ANGER AT SANCTIONS
After reading the story headlined ‘Outrageous’ (Gazette, March 16), about Gerald Taylor who sparked a police stand off at Fleetwood Job Centre when he was told his benefits could be sanctioned, I would just like to add my comments.
I’m English but I’m not proud of sharing my heritage with the likes of Gerald Taylor.
I have met people who make a career out of avoiding work, while genuine honest people battle to earn a crust.
The job centre is not a nice place but it’s what you have to do in order to survive.
I do feel the system is high on sympathy but low on practical help to genuine jobseekers and that improvements can be made to the system.
Let’s help the folk who need it.
MAINTAIN DEFENCE BUDGETS
The number one priority and duty of any government is the defence of its citizens.
Without this, plans to improve health, education, housing and the social services are pointless.
That is why the current arguments about defence spending are of crucial importance, and why defence ought to be high on the agenda during the forthcoming general election.
There is growing evidence that the west is facing a real and very serious threat from a revanchist Russia, the so-called Islamic State, and al-Qaeda militants from Yemen to Nigeria.
In brief, this is not the time to be talking of real-terms defence cuts. We must re-commit to two per cent of GDP as a minimum.
It is folly to ringfence the wrong budgets, for example, overseas aid, when planning deep cuts of some 30,000 personnel in our Armed Forces.
If we wish America to value us as an ally, we cannot continue to expect her to shoulder the burden of Western defence without proper help. The US is, understandably, beginning to wonder if her NATO allies are taking their security seriously.
The SNP’s emotional outbursts about our nuclear deterrent reveals a woeful ignorance of the nature of deterrence.
Trident is needed, so is a modern well-equipped Army, and, very important, modern cyberdefences, for cyberwar is a real and very serious threat that will increase from trans-national terrorism and organised criminal networks.
To try and defend one’s security by false economies is to invite disaster.
Putting defence into the bottom drawer of debate and hoping the public will forget about it is beyond folly given a world where threats are changing faster than ever.
There is a need for an open and honest debate about what we, no longer a military power of the first rank, are prepared to do to protect ourselves and our allies against a growing number of threats resulting from an unravelling of the established world order.
Colonel (retired) Barry Clayton
NOMINATE LOTTERY PROJECTS
We would really love to hear from your readers about their favourite National Lottery projects and the great work they do for their community.
If you believe they deserve national recognition then please nominate them for a National Lottery Award – the annual search to find the UK’s best Lottery-funded projects.
The awards provide a platform and profile for organisations – big and small – to showcase their invaluable contribution to society.
Each week, National Lottery players raise £33m a week for good causes and more than 450,000 grants have been awarded since the Lottery began 20 years ago.
The winners, decided by public vote, will receive £2,000 cash prizes and will be honoured at a star-studded ceremony broadcast on BBC One later in the year.
To nominate a project visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk. All entries must be in by Wednesday March 25.
National Lottery Awards Ambassador
NEW POLICE SURGERIES
As part of the new look and improvements to our popular police community open surgeries, I can confirm that we will be holding a police community open surgery at the Just Good Friends friendship coffee morning on Wednesday April 1.
This will take place at The People’s Palace Community Hub on Garden Street, St Annes, from 11am to 12 noon where advice, support and reassurance will be on offer.
Residents will be invited to sign up to our free messaging service ‘In The Know’ to receive free messages and updates on what’s happening in their local area from local police.
I look forward to engaging with the Just Good Friends group.
Our police community open surgeries will be reaching out even further soon with supermarket events planned for the near future.
I will of course keep you updated.
For any further details, please do not hesitate to contact me Andrew Noble, Police Community Volunteer 20917 on 07738 622 823.
Lytham St Annes Police