Turnout was appalling

I READ with interest your article “Labour wins by-election” (Oct 16).

Firstly I would like to congratulate Mrs Morgan on her win and hope she will do Winstanley proud however I was completely demoralized by the turnout of 19.6%. With six different candidates, weeks of campaigning, real local issues being talked about, and four schools closed so people could go vote only one in five bothered to do so. More than 80% of Winstanley’s population were either too disinterested or just lazy to spend 10 minutes of their time making their voices heard. Am I the only one coming to the conclusion that it is time that voting should no long be just a right and privilege of a British citizen but a requirement, with sanctions for those that don’t?

John Mather

Langholm Close

Winstanley

Look after loved ones

Increasing numbers of your readers will be taking on care of loved ones – over half will be juggling paid work with unpaid care for loved ones. In particular we are seeing a rise in the number of working families supporting a loved one with dementia.

They may not instantly identify themselves a ‘carer’. It might be they are helping Mum or Dad or an older relative with shopping, housework, medication or getting about. Help can start at a few hours a week, but need can also suddenly creep up and become difficult to manage, especially if families are living apart.

Care for an older loved often comes at peak career age. Without the right support, the strain of caring for an elderly loved one and working, often alongside raising children, can force employees with valuable experience and skill out of the workforce.

Carers UK’s research shows 2.3m people in the UK have given up work to. Businesses we are already working with tell the same story as the statistics – dementia care is a key issue for workforce retention, recruitment and resilience.

Through a survey launched today we will examine key issues and support needs for employees caring for a loved one with dementia and practical ways in which employers and other parties can help.

The surveys can be found at www.carersuk.org/dementiasurvey

Heléna Herklots

chief executive, Carers UK

Energy to exclude poor

I’m quite sure David Cameron and the grasping ‘Big Six’ energy companies will again be able to successfully buy the acquiesence of the wealthier populace with fixed rate offers and temporary price caps (to be introduced once the ‘Big Six’ have got their big hikes in first), but how about the poor beggars in no place to take advantage?

I am thinking of the many thousands of poorer people, maybe hundreds of thousands, stuck in poor and/or temporary housing and still struggling along with meters, either coin or pre-payment.

Of course, Cameron and co can safely let these people freeze, as they are confident that they’d never get their vote anyway.

Angry bloke,

Leyland

Frack facts are required

Only last week we heard David Cameron’s 74,000 job creation claim has plunged to one third of that level. It is no surprise people think fracking will bring jobs considering the vast amount of PR on this generated by Cuadrilla. There has never been a guarantee of any numbers for jobs for local people. And as yet there has been no information about negative effects and potential job losses in existing industries, particularly the tourism sector.

Lancashire County Coun Gina Dowding