Customers forced away from branches
I was not surprised to see the article in The Gazette (Saturday, April 30) regarding the impending closure of the Layton branch of the Yorkshire Bank.
The NatWest closed its Layton branch many years ago, transferring the account holders to the Devonshire Square Branch, which then also closed, transferring the account holders to the main branch in Blackpool town centre, Corporation Street.
Both Layton and Devonshire Square branches were well used – incidentally, the now main branch is manned mainly by machines, not people!
Throughout this period, account holders were contacted many times, inviting them to transfer to internet banking services.
Time and again we hear the same excuse from the banks when a branch is about to be closed, that people’s banking habits have changed, customer numbers have dropped etc, when, in fact, it is purely a cost cutting exercise in order to cut staff and make more profit for themselves.
People are forced into internet banking as they do not have a convenient branch to visit any more. The choice of internet banking should be just that, a choice!
I wish the customers of Yorkshire Bank Layton well in their campaign to keep the bank open, but fear the door is more than likely to be closing!
We need to root out hate in all its forms
I am grateful to your correspondent Barry Freeman for raising the debate on Ken Livingstone’s comments regarding Hitler recently (Gazette, May 2). If anyone is to be suspended from the Labour Party it should be John Mann, for his appalling rant in front of the cameras.
Also for mentioning the Havaara agreement in his article, which is very pertinent to this debate. This was the transfer agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews involved with the Zionist Federation in Germany and the Anglo- Palestine Bank. It was to facilitate the emigration of German Jews to Palestine.
It forced them initially to give up possessions before leaving Germany, but later to be transferred to Palestine as German exports. Hitler was in power and, of course, must have been aware of these negotiations. The agreement was, however, controversial and criticised both by Zionists and Jewish leaders.
The whole debate over Ken Livingstone’s comments has stalled any discussions on the rights of Palestinians, which is the other side of the ongoing attempt for human rights to be re-balanced in the West Bank. To provide peace talks between Israel and Palestine is surely the first thing for Labour or the Conservatives to invest time in.
Rooting out anti-Semitism should be a priority that is ongoing for all parties, but they should include dealing with any anti-Muslim rhetoric as well, which seems to be more prominent at this time.
If we are to say that all human needs are met, with tolerance and compassion for everyone, we need to know who the target of hate speech is in everyday life. This is clearly something David Cameron needs to speak out about within his party.
‘Shackled’ animals are in a good home
If your correspondent Ms R Page (‘A shocking sight in the town centre’, Your Say, Gazette, April 30) had investigated further, she would have learned that the owls on display shackled by and inside the tent in the town centre are from a bird of prey rescue centre, which looks after birds of prey and works to return them to the wild.
For the ones that are unable to survive in the wild, the sanctuary will remain their home where they will be looked after as best as they can, and the reason they are displayed is to help raise funds and make people aware, especially children, of the importance of preserving our birds of prey.
Working to return them back into the wild takes a lot of dedication, teaching them to catch their food again by flying them regularly, so they are strong enough for their return.
If it wasn’t for such sanctuaries, reserves and all organisations looking after rescued wildlife, our feathered and furry species would have long gone by now!
Shared pathways can work for all
I sympathise with complaints about speeding bikes on pavements.
However, there are some people with health problems who could manage to ride a bike slowly and carefully, but are afraid to use the dangerous roads.
Germany, Holland and Denmark are among many countries who have bike lanes on pavements which work well together – it just takes some cooperation on both sides.
No mandate for Hunt to behave like this
Wasn’t it Jeremy Hunt who was sacked as Business Secretary in the last Government for wanting to give Murdoch more control over the media?
The question now is: Do you support Hunt or the junior doctors?
Let’s have a referendum.
If the Government says no then Hunt must go, as I believe he has no mandate for what he is doing, despite what the Tory party pretends.