Letters - Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Planners should be supporting churches

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Layton Methodist Church

With years of decline, which have seen churches across the country being closed for good, you would expect town hall planners to encourage remaining denominations, and give them the support they need to carry on in their vicinity (‘LED church sign rejected’, Gazette, April 1).

Carrying information of church services and events, an LED sign seems viable to say the least, particularly when an individual church wishes to attract members of its community who wouldn’t otherwise know about it.

Using the excuse of “overbearing visual clutter” to reject such plans is a feeble excuse, as is claiming the sign would be damaging the ecclesiastical character of the building on Westcliffe Drive. It’s hardly flashing lights and illuminated tableaux.

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When church trustees of whichever faith it may be are knocked back by stuffy town hall planners, it doesn’t make sense that the same body who encourage Blackpool as a resort to continue going forward, yet fail to allow residential communities the benefit of an exterior LED sign to inform locals and visitors of forthcoming calendar events held in church. I see it as moving forward. Otherwise there are more carpet or builders’ storerooms in the making.

And we wonder why there is a decline in congregations!

Clifford Chambers

Ashton Road

Blackpool

TRANSPORT

Stop the roll-out of smart motorways

If Grant Shapps and his cronies at Highways England think the stupid advert they are running on TV at the moment to try and convince us that smart motorways are safe they are wrong.

Smart motorways are not safe, far from it, and should be scrapped immediately while any proposed new ones should be cancelled before more people are killed.

Wilf Greaves

Bispham

EUROPE

We can’t tolerate vaccine threats

The sole reason for the vaccines “row” is that Britain was prompt about ordering its vaccines and the subsequent approval of them, whilst the EU dragged its feet and was on the back foot.

Motivated by jealousy at the speed and success of Britain’s vaccine roll-out, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and others, have responded with thinly veiled threats to embargo the export of vaccines to the UK in order to force manufacturers to service their own market.

Under the circumstances, I think the Prime Minister has conducted himself with commendable dignity and restraint.

Of course, a resolution must be found to the situation, but we cannot put up with a threatened (or actual) embargo on the export of vaccines which we ordered – and paid for – first. One of the first rules of business is “first come, first served”. It has to be so because it is the only fair way to treat customers.

I was a Brexiteer (and still am) because I thought Britain’s interests were best served by not being in a protectionist racket. Nothing that’s happened since we left the EU has persuaded me that I was anything but right.

In fact, Remainer friends have shared with me how abominably they think the EU has behaved since we left, first over Northern Ireland and now over vaccines.

Finally, I don’t want to see Sir Keir Starmer, or any of his cronies on the Opposition benches, anywhere near the premiership anytime soon.

Whilst it would probably have been a softer Brexit, I don’t think Labour could have negotiated a better deal, certainly not one that was in Britain’s national interest.

Adrian F Sunman

via email

ENVIRONMENT

Take care in the countryside

The easing of lockdown restrictions is welcome and the prospect of meeting up with friends and family outside will be a relief for many.

We are expecting open spaces to be particularly busy.

Lancashire offers a wide range of opportunities to meet and socialise in green spaces, but it is important people are considerate of the environment. Visitors should make sure to follow the Countryside Code, take litter home with them, as well as adhering to Covid guidelines.

In recent years we have also seen a number of damaging wildfires which are often started by disposable barbeques. The fires are a danger to life as well as local ecosystems, as they damage moorland, trees and impact valuable habitats and wildlife such as birds and insects.

Crispin Thorn

Forestry Commission

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