Herald Opinion: Thank you for your response

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A vibrant letters section is seen as the lifeblood of any newspaper. It’s indicative of whether our stories are hitting the spot - whether we are making people sit up and think.

Thankfully - and thanks to you - the Herald is never short of readers’ opinions to share in our columns.

This week we have received a barrage of letters, the reason ... a bumper postbag in response to Malcolm Rasala’s letter last week.

“Hideously ugly”. “A monstrosity of a town”. “Squalid”. No, not some ailing northern industrial town or a dying community in the Welsh valleys, decimated by a pit closure. No, this was a letter writer’s description of Eastbourne.

We expected a reaction and you didn’t disappoint. In your dozens, you responded in defence of your beloved Eastbourne.

Some believed Mr Rasala’s words were tongue in cheek - “a clever ploy”, or a “spoof” to get a reaction, or that he was just “having a laugh”. “Calm down dear” was another’s advice.

Whatever, the subject stirred your passions. “If this is God’s waiting room, what a fabulous room it is”, wrote one. We heard of “the glee on children’s faces” and how “even the dogs’ tails wagging” showed how much our four-legged friends are in agreement about Eastbourne.

The Herald letters page was where “we feel free to vent our spleen”, said another. So thank you all.

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IPads for schoolkids? What next? Smartphones, or whatever follows in the age of electronic wizardry? Who knows, but life is evolving more quickly than ever and our schools need to be at the forefront of change if Britain’s best and brightest are to compete on the world stage.

So critics should think carefully before taking a swipe at the Eastbourne Academy for being the first in Sussex to hand out free iPads to all of its senior pupils.

Of course, there are big issues. Theft, for example, or loss of such an expensive piece of equipment. And dare we say it, the fear that pupils might be targeted.

Academy principal Keith Pailthorpe says his team have visited the only other two schools in the south of England to have given pupils iPads and have learned much from them. But the academy’s enthusiasm is undiminished.

It’s a bold move and bound to cause debate . . . in our letters pages, we suspect!