DLA loss will take away our independence

From: Paul Ambler, Rydall Terrace, Holbeck, Leeds.

Everyday blind and partially sighted people face extra costs as a direct result of living with sight loss. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) helps cover some of these expenses, so I am extremely concerned by the Government’s plans to replace it, spending 20 per cent less on a new benefit – Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The proposed test for PIP fails to recognise the challenges faced by people living with sight loss. This could leave thousands of people without support to do everyday things that people with sight take for granted.

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This could be paying for assistance with repairs or cleaning around the home, or food labelling systems to ensure they don’t eat food which has gone off. The Government said that PIP would be fair and support disabled people to remain independent, yet many blind and partially-sighted people will be excluded.

Some appliances that people without sight loss use cannot always be used by people like me with sight loss. I need equipment that can talk to me so I know what I am doing, ie the microwave, or I need to pay for a larger screened microwave, which I then need to be shown how to use.

The only issue with that is I can only do limited things with it then and once it has stopped working I need to start all over again.

I know that this may seem trivial to some people but I want to be independent, and with the changes to the Disability Living Allowance I don’t see how this will be possible.

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I have asked my MP to write to the Government raising these concerns on my behalf, because the help blind and partially sighted people get from DLA is not a luxury, it means that they can live independently.

If you have concerns about PIP, or would like to find out more, information and help to contact your MP is available from RNIB at www.rnib.org.uk/pip.

A cheerful sceptic writes

From: David F Chambers, Sladeburn Drive, Northallerton.

YOUR article “Throwing away milk is increasing emissions” (Yorkshire Post, May 14) at first glance suggests we are hastening the destruction of the planet by pouring milk down the kitchen sink, this being the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Apologise to Nanny.

I suspect that this statement is a product of the researcher’s PR department, and that the real thrust of the Edinburgh study is that consuming less milk, meat and poultry means less need of livestock and a consequent lessening of greenhouse gases produced by their digestive processes. This has been pointed out before and is not readily accepted by the consumer. I regard meat as essential, I do not pour milk down the sink unless it is distinctly on the turn.

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I would reply to Dr Reay, “You’re on a losing wicket. Get over it.”

Coincidentally, the article immediately preceding the above was about eating more fruit and veg. I was amused by the rather pompous statement, “Many are still finding it difficult to eat healthily.” As if we are all earnestly striving to force down that fifth portion each day.

On diet, the whole climate change thing, and many other topics, I prefer to be a cheerful sceptic rather than one who frets, but to each his own, and all those scientists, researchers and advisers may prove to be dead right all along.

Come in out of that sunshine at once. And you haven’t touched your spinach.

The power of greed

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From: Michael Bruton, chairman CPRE Cornwall, Port Navas, Falmouth, Cornwall.

MANY readers of the Yorkshire Post probably visit our beautiful county of Cornwall. We welcome 5,000,000 visitors here each year from around the world.

But are your readers aware of a growing threat to Cornwall’s once pristine beauty? Cornwall is being swamped with massive wind turbines. The applications are being nodded through by planning officers often without any environmental assessment, without photo montages to demonstrate their impact or any acoustic evidence.

Permission is being given randomly within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) or where they impact on AONBs. The evidence against wind turbines is overwhelming – they blight our countryside and coast, they impact on sleep patterns and are wholly ineffective in terms of renewable energy. But farmers and developers are attracted by the massive subsidies they receive – from taxpayers across the UK.

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Within the Cornwall Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) we are doing our best with local groups to stop their rash-like spread.

But both Tory-led Cornwall Council and the Coalition are keen to have them on every hill top and skyline in Cornwall.

Their spread has nothing to do with green energy and everything to do with greed energy. Just look at our websites www.cprecornwall.org.uk and www.cornwallprotect.org to see the evidence.

Privilege to carry torch

From John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

What an honour and a privilege it was to be chosen out of the whole population of these islands to carry one of the Olympic torches.

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It was also an honour to be presented with these trophies as a memento of such a unique occasion. It appears, however, that several of these have appeared on eBay to be sold by auction.

What a mercenary lot these people are who have gone down that road, and what a slap in the face for the organisers.

The vendors are now saying that the proceeds are going to charity. I don’t believe it. No wonder they are getting objectionable mail from people showing their disgust.