The Guardian’s letters pages online.
‘Labour has a very short memory’ claims politician
I would like to return Coun Steve Holgate’s compliment of reading my letter (Guardian, June 29) with interest.
Unfortunately, I can’t as he demonstrates admirably the old (and by now tired) Labour selective memory syndrome.
Regarding the bail outs - Coun Holgate seems to conveniently forget the European Financial Stability Mechanism signed up to, until 2013, by the Labour Government in its dying days - the Coalition Government has ensured the UK will not be part of its replacement, the European Stability Mechanism.
His comments regarding India seem not to reference the Labour Government merrily handing billions to India in aid whilst India seemed to have sufficient spare money to support a space programme.
I am also amazed that the military campaign would be raised by a member of a party responsible for a war of questionable legality, waged in pursuit of imaginary weapons of mass destruction, and the campaign in Afghanistan.
On the ‘local level’ front, regarding the Landsbanki investment, I did, on June 27, ask one of Coun Holgate colleagues, who last raised this issue in the council chamber, for evidence of impropriety regarding the investment on the part of the council, the administration and the officers - to date the silence has been deafening.
Had Coun Holgate taken the trouble to check he would know that, at the time of the investments, the credit ratings of the bank met the council’s credit criteria.
Finally, with regard to the comments on cuts, perhaps had the previous government not sold off the nation’s gold at a 20 year low or wasted £3bn on benefit overpayment and £10m paid in tax credits to the dead, or left the nation with one of the largest budget deficits in the EU, then there would have been far less to implement.
Coun Alan Platt
Silver lining for new machines
Two headlines on the subject of parking in the Guardian (July 13) caught my attention.
One confirms that ‘free parking’ for council employees and councillors is costing us, the taxpayers, £65,000 a year.
I can only agree with the comment included in the article, that these passes should be restricted to use on the less popular parking areas and certainly NOT used on the Flat Iron or West Street car parks.
The second item is the installation of new ticket machines on the Flat Iron car park which will save us £19,000.
Which mystic on the council thought that figure up, and does it allow for the cost of these new devices?
If they had to install new machines, would it not have been more appropriate to go the whole hog and install a proper ‘pay on exit’ system?
As for the statement ‘staff will be on hand to help people get used to the new machines’, is this additional paid staff or parking wardens being diverted from their normal job?
Still, there is a small silver lining to the new system. It’s going to take the parking wardens longer to check each ticket against the vehicle registration, especially if the wind happens to turn the ticket to an awkward angle, (as so often happens in my car)!
St Michael’s Close
Restaurant has lift for disabled
Whilst Robert Kelly gave an excellent thumbs up in his ‘Qt Dining Out’ review of the Daisy Restaurant in Chorley town centre, there were three incorrect statements in his report.
Firstly, the staircase is not the only entrance into the first floor restaurant.
There IS a lift in the ground floor entrance with ample space for wheelchairs and prams so customers do not need to be put off.
Secondly, the telephone number printed in the paper was wrong. The correct number is 01257 265567. Thirdly, the Daisy does not close its doors as early as 6pm on a Sunday afternoon.
I’m glad Robert enjoyed his time at the Daisy with his mates but in these difficult times, businesses need all the help and promotion they can get, so, let’s at least get the basic facts correct.
If the reporter had realised these points, would the rating have been raised from a good 8.5 to a well deserved 10 out of 10?
A frequent visitor
Greenbelt must be protected
Further to Dr Isaac’s letter printed in the Guardian (July 13) about Hut Lane travellers, I agree with his comments entirely.
Greenbelt land needs to be protected.
It seems it is becoming common practice in our locality to breach the guidlines of our laws and planning system,
The conduct of the Hut Lane travellers is no comparison to the conduct of big firms like Delta Force Paintball who, for almost three years, have occupied the greenbelt site off Wigan Lane without the required planning permission.
Yes we need to protect greenbelt land, but we need the council to use the full powers of the law and stop pussy footing around.
Why can’t we share tickets?
Can someone please explain to me why I can’t pass on my unused part of the ticket to someone else if I pay a £1 for three hours parking in Chorley?
The space is paid for, whether I or someone else uses it!
Rats are a problem
I’m writing regarding the rat problem raised by Coun Julia Berry (Guardian, July 13).
Me and my partner go to All Seasons Leisure Centre (Active Nation) twice a week to the swimming pool and on most occasions we see rats running between the bushes between the leisure centre and Halfords.
This problem has been going on and getting worse for a long time as we reported it to the council last year.
Mr and Mrs Greenhalgh
Question marks over the case for closing down police custody suites
In reply to the article in last week’s newspaper (July 20), I find it difficult to believe that the Lancashire Constabulary have no real clear and logical reason for closing the custody cells at Leyland Police Station which have only recently been refurbished when colossal amounts were spent on upgrading it.
Now to close it and spend even more money to refurbish the cell block at Skelmersdale, previously neglected and threatened with closure, would appear totally illogical, and especially bearing in mind the placing of these centres.
The people of Lancashire pay for the Police through their taxes and they should answer to us.
The combined population of South Ribble and Chorley is nearly four times as big as Skelmersdale and Ormskirk, which is at the very edge of Lancashire.
Many other issues are involved, such as the greatly increased travelling time, which means even more Chorley Police will be taken off the streets to take prisoners to the three proposed surviving custodial suites.
Local justice by local magistrates, who are familiar with the area, for those in custody would end for local people if Chorley loses this facility. It doesn’t make sense that the police are also ‘making fewer arrests’.
The information released means it is essential that Lancashire Constabulary and the Lancashire Police Authority explains and fully justifies this pattern of expenditure, and the basis upon which their decision to close the cells at South Ribble has been made.
Police cut backs threat to local justice
I read with some amazement, in the local papers (July 20), that the local police chief is recommending closure of the magistrates court in Chorley, as well as the closure of some police stations in the local villages and that his police officers don’t arrest as many criminals!
Is his next suggestion going to be that he turns the top two floors of the police station over to `breakfast and bed’, so that the criminals can have something to eat and a rest after a `hard nights work’.
What is happening to local justice for local people – if he can’t supply that, perhaps someone else can?
Coun Ken Ball
Why I stand by my comments on cuts
I would like to respond to the letter published in the Guardian (July 13) written by Mr McGhee following the debate between Coun Platt and myself about the government’s spending priorities.
Mr McGhee states that I should stick to local politics until I get my facts right.
I would like to inform Mr McGhee that I did get my facts right in relation to pointing out that the current government took the decision to contribute to the Irish bailout.
As a non-Euro country, the UK was not obliged to contribute but decided to join in because, of “the close trading relationship with Dublin”
This fact was reported in the Daily Telegragh, November 22 2010, which can still be found on-line.
It would be fair to say that I don’t infer it to be the Con/Dems policy decision, but I have proved it.
I am sure many Tory eurosceptic MP’s such as John Redwood, who criticised the decision when it was taken, would confirm this if Mr McGhee cared to contact them.
Mr McGhee confused this decision with the one taken by Alistair Darling in May 2010 regarding European bailout funds which the Irish government did not seek in this case, rather it was a decision taken by the Eurozone countries to prop up the Euro.
Mr McGhee states that the money given to India and Pakistan was part of an agreed national budget which was included in the previous Labour government’s plans.
Again he is incorrect as the figures I refer to related to additional funding agreed, once again, by the present government.
I note that Mr McGhee makes no mention of the money being spent on the Libyan conflict or the money lost by Chorley Conservative Council in the Icelandic banks, which I referred to in my original letter.
The one point with which I fully agree with Mr McGhee is that, I too, like factual accuracy.
Therefore I stand by the facts I presented in my letter and suggest that before Mr McGhee attempts to lecture me again, he gets his facts right.
Coun Steve Holgate
Early retirement costs us all
On the front page of the Guardian (July 20) you reported that Lancashire Constabulary are seeking to save £42 million over the next four years.
Then, on page four you report that yet another police officer is retiring at just 48 years of age.
The Guardian regularly features public sector workers retiring in their late forties or early fifties.
Perhaps there might be a link between the supposed cash shortage and all these people retiring so early?
Rat problem there for all to see
I would like to thank the marvellous patients and staff at Withnell Health Centre for helping me to raise a whopping £450 for St Catherine’s Hospice.
Their generosity in supporting the annual Moonlight Walk by sponsorship is much appreciated.
With their help perhaps I can do even better next year
Dr Margaret France
Withnell Health Centre
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