Readers' letters, August 20: mental health care and renewable energy
Patient services are being undermined
The treatment of disabled people doesn't improve. After the coalition's Long Rock Remploy scandal, now the MS Society has seen fit to stop hydrotherapy in West Cornwall.
This is of great benefit to MS sufferers. Part of the success of this treatment is in the regular sessions. Interrupting or stopping this regularity can undo all the good achieved over past months, even years. It may be that the hierarchy in London hasn't rumbled this yet.
London head office does not respond to my questions demanding to know why this has been stopped, even after three recorded delivery letters. The money given generously by local people presumably still sits in the bank. Much has been said in the media recently about criticism of high salaries paid to executives, only to receive the reply: "If you want the best people, you must pay high salaries." Is this the best they can come up with?
In my experience of MS committee work, one of the rolling factors has been that difficulties seem to arise because the MS Society is not run by people with MS.
I'll try another letter (another £1.70) and see what happens!
Carbis Bay, Cornwall
Final salvo fired in bovine TB debate
This will be my last letter on the subject of badgers and bovine tuberculosis.
My brother and I were brought up on the farm, as our late parents farmed in the Exmoor valley.
A recent letter from Dave Browning talked about dirty farmers and poor hygiene within dairy units. He must be looking in the wrong areas.
Dairy milking parlours have to be cleaned every day, twice a day, and the stainless steel tanks that hold the milk also have to be spotless. If not they will be inspected. No farmer knows when inspectors will call and if a farmer is found wanting the milk will not be collected.
I say to your correspondent Graham Forsyth, I don't care how long you have lived in the countryside, you are off the mark with your letter on June 3. You do not know what you are talking about. When a farmer has TB in his herd, he is not allowed to buy cattle in or sell cattle out. Agricultural benefits would not keep you in petrol for a year. Why don't you try to get up at 5am and milk 200 cows, then come back and do it again, and get home around 7pm.
From this point onwards I will no longer read your letters as they are guess work.
The TV and film stars in the Western Daily Press on Thursday, August 15, most likely know nothing about badgers or TB in cattle; they just jump on the bandwagon started by the Queen guitar player. As for the RSPCA telling people to find the cull areas and make as much noise as possible; that will just scare the badgers and they will never return to their homes. I thought the RSPCA were meant to look after wildlife.
In the case where a huntsman was found guilty of offences contrary to the Hunting Act, the cost of the case funded by the RSPCA was £500,000. I know several people who put money into their coffers, but will not do so any more because of this one case.
Alternative energy sources are crucial
Wherever you stand – for or against, on wind farms, tidal lagoons, wave power, solar energy, fracking, nuclear or fossil fuels, even rubbish incinerating generators, we all know that we need a secure, sustainable energy supply to keep prices affordable, stable and provide for our ongoing needs.
In my view, it would be completely foolish to keep all our eggs in one basket and insane to rely on sources of energy from beyond our shores where we have no control over prices or continuity of supply.
In truth we all know that a balanced diverse portfolio of all these methods of power generation is required.
A great many words have been published and the arguments will continue but while wind power may, in time, generate ten per cent of our needs, it pays to note that 40 per cent of America's electricity last year came from fracking shale gas. Be careful what you wish for.
Politician unable to grasp the big issue
The shared laughter and support for a councillor's remark that he was not concerned about the benefit of a low carbon energy proposal because he would not be alive to see it, should be a deep concern for the rest of us. This happened at a Mendip District Council session.
Addressing climate change means making decisions now that create more possibility for the future, sometimes long after we are dead. This is more important than the arguments over the relative benefits of wind, wave, gas, nuclear or a range of different low carbon energy options. Most options that will work for us in the long term are not yet ready for large scale use; even tidal energy from the Severn will take 20 years to bring on stream. Other options may take longer.
Yet presumably we want to keep the lights on in that time and it is essential we do that in a low carbon way. Using currently available technology to fill the gaps is therefore an important part of the strategy for a future fit for our grandchildren.
Making that journey requires big and long term thinking by those tasked with making decisions. Our elected officials ask for the opportunity to be trusted with that sort of decision, so when they show themselves unable to think with a level of sophistication it is a problem for the rest of us.
Being committed to the long term is more than simply saying they want things to stay as they are so that their grandchildren can have the same as we have. That only works if the world around us stays the same, which I think is the mistake many of our councillors are tempted into making. It is the least likely of all scenarios we are presented with.
Making the best future for our children requires us to make changes now with a long term view and a decent understanding of what is coming our way. Effective decision makers are unlikely to see many of these benefits.
Sadly, we in Mendip do not yet have enough councillors making planning decisions with this understanding.
East Horrington, Wells, Somerset
Volunteers can play pivotal, sensitive role
Mind is desperately seeking volunteer advocates to assist clients in the Mendip area of Somerset.
If you have a mental health issue or experience emotional distress, it can be difficult to express your wishes and represent your own interests to people who provide your care and treatment. This may be due to feeling anxious, depressed or confused, or worried that you will not be understood or treated with respect. Volunteer advocates accompany, support and, where necessary speak on behalf of advocacy partners at meetings and appointments; as well as helping to write letters and make phone calls etc. If you could spare one day a week, and are interested in becoming an advocate, contact Chris Rugg on 01823 334906 or email chrisrugg@ mindtws.org.uk for an informal discussion.