Stop the continental drift, Dave

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DAVID Cameron may only have published legislation on an EU referendum because of agitation by his own unruly backbenchers but, ultimately, it is absolutely right to give people a say on the UK remaining in the EU.

Indeed anyone in the North West under the age of 55 has never had a say on our place in Europe.

The EU is far from perfect.

All too often it serves the interests of business, rather than people and in some policy areas it holds power which should be held by local communities.

But, on balance, the EU is a positive force in our lives.

European legislation is vital in protecting workers’ rights, improving our environment and regulating our out of control banking sector.

It brings countries together to work on the issues that cross our borders and can’t be dealt with unilaterally. Recent research by Friends of the Earth shows us that without EU action we’d have dirtier beaches, more polluted rivers and even higher levels of harmful toxins in our air. 10% of our wildlife is now endangered - who knows what that figure might be without the EU?

Over the next 12 months I’ll be campaigning in the North West and making the case for a European Union that stands up for people’s rights and protects our environment.

The Green Party supports the right of the British people to vote in a referendum now, not at some far off date, to decide on our future in Europe.

But the time has now come for us to cut through the Europhobic rhetoric and have an adult debate about our place in the European


The Greens will argue for a Yes vote to stay in the European Union and to tackle major issues like Climate Change together, to secure a better future for all of us.

Peter Cranie,

European Candidate for the North West of England, Green Party

Saving limb and life

For those keen gardeners wanting to make most of the bank holiday weekend to get pruning their hedges and mowing their lawns, we’d like to urge a note of caution.

Every year the RSPCA receive calls about wild animals with distressing and often fatal garden injuries which would often be easily avoided if people checked for wildlife first.

Already this spring we have had reports of hedgehogs, fledglings and snakes caught in strimmers and in the past our wildlife centres have cared for a toad with its hind legs chopped off by a strimmer, a hedgehog burnt in pampas grass clearance, and a blackbird speared by a garden fork.

Unless care is taken there could be many more casualties this year. Quick checks for wild animals lurking in the grass or foliage could be all that is needed to save them losing a limb – or life.

Adam Grogan

RSPCA senior wildlife scientist

Old remedies would help now

It seems A&E departments in hospitals are currently at crisis point, struggling to cope with the large influx of patients.

Could this be explained by the fact old-fashioned remedies, such as using sodium bicarbonate for indigestion, or a hot water bottle to relieve back pain, are no longer being passed on to the younger generation by the elderly?

A lot of these elderly

people find themselves in rest and nursing homes so face-to-face conversation is being seen less and less resulting in these valuable, simple remedies being lost forever.

As television is in every home, this medium could be used to educate people to take care of themselves as far as they are able, using the simple remedies which were widely used 50 and 60 years ago.

Mrs J Geddes

address supplied