Town centre visit has to be worth the effort

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HIGH street shops will never be able to compete with the internet on their own, and therefore we need to think about why other city centres are still popular.

Why do we in Wigan still like going to the likes of Manchester and Liverpool on a Saturday?

The answer is museums, nice restaurants, independent shops, pedestrianised areas, cinemas, art galleries and a main focal point such as a square or plaza.

The town centre has to give people an experience that they can’t achieve sat at home on the internet, and which will make them get off Facebook and actually meet each other for a brew or pint in town. Reducing the duty on pub ale would be a good start...

John, via email

Time to move parliament north

If the Government is serious about saving taxpayers’ money, it must obviously tackle its own profligacy first.

It must take a long hard look at the location of its parliament in the extreme south east of this island, in the most expensive city.

Major reductions in staff, property and travel costs could be achieved by moving MPs to a base outside London.

This relocation could act as a catalyst for regeneration, while reducing carbon footprint, and reducing the losses to HMRC from MPs “flipping” their residences.

I suggest that the UK government moves its parliament to a site somewhere between the population centre of Great Britain (Leicestershire) and the geographical centre (Lancashire), with a preference for Liverpool, due to its ferry connections with Northern Ireland.

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Salt stats are a bit of a shaker

The British Dietetic Association would like to endorse the aims of Salt Awareness Week (March 26 to April 1)

The recommended daily salt intake is just 6g (less for children) but on average we consume 8.6g, which is about two teaspoons.

Some of the salt we consume comes from cooking and from what we add at the table but surprisingly, about 75% of our salt intake comes from salt already added to food we eat, such as meat products, ready meals, soups, pasta sauces, bread and some breakfast cereals.

Eating too much salt can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.

Having high blood pressure is a major risk factor for both heart disease and stroke.

By reducing your salt intake it is possible to reduce this risk, so it’s well worth doing.

A lot of everyday foods are not obviously salty, but do contain high amounts of ‘hidden salt’.

It’s easier to make healthier food choices if you are able to quickly check salt content on food labels.

Switching to a lower salt choice of a food, particularly if you eat it a lot or in large portions, can make a big difference to your daily salt intake.

Reducing your intake of salty foods is an important part of a healthy diet.

Steven Jenkins, BDA, via email