Letters - June 20, 2016
COUNCILThere are other ways to save cashThe one word we hear most of at the moment from Blackpool Council is 'cuts'.
Cuts, cuts and more cuts (except for the grass of course).
Another area that does not appear to be subject to cuts is the cost of councillors. If we have less services and fewer staff, do we still need two councillors for each ward at these difficult times?
Of course, if we reduce the number of councillors, there would be more work for those remaining. I am sure they would do their very best, however, as the only reason they became councillors was to do just that for Blackpool and the area covered by Blackpool Council.
An alternative action would be for them to take a significant cut in their allowances and expense claims. In this way they would be setting a good example to all of us.
School vandalism was a hate crime
Re your article ‘School Toy Rampage Leaves Pupils Upset’ Gazette, June 15). On reading this article I felt it was more a hate crime as well as vandalism, as this school has been targeted before.
Surely these young vandals are old enough to understand the misery caused to the pupils of the school?
It is time to give vandals harsher penalties, not just the usual slap on the wrist. These young people and their parents need to attend a course and be taught to recognise the impact of their vandalism on the young pupils of the Park Community Academy.
It was heartless, wanton vandalism. Having worked in the past with children (special needs) I can understand how every bit of equipment is very valuable and important for the pupils’ learning.
Crime is an inevitable part of our lives today. Cuts in the police means more people in their communities must be more vigilant to what is going on in their areas.
The facts on the EU’s fisheries policy
There has been much media coverage of ‘fishing’ during the referendum ‘debate’. People say they want facts, so here goes.
The first attempt to create a Common Fisheries Policy took place from 1976. The first proposal was accepted by eight out of the then 10 member states, the UK and Ireland rejecting it. It was not until January 25, 1983 that a policy was agreed by all. By 1992 it was clear that the ‘quotas’ agreed in 1983 were far too high. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence there was fierce political resistance, not least from the UK, and the EU gave up on trying to adjust quotas.
A big flaw in the existing agreement was the huge amount of fish thrown overboard in order to stay within quota (the ‘by-catch’). Indiscriminate trawling technology also contributed to the problem of too many boats chasing too few fish.
The Brexit brigade constantly bang on about the EU being undemocratic but the fisheries policy fiasco was a direct result of the excessively democratic practices of the EU.
Thanks to the huge effort of Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies; Britain’s fisheries minister Richard Benyon; (and many others from many countries, but not Farage, who was on the committee but attended just one meeting out of 42) a new policy was announced on May 30, 2013. Chris was thanked for his efforts by the voters by being defeated by yet another useless UKIPper in the European Parliament elections in 2014.
A key feature of the proposal is that fishermen will have a new role in determining practices appropriate to local conditions, as micro-management from Brussels is reduced. Also a long-term management plan will be prepared for every fishery in accord with scientific advice and taking account of the unique circumstances. The aim will be to restore and maintain fish stocks above levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yields.
The new policy encourages EU countries to give additional protection to spawning grounds and sensitive areas where there is evidence of many fish below minimum conservation size.
It’s time to redress the union balance
The letter from Green MEPs (Your Say, Gazette, June 13) claims it is vital we vote to remain in the EU. Leaving aside the environmental impact a population increase of 333,000 net has, the implication that Brexiteers “see nature protection as an unnecessary burden on UK business” is insulting.
The UK established National Parks in the 50s and introduced the Clean Air Act in 1956 and, in 1961, we established the world’s first co-ordinated national air pollution monitoring network (the “National Survey”).
It is worth remembering EU taxpayers contribute around £45bn to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and 80 per cent of that CAP aid goes to 20 per cent of farms. Huge conglomerates and farms receive the bulk of this money and CAP administration is extremely expensive. The Common Fisheries Policy is another example of EU waste. It was supposed to protect stock and help maintain fishing communities but the quota system favours big industrial trawlers.
There are arguments for and against EU membership, but do not be misled by MEPs who have a vested personal interest in remaining on the EU gravy train.
The referendum is an opportunity to redress the European balance – a vote to leave will halt the superstate in its tracks and other countries will demand their referenda. We can then negotiate the establishment of a true “Common Market” based upon trade and cooperation and not political domination – that, surely, is in the interests of all Europeans.
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