Letters - December 15, 2015

The use of plastic bags in Shoprite, co-inciding with the charging of 5p per bag in the UK
The use of plastic bags in Shoprite, co-inciding with the charging of 5p per bag in the UK
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Why do we object to paying so little?

This Autumn, a five pence mandatory charge was introduced for single use carrier bags. Its aim is to reduce the number of bags that end up in landfill or scattered around our streets and rivers killing wildlife and costing tax-payers millions of pounds to clean-up.

In 2014, as a conservative estimate, some seven billion bags were issued by supermarkets in England. These bags blight our towns and countryside. They are used on average for 30 minutes but can take hundreds of years to degrade.

Similar charges in Ireland and Wales have resulted in an 80 per cent reduction in the number of carrier bags issued. A number of European states have had similar results.

In the past month I have been told by employees in supermarkets and retail shops of the numerous complaints made by shoppers on being told they had to pay 5p for a carrier bag. Some beggar belief. Here is a small sample:

a) A customer was in the process of buying a computer for over £1,100. On being told he had to pay 5p for a bag, he objected strongly and walked out without the computer.

b) A lady refused to buy two dresses because of the bag charge.

c) An employee was abused in a well-known supermarket by an angry customer when told that by law 5p had to be added to the bill for a bag. The groceries were replaced and the customer walked out.

To object to paying 5p in a good cause is, frankly, absurd. Years ago we all had our own bags. Is it too much to ask that we do so again?

I wonder if there would be the same reaction if 5p was added to a pint of beer or a packet of cigarettes?

Dr Barry Clayton



Just another way to waste our money

So, local authority leaders want to make a Lancashire-wide entity to better run the region?

What utter, utter nonsense.

I live in an area with a parish council, so if this scheme went ahead, I’d be represented by a parish councillor, three borough councillors, a county councillor, an MP, and god-knows however many Euro MPs.

All of these bodies require administrating and come with costs attached. And are the very reason there is no more money to empty bins, mow the grass in parks, fill potholes in the streets – the very reason we pay our council tax in the first place.

If it goes ahead, the unified authority will be an utter waste of cash – most of which will head off towards East Lancashire anyway.

Name and address supplied


Our thoughts are with those in need

It is four years now this Christmas Eve since my husband died . He had had Alzheimers for eight years .

I miss him as much now as four years ago when he died, although realistically I had lost him those eight years before. Does one EVER come to terms with the loss of a partner ?

There is always some moment every day when I think of him and wish he were still here. May a cure be found soon for this dreadful disease and it will be beaten. I guess it is more poignant to me because of the time of the year. Thank God for my family and my friends.

To anyone who has lost a loved one in this way I say ‘There will be a cure one day’. We have to hope and pray for those who still suffer, either themselves, or their loved ones.

Joan Bithell

Lockwood Avenue



Lessons are not being learned

I have followed with some interest your articles on the recent tragic flooding and the horrendous impact it has had on local communities.

I find it ironic and bemusing, that some local authority planners are still, now, despite these events, considering large scale residential planning applications in areas deemed subject to flood warnings!

Over the past two weekends, I have seen areas marked as “under flood alert warning” on the internet, on graphics produced by the Environment Agency. The very same areas extended over land currently subject to large scale residential planning applications.

This is the same agency that removed its opposition to these plans some weeks ago on the grounds it did not consider there to be a flooding issue! It is no wonder people are dismayed and confused.

Name and address supplied


Let’s urge Commons to fight poverty

How mean can a Government get?

I have read and heard so much about this Government’s miserly, mean attitude against some of the most hard-working and the poverty stricken citizens of this rich country that I feel personally affected by their meanness even though I do not receive the benefit.

Benefits are a safety net to avoid absolute poverty, yet all those who chose to believe the Tories would “look after them” were well and truly conned.

One would hope our MPs would be fighting for his electorate instead of toadying up to Cameron and Osborne’s millionaire elite.

Come on Britain, time to object and get this reversed, write to your MP.

Paul Gardner

Address supplied