Letters: 19/11/13

A packed promenade.
A packed promenade.

Letters from this week’s Visitor.

Summer events

On behalf of the Morecambe Carnival organising committee, I would like to express our thanks for all the support and encouragement which we have received from the residents of Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham for the return of Morecambe Carnival in 2014.

We are pleased to announce that the theme for the carnival has been chosen and will be ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’.

We are encouraging fancy dress participants as well as motorised and walking 
floats.

The number of float entries will have to be restricted and so we would encourage anyone who is considering entering a float to go to our website www.morecambecarnival.org and complete the entry form as soon as possible.

We still need plenty of volunteers to help in the run up to the carnival as well as on the day.

Anyone can register their interest to become involved by going onto the website. We will provide training, a rain poncho and a high visibility vest. The feeling of well-being is thrown in at no extra cost!

The bank holiday weekend of May 2 to 5 is going to be a bumper party weekend kicking off with The Visitor’s Sunshine Awards, including the Variety Festival in the Winter Gardens, Bay Radio’s 21st birthday celebrations and culminating with the new and improved Morecambe Carnival on Sunday afternoon and into the evening.

We are proud of our town and are going to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to join in our celebrations.

David Brayshaw

Chair, Morecambe Carnival Committee

Morecambe Road

Not £220k well spent

I have read somewhere that the redesign and construction of the road layout at the junction of Morecambe Road and Owen Road in Skerton cost us £220,000.

From others comments and my own occasional experience there is no way this can be considered an improvement to the traffic flow in the area.

If Lancashire County Council can inflict this sort of hassle upon local motorists for £220k, one dreads to think what havoc they’ll wreak with the millions available for the Northern Bypass route.

Gordon Arkwright

Thorpe Avenue

Torrisholme

Morecambe

Stamps go a long way

I am appealing for used postage stamps which help me raise funds which I then donate to the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Recycling used postage stamps is such an easy way to raise money for the charity and I am always in need of all types of postage stamps, including British, Foreign and Christmas stamps.

If you are able to help I would be grateful if you could cut the stamps from their envelopes (leaving a 1cm margin around the stamp) and send them to the address below.

Myrna Chave

PO Box 91

Virginia Water

Surrey GU25 9AR

stamps4gdftb@live.co.uk


Make your voice heard

It was sad to read your headline regarding the saving of St John’s Hospice, a facility that is an essential service for our area and one in which we really shouldn’t be relying on campaigns for public money by donation.

Like many, I have been involved in fundraising on a small scale and contributing to the hospice because we alll know about the wonderful work it does.

But whilst I do agree with Evelyn, and her story is moving and touching, the need for money should be coming directly from either local or central government.

I think most people would like to think a good portion of their taxes would meet costs like these.

Moonlight walks and making cakes are all well and good, great fun, but it will take months, most likely years, to raise and maintain the levels of support that are needed despite our best intentions and why should it?

Cancer is affecting one in three people at the moment and the medical view is that this will become one in two sooner than you think and eventually if we maintain lifestyles and attitudes towards the disease, in particular from governments and pharmaceutical companies, then it will affect us all.

In my view it should be at the heart of all NHS trust and government planning now it’s that serious – lifestyles have to change.

I speak as someone who was diagnosed with a poor prognosis for advanced bowel cancer, caught too late in June this year and something which also shocked my GP.

It’s life changing, frightening and, as daft as it sounds, you deal with it like a part-time job.

The level of care and support from friends, loved ones, family, Macmillan, St John’s, and the oncology department are so important to us and each should never have to worry about not being able to look after patients to the highest level of care, not for one minute.

Evelyn’s story typifies that and I’m sure that if we can make this a big priority then we can do something that willl help those with the disease as there is really no room for complacency in our lives anymore.

I have already had four and a half months chemotherapy. it’s not pleasant, but the care and support of the RLI oncology nurses is fantastic.

I have a weekly treatment and see so many people from different walks of life, we all have a common goal to fight the disease.

I really hope I can go on for years but that’s one of the mental fights with cancer, the not knowing, but when that day arrives I hope, too, that if appropriate, the hospice can give the highest possible care to me and support to my loved ones without worrying where the next penny is coming from.

At hospital, we chat, share experiences, discuss remedies and answers to side effects and just generally chat about life. Most try and be as upbeat as you can but reality can quickly kick in.

It needs all of us to petition our MPs to lobby government with this. As I said before, moonlight walks, jailbreaks and cake making are great fun for those who want to help but it’s never going to be enough.

The cost to the NHS of cancer was published as £16 billion per year this week and in some areas treatments arent even available, which is scandalous.

Thankfully, they are in this area and with extra cancer funding grants, specialist treatments are available for some cancers.

I fail to understand why care isn’t included in these grants and sums.

The Macmilllan and, particularly, the hospice teams do sterling work, have a much higher profile now and you only have to ask friends and families who have been affected how important they are.

It’s time for a change in government thinking. You may have noticed an escalation of cancer stories in the news and social media and it will only increase and rightly so. It’s a massive issue for us all.

A £50 billlion rail network to save 20 minutes journey times for those in London or a massive investment into cancer care treatment and support that includes funding directly to hospices and cancer charities? I know what my choice would be with or without the disease.

Lobby your MP now!

Sean O’Connor

Homfray Grove

Morecambe

Healthy turn at Salt Ayre

‘Leisure services expendable’, ‘City Council do not rule out closure of Salt Ayre sports centre’, ran under the heading of ‘Budget Savings’. Would the council think even harder about closing Salt Ayre if it were to be recategorised under ‘Health and Welfare Services’, and rechristened ‘Salt Ayre Preventative Medicine Centre’, or something along those lines?

While it’s true most punters visit Salt Ayre in their leisure time, the underlying motive of many is to get and remain fit and healthy. And of course, sporting injuries aside, fit and healthy people visit the doctor less frequently and spend less time in hospital than the unfit and healthy.

Places such as Salt Ayre save the NHS incalculable sums of money and free up access to an already overstretched health service for others .

Closing it might help the council temporarily balance its books but it would certainly cost the local health services dear.

It’s a cliché, but exercise really is the best medicine, just ask a health worker.

Richard Follows

Full address supplied