Letter: Untimely referendums

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Government's defeat on Thursday in the House of Lords gives it a chance to reconsider its proposed dates for the Scottish and Welsh referendums - 11 and 25 September.

These are both Thursdays, during school term. They would therefore require the closure of many Scottish and Welsh schools for use as polling stations, and throw an extra burden of childcare on parents, especially working mothers. This would be a very poor advertisement for a government committed to education and to the interests of women and families.

The referendums should be held on a weekend, or if this is impossible, during the school holidays. A general move to weekend voting, as is practised by most of our European partners, would end unnecessary disruption and cost to education throughout the United Kingdom.

RICHARD HELLER

London SW9

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