Letters - July 8, 2016

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EDUCATION

We need investment not ‘hurtful cuts’

On Tuesday, July 5, schools across the Fylde were closed or partially closed as teachers took industrial action to defend schools from the effects of funding cuts and the threat to teachers’ conditions and pay by the spread of privatisation of schools.

Government freezing of per pupil funding and the increased national insurance and pension contributions which schools have been forced to pay have resulted in cuts of five per cent, increasing to eight per cent over the next two years, resulting in increases in class sizes, subjects being cut from the curriculum and teachers and support staff being cut or not replaced.

The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has responded to this situation by saying “tough decisions have to be made”. However, the government clearly has the wrong priorities. The continued privatisation of schools through the academy programme will cost an estimated £1.3 billion, much of it to be spent on lawyers’ fees instead of our children’s education.

Teachers do not want to strike, but they feel they have no alternative in trying to persuade the government of the need for investment in education, rather than hurtful cuts.

Steve Nolan

Acting Secretary Fylde NUT

LIBRARIES

Politicians should be careful with our cash

David Cameron spent £10million of taxpayers’ money on a booklet in an abortive attempt to persuade the British people to vote remain in the referendum.

Lancashire County Council is planning to close 40 Lancashire libraries, reducing the total from 74 to 34. These closures include both Cleveleys and Thornton libraries, leaving the town without a library. The Lancashire library cuts will save a total of £7million, less than David Cameron’s booklet. Five museum closures will include Fleetwood Museum.

What is more important, library services or government propaganda? Is the education policy now to deny children access to books and learn about their town through museums?

When David Cameron ordered the remain leaflet, I suppose he never even thought about the library and museum staff he could have saved from redundancy and the residents denied access to local libraries. The Prime Minister has fallen on his sword, though unlike library staff he has a second job as an MP!

Politicians should consider the wider consequences on ordinary people of playing politics with taxpayers’ cash.

Roy Hopwood

Prospective UKIP candidate in Cleveleys West and Fleetwood West in the Lancashire County Council elections

ENVIRONMENT

Dog owners are flouting the law

I visit my parents’ grave every two weeks and without fail I see dog owners flouting the ‘Dogs on a lead’ policy. I know there is new dog restriction signage on the main gate, but most dog walkers use the two pedestrian entrances by the Baby Garden and Moor Park Avenue, where there are no signs at all.

I challenged one dog owner whose dog was running freely among and on top of graves and was just given a ‘mind your own (expletive) business’ response.

I have yet to see any dog owner whose dog is flouting these regulations being challenged, never mind fined which the main gate sign states.

If there are no such similar signs at the pedestrian entrances, then a dog owner who allows his/her dog to run free within the grounds has any easy ‘sorry didn’t know, no signs’ answer.

Please may I ask why no signs were placed at these two entrances, to at least notify any dog walker of the laws if flouted?

Norman Agnew

Runcorn Avenue

Bispham

REFERENDUM

Don’t blame Brexit for all our woes

Tim Gavell maintains that output in the construction industry has suffered due to Brexit . This is something I would question.

In 2008/2009 output in the construction industry fell by 17.9 per cent long before the referendum was thought of and since then there has always been peaks and troughs in output. Looking at the records over the years a fall in output is nothing new. It has nothing to do with Brexit!

A trend seems to be developing blaming everything that is going wrong on Brexit. I suppose it is inevitable that this mind-set would surface following the referendum result with people wanting to make a case against us leaving.

This anti-democratic trend is spreading with people like Peter Mandelson, and other like-minded individuals trying to undermine the referendum result. Why should anyone question the referendum? It was legal, the voting was carried out in the time-honoured fashion and the result was decisive. There was no evidence of any irregularities during the vote.

So stop blaming Brexit for all our woes and get on with what needs to be done to get us out of the European political circus.

Derek Bunting

Birkdale Avenue

Blackpool