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Letters to the Lincolnshire Free Press editor – July 14, 2020




I was somewhat confused by Mr Walls’ letter of June 30.

In it, he claims that local MP, Sir John Hayes – who, by the way, has served as the minister responsible for counter-terrorism – during which time he introduced the Prevent Duty to counter the recruitment of terrorists, set up the National Cyber Security Centre and skilfully guided (against the odds) critical legislation through the House of Commons – presents outdated solutions.

Mr Walls then goes on to list a number of very thoughtful and reasonable proposals designed to keep British citizens safe.

So far so good.

The only trouble is that, not only has Sir John already vocally supported and, in some cases, designed the very proposals Mr Walls suggests. He’s been actively doing so for years!

Indeed, whilst almost everyone was embracing the ‘liberty’ and ‘privacy’ of the ‘dark web’, John Hayes warned that it presented real and meaningful threats to security and would reduce the civility of discourse. He took the lead and saw the future.

Mr Walls also ignores the excellent local MP’s outstanding work in guiding the landmark Investigatory Powers Act through Parliament, for which he won plaudits from across the political spectrum.

Similarly, did Mr Walls miss the part of John Hayes’ article in which he calls for bold and decisive action against global technology corporates? He must surely have missed Mr Hayes’ repeated calls – in both the House of Commons and in this paper – for a tax on big tech earnings which could then be used to revitalise and rejuvenate British high streets.

Rather than merely copying the local MP’s proposals and then, with bitter irony, complain of inaction, perhaps Mr Walls should give John Hayes the credit he deserves..

Andrew Livsey

via email

John Elson's Lincolnshire Free Press cartoon (38366442)
John Elson's Lincolnshire Free Press cartoon (38366442)

Keeping kids safe during the pandemic

Thousands of children are in danger of being left behind if their needs are not met during the coronavirus crisis.

The pandemic has meant that vulnerable children and young people are increasingly hidden from support services. But with the help of a £7m package of support from the Department for Education, Barnardo’s is bringing together a coalition of national and local charities to identify and support those most at risk.

Barnardo’s is proud to be managing the See, Hear, Respond response centre. Through our telephone referral service, we will refer any concerns about a vulnerable child raised to the local partner agency best-placed to help.

Support will include an online hub of information, online counselling and therapy, face-to-face support for those most affected and at risk. There is also help for children and young people to reintegrate back into school.

The new service will see the collective of charities working alongside other community-based organisations, local authorities, schools, colleges, police forces and healthcare professionals.

The programme will focus on reaching out to children around the country who are experiencing negative impacts on their health and wellbeing, as well as those at risk of harm.

Helplines are open from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday; 10am-6pm at weekends. Call 0800 1577015 to make a referral or go to barnardos.org.uk/see-hear-respond to find out more.

Steve Oversby

Barnardo’s Regional Director



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