Letters - October 5, 2019

Should there be compulsory vaccination of schoolchildren?
Should there be compulsory vaccination of schoolchildren?

Falling vaccination rates are disgrace

I don’t like compulsion and I’ve no great fondness for Matt Hancock, but I believe the Health and Social Care Secretary is right to consider compulsory vaccination of schoolchildren.

We cannot dismiss measles, mumps and rubella, plus others as childish illnesses.

All have potentially serious and long-lasting consequences.

Parents failing to have their children vaccinated puts other children at risk.

Surely this is not acceptable?

It amazes me that some people will believe half-witted anti-vaccination stories picked up on social media whilst refusing to accept proper assessments of the value of vaccination.

Falling vaccination rates are a national disgrace.

Roger Backhouse

via email


I will work to end rough sleeping

New ONS figures have revealed that a record 726 people died homeless last year, the highest year-to-year increase (22 per cent) since records began.

These figures are shameful in a country as rich as ours.

The continued rising numbers of homelessness is not inevitable. The number of people sleeping on our streets fell under the last Labour government but has risen since 2010 as a direct result of the Conservatives slashing investment for low-cost homes, cutting back housing benefit, reducing funding for homelessness services, and denying protection to private renters.

I’ve been out with all the homeless charities in our town and regularly meet and talk with homeless people on the streets. Many have a range of complex needs that force them onto the streets. They desperately need our help.

If elected as our MP I will work with a future Labour government to end rough sleeping within a Parliament and tackle the root causes of rising homelessness with more affordable homes and stronger rights for renters.

Chris Webb

Labour’s Candidate for Blackpool North & Cleveleys


Compulsory speed limiters

When things become critical, they need critical solutions to fix them.

To address falling rates of immunisation and a surge in diseases like measles, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is “looking very seriously” at making vaccinations compulsory for all children going to school in England.

Unvaccinated children were “putting other children at risk”, he said.

A far bigger risk to children’s health is air pollution.

Drivers who drive at excessive and inappropriate speeds exacerbate it.

Congestion - much of it caused by crashes - costs UK businesses some £8bn last year - an amount that could make the NHS far more efficient and healthy. In effect, gridlock causes bed-block.

An even bigger threat to children is climate change - if we don’t tackle it successfully, they don’t have a future.

If extreme weather becomes the norm, it’s possible that children born today won’t live to become grandparents.

If we can have compulsory immunisation to save lives, we should also have compulsory speed limiters for all, bar emergency motor vehicles, to save planet Earth - our home.

The UK is familiar with ‘Kill Your Speed Not a Child’. What it now needs is - ‘Kill Your Speed, Not the Planet - Speed Limits Are Maximum Not Minimum’.

Allan Ramsay

address supplied


Your views on private tuition

A team of researchers at Loughborough University are investigating the growth of private tuition.

Recent figures show that 13.5 per cent of school children in the North West use this at some point, but that this varies between different types of families.

The team will be exploring why families are turning to tuition, how they fit using one-to-one, online or group tuition into their week and what they think about it.

They are also interested in why some people do not use it.

Clare, the lead researcher, is looking for families from the North West area to give their views.

The project looks at both parents and young people in Years 10 to 13 at a state school.

Each person who takes part will receive a £25 gift voucher as a ‘thank-you’ for participating.

Clare, who has had a DBS check, would visit you at home to talk at a time that suited you. The research is funded by a charity called the Leverhulme Trust and has ethical clearance from Loughborough University.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Clare either by email (C.D.Rawdin@lboro.ac.uk) or phone (07384 344216).

The project also has a website that you can visit: https://tutoredchildhoods.wordpress.com/

Dr Clare Rawdin

Research associate

Tutored Childhoods Project