Letters and emails on May 4

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The Guardian’s letters pages online

Firefighters deserve our thanks for tackling blaze

Dear Editor,

I think a huge thanks you must be extended to the firefighters and the helicopter pilot who made numerous trips from the reservoir picking up water and flying into the heart of the fire dropping the water and returning to start again.

It was a huge effort especially as the conditions made flying difficult.

I have no doubt that these will be in action again before the summer is out – for one I thank them

Nik Birkin, Address supplied

Get involved in the community

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to the recent articles and letters regarding the pay and expenses of Chorley councillors.

My husband is a councillor for the borough and also a member of the executive cabinet.

He attends upwards of 30 meetings per month most of these for council meetings but also for several related organisations within the borough.

Many of these meetings take place throughout the day and into the evenings.

He works on behalf of the residents 52 weeks a year and never claims expenses. He is paid a nominal sum to cover phone bills etc.

When you compare this with the state pension I think you ought to take into account the fact that many of the councillors are of state pensionable age themselves and rather than stay at home, choose to involve themselves in the local community.

I think the councillors of all parties should be applauded for their work on behalf of the people of Chorley rather than criticised.

It may be that some of your readers would benefit from involving themselves in the community rather than criticising others who choose to do so.

Marie Walker, Address supplied

Not enough cash for teabag

Dear Editor,

I fully support the letter headlined ‘Pensioners v Councillors’ in the Guardian (April 27).

However, it is the MPs which we should be targeting and I have copied this letter to our local member.

This Government was elected on false promises of how they were going to help pensioners.

They have announced changes to pension payments, with the proviso that it will not apply to those already of pension age.

On top of that they have removed an element of the winter heating allowance.

Just how mean can they get? When it comes to pensions, both councillors and MPs would do well to remember that come the next election, it is us, as taxpayers, which fund their gold-plated retirements and there are an awful lot of us around.

Last year, when pensioners received a paltry increase of £2.40, I said it hardly bought a cup of coffee.

This year’s increase of £2 means we are down to a solitary tea bag which will have to be hung out to dry to make a second cup.

Just make sure that we leave enough room on the line to hang those responsible out to dry as well.

Graham Archer, St Michael’s Close, Chorley

Donna is breath of fresh air

Dear Editor,

I fully support Donna Hall, chief executive of Chorley Council.

Her work load has more than doubled, yet she still finds time to listen to problems people may have because she really cares about our town.

Yes, chief executives around the country are on high salaries, so we could have had one on the same money but without her unique qualities.

Believe me, I have had experience of former Chorley chief executives, and after them, she has been like a breath of fresh air, and I can only say how very lucky Chorley is.

Jose Hampson, Hampsons Toymaster, Market Street, Chorley

Council staff too protected

Dear Editor,

When a great many people within the borough of Chorley have to be content with the minimum wage and an average household income of below £40k per annum, I find it vulgar and distasteful that council officials should be paid the salaries and provided the perks quoted in the Guardian (April 20).

Having read the job description and person specification required of the chief executive I do not believe the skills and knowledge required are unique to (chief executive) Donna Hall.

They are attributes more plentiful than her employers might be aware.

I therefore question the value for money she provides when considering the current employment market. What does she do that someone paid half of her salary could not achieve? Nothing I believe.

I would like consideration to be made as to the possibility of putting out to tender the jobs of those council officials paid £100k+.

It is only right that they should be vulnerable to the same efficiency drives faced by other workers in all sectors, with such excess being open to greater examination.

I do not accept that these £100k+ council workers would necessarily receive such large reward within the cut and thrust of the local private sector.

These council employees need a reality check.

Stephen Cross, Chorley

Too slow on memorial work

Dear Editor,

I write with reference to the article in the Guardian on April 20 regarding Chorley Borough Council’s slow response to cleaning the war memorial in Astley Park.

It is a sad state when the chairman of the Chorley Branch of the Royal British Legion has to bleach the steps to avoid an accident because the council is reluctant to supply the funds to have it thoroughly cleaned.

It is time they showed more respect to our fallen soldiers.

Chorley Council’s chief executive agrees it needs cleaning so this project should be given top priority.

I am sure that if the council can afford to pay such over the top salaries to their directors they can find the £2,000 plus without problem to clean the memorial.

Barbara Green, Chorley Lane, Charnock Richard

Editor’s note: Work on cleaning the war memorial in Astley Park has now been completed by Chorley Council