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Your letters on fireworks, the budget, the prison system and a Thought for the Week about Bonfire Night

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Fear and damage along with the delight

As it is firework season again I would like to point out that although they bring a lot of delight they also bring fear and environmental damage.

Bees become so disoriented they do not return to their hives. Birds and wild animals are so traumatised by the loud bangs that a lot die of fright or abandon their young as they run away in fear.

Debris from the fireworks is eaten by fish and other animals, often causing them to die.

Firework displays result in higher concentrations of air pollution, detrimental to human health as the fireworks produce heavy metal particles and toxins.

As they go off the metal salts release carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen which are greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

I have pet dogs and they are terrified of the noise. It is extremely distressing for them as they attempt to find somewhere to hide and cower in fear, as do 62% of dogs , including companion dogs, 54% of cats and 55% of horses.

Of course, it is not only animals that are affected. People who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other health conditions may also suffer from the noise.

In view of this I am surprised that the Royal British Legion are involved in the Fireworks at Springfields in Spalding.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Stella Moon

via email

John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon (52821910)
John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon (52821910)

Government does not care about pensioners

In the recent Autumn Budget what did the Chancellor say about the elderly? Nothing. What has the budget done for the elderly? Nothing. What is this government doing for the elderly? Nothing.

The UK’s largest campaign group for pensioners says the Autumn Budget dismally fails our oldest and most vulnerable, who face a bitter winter of rising prices.

The National Pensioners’ Convention condemns Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget speech for not outlining measures to help retired people who rely on the state pension to pay for higher heating and food bills.

Mr Sunak also made no mention of his earlier decision to suspend the Triple Lock, ditching the element of annual wage rises which would have seen state pensions rise by 8%.

Indeed, next April’s state pension rise of 3.1% will in no way make up for rising costs or the loss of its real term value over the previous decades.

Jan Shortt, general secretary of the National Pensioners’ Convention said: “This budget shamefully does absolutely nothing for our oldest and most vulnerable who will struggle to cope with a bleak winter of prices rising faster than their meagre incomes.”

The Chancellor was so busy giving tax cuts to the banks that he managed to avoid mentioning his undermining of the Pensions Triple Lock.

Social care is on its knees, but money announced for Local Government – spread over the term of parliament – is nothing like the losses over the years and will not provide the help that is desperately needed right now.

The money raised by the increase in National Insurance – a tax hitting those on the lowest incomes – is clearly not all going to social care and will still not be enough to fix the crisis in the NHS.

Whilst we applaud the increase in the National Living Wage it is still below a decent income. We want to see working people’s earnings rise but this will widen the gap between earnings and pensions even further. Without Triple Lock, more pensioners will fall into poverty.

Rewarding work is commendable, but where does that leave the older generation who have already worked and contributed all their lives? Nowhere, thank you Mr Sunak.

“ The Chancellor keeps referring to Covid-19 for many of his decisions, yet he wilfully neglects those who suffered most during the pandemic, older people, tens of thousands of whom paid with their lives.

“ It begs the question, ‘what have the older generation done so wrong that this government consistently ignores and side-lines them?”

The 12.5million people in the UK aged 65 and above should now realise that this Tory government does not care about them.

Rodney Sadd

Union delegate for the South Holland & The Deepings CLP

Susie Cook'swonderful photo,taken at Surfleet Seas End (52822023)
Susie Cook'swonderful photo,taken at Surfleet Seas End (52822023)

We need housing for all prison leavers

The justice secretary Dominic Raab has announced his plan to solve the job crisis and cut reoffending rates in one fell swoop.

After 50 years working to help prison leavers have the best chance at a second chance in life, Nacro welcomes this announcement.

Reoffending costs the UK economy around £18billion a year, with only one in seven prison leavers finding work within the first six months of release, so it’s positive to see Mr Raab encouraging firms to invest in hiring those with criminal records and those due for release.

Having an income and a structure to life is key to helping people with their rehabilitation. Mr Raab’s intention to ensure that everyone leaving prison has ID and a bank account, alongside work skills or a job upon release, is very welcome, but there is one key omission.

Around 1,000 people are released from prison directly into homelessness every month. Without a safe and secure home, despite recent welcome measures to support prison leavers, we are simply setting people up to fail.

Rehabilitation is a delicate web. Each individual strand is there to support prison leavers.

We know everyone leaving prison needs somewhere to live, work, ID, a bank account, access to health services, and positive community links and relationships to change their lives. When one strand is missing, we risk people falling through.

Mr Raab’s focus on rehabilitation is a good start.Now he needs to turn these plans into a reality and expand his vision to include housing for everyone leaving prison.

Campbell Robb

Nacro chief executive

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: The Gunpowder Plot

Whizz! Bang! Boom! – dogs barking – cats missing! We still have all that to look forward to.

On November 5, 1605, Londoners were encouraged to celebrate King James 1’s escape from assassination by lighting bonfires, provided that it was carefully done without any danger or disorder.

An Act of Parliament designated each November 5 as a day of thanksgiving for the deliverance of the King, and remained in force until 1859.

The assassins led by Guy Fawkes became convinced that unless the Protestant James 1 was removed, Catholics in England would be persecuted.

Guy Fawkes was born in 1570 during the reign of Elizabeth 1, in Stonegate, York. He was the second of four children born to Edward Fawkes, a proctor and an advocate of the consistory court at York, and his wife, Edith.

Guy’s parents were regular communicants of the Church of England. Guy’s mothers’ family were recusant Catholics and his cousin Richard Cowling became a Jesuit priest. In 1579 when Guy was eight years old, his father died.

His mother remarried several years later to a Catholic, Denis Bainbridge, of Harrogate. Fawkes may have become a Catholic at this time. In October 1591 Fawkes sold the estate he had inherited from his father. He travelled to Spain and fought for Catholic Spain against the new Dutch Republic.

Fawkes became convinced that unless the Protestant James 1 was removed, Catholics in England would be persecuted. The conspirator’s plan was to kill the King and his government by blowing up, ‘the Parliament House with gunpowder.’

Fawkes was then planning to head for the continent and seek protection from his friends in Spain.

A few of the conspirators were concerned about fellow Catholics who would be present during the Opening of Parliament. They sent a letter warning them to stay away.

Suspicions were aroused, and the rest, is history.

Penny Adams

St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding

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