Consider the 5G questions

The steps and cave revealed on East Beach following the storms. Picture: Ed Dolphin

The steps and cave revealed on East Beach following the storms. Picture: Ed Dolphin - Credit: Archant

Readers have been writing to the Sidmouth Herald. Here is a selection of their letters.

Asbestos, cigarettes, lead in petrol, aerosol propellant and thalidomide arrived as heroes and departed as villains, sometimes a generation later, leaving tragedy and wreckage in their wake.

Enter the latest hero … 5G.

This requires a new infrastructure and range of microwave frequencies.

If the rushed, global roll out of (too new to have been safety tested) 5G, goes ahead, our exposure to microwave radiation will be at a completely new order of magnitude.

All day. Every day. No choice. (In the UK we can still refuse smart meters).

Microwaves are WHO listed Class 2b (possible) carcinogens like mercury and lead.

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The effects of radiation are cumulative.

Why the excessive haste?

Where's the info and debate?

Is it true many trees will be cut down to enable connectivity between the huge number of new mini masts?

Is there any connection between microwaves and the increase in child depression, suicide, heart attacks, cancers?

Is it really safe to store/hold a microwave emitter (our smart phones etc) next to our vital organs, genitals, brains, unborn babies?

What effect do microwaves have on nature?

"Follow the money". There are fortunes to be made from this new technology. Hero or villain? The money or your life? Time will tell …

Or, we can say 'stop' now, learn from the past and go forward differently.

I understand fibre optic cables underground, and between us and our radiation sources, would be a comparatively safe, win-win solution.

Deborah Main



Points-based plan will hit care sector

Jillian Downer states that, post Brexit, 'we will welcome immigrants with the skills we need'.

So I imagine she welcomes the new points-based immigration system recently unveiled by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel.

However, I wonder if Ms Downer is aware that the adult social care sector has expressed real concern at the impact of this system on our ability to recruit sufficient workers in this vital area?

The average annual wage for a full-time worker in adult social care is around £19,000, and the minimum salary requirement under the new scheme is £25,600.

By the end of this parliament, there will be an estimated shortage of some 200,000 workers in adult social care, which already relies heavily on migrant workers from EU and non-EU countries - even more from the latter than the former.

Government under-funding for adult social care, and the consequential care crisis, together with the new points-based immigration system, makes the future seem increasingly gloomy for this sector, and for all those who depend, or will come to depend on it - ie most of us.

Immigrants with the caring skills that we clearly need may well find themselves barred from entry to the UK.

Sue Nicholson



Cultural rug is pulled from under youngsters

It's good news that young people will have easier access to emotional and mental health support (Herald, February 28), but why does this generation of youngsters need such access?

What has changed is the education system.

We never have needed more than five per cent of the working population educated to degree level, and there was nothing wrong with the old apprenticeship system which took 15-year-old entrants.

Apprentices had a day release and one evening a week attending college.

They met people with real life experience, had money in their pockets and gained marketable skills.

Too often nowadays, schools teach political correctness of speech and thought, that our nation's imperial past was shameful, that one's gender is a matter of choice, that traditional families are an anachronism and that capitalism is destroying the planet.

In short, the cultural rug is being pulled from under youngsters' feet, and it's a wonder that the majority nevertheless emerge as well-balanced citizens.

Ken Warren



Perhaps pay more to care workers

Very obviously in the social care sector, where the minimum wage is paid say of £9 per hour, no worker, even if they work a full 40-hour week for 48 weeks a year, equating to £17k total earnings, will meet the £23k level set by your government.

Well, why do the care providers not pay the workers more?

But doesn't the government control the level of grants to care homes in the first instance?

Probably too logical for the political class to appreciate?

Bernard Coleman



Where has Boris Johnson gone?

Has anyone spotted Boris Johnson lately?

Has he appeared in Wales, Shropshire or the North to show his compassion for the flood victims?

Has he locked himself again in a fridge?

Perhaps he has joined the army of the homeless and is sleeping in a wheely bin somewhere?

And it was only a few months ago that he popped up all the time (like Macavity) and all over the country, performing his daily stunt on TV, though not for the climate change debate and to face Andrew Neil.

Has he turned into a shy violet?

Has he been over-exposed?

And will he turn up for the EU trade talks or will he just walk away?

He's already said he won't abide by the terms of the general agreement he made with the EU before Christmas, but then who, from the Queen down, can believe a word he says?

So maybe he's lying doggo, realising that he's been rumbled!

Mike Temple



No real progress on cliff protection

Following storms Ciara and Dennis I am concerned about the gaping holes at Pennington Point and East Beach.

This has been long coming with increased devastating erosion now counted by the number of garden sheds collapsing into the sea. The revetment at Pennington Point has been breached and will lead to rapid collapse.

The priority is securing Pennington Point and East Beach not a Splash Wall that is proposed to secure a length of The Esplanade but do nothing for flooding from the gaping hole at the mouth of the river and East Beach.

I am aware that there are views about what needs to be done and in what order to access monies.

I am aware of debates about what needs to be done to raise monies; of which are the best plans; of Natural England and the Environment Agency being needed to agree before an agreement can be got; of Natural England and the Environment Agency said by some to be able to insist that the erosion of the cliffs cannot be prevented, as it will stop the natural shaping of the landscape; of the benefit of revetment (large bolders) along the whole of East Beach; whether revetment would be at least a medium term solution whilst monies for the preferred option are obtained; of strategies to prevent progress; of the lack of leadership and political commitment and determination.

I am also aware that there are a number of local people who have long been trying, with great determination, to resolve this issue, which has been happening 'in plain' sight for decades.

The point is that there has been no effective progress.

The town is open to flooding from the mouth of the river.

Too many obstacles have been 'crafted' and 'put in the way' and this continues.

Stephen Pemberton



Upsetting leaflets

Since when did selling funerals become like selling double-glazing?

Some funeral directors seem to think so, as they stuff unsolicited leaflets about their funerals through people's letterboxes.

My mother, who is 96, was very upset to receive one of these, as was I.

Could the funeral directors of Sidmouth please stop doing this?

Les Cotton



Dog walking in Sidmouth

The ones you see come in all sizes,

very small to very tall.

Some walk fast and others dawdle.

Especially those whose legs are short.

Some are fat and some are thin.

Some are strollers others trotters.

Tho' what I find so interesting

is all their different types of collars.

Long coats, short coats, in all colours.

Young 'uns, old 'uns, in-betweens.

On The Esplanade or pebbles

on the ends of leather leads.

There's coughers, barkers, some that wheeze

Called Sam and Billy, Jess and Rod.

In their numbers they have grown

The people now who walk their dogs.

Dick Sturch



Scotland left EU at the same time, didn't it?

There are many points I could debate in the letter from Jillian Downer (Feb 21) but will restrict myself to one.

Jillian suggests that 'if the strain is too great to accept living here, Scotland is available'.

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and therefore has also left the EU. (Or maybe Jillian knows something we don't.)

Julian Page

Newton Poppleford