway Code and these are the ones who cause many of the accidents (Rural Roads’ Speed Policy – July 2).

Speed limits are ignored and rural or fell roads are treated as motorways.
There is only one remedy for these drivers which would make our roads safe again – simply to remove their licences forthwith without giving them a warning or a second chance – and make them re-sit their driving test prior to driving again. Not only would it be much less expensive then erecting 40,000 road signs but our countryside would remain lovely and unspoilt.
Numerous speed signs by roads or painted across them mean nothing to certain drivers as proved so frequently when driving by Bassenthwaite Lake. Where one is warned to slow down in many places before coming off the dual carriageway. Cars, vans and motor bikes have sped past me at 60mph. And they get away with it.
If you do erect 40,000 speed signs in Cumbria, will there be an official at each one to check motorists’ speeds? I very much doubt it!
But if those drivers knew that, if caught, they would lose their licence, they might slow down.
No road is ‘a killer’ or ‘dangerous’. If only every driver thought of others and of livestock before getting behind the steering wheel.
Drigg Road, Seascale

SIR – I am sure I’m not alone in getting increasingly worried about the speed at which people drive along some of our local roads. It has got so bad that I never feel safe when I’m on my bicycle– let alone as a pedestrian or driving a car – particularly on our rural roads.
In fact figures show that almost two-thirds of deaths are now on these rural roads, while cycling on them is three times more dangerous than in urban areas. Out of 24 OECD countries, we have slipped to fifth on road deaths overall and shockingly are 17th in terms of child pedestrian deaths.
Recently, I noticed the Government is asking for people’s opinions on how it can make our roads the safest in the world. I think this must include making people feel safe using our roads without having to be protected by a metal chassis, so I decided to send in a letter. And I’d like to urge all your readers to do the same. The Campaign to Protect Rural England has a draft letter on its website that you can use: www.cpre.org.uk.
Please write – we all need to do our bit to put a stop to these harrowing statistics and encourage the Government to take positive action.
Alexander KNOX
Rowgate, Kirkby Stephen
Phone mast plan is off beam
SIR – Further to your article in last week’s Whitehaven News, we are writing on behalf of the Staff, Governors, Parents and children of Hensingham Primary to strongly object to the proposed site of the O2 mobile phone mast at behind the Spar at Hensingham.
The school have been in correspondence with O2 for some months now regarding other locations, which were further away from the school than the proposed Site. For some reason O2 chose not to consult with us in relation to this new location despite us advising in a previous letter, in March, that a location at Spar end of Richmond Hill Road would raise objections from the School and not be acceptable.
The proposed location is only 80m from the school buildings and only 10m away from the school playing field, and county council guidelines state that masts should not be sited within 250m radius of a school because this is where the beam of greatest intensity falls to ground.
Hensingham Primary School operates from 8am until 5pm for nursery to age 11 children. From 6pm to 9pmmost evenings, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts clubs are run from there.
In addition the school shares the Site with Surestart and many young babies, children and parents visit the school throughout the day to part take in the activities on offer.
It is interesting to note where Copeland Borough Council stands in relation to this. They approved this application because it didn’t actually require formal permission. However they had the power to object if they were aware of any objections from local residents and schools. Apparently residents raised a petition as they were obviously made aware of the new site (unlike the school). However, our previous correspondence to O2 was copied to the council, so they were also aware of our specific objections, but chose to do nothing about it. They didn’t even have the courtesy to contact us to let us know where it was going to be sited, but instead left us to find out via this newspaper.
Although there is no scientific evidence to prove that these phone masts are detrimental to health, there has been a recent incident in Warwickshire. An O2 phone mast was removed after significant pressure from the local community due to the increased incidence of cancer and other illnesses within 250m of the beam. Scientific evidence historically takes many years to be proven, as there has to be sufficient evidence to back your theory. Ten or twenty years down the line will be too late for our children and the surrounding community, many of whom by then may well be suffering health effects as a result.
The school is understandably upset about this and feels that we have been let down by both O2 and the local council. We have been in touch with all the relevant parties to register our objections and will be raising a petition for anyone in the local community to sign. The petition is available at the school and other public locations within Hensingham. We look forward to support from the local community and implore O2 to reconsider and for the Council to help us with this.
Robin LACEY, Head
Fiona McMINN, Chair of Governors
Hensingham Primary School
MP’s right to call for houses
SIR – In a recent statement the Copeland MP J Reed said that with 1300 people on the waiting list throughout Cumbria this government should be building council houses, even though it means borrowing to do this.
Not only would it be the right approach to the serious housing shortage, but also to help the unemployment situation in the building trade, which is practically at a stand still.
It’s only a pity more of the politicians don’t speak out on this global recession in the housing shortage as things could be started moving for the homeless people. Not everyone can afford to buy a house.
Duty of care for commuting MP
SIR – I am writing in responses to Brian Parnaby’s letter in The Whitehaven News of July 2 regarding Copeland MP Jamie Reed’s expenses – extracts which he quoted as printed in The Daily Telegraph – some of which were entirely wrong. It was heartening to read the editor’s note giving Mr Reed’s explanation because the general public need to feel confident that the editor of our local paper has a moral journalistic responsibility to its readers to check out statements from renowned critics like Brian Parnaby who often gets it wrong and who criticises almost all current aspects of life in Copeland.
We know that Jamie Reed, our MP, has a massive workload for this area and is bound to incur large expenses living so far from Westminster, regularly commuting, running two offices, employing local people all of which he has already explained. I would think that he works more than twice as hard as many MPs and is dedicated to his constituency. For example, he is currently attempting to secure a Duty of Care Bill through Parliament hoping to make it law for companies to exhaust the local labour market before looking further afield and recently opening a Commons debate for MPs to support Sellafield’s business needs.
The energy and effort by our MP is endless – we must support him as he is supporting this community to ensure a prosperous future.
And are we interested who Brian Parnaby might vote for? I think not!
Eileen WEIR (Ms)
Queen Street
Mayor Henry’s lack of gravitas
SIR – Since his inauguration as the latest Mayor of the Borough of Whitehaven, Mr Henry Wormstrup has seldom been photographed wearing: (a) his formal hat of Office; (b) a tie.
It would be nice if, occasionally at least, he assumed some gravitas for the Office of Mayor.
Praise heaped on Jamie Reed
SIR – I was reading the Energy Security and Non-Proliferation debate that took place in Westminster Hall on July 1 and was struck by a comment the Junior Energy Minister, David Kidney made about our local MP:
“I congratulate my honorary friend Mr Reed on choosing this important subject, and on his obvious commitment to his constituents and his constituency, which he has demonstrated in the debate. He has, once again, ably shown the breadth and depth of his knowledge of these difficult and important issues, and his constituents can truly be proud of him.”
What a stark contrast this shows between Jamie Reed’s reputation in Parliament and his reputation in the letters page of The Whitehaven News! Maybe we should learn to recognise a committed and effective MP when we see one. As recent events have shown, quite a lot of people in this country haven’t been so fortunate.
Low Moresby
Have respect for our dead
SIR – It is utterly disgraceful that one doctor can dictate what happens to dead people from Whitehaven and the surrounding areas. For their two days of post mortems they now intend to bustle the dead into a van and drive them up to Carlisle, like cattle. How insensitive! Have we no dignity in death now?
Remember, West Cumbrians, you will be footing the bill as the managers and pathologists will fabricate the truth to get what they want. Then they will hit you hard, via your pocket when the final bill comes in.
How can you managers and pathologists lie straight in your beds, knowing you are trying to deplete more services from the west?
You tried to remove children’s and maternity services to no avail – so now you’re aiming at the dead – how heartless.
As for Mr Crowe (July 2 issue) how insenstitive and disgusting to have no remorse for our dead. These bodies belong to someone. You obviously, Sir, have not had a good dose of death in your life. Many of us have lost parents, partners, siblings etc via illness, tragic accidents, murder or suicide. I have lost family and friends via most of these deaths. They are still loved and missed dreadfully.
Maybe you might feel differently when you receive a good dose of death. Then you will know how it feels.
So, come on Cumbrians, stand up to these heartless people, we have done it before, let’s keep all our services at the West Cumberland Hospital, including our dead.
Name and address supplied
Thank goodness for our hospital
SIR – On the subject of services at West Cumberland Hospital, my wife needed major surgery. The Cumberland Infirmary which we live six and a half miles from was too over run to do. If it were not for Mr Paul and his team at West Cumberland Hospital, she would have had to go to Morecambe.
I know many people from our locality who have gone to the WCH for surgery.
This haemorrhaging of services north continues. Then one day it could call for the closure of this hospital. It would be a very bad day for Cumbria as a whole if it does.
Raymond WELLS
Identifying the ID problems
SIR – No-one should be fooled by the announcement that the government ID card scheme is to become voluntary.
The card itself is just the useless bit of plastic that is the visible part of the scheme, and is the only part that will become voluntary. The truly intrusive part of the scheme, the National Identity Register, remains compulsory. This expensive scheme, that serves no purpose other than Government intrusion into our private lives, will go ahead.
Whenever we apply for or renew a ‘designated document’, which includes such everyday things as driving licence and passport, we will be required to provide details for storage on the National Identity Register.
At a time when reductions in public spending are being sought surely this should be near the top of the list for being abandoned. The money saved could, together with that saved from scrapping the trident upgrade, be used to properly fund a real Green New Deal (not the paltry Labour version that the New Economics Foundation was quick to criticise as only 0.6 per cent new green investment).
I would be interested to know how our local MPs voted on this issue.
Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Copeland
Bullgill, Maryport
Vicky’s vision on right track
SIR – On Sunday, July 5, Seascale officially opened their BMX site. It was opened by Copeland’s MP Jamie Reed and attended by the mayor and mayoress of Copeland and the leader of the council.
The day would not have been possible if Vicky Borrino over four years ago hadn’t realised this was a much-needed facility. Along with a group of teenagers and the police and the Parish Council a search for land and money started. With the help of Copeland and the Big Lottery land and funding were found. A BMX committee was formed and a contractor who builds competition tracks was employed.
Sunday was the culmination of all the hard work and extra funding from VT Nuclear Services, the police, the Parish Council, Sellafield, Neighbourhood Forum and other donations.
The day was a great success. I’m very proud of our youngsters who took part on the day and all the parents who turned up to support the event.
Once again, Seascale and surrounding villages, you proved what a great community you are.
Thanks to you all.
Seascale Parish Council
Parents pledge school support
SIR – The parents of Moresby Primary School write this letter in response to the recent Ofsted Report on our school, as reported in The Whitehaven News.
Most of us were quite shocked by the conclusion of the report as we believe Moresby Primary to be a good school which provides our children with a good academic education, wonderful social skills and a happy learning environment.
As your report touched on last week, there were several issues with the inspection, not least of which was it being performed in the middle of SATs week.
One of the reports few negative comments was that a Key Stage II lesson was not as effective as it could have been. We wonder how many lessons in SATs week are! Mrs Adams (Head Teacher) did not leave her class during their exams to speak to the inspector. Mrs Adams’ should be praised for this – the children come first. Unfortunately this did not leave Mrs Adams enough time with the inspector to clarify data.
The children leave Moresby Primary School as well rounded, confident individuals, ready for secondary education.
The school has had several children who started in Key Stage II who were struggling academically and they have flourished – the parents of these children are delighted with their progress. The teachers are available every day for us to talk to, and the school holds workshops to help parents help their children at home.
The report made many positive comments about the school. The parents are finding it hard to understand that with so many good comments why did the school receive a bad overall score?
Our school has made great progress in the past few years and is continuing to improve. When Ofsted return in a year’s time we hope their report will more clearly reflect the true strengths and abilities of our staff, governors and pupils — our school.
Parents of Moresby Primary School
Share your close encounter
Dear Sir, – I am an author and Founder of North West UFO Research, and am actively seeking reports from the international community regarding UFO sightings. If you know of any then please email them along to: reganclan@hotmail.com.
Please include as much detail as possible including time, date, exact location, weather conditions and any other witnesses present that are relevant to the UFO sighting.
Suitable written accounts may be included in a forthcoming UFO book currently being written by Pat.
Please also state if it is acceptable to use your name and personal details in your UFO report.
North West UFO Research


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