Letters - Wednesday September 16, 2020

New council plans are premature and flawed
County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County CouncilCounty Coun Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council
County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council

I note that certain councils have “lost confidence” in County Coun Geoff Driver, the leader of the Lancashire County Council (LCC), in his role as Chairman of a group with exists to encourage cooperation between the LCC, the two unitary authorities in Lancashire and the remaining district councils.

Mr Driver and his Conservative colleagues on the LCC, having failed to reach agreement with their colleagues, have proposed that all of the above councils, including the county council, should be abolished and replaced by three unitary councils based on Preston, Blackburn and Blackpool.

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The Driver suggestions have been made before the Government’s proposals have been published. They are expected this Autumn and it would have been better to wait until then.

In addition, I find it galling the LCC Conservatives have made the suggestions that they have.

It was the Conservatives who opposed the setting up of unitary authorities in the 1970s.

Under Ted Heath’s government they ignored Lord Redcliffe-Maud’s proposals and set up a two-tier system in Lancashire, whilst extracting Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

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I would prefer to see five or six smaller unitary authorities, rather than three large ones.

If this was done it might be possible to resolve some of the problems associated with Lancashire’s diversity whilst, at the same time, keeping the new councils relatively local, a significant factor in itself.

Roger Barstow Frost

address supplied

Politics

Now is the time to take back railways

The Gazette campaign to have direct rail services to London involved many locals at the time, now they pull out my own MP, Paul Maynard, who was Rail Minister.

He says he is “disappointed”.

Is that all local MPs can say when they have the ear of the PM?

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Last month the Tory government announced passengers can expect another rise in fares.

The latest proposal will increase fares massively when people have had to endure years of chaos on our railways, furthermore, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis should rule out fare increases.

Rail privatisation has turned out to be a bad deal for taxpayers and passengers in every way possible.

Transport should be run as a public service for everyone’s benefit - instead of spending millions subsidising private companies.

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At the moment both in terms of sustaining investment and in the future in tackling climate change rail should be publicly owned. Now is the time to strongly make the case to take the railways back into public ownership to improve services and cap fares.

Also to extend public ownership elsewhere in order to invest in our futures help tackle the impending economic catastrophe including buses water energy mail and broadband.

Royston Jones

Anchorsholme

Politics

Comments about MP were ‘false’

I was astonished to read false claims about MP Scott Benton by failed Labour candidate Chris Webb (Your Say, September 15).

Mr Benton did not vote to end the furlough scheme and did not vote to jobs at risk.

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These are completely false claims and should be dismissed as such.

The “vote” was a pointless Labour amendment designed to grab headlines. During the lockdown, Scott has worked tirelessly representing his constituents, serving the community and helped countless small businesses with financial support from the government.

The furlough scheme has saved countless jobs and businesses.

Well done to Scott and the government for helping Blackpool South through some turbulent times. Shame on Chris Webb and Labour.

Shame on you for trying to misled the public.

Coun Christian Cox

Sawley Avenue

Blackpool

Politics

Buffoons are running things

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I wonder if our glorious leader did not understand the withdrawal agreement that he signed up to with the EU or he effectively lied to the British people when he trumpeted to the world that his deal was “oven ready”.

So the ramifications of this are that we break international law. There was a recent interview with the Lord Chancellor, who is supposed to uphold the law of the land, going along with this farce.

What has our country done to deserve the buffoons that are running it?

M Tipper

address supplied