Readers' letters - February 16

What do you think of electric cars? Do you think they are better for the environment?
What do you think of electric cars? Do you think they are better for the environment?

Where will we get the extra energy for our electric cars?

If you have an electric car, you have to plug it into an electricity supply.
The electricity has to come from the power stations which will have to be massively increased in number to supply all the electricity needed for the millions of vehicles.
The power stations in this country use mainly coal and gas, and so they will pollute our atmosphere even more than our cars and buses do at the moment.
The only solution to this problem is to frack for gas or to build many small nuclear power stations throughout the country, as they do in France.
Paul Muller
Address supplied

Mental health and children

Your readers may be surprised to learn that a recent Barnardo’s survey has shown that half of all schoolchildren, aged from 12-16 years old, feel sad or anxious every week.
It is worrying that so many children are growing up feeling this way and that these feelings are intensified as they get older.
Nearly half of 12-year-olds in England surveyed felt sad or anxious at least once a week, with only two per cent in this age group saying they never had. By the age of 16, seven in ten report feeling sad or anxious at least once a week. Children cited the main causes of stress as being school, their future, problems at home, being bullied and their weight.
The results show the overwhelming majority of 12 to 16-year-olds in England think it would be helpful if they had a counsellor or another professional at their school to talk to when they’re feeling upset. The polling results also show that children like to speak to a range of people when they are feeling troubled and call into question the Government’s Mental Health Green Paper proposal to train just one senior lead in each school about mental health.
As the UK’s leading children’s charity, we provided specialised mental health and wellbeing support to 21,100 children, young people, parents and carers last year.
We want parents and carers to be confident in recognising if their children are unhappy and teachers and other professionals to be sufficiently trained, adequately resourced and available to support them.
Lynn Perry
Barnardo’s regional director

Paying price of EU referendum

I recently finished reading Oliver Letwin’s Hearts and Minds detailing his years as a Conservative party Member of Parliament.
The book is almost 300 pages long and hardly strays from his time in the Westminster bubble with party hacks and back door wheeling and dealing.
For Letwin, those outside this theatre don’t exist, which just about sums up the state of the Conservative Party at the moment.
We’ve come through the first full year since the EU referendum and no progress has been made.
The Tories are tearing each other apart and the rest of us pay the price as the government fails to tackle real issues such as stagnant wages, a housing crisis and chronic underfunding of the NHS and other public services. We deserve better.
John Appleyard
Address supplied

Civil servants’ Brexit jobs fear

I can understand civil servants wanting to sabotage Brexit. Many will not have a job if we leave the EU because there will be no diktats from Brussels to deal with.
For those who remember, we once had a Ministry of Agriculture before joining the EU. It was efficient and employed far fewer civil servants than Defra and its agencies do today.
Whitehall departments have mushroomed, along with new ones being formed, as a result of joining the EU.
Sheila Duke
via email