Your letters - July 18

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Why does the EU want to ban these products?

I'M not surprised that the fox took a fancy to Mrs. Keeling's bar of coal tar soap (Observer Mailbag, July 4) for, like mice, they enjoy the fat content.

But, while a creosote or coal tar soaked string did, indeed, deter pests, thanks to our Lords and Masters in our nanny European Union Super-state, there is no longer any coal tar in our coal tar soap, merely a coal tar fragrance, which serves no purpose other than to pump up the price.

Coal and, indeed, wood distilates such as creosote, coal tar, carbolic acid, turpentine and tea-tree oil are all much prized, natural, medicines, antiseptics, insecticides and fungicides; they will kill MSRA! So, why then does the EU want to ban them?

Quite simply, although they know they work, as they don't know what other chemicals they contain, they can't legislate for them.

Besides which, the EU deems them to be carcinogenic and so they must be banned from public use - except of course by fee-paying, licence-holders!

But, if they are so carcinogenic, why doesn't the EU ban other proven, life-threateneing carcinogenic substance - namely cigarettes and alcohol - the treatment of which is a huge drain on our MRSA-riddled National Health Service?

Could it be that they yield the huge tax revenue needed to pay our MPs and MEPs' exotic, expenses-paid life-styles and gold plated pensions?

Cynical? What me? Nah! roll on the Revolution.


Bixley Lane


Strange there's no takers

I READ with interest the report (Rye Observer, June 27) concerning the state of public toilets in Rye and the shortage of local people willing and able to tackle this problem.

My view is that this has always been the responsibility of Rother District Council but, with members of Democracy for Rye clamouring for the right to take local matters into their own hands, is it not remarkable that not one of their councillors has come forward to sort out the public loos?

I know that Rye Town Council was unable to run the Tourist Information Office and unwilling to run the town car parks but, if those councillors keen to get more involved can't even clean the toilets, what hope is there for them to run anything else?



West Sussex

Encourage cyclists, but not at expense of pedestrians

I AM, and always have been, a keen cyclist and I am totally in favour of encouraging drivers/passengers out of their cars and on to their cycles.

The positive points are:

a) saving money on fuel, especially on short trips where cars are not necessary;

b) cutting down on Co2 emissions;

c) getting people fit and healthy.

But, with the (hopefully) growing number of cyclists on our roads, there comes other issues that need to be addressed.

Recently, a young girl was killed by a reckless adult cyclist.

It is time that laws relating to cycles and cyclists are enforced and up-dated, especially in respect of insurance.

Other than in respect of young children, which is inexplicably still dictated by the size of the wheels (a law made at a time when adult cycles had standard 26"/27" diameter wheels), cyclists are (still) prohibited by law to cycle on footpaths or in pedestrian precincts.

Now, the police not only condone such common breaches of the law, but openly encourage it.

Their argument is that cyclists would be safer on the pavement than on the road and pedestrians' safety would not be compromised.

How many readers, I wonder, especially mothers with young children, have been forced to pin themselves against the wall or a shop window or, worse still, step into the road, to avoid a collision?

Cyclists should comply with that law and the police should enforce it robustly or they could be in breach of a duty of care to the public.

The law should require that all cyclists wear protective helmets.

Cyclists of 12 years and above should be required, by law, to be covered for third party insurance.

Cycles should reach minimum safety requirements, such as serviceable brakes and lights, subject to on-the-spot inspections.

I understand now that there are moves afoot to allow cyclists to enter one-way streets from the wrong direction to make the journey shorter. If that isn't asking for trouble, what is?

There was a time in Hastings when the promenade was for pedestrians only, hence the name.

Now there is a cycle lane where parents with young children and dogs have to be ever mindful of the furiously ridden cycles.

Yes, encourage cyclists but not at the expense of pedestrians.


Bowlings Corner, Sedlescombe

Grateful for school support

WE WANT to express heartfelt thanks to teaching staff and support staff, past and present, from Glyne Gap School and the Glyne Gap faculty at Bexhill College.

Hastings and Rother are fortunate to have such a good local school for children and young adults with complex learning difficulties.

As parents we have found this school enormously supportive, even through challenging and difficult days when no approach seemed to work.

Our son started there aged 2 and now leaves as a strapping 19-year-old. Through the school's patient care and support he has already achieved much more than was thought possible at birth and we are so grateful that when the going got tough the school never gave up on him.

Dennis & Patricia Nolan

Marley Lane, Battle

Check for animal testing

WOULD the ladies who do the household shopping as well as buying toiletries, etc. think very very carefully before buying these items and check out the companies concerned.

It is sad to say that many companies test on animals and you really don't want me to paint a picture for you of what this involves!

One shopping guide I have found is really 'Ace' in its research into this horror.

This is the Nationwatch Compassionate Shopping Guide and it is simply full of all the information you need to shop in an animal-friendly way.

Their address is: Nationwatch, 14 Hewlett Road, Cheltenham, GL52 6AA; call 01242 252871 or www.Nationwatch.

It really opened my eyes to just how many companies test on animals and, thankfully, those who do not.


Parkwood, Iden