Older magistrates | New year firework display | The Ashes | Hollywood, Worcestershire | Nasereth near Caernarfon

In describing the judicial retirement age as a “waste of talent” (Report, 1 January), Lady Hale recognises both the need to retain experienced judges given recruitment challenges and the fact that many people have much to offer beyond the age of 70. These arguments apply equally to the magistracy. There is a severe shortage of magistrates and, while recruiting more should be the priority, recruitment and training take time and so will not bear immediate fruit. Allowing magistrates to sit beyond the age of 70, in areas and jurisdictions where this is needed, is therefore the best way to address the current shortage.
John Bache
National chair, Magistrates Association

• I note that Roger Helmer objects to the use of the colours of the EU flag in the splendid London new year fireworks (Mayor’s pro-EU fireworks display leaves Brexiters feeling singed, 2 January). He asks whether Sadiq Khan would have flown the Argentinian flag during the Falklands war. Perhaps he could now let us know when exactly Britain declared war on Europe!
Elizabeth Brett
Welling, Kent

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