Letters, May 31, 2019

Should regions in England have the same power as the Scottish Parliament?
Should regions in England have the same power as the Scottish Parliament?
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Give the North West more political power

Having observed the shabby and ill-conceived progress of our Brexit adventure, we are left with an apparently insoluble problem.

I am intrigued by the collective logic of our politicians who voted overwhelmingly to hold a referendum on our future membership of the EU.

Then when the electorate voted to leave, they didn’t seem to like this.

They voted that Parliament should have the final say, and now, as Parliament itself has proved unable to decide, we are being told that a second referendum is the solution. Even more surprisingly, we are being told by some politicians of all parties that this will heal the schism between Remainers and Brexiteers.

I find this unlikely!

It seems to me that what the original referendum revealed, and the subsequent actions of our political ‘leaders’ reinforced, was a deep dissatisfaction with the current political structure.

In the North, I believe we feel controlled and constrained by two iron hands - in Brussels and in Westminster.

The individuals appear to have no control, and, in my view, this was one of the issues which resulted in a stronger Leave vote in the North.

Our politicians are so busy protecting their own positions or following some confused party line, they seem incapable of looking beyond our immediate political woes.

Whichever way we eventually move forward, we need to change our political structure - perhaps to a federal structure with the regions having equal power to the current Scottish Parliament.

I note that a Yorkshire party fielded candidates in the EU election.

The next General Election should see some Lancashire candidates. An assembly in Manchester would dilute the power of the current Westminster lobbyists, focus on the issues which are important to us, and allow the development of political leaders from the general population rather than political hacks with Political Science degrees and little real world experience.


Address supplied


Find out your risk of Type 2 diabetes

There are 12.3 million people in the UK at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It’s a serious condition that can lead to devastating complications. But most of these people don’t know they’re at risk at all, or what they could be doing to reduce it.

Getting the right advice and support is essential, but you might not know that you can get this advice while you’re doing your weekly shop. Our partners at Tesco offer a free Type 2 diabetes risk assessment service at Tesco pharmacies in Blackpool.

The expert pharmacy team there will help you understand your risk of Type 2 diabetes, and give you advice and support on what to do next. Once you understand why you’re at risk, you can take steps to reduce it.

So if you’re worried about your risk of Type 2 diabetes, why not speak to the Tesco pharmacy team next time you’re in store or, alternatively, use Diabetes UK’s free online Know Your Risk tool at https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/.

Finding out your risk of Type 2 diabetes could be the most important thing you do today.

Clare Howarth

Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK


Tories must fix lack of police officers

So after NINE years of real-terms cuts to the police, the Conservative Home Secretary finally accepts the savage cuts under his government have fuelled crime. Surprisingly, it’s taken a leadership contest to finally admit it.

The Conservative leadership contender also said he would spend £1 billion over three years to end a “culture of impunity” among criminals.

I welcome at last the acknowledgment that policing is massively overstretched and that we need more bobbies on the beat to tackle crime. However, the devil is in the detail and this funding MUST come from core grant, not huge council tax hikes for local residents.

This Conservative Government cut 21,000 police officers from our streets, they must be the ones to fix it, not local council tax payers.

Chris Webb

Labour’s Candidate for Blackpool North & Cleveleys


Fundraise by being useful

Whenever a friend or acquaintance asks me to “sponsor” them for running a vast distance or swimming 1,000 lengths or hitting a tennis ball an unconscionable number of times, I invariably put my hand in my pocket and cough up. It seems churlish not to.

I am donating to what is usually a deserving charity and I have no qualms about that.

But what is achieved?

Surely the person would be better employed in some task which is, well, useful. Tidying an elderly person’s garden, picking up discarded plastic or washing cars for example.

By all means dance for 24 hours or jump out of aircraft if you must, but I would much rather pay for an activity which has an outcome which is of benefit to someone.

I’m off for a walk now, but I don’t expect anyone to pay for it.

John Stopford

Address supplied