Letters, September 7: A parliament for the South, Syria missiles money and NFU membership
Chatterbox challenge to aid communication
Children across the South West have started school this week and will be looking forward to a wealth of experiences and making new friends. However, in some areas, upwards of 50 per cent of children start school with language which is under- developed for their age.
Without support, some of these children may never catch up. This affects their ability to learn and make friends. There is a "golden age" for learning to talk – before 5½ years of age – and it is vital that we use this to give young children the best start in life.
This is why I CAN, the children's communication charity, has launched our annual Chatterbox Challenge sing-along.
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Based on sounds, noises and even silence, Chatterbox Challenge highlights the difficulties faced by 1.2 million children in the UK with their speech, language and communication. Children are sponsored to perform in front of families and carers and the majority of events will be held in Chatterbox Challenge Week from February 10-16, 2014.
All the Chatterbox Challenge activities have been developed by I CAN speech and language therapists and teachers .
Families and early years settings in Somerset can register online today at www.chatterboxchallenge.org.uk for their free activity and fundraising pack. Together, we can help reach more children who may be left behind because of a difficulty communicating.
Chief executive, I CAN
What shall we do with money saved?
Now that it would appear that we will not be sending missiles to Syria, what shall we do with the money which has been saved by this decision? I believe the missiles alone cost £300,000 each plus the cost of those involved in firing them.
Warmley, South Gloucestershire
Finger points at deer as farm's link to TB
I have worked on farms where badgers were seen frequently. We had no TB reactors on most of these farms but one was always getting TB reactors. There were no badgers due to its location on a flood plain, bounded by the river seawall, below sea level at high tide. The main wild animals were roe deer. Why the TB on this particular farm then? Animal husbandry was very good and the stock was well looked after. The deer were introduced in 1998 by a wealthy landowner, who did not have high enough fences.
Is the answer to this farmer's TB problems the deer which can jump clear of the fence and get on his farm; remember, no badgers but plenty of deer – some of which were sickly and had to be put down by the vet, at the farmer's expense.
Relief milker, retired
We need parliament to speak up for us
Shaun Shute's letter, "Sack the Chancellor" (Western Daily Press, August 28) proposes sacking the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne because of his failures such as the ballooning national debt, up from £1.11 trillion to £1.193 trillion over the last year.
It is most unlikely that David Cameron will do as Shaun Shute advises. Even if Osborne does go, he will simply be replaced with a clone who will continue to hand over taxpayers' money to the bankers, so that they can keep paying themselves their huge bonuses, and to the Tories' friends in the City of London.
Under the Tory-led Government, the country is in the unhappy position of paying the bankers so that they can go on getting their bonuses without the inconvenience of having to attract money from savers. The Government's Funding for Lending scheme is a wonderful mechanism for doing this, which is in reality not a lending scheme, but a scheme for giving money to the banks which they don't lend. There are more mortgages available but they are targeted at the wealthy, helping them to remortgage.
Quantitative Easing (QE) is a great way of making the rich, particularly the bankers and most of the members of Cameron's Cabinet, richer by redistributing ordinary people's cash upwards. While the rest of society is being forced to tighten its collective belt, bankers are experiencing a bonanza of profits.
What was that about us all being in it together? Those at the top are coining it, while the rest of us are seeing our incomes fall. Savers watch their life savings shrink as their assets are seized by the Government and redistributed to the richest in society. We really do need a South Country parliament which will look after our interests; unlike the Westminster parliament which is overly close to the City of London.
All The South Party
Membership comes from family farms
As usual Graham Forsyth (Western Daily Press, August 14) has got his facts wrong.
Most of the members of the NFU in our area are from smaller, family farms who rely heavily on the NFU to put our case forward and who do know what they are talking about and who, without exception, are suffering greatly from the current bTB situation.
We care passionately about our livestock. We, personally, run a completely closed herd – to the uninitiated (like Forsyth) this means we do not buy in livestock, we breed our own and have done everything in our power to keep the badgers out. We are only asking for healthy livestock and healthy wildlife and without tackling both we are not going to get it.
Name and address supplied
Will cull provide desired result?
When the badgers are all dead
From the guns all filled with the lead
So to save the cattle's hide
When these badgers have all died
TB in cattle will it have disappeared
Or will it still be there as was feared
What then what will farmers say
Sorry we got it wrong this day
Fonthill-Bishop, Salisbury, Wiltshire