Comment on poverty and other social issues by the Church is right and proper – it is part of the Church’s legitimate pastoral work.
However,the public has a right to expect that before criticising Government policy, facts will have been checked, and ideological bias eradicated.
Unfortunately, the bishops who sallied forth recently and attacked the Government’s much needed welfare reforms failed to do either.
Instead they showed an ignorance of the facts and a woeful lack of objectivity by claiming the return of hunger among the poorest in our society is the result of a current and long overdue overhaul of the benefit system.
They also seem unaware every major political party wants root and branch reform of a gargantuan system that no longer bears any relation to that introduced some 70 years ago.
The need for food banks has increased owing to a multiplicity of reasons.
These include family breakdown, a very serious economic recession, high levels of personal debt, drug addiction, mental health problems, dwindling support from the extended family and neighbours, an inability to prioritise a limited budget, and because they exist.
Simplistic solutions offered by the Church, such as adding a few extra pounds to benefit payments, will not solve a massive and deep-seated social and economic problem. Indeed it may well exacerbate it.
Deprivation cannot be solved by religious and political sound bites.
The Church should be on its guard against being drawn into false political and ideological arguments.
Dr Barry Clayton
Worked hard for pension
I am writing about MP Mr Kwasi Kwarteng who has said why not cut back on pensions and heating allowances.
I can assure him I do not have a ‘swimming pool’, and I can tell him I him I had four children and worked all my life, at times having three part time jobs, until my children were old enough for me to go full time.
In my part-time jobs I would start at four in the morning in one job so I could get home for my husband to go out to work at eight o’clock.
He worked on the building sites as a plasterer and went out in all weather.
He worked until he was 62-years-old when he had a heart attack and a stroke which caused him to give up work.
I think most pensioners of today have worked hard for their pension and heating allowance. That is what we paid our national stamp for. And may I say, the jobs we did in those days were mostly done by hand and not machines.
It’s about time someone stood up for pensioners, they are talking about our bus pass being taken off us.
What’s next? I ask, and I am sure I talk for all pensioners.
As a resident who has lived in Wrea Green for over 30 years, I am most concerned as to the future of this attractive village.
It has been a privilege to have enjoyed the serenity and community spirit that abounds here but it would seem that excessive property development is about to change the whole environment and ambience of the village.
There has to be some change and progress in any location.
This has/is taking the form of two developments – one completed recently (15 houses) and one just started (54 houses).
However, developers seem determined to increase the housing numbers by 30-50 per cent, irrespective of any requirement, the environment, sustainability or the wishes of villagers.
The property developers are taking advantage of the Government edict on housing numbers and the so-called beneficial effects on the economy, and applying for planning permissions prior to the issue of Fylde Council’s Local Plan and the Village Neighbourhood Plan.
Hence, regardless of important issues on infrastructure, drainage and sewage and local amenities, the village would change radically for the worse.
My personal experience, as past chairman of the Parish Council, of the planning systems has been that Fylde Council has taken into account the views and observations of the Parish Council and local committees as part of the planning application assessment .
Now I believe Government officials are pressurising decisions and ignoring the principles of the Localism Act.
Recently, the proposed application for the Willow Drive/Ribby Road development has brought the whole problem on my door step.
My wife and I could be living on a major building site for a number of years, with much disruption, noise, pollution etc.
For us it would seem the simple answer is, after many happy years in the Village, we (and many neighbours) will have to look for somewhere else to live at this stage of our lives.
Name and address supplied