Fear of a writ isn’t health and safety

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The issue of health and safety crops up in our letters page this week, with an expert commenting that isn’t to blame for John Hampden School pupils being banned from their playground

from Judith Hackitt, chair, Health and Safety Executive.

I was disappointed to read (Thame Gazette, May 6) that old excuse of ‘health and safety’ being used yet again as the reason why pupils at John Hampden Primary School are being denied the opportunity to use play equipment – not least because there is absolutely no truth in this.

Oxfordshire County Council made clear in its own statements that the reason it has chosen to restrict children’s access to climbing frames and other equipment is driven by unspecified insurance concerns.

Fears about being sued for liability are very different from occupational health and safety laws. The latter exist to prevent people from being killed, seriously injured or made ill by work activities.

The Health and Safety Executive wants to see children learn to deal with risk through play and adventure.

Bumps and scrapes in childhood are part of the process of learning to deal with hazards in life. Most parents will agree that this is just common sense.

Thanks for your election support

from Mary Stiles, address supplied

As one of the Labour Party candidates and agent for the other Labour Party candidates in Thame and Chinnor, I would like to thank all local residents who voted for us last Thursday.

As you will know by now, Adam Buckland was returned to Thame Town Council to continue representing Thame South residents so well. Simon Stone and Julie Marfleet in Chinnor and myself in Thame South may not have been elected, but we will ensure that issues raised with us on the doorstep will be passed to someone who can take them up on your behalf.

In Thame North there was not an election for town councillors, because there were eight candidates for the eight seats. This means that Andy Gunn and I are back on the town council after eight years.

In my campaign for a district council seat in Thame South I have been talking with hundreds of people on the doorstep, from last November right up to the evening before polling day.

It is so important for councillors to ask people their opinions – it is the only way of properly representing local residents. Adam will be taking up issues raised by Thame South residents and Andy and I will be coming round to houses in Thame North to introduce ourselves and find out what we can do for you, as two of the councillors representing you on Thame Town Council.

If you need to contact us before we arrive at your house, please do leave a message at Thame Town Hall and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Referendum bias?

from Owen Davies, address supplied

The inclusion of articles from our MP is a welcome innovation and I very much appreciate reading John Howell’s regular column, which gives us a perspective on wider national issues and a view from Westminster.

However, his column the week before the elections and referendum was all about the AV-NO campaign.

I was saddened that the Gazette did not also include an article on the AV-YES campaign so that readers could read both sides of the argument.

Should not responsible journalism ensure that both sides of a case are presented ?