Statistics have been collected regarding injuries sustained by postmen who ride bicycles. Apparently due to the heavier nature of the post which they now deliver, there has been a 14% increase in minor injuries.
The suggestion is being made by a senior Royal Mail executive that postmen should no longer ride bicycles but should use vans or trolleys. I am certain that many postmen who deliver in urban areas would prefer to use their bicycles rather than having to get in and out of their van every few minutes. It may be the answer to combine the trolley and bicycle with a rickshaw type of contraption which I believe will keep the postmen fit and reduce CO2 emissions.
The harvest was going reasonably well until the rain arrived, which to be fair both farmers and gardeners have been praying for over the past two months! It would have been kinder if it had waited another week so most of the grain harvest could have been completed.
However, it is good to see the fields greening up and the grass growing at last, hopefully we may yet get a late crop of hay, and anything would be welcome. I am quite sure that the dairy farmers will be relieved that the maize crop is receiving some much needed moisture at last, it will hopefully give a much needed growth spurt and boost the yield.
The grain prices continue to rise with news coming from around the world of poor or even nonexistent harvests due to floods, or excessive heat waves as has occurred in Russia. As yields are low the extra value is badly needed by arable farmers. However the knock on effect for increased feed costs for pig and dairy farmers will not be welcome.
At the weekend it was announced that school milk for the under fives may be withdrawn as one of the government’s cost cutting exercises. This news would not be welcomed by dairy farmers who for years have been trying to persuade successive governments to reintroduce school milk to all school children.
I am not sure that this would have been a very smart move. Not only would it deprive many young children of a valuable source of nutrition, too many of whom live on an unhealthy diet of processed food and sugary drinks, but it also introduces them to the wholesome habit of drinking milk which will serve them well throughout their lives.
Added to this, at a time when the British dairy industry is struggling in some quarters to realise a decent farm gate price, I believe such a move by a government which wishes to support agriculture and the rural industries, would be a false economy.
Fortunately the Prime Minister has made a statement against this move; I hope it may now be considered appropriate to restore school milk to all children, the cancellation of which in the 1970s was one of Mrs Thatcher’s bad ideas.
David Cameron has announced that he is determined to target welfare benefit cheats. There are plenty of those, people who should be working but find it economically advantageous to live on ‘handouts’. They will now be given an incentive, be it carrot or stick, which will encourage them to seek work.
This is good news as we all know people who genuinely wish to work but have been prevented doing so as their income would be dramatically reduced. If a fairer system can be introduced which allows people to earn an income and continue to receive a top up, this must make sense.
I hope that while targeting those who decline work through sheer laziness and incompetence, ministers will also turn their attention to those who cheat the taxpayer through making bogus claims such as applying for Disabled Parking Badges.
It is a farce when perfectly healthy and active individuals apply for free parking concessions. If they are fit and able enough to walk normally and take part in sports activities it is a complete disgrace that they can persuade medical practitioners to sign documents stating nonexistent disabilities. Disabled facilities are meant for the genuinely disabled and very elderly. Unscrupulous cheats set a poor example to the young and are an utter disgrace; I hope those who are aware of this happening will report them to the authorities.
I was pleasantly surprised when I noted some weeks ago that the verges along the M23 and A23 had been cleared of much of the rubbish which I and many others had been moaning about. I am sure this was a coincidence as I am sure very few people bother to read my column, certainly not the authorities responsible for this task. However, if there is anyone out there who may be interested in the current state of these verges, although much improved, they could do with another clear up.
Carola Godman Law