From: Mrs Margaret A Shaw, Penistone Road, Kirkburton, Huddersfield.
YOUR page two headline ‘Adding fluoride to water could improve children’s dental health’ (The Yorkshire Post, March 26) is indeed very old news.
I am a retired dentist. I qualified in 1965 and spent some time working for the West Riding as a school dentist – or “gob doctor” – as the children called me. The state of the children’s teeth was pretty poor. One of my jobs was to travel round the various clinics with an anaesthetist doing “gas sessions”. One day in particular sticks in my memory – an all day session at Batley clinic when I extracted 184 teeth.
Then the authorities decided to fluoridate the water, and the results were dramatic – a huge drop in the number of children needing fillings and extractions.
By now, I had moved into general practice in Huddersfield. Yorkshire Water was privatised and they decided to stop fluoridating the water. I am not sure of the true facts but I believe it was to do with not having indemnity against possible side effects.
However, the outcome was that the children’s dental health worsened. Within 18 months, the results were very noticeable.
For me, as a dentist, the most stressful part of my job was when a young child was brought to see me with acute toothache. Probably this was their first visit to a dentist. The child would be frightened, in pain and in a strange place with strange people. And I had to do something to help the child without putting them off dentists for life. Not easy!
So, I am all for fluoridation.
BT’s national stranglehold
From: Karl Sheridan, Selby Road, Holme on Spalding Moor.
THE Public Accounts Committee is quite right to criticise the Government’s rural broadband policy, and there is no doubt that BT has created a monopoly that only benefits BT and no one else apart from its shareholders (The Yorkshire Post, April 1).
Quite frankly this company, which we as taxpayers once owned, has formed a nationwide stranglehold that stifles any competition whatsoever, and that is because of the line rental charge. It’s no wonder BT can squander billions by buying sports contracts when it receives on average £16 a month from virtually every household in Britain regardless of the internet provider – and who has no choice but to rent the line to enable internet connection.
Regardless of one’s financial status, everyone is being coerced into having internet connection because every business, every bank, every financial institution and every part of the Government – national and local – is forcing people to use websites, whether it is seeking information, paying bills or seeking employment or benefits.
If the Government really wanted to promote competition, it should make the line rental free to all households, with the line-rental fee being split among all the other internet providers.
TV licence persecution
From: Martin D Stern, Hanover Gardens, Salford.
RC Curry has a point (The Yorkshire Post, March 31) that changing non-payment of television licence fees from a criminal offence into a matter of civil law may lead to it being ignored or left unpaid and written off.
However, under the present system those like myself who do not have a television are harassed by the Licensing Authority with menacing letters that it is a criminal offence not to have one, i.e. made to feel a criminal.
I would never wish to have a television in my home and resent receiving further demands every few years.
Sold short on Royal Mail
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield, East Yorkshire.
THE sale of the Royal Mail at a very advantageous price to the buyer just serves to show how out of touch our politicians are. Yet there is no way that Vince Cable is going to admit he was wrong and has cheated the British taxpayer out of millions of pounds (The Yorkshire Post, April 1).
Having served as an employee of local government, I have always wondered what prompts this kind of aberration of common sense. One has to ask why, but one can be equally sure there will be, at best, a fudge and – at worst – simply a refusal to explain.
From Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
AGAIN, it seems that the toffs who run our country from Westminster have lined the pockets of their City mates, by ripping off the country through their Royal Mail share dealings.
How are rich escaping tax?
From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.
THE other morning, I had a letter from the Inland Revenue telling me that they were changing my tax code to collect tax I had underpaid on my pension of £6.02 a month.
If they can sort out a little old pensioner like me, why can’t they sort out the multi-nationals who are paying virtually no tax on the billions they make in this country?