Letters and emails on April 13

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The Guardian’s letters pages online

Dear Editor,

Is the council able to do anything about the deteriorating sight of our roadsides which are fast disappearing under a pile of rubbish, particularly around the meat packing factory on the A6 and the nearby motorway slip roads?

The lay-by opposite the abattoir is overflowing with rubbish and only a couple of weeks ago.

I had to cross the road to avoid a lorry driver who was stood at the side of his cab, in the middle of the path and urinating into the hedge!

I would like to think that if a few bins were placed in this lay-by then maybe the motorists who stop there would use them.

Another grot spot is the lane running round the back of B&Q.

How anyone can blantantly throw rubbish out of their cars is beyond me, no matter how small, even a cigarette end.

Name supplied, Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley

Are councillors on pensions?

Dear Editor,

Further to the excellent report in last week’s Guardian regarding expenses payments made to Chorley councillors I am now wondering whether or not any of the people highlighted in it are also members of the Local Government Pension Scheme as well.

If they are, not only are they enjoying the benefits of their expenses now but will also continue to prosper at the council tax payers expense after they leave office.

The council should clarify this matter as soon as possible so that we all know just what’s what.

Richard Davies, The Asshawes, Heath Charnock

EDITOR’S NOTE: Chorley Council has confirmed that councillors were offered the opportunity to join the local government pension scheme but they vetoed this option.

Hospital won’t ignore mums

Dear Editor,

I read with some disdain and amazement the article you published on March 23 about the Clewlows and the palaver surrounding the birth of their latest child.

As an expectant mother, Mrs Clewlow would have been told to head for Royal Preston Hospital as soon as the contractions started to occur.

Birth is unpredictable and this is advice spoken to all expectant mothers.

As for the services being cut at Chorley, A&E are not about to stop taking in women who are banging on the doorway halfway through labour, and due to this fact, young James will not be the last baby to be born at Chorley hospital.

It’s OK being sentimental, but in this case the truth needs to be spoken.

The rule is - if you start having contractions, go to hospital, don’t try and be a crusader.

John Hiller, Princess Way, Euxton

Child safety fence is needed

Dear Editor,

The council looking at making conditions on Harbour Lane in Brinscall is good; something needs to be done.

It’s to be hoped they go further and sort out the lack of visibility for drivers turning right from Harbour Lane on to School Lane.

A child safety fence at the school instead of a view blocking a hedge would be a big improvement.

What’s stopping them?

Name and address supplied

Chorley has the E Factor!

Dear Editor,

I don’t know about Chorley having the ‘H’ factor but it certainly has the ‘E’ factor for entertainment with excellent shows and plays at CADOS and over recent weeks.

Many have been sell-outs. I must also mention the excellent night of music by Chorley and District Choral Society.

Well done to everyone.

A satisfied theatre-goer, Name and address supplied

Looking for Vespa fan John

Dear Editor,

During the early 1960s I was a member of Preston Vespa Club, during which time I was fortunate to film some of their activities which I have now on DVD.

I am trying to trace John Ramsbottom who was a member at the time or any of his close relatives the reason being that I can forward a copy of the DVD.

John worked for Leyland Motors as a draughtsman along with a colleague David Swales also within the last few years he was seen in Leyland by Dennis Derbyshire another member at the time.

I can be contacted by e-mail at BEPockett@talktalk.net or phone 01254760120.

Bryan Pockett, Address supplied

Setting the record straight

Dear Editor,

After reading the article in the Chorley Guardian, ‘Landmark A6 hedgerow will be allowed to remain’, on March 9, I feel I must explain that there is none of the residents involved in this dispute who are happy with the outcome of the planning application we received.

The way it was conducted was appalling. We were given a month to air our views but we hadn’t had the letter a week before the hedge, which hadn’t been on the application, had been cut down.

I was given two photos showing the one which was supposed to be taken out. The hedge they cut down near the shop car park wasn’t mentioned at all.

Whoever is responsible for the mistake, in my opinion, should be questioned for wasting not only our time, but the cost to the council for sending the letters.

Frustrated resident, Name and address supplied

Residents saw mess coming

Dear Editor,

Watching the workmen having to labour through the groundworks problems on the site for houses on Birchin Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, is a lesson to Chorley Council planners to listen to the local residents in future.

We told them this was awful land to attempt to build on but it was all no no avail.

The blame for all this must go right to the top - a CBE for chief executive Donna Hall? If all this was funny I might just bring myself to laugh.

Norman Wignall, Birchin Lane, Whittle-le-Woods

Unforgettable musical night

Dear Editor,

Another milestone? A new landmark? For whom?

The Guild Singers? Certainly,

Chorley music lovers? No doubt.

The cultural life of Chorley? It is to be hoped so!

Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ performed last Saturday evening in the Parish Church of St Laurence.

It was an unforgettable musical experience, from first note to last, a splendid performance for choir, for well-matched soloists Eleanor Leadbetter, Adrienne Murray, Paul Randall and Simon Davenport.

The excellent student orchestra - accurate strings, tonally secure, confident woodwind and brass and a trombone soloist in ‘Tuba Nerum’, unnamed but deserving a mention.

The young timpanist didn’t miss a beat and I half expect to see her at the Pearly Gates drumming us all in after the final ‘Dies Irae’ and Last Judgement.

Perhaps a few voices more in each section would have made for fairer competition with the youthful exuberance of the orchestra, but it mattered not.

The mighty ‘Rex Tremendae’, ‘Sanctus’ had the requisite biting attack, contrasting well with the gentler movements ‘Benedictus’ etc, to mention but a few.

In the earlier part of the concert we heard Haydn in unusually aggressive mood, but tempered with a gentler inner section in his ‘Insanae et Vanae Curae’...this was followed by Mozart’s ‘Flute Concerto’ K313, the soloist, a talented unassuming young flautist Vahum Salorian.

Full credit to all who took part and to Philip Davenport, tightly holding everything together, essential in so major a work.

A Saturday evening to remember, certainly.

Mr J B Hanavan, Carrington Road, Chorley

First past post vs alternative

Dear Editor,

MP Lorraine Fullbrook uses her fortnightly column (Leyland Guardian, April 6) to encourage us to vote on May 5 in the referendum to reform the electoral system – good.

But she goes on to argue for the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, now much discredited, and to deride the Alternative Vote (AV) system, which is the other choice we’ll be offered.

AV is no more complicated than FPTP.

Instead of ‘X’ against one candidate, voters just number candidates in the voter’s order of preference, 1, 2, 3, etc.

We can all do that very easily. All the rest is left to the electoral returning officer to manage.

If you want to vote just for one candidate, you put ‘1’ against his/her name and don’t number the rest – not much different from FPTP.

But if you want to number the other candidates in your order of preference AV lets you do so.

In local elections we have two or three councillors in each ward.

AV allows us to express a high preference for an active councillor and a low preference or no preference for a deadbea.

There’s one clear advantage to us, the voters, and one reason why the deadbeats are against the change.

Lorraine Fullbrook implies that FPTP is somehow fundamentally British – yet all three main parties use a preference system like AV to choose their leaders.

And that includes Lorraine’s Conservatives.

Most unions, associations and Hospital Trusts use AV. Are they all un-British?

FPTP means that if you vote for any other than the winning party, you are the loser and your vote doesn’t count for anything.

With AV you still only get one vote, like everyone else – what could be fairer or more equal than that?

But if your first preference doesn’t win, your vote can be transferred to your second preference, and so on.

That’s far fairer than FPTP.

FPTP is a plurality system – a candidate can ‘win’ by getting a few more votes than the next ‘runner’, but if there are other candidates, the ‘winner’ can get in on far less than a majority of the votes.

AV makes sure that a candidate can only win if s/he gets a clear majority of 50 per cent or more.

Lorraine says FPTP is used in lots of other countries – yes, the unsophisticated ones, including the USA.

Sophisticated politics (even Scotland) threw out FPTP long ago and use proportional systems.

In Britain we’ve always gone for majority rule.

When we just had two parties (roughly 1945-70), FPTP was a good way to choose between tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee. But that was then.

Now that we have more parties and are more sophisticated, we need voting rules that allow us to choose effectively between several parties and end up with MPs and councillors elected by a majority of voters.

A. Thomas, Moss Side, Leyland

My friend is no chocolate thief

Dear Editor,

I have just read the headline on the front page of the Leyland Guardian, April 6.

I was gobsmacked to read Linda Adamson was wrongly suspected of stealing a bar of chocolate.

How wrong can anyone be? Linda is such a well respected lady of Leyland.

I have known her since my school days and she is the kindest and most caring person I have ever met.

She must have been devastated. My heart goes out to her and everyone who knows Linda will feel the same as I do.

Mrs Sylvia Hutton (nee Watson), Address supplied

Smile - you’re still on camera

Dear Editor,

Speed cameras are in the news again. Oxfordshire announced that they were turning them off, then advertised the fact still further by placing bags over them saying, “Not in use”.

Surprisingly, speeds increased and there were more accidents!

At least here in Lancashire, we never seem to know which are working and which are not, so they still manage to generate revenue to add to the taxes we already pay.

I have seen devices in our area which check a vehicle’s speed, then display it, together with a grumpy or smiling face.

Where are they now?

They could make quite a difference to our main roads, including our ‘Ring road’ or ‘By-Pass’ as it is sometimes called, but ‘Racetrack’ is a more appropriate description!

I think that these are a much better speed deterrent than any camera, and isn’t it better to welcome people into our town with a smile, in keeping with the Council’s image?

Graham Archer, St. Michael’s Close

I will be voting ‘no’ to AV

Dear Editor,

As part of the local elections we are going to be asked to decide on another extremely important issue, namely the Alternative Vote Referendum.

Sadly the debate on this subject for some has degenerated into farce, name calling and ridiculous assumptions that anyone who votes NO is a Tory.

As a Labour supporter I will be saying NO to AV.

Andy Farrell, Leyland