Readers' letters - August 3
Get cleaner and greener
As an opposition political activist, it’s not often I get to praise Wigan Council, but I’m delighted by the proposed change in approach to littering with the end of the G4S enforcement contract. It’s clear that the existing “get tough” policy wasn’t working – litter is still a problem and the courts find themselves dealing with unpaid fines set at disproportionate levels, so a change is much needed, with the current outsourced service more focused on G4S’s private profit than Wigan’s public spaces.
It’s also good to see the new approach brought more closely in line with the Council’s Deal, respecting residents as responsible citizens rather than treating them like errant schoolchildren.
But there’s another aspect of council policy that can be brought to bear in this area.
The council is well known for its support for recycling, but public litter bins are the missing link in its environmental policy: single, general waste bins with all their contents going to landfill hold our recycling rates back needlessly.
As part of the new approach, why not replace the old bins with new recycling bins? Joining up the two policies would increase recycling rates and further reduce the waste sent to landfill.
So come on, Wigan Council, let’s bring our waste and littering policies together so we can all work for a cleaner, greener Borough.
Chairman, Wigan and Leigh Green Party
Education not prohibition
I agree with the letter from EJ Tilley highlighting shocking abortion statistics (WEP August 2). More than eight million abortions since they were made legal in 1967 is a startling figure and work should be done to reduce rates of terminations.
This should be done by improving sex education in schools and beyond rather than through prohibition – banning abortions would just move the problem underground rather than eradicating it.
EJ Tilley slipped into his/her letter that abortions are procedures “to kill babies”. The term may have shades of truth as an abortion can be carried out at up to 24 weeks when a foetus will be well formed and will look like a baby.
But in my opinion to use such language is loaded with anti-abortion meaning and is unhelpful. Abortions are and always should be a basic right of any woman and will happen regardless of us branding it as baby killing or not.
The Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘baby’ is: A very young child, especially one newly or recently born. This definition does not cover pre-birth.
Turn to us for support
New research by the Trussell Trust brings home the desperate choices facing many families this summer.
The findings reveal a fifth of parents will skip a meal during the school holidays so their children can eat, with the charity estimating that as many as 1.5 million people could be forced to forgo food over the coming weeks.
As a charity fighting poverty in the UK, we hear from families who are struggling with decisions like these every single day. We urge anyone who is struggling to use our free Benefits Calculator, Grants Search and other help at Turn2us.org.uk.
Chief Executive, Turn2us