Good to hear you some time

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active -

RE South­port Vis­iter, Au­gust 10.

How can the re­cent GP pa­tients sur­vey find that 87% (of GP surg­eries in the area) be de­fined as “good” when it is im­pos­si­ble to get through to a med­i­cal cen­tre by tele­phone – and, if you later are suc­cess­ful, only to be told that all ap­point­ments have gone.

Dr Rob Caud­well (NHS South­port & Formby Clim­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group) should look again be­fore mak­ing the com­ments he has. David Smith South­port

IM­PACT CON­CERNS

FOL­LOW­ING the re­cent ar­ti­cle re­port­ing on the pro­posal for the cre­ation of a tidal la­goon in South­port I am writ­ing to ex­press my con­cerns on the im­pact this will have on the re­sort, the wildlife that re­lies on the coastal habi­tats, and the re­gional tourism that this wildlife gen­er­ates.

I draw your at­ten­tion to the Wildlife Trust re­sponse to the ap­proval of the Swansea de­vel­op­ment, which rec­om­mends: ‘‘The Swansea Bay Tidal La­goon should be seen as a test case for a new type of de­vel­op­ment, in which there is still un­cer­tainty about the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts, as much of the im­pact as­sess­ment work was based on mod­el­ling.

‘‘There­fore we want to see the pro­posed mit­i­ga­tion strictly ad­hered to, and we be­lieve that mon­i­tor­ing should be car­ried out over a num­ber of years be­fore any other la­goons are built.’’

This re­sponse also recog­nises the need for the right tech­nol­ogy in the right place and I have deep con­cerns that a the con­struc­tion of the pro­posed la­goon would rep­re­sent the ex­act op­po­site for South­port, par­tic­u­larly with ref­er­ence to the wildlife im­pact.

The RSPB re­sponse to the Swansea la­goon in­cluded con­cerns that la­goons are a “high-risk” tech­nol­ogy and could po­ten­tially cause the loss of habi­tats for wild­fowl and other birds, the “risk of mor­tal­ity to fish and other an­i­mals that pass through the tur­bines” and could in­ter­fere with the sed­i­ment flows through­out the es­tu­ary.

I be­lieve these con­cerns would be equally valid for South­port as part of the Rib­ble es­tu­ary wet­lands sys­tem; as such South­port forms part of one the most im­por­tant places for birdlife in Europe and is re­lied on by in­ter­na­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant numbers of ducks, geese, swans and wad­ing birds.

I am con­cerned that the changes to the tidal flow, avail­abil­ity of mud­flats/salt­marsh habi­tats for feed­ing, roost­ing and nest­ing will lead to the loss of numbers of species of birds that are al­ready en­dan­gered (RSPB red or am­ber sta­tus) in­clud­ing black tailed god­wit, pink footed goose, lap­wing, and wigeon.

Al­though the car­rot of the pro­duc­tion of new jobs and in­vest­ment were dan­gled I fear the re­al­ity would be that many of the jobs in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture would re­quire spe­cial­ist skills and would prob­a­bly be filled by ex­ist­ing staff of com­pa­nies who suc­cess­fully bid for the con­tracts.

Re­gard­ing in­vest­ment I un­der­stand that many in­vestors re­lated to the Swansea project are re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing to de­lay in­vest­ment. I have doubts how at­trac­tive this South­port pro­posal would be.

I hope that any pro­posal will be sub­ject to a full en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment, us­ing a num­ber of years’ data gath­ered from any la­goon cre­ated in Swansea, and with guid­ance from The Wildlife Trust and RSPB.

To close, I use words from an ar­ti­cle printed on page 28 of the same is­sue of your pa­per and hope that this coast con­tin­ues to be a haven for wildlife that it is today. He­len Rim­mer

Via email

EN­LIGHT­ENED AN­SWER

RE­GARD­ING the story about the Fish­er­man’s Cross­ing clo­sure, may I sug­gest a pos­si­ble so­lu­tion:

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