Spalding Guardian letters: Thursday, June 27, 2019
Our MP has worked with all parties
John Tippler rightly compliments Sir John Hayes – perhaps the best constituency MP in the country, by the way – for his stance on defending children against the zealots that want to change their sex.
Mr Tippler also praises John Hayes for standing against those trying to distort history because they are ashamed of our nation’s past.
Yet, Mr Tippler can’t see that it is the left-wing intelligentsia that are driving all such nonsense. That’s where the sense of his letter ends. For if he had studied Sir John’s political career with more care, he would know that, on numerous occasions locally he has worked with all parties and none to defend local people – from the campaign to save Deepings Library to his efforts to secure the best health care for the people of Spalding and protect them from the potential congestion that would be caused by the Western Outer Loop road.
John Hayes has worked closely with political opponents as well as friends in Parliament too– his popularity amongst Labour MPs is well known – both because of his record in Government when he made a point of informing opposition parties fully and embracing the ideas of others.
Recently, he has collaborated with Labour MP, Chris Bryant to highlight the needs of those affected by brain injury and with Labour MP, Carolyne Harris to protect the poorest from the indignity of being unable to afford a funeral for children they have lost.
Mr Tippler fails to appreciate that being a conviction politician – as John Hayes certainly is, is far from incompatible with respect for others and a willingness to listen and learn from them, as the excellent MP from South Holland and the Deepings does so often.
Police need to keep us informed
Parish councils have been informed that Lincolnshire Police will no longer send PCSOs to parish meetings due to resourcing issues.
While I accept that it is not necessary for an officer to visit, it is vitally important that parishes are kept up to date with issues within their parish which at present does not happen.
I raised this at the last meeting of South Holland District Council’s Performance Monitoring Panel. Parishes are almost forgotten - we even struggle to get replies to emails.
However, listening to the report from an SHDC officer at the PMP meeting about all the initiatives and dialogue that they have with the police in and around Spalding, I had to make it very clear that this is far removed from the service and information received at parish level.
All we have heard from Lincolnshire County Council and the police for years is how under funded they are in comparison to other counties.
This may be true but begs the question: what are our elected MPs, executive county and district members actually doing to resolve this imbalance.
For the past 20 years this has been going on. Surely they should have managed to improve the situation in this time? But all residents get is another rise in council tax and reduction of services.
Coun David Wilkinson
We need to stay in EU to rescue our planet
Further to my earlier letter entitled “Brexit and Toxic Air” (Spalding Guardian, 20 Jun), I’ve now had a chance to watch the second and third episodes of the powerful BBC 1 series “War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita”.
If you haven’t already watched all three episodes, I strongly recommend them. This is an inspirational series that highlights actionable ways in which we can all help to avoid environmental pollution and irreversible global warming.
Two issues struck me in Episode 2 in particular. First, Hugh showed that plastics, if they degrade, don’t degrade harmlessly but into ever smaller pieces, dubbed “microplastics”.
These microscopic particles have now been found everywhere in the world, from deep in Artic sea ice to the depths of our oceans.
But single use plastics are not just a threat to our oceans and marine life. They’re a threat to us humans too. As Hugh explains, microplastic fibres are everywhere in the air we breathe and are now small enough to lodge in the alveoli in our lungs. For instance, over 2 billion invisible microplastic fibres fall on the Square Mile of the City of London every day, every year. Hugh also installed microplastic sampling units in two domestic homes and discovered the ubiquitous presence of invisible fibres small enough to get into the alveoli in our lungs in every room, including children’s bedrooms.
Second, Anita investigated the burgeoning problem of wet wipes. Personally, I don’t use wet wipes, but, apparently, the UK is currently the world’s second largest market for wet wipes, using and discarding over 11 billion wipes per annum.
The fundamental problem, though, is that over 90% of wet wipes contain plastic, typically at levels greater than 80%.
Personally, I confess I had absolutely no idea that wet wipes are effectively the fastest growing category of ‘single use plastics’ globally. In my defence, I doubt many other people knew this fact previously, as none of the people interviewed on the programme knew it.
Also, critically, Anita discovered that manufacturers are currently not required to mention this fact on their packaging – surprise, surprise.
Indeed, if you watch Episode 2, you’ll see that all the major manufacturers selling wet wipes in the UK are desperate for you NOT to know this fact.
Fortunately, there’s an exciting ‘silver lining’ to this issue, in that we and our friends in Europe have already spotted this issue and incorporated the requirement for the labelling of plastic content in wet wipes in our recent EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (i.e. set of market regulations) approved by the UK on 5 May 19.
This recent set of regulations – along with loads of other benefits – means the plastic content of wet wipes will have to be shown on packaging by early next year.
Moreover, this new set of market regulations will deliver huge reductions in CO2 emissions and environmental damage, plus massive savings for consumers too.
Also, these additional benefits will come on top of the massive benefits for our planet delivered by our earlier, collective Lightweight Plastic Carrier Bags regulations in 2015.