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War Memorial

Great idea

Madam - As a former resident of Stonehaven who’s roots are deep in the Mearns may I comment on the possible illumination of the Blackhill War Memorial? The memorial was designed to represent unfinished lives. Lives cut down in their prime of youth, youngsters really, who never had the chance to blood. What would these eighteen year olds, twenty and thirty year olds thought about the proposed illumination of the memorial erected in their memories? I think they would say yes, it’s a great idea! Why not consult their successors? Stonehaven’s present day youth for their opinions? Yours etc,.

Eddie Valentine

Marykirk

animal testing

Cruelty Free International

Madam- Readers may be shocked to learn that in 2014, 3.87 million experiments were completed on animals in Great Britain.

The experiments carried out included toxicity (poisoning) tests in which animals are force fed, forced to inhale or injected with drugs and chemicals to see what dose will sicken or kill them. Other experiments can involve irradiation; distress caused from severe water deprivation; inescapable electric shocks; surgery to implant electrodes in brains or recording devices in bodies and surgery to deliberately damage or even remove parts of the animal’s brain. Shockingly, during 2014, there was an increase in some toxicity tests, such as the cruel skin irritation/skin corrosion tests using rabbits, for which there are valid accepted alternatives to using animals. This makes a mockery of the claims made by the Home Office and research industry that animals are only used when absolutely necessary. It is unacceptable that animals continue to suffer even when tests are, no longer required by international regulations or alternatives are available.

The UK should be leading the way in reducing animal testing, yet we remain one of the world’s largest users of animals in experiments. Cruelty Free International will continue to work towards ending this appalling suffering taking place in our laboratories. For more information on Cruelty Free International and our work, please visit: www.crueltyfreeinternational.org

Yours etc.,

Michelle Thew

Chief Executive

Cruelty Free International

16a Crane Grove

London

info@crueltyfreeinternational.org

fastlink

Suffocating local burns and water courses

Madam- It appears that the the Fast link contractors are allowed to suffocate the insect life out of our local burns and water courses.

Our beautiful Muchalls burn that runs clear except in spate has now for months run muddy sometimes thicker than others, but it now has a fine dust on the sides and rocks. In itself, mud is not toxic but this is subsoil and it is constant and I fear that it will kill of the insect life and eventually the trout.

If this was Farm or Forestry work this would not be allowed so is it because the AWPR is estimated to bring 30 billion of benefits to the economy that it can continue for so long? This is not the only burn affected - I expect that it is every one on the route. I even saw the Crynoch running into the Dee in this state will this effect the fresh water mussels? Hope it is brought under control soon. Yours etc.,

John Fraser Muchalls

via email

drugs bill

Off-patent drugs bill

Madam- On November 6, MPs will have the chance to support an important piece of legislation that could benefit hundreds of thousands of patients across the UK. The Off-patent Drugs Bill would improve access to low cost, effective treatments for a range of conditions – from breast cancer to multiple sclerosis – and I would urge our local MP to support it.

The Bill would ensure that drugs that have fallen out of patent, but have since proved effective for clinical uses outside of their original licence, are routinely available on the NHS. With these drugs often being very-low cost, it makes economic as well as clinical sense for them to be more widely available.

Backed by the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now, along with a host of other charities including Prostate Cancer UK, Alzhiemer’s Society and Bloodwise, the Bill needs 100 MPs to vote in favour to take it to the next stage. With just days left until the vote, more work needs to be done to secure the parliamentary support it needs to succeed.

Time is running out, so as well as calling on our MP to back this Bill that would help hundreds of thousands of patients, I would ask others to join me and add their support to the campaign by visiting breastcancernow.org/unlockdrugs

Yours etc.,

Ms Christine Ralph

Christmas croft

Banff

AB45 3HS

get walking

Winter blues

Madam- For those who find winter a depressing time, my advice would be to get walking. Walking has many benefits for our health but less frequently discussed is how it helps us remain positive and happy. In fact, walking has been shown to reduce the risk of developing depression by 20 per cent.

Walking for just part of the journey to work can significantly boost our happiness levels, which is especially important during the winter months when many of us get up, travel in the dark and can find it hard to incorporate activity into the day. It stimulates endorphins, which help to improve sleep quality and reduce feelings of stress.

Walking is free, accessible and easy to build into everyday life. Research suggests that active people are 30 per cent less likely to feel distressed and 30 per cent more likely to experience enhanced levels of wellbeing.

Yours etc.,

Tompion Platt,

Head of Policy and Research at Living Streets

4th Floor,

Universal House,

88-94 Wentworth Street,

London E1 7SA

newspapers’ role

Reuniting old shipmates

Madam– This is a big thank-you to local newspapers across the UK which printed a letter of mine recently, explaining that the best way for those who have served in the Royal Navy to find their old shipmates, was to get in touch with their old Ship’s Association and attend one of the reunions.

Well, thanks to you, the response has been terrific, at the moment I have over 60 Royal Navy Ship’s Association Reunions listed, complete with the first point of contact. (This alone could be an old shipmate!)

If any ex Royal Navy reader missed the first letter, drop me an email mike.crowe1@btinternet.com or royalnavyreunions@gmail.com with brief details of your service and who you are looking for and from which ship, and I will send the latest list through, along with the latest monthly news sheet full of messages.

Thank you, local newspapers. Indeed, if you want attention and action, write to “Letters to the Editor”.

I wonder if you know just how much you are read! – Yours, etc.,

Mike Crowe

Isle of Wight

(by email)