10th Aug, 2020

This week's Bromsgrove and Droitwich Standard letters......

Droitwich Editorial 3rd Jul, 2020 Updated: 3rd Jul, 2020

‘Why were local Public Health workers not used to test and trace?’

AMONG the many aspects of this Government’s handling of the Covid 19 pandemic which will require independent scrutiny once it is over is the way local authorities appear to have been systematically by-passed in favour of private companies.

Worcestershire County Council, in common with all similar authorities, employs a significant number of staff in its Public Health Service.

They are experienced in acting to detect and combat risks to public health – indeed, that is part of their purpose.

In the recent BBC documentary/drama on ‘The Salisbury Poisonings’ we had a timely reminder of the excellent work such professionals undertake, often under stressful circumstances.

Why then did the Government not immediately mobilise these workers to set up locality-based test, trace and isolate systems at the start of the outbreak of Covid-19 when it was clear from other countries this was a serious risk to health.

Instead, after spending millions belatedly outsourcing set-ups of test centres and teams to companies such as Deloitte and Serco, it was not until well into May local authorities were asked to form regional planning groups to support localised test and trace efforts.

This is surely a clear example of incompetence, which has contributed to the high death rate in Worcestershire and other areas across the country.

Beyond this, it seems to stem from an ideological fixation with preferring private, profit-making companies to democratically accountable public services.

Any review of the pandemic needs to take a close look at both the effectiveness and the cost of the Government’s approach in this case.

It was a slight to many dedicated and hard-working Public Health staff not to recognise their skills and commitment.

It is hoped a Covid 19 Management Review, when it comes, will emphasise this.

Mary Campbell

Mid Worcestershire Labour Party

 

Free parking is best way to support High Street

I STRONGLY suggest to get more shoppers into Bromsgrove to help support the High Street they continue to not charge for parking for the next six months.

Thus will increase footfall and encourage local residents to shop in the independent stores.

Sarah White

 

EU leaving date is law so there’s no need for a Brextension

IT’S A PITY Susanne Beech (letters, June 26) remains unable to accept the result of the EU Referendum of June 23, 2016, because legislation passed by a majority in Parliament renders it illegal for the UK to remain in the EU beyond December 31.

On June 3, the Cabinet Office issued a statement outlining the date was now enshrined in primary legislation and it remains Government policy.

Since then, face to face negotiation has resumed and while the terms of our departure may yet change, the date of our departure is now settled.

Marie Howard

Bromsgrove

 

Three-tier system was not supported during schools reopening

I UNDERSTAND schools had to follow Goverment guidelines but more should have been done to allow for local variations due to the three-tier system.

There is no point in year six being back in Bromsgrove as they are not a transitioning year.

Middle schools are only allowing their year eight pupils back for two days.

Better than nothing but not enough.

Marion Holdsworth

 

Many children are struggling with no school to go to

I CANNOT speak from experience as both of my children are still out of school, however I can share my experience that children on extended non-attendance are struggling to maintain structure and progress – particularly one moving into GCSE years in September.

My husband and I continue to work, full-time from home and have found the lack of consistency and feedback for these students extremely testing and quite honestly disappointing.

Therese

 

Chlorine kills Covid so why can’t swimming pools reopen

MYSELF and my daughter use the pool for Aqua every day.

My daughter suffers with brain damage caused by a vaccine given in childhood and doing Aqua every day helped with her coordination and mental health having the social side of meeting with other people

I myself suffer with a back injury and the exercise helps relieve the pain

The gym being shut meant my daughter suffered and is still suffering mental anguish.

It is very hard to explain to her why the gym was shut

If pubs restaurants, and other establishments are allowed to reopen I see no reason why the gym remains shut.

The pool itself kills or germs with the chemicals that are used.

The members of the gym I know would adhere to instructions – all they want is to get back their fitness not to be stupid and do things that would endanger other members and themselves

Our gym is and all ways has been a matter of cleanliness with excellent cleaning staff.

I urge the Government to think again and reopen gyms at the earliest opportunity

Olivia Price MBE

 

Bromsgrove Blue Cross’ thanks vets for cash help

THE BLUE Cross animal rehoming centre in Catshill, Bromsgrove would like to offer very grateful thanks to Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull for awarding our centre £2,600 towards helping the homeless and abandoned pets in our care.

We also wanted to thank their veterinary teams around the country who nominated us for this award.

Even at the best of times we rely on the generosity of animal lovers to support our work by donating so this is especially welcome during this difficult time.

Neil Edwards

Centre Manager

Bromsgrove Blue Cross

 

EDITOR’S COMMENT

THE £330,000 lottery grant, which will now see Stoke Prior’s 12th century St Michael’s and All Angels’ Church restored to its former glory, is fantastic news.

But the cash was only available thanks to the tireless efforts of the Friends group’s four years of tenacious fund-raising so the building would qualify.

As well as preserving the history for future generations, the accessibility improvements will also put it back where it belongs as a community hub for everyone to use.

We welcome your letters…..

What pressing issues do you feel need addressing in Bromsgrove, Droitwich Rubery and South Birmingham? Send us your views to editor@droitwichstandard.co.uk

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