Letters - November 16, 2015

Abbey Telecom managing director Tony Raynor
Abbey Telecom managing director Tony Raynor
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COUNCIL CUTS

Spending for appeal highlights jobs axe

Alongside many of your readers, I was dismayed to hear of the latest budget cuts at Lancashire County Council.

The human cost of these cuts, both in terms of the council staff losing their jobs and the impact on those vulnerable people who’ll see much needed bus services axed and youth offending programmes cut back, is heart-breaking.

Which is why it is even harder today to justify Lancashire County Council’s decision in June to turn down applications for shale gas exploration in Fylde, contrary to the clear advice of County Hall’s own expert planning officers and their planning lawyer – David Manley QC. Mr Manley stated that “there is a high risk that a costs penalty will be imposed upon the council” as a result of refusing the Preston New Road application.

Just last month Lancashire County Council advertised a tender worth £100,000 for “the preparation and presentation of evidence, at a public enquiry, to defend LCC’s reasons for refusing planning permission for the development of a site for the exploration and appraisal of shale gas”. I understand that this considerable sum represents just the tip of the iceberg of the full costs that the Lancashire taxpayer – you and I – will have to stump up if the council loses this appeal. Wasting taxpayers’ money in times of plenty is wrong, but to waste public finances in these times of hardship is simply shameful.

Tony Raynor

Director, Abbey Telecom

Lytham St Annes

RETAIL

Change is not always for the better

My mother always got a service from shopkeepers and they gave excellent service, were well-mannered and happy to oblige.

There was even a chair to sit on while you waited to be served. Your items were wrapped up and even delivered if you wanted a weekly order.

But shopping now seems to be a trial.

First there is the trolley challenge, secondly the hike around the larger stores to find things, then the dreaded check out.

If you go to self-service, inevitably some thing won’t scan, or you queue at a counter and you get served while the check-out person carries on talking to their colleague about their break time.

And now there’s the carrier bag challenge – I always take my own bags, but I am not adverse to paying 5p for a bag.

This week I have purchased pre-packed fresh salmon, which was rather wet to handle, then went on in the store to purchase an item of clothing for a present.

When I got to the check-out, the clothing was rolled up and given to me to put into my own bag, then the fresh wet fish was checked out, but no bag.

So not wanting to wet the clothing, I was forced to purchase a plastic bag, the only winner is the supermarket with the 5p hidden charge.

I am not an old moaning lady, but while I believe in saving the planet, it seems to me that service with a smile and health and safety, with fresh products, has gone by the board.

My advice is make sure you take plenty of bags while shopping even for a new coat.

P Langford

via email

EUROPE

Cameron’s treaty talks are a con

Well, at last the cat is out of the bag, David Cameron has started his (phoney) negotiations with the EU and he is determined to keep Britain in it – no surprises there then.

His main requests are simply pathetic, and not what the British people want and he’s already watered down his manifesto banning EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits for four years. He’s also reverted to scaremongering tactics by saying being in the EU helps to guarantee our security.

All he says is nonsense – his cuts to our Armed Services have caused serious concern over our security. If we left the European Union we would get our seat back on the World Trade Organisation – which we had to surrender to the EU – and that would allow us a greater voice on the world stage.

The man does not even know his policies are causing cuts to local services, and when it comes to our “in/out” EU referendum, he and his Government, along with Labour and the other political parties, cannot be trusted. Don’t be conned!

Philip Griffiths

North West President, UKIP (UK Independence Party)

ENVIRONMENT

Take note of crisis affecting tuna

I have a confession to make; I love tuna. It is simply the fish of choice as far as I am concerned.

So, it may come as a surprise to learn I haven’t touched the merest fin of a tuna for all of five years now, and seriously debated the brand options regarding sustainability etc. for another years before that.

The bald fact of the matter is the noble tuna fish is in deep trouble. Not only is the species itself being practically hoovered from the oceans, but indiscriminate fishing causes around 100,000 tonnes of bycatch every year. Excuse the irony, but bycatch is exactly what it says on the tin – sharks, marine turtles, rays, dolphins, the haul is random, and most of this bycatch is dead or dying by the time it is thrown back.

Is it perhaps time tuna was made more of an issue? Sugary drinks, battery chickens, horsemeat burgers, they all get the tabloids in a rare old froth, yet seemingly below the radar tuna continues to be driven to the brink merely to satisfy our tastebuds.

Tuna stocks are approaching crisis point. I’ve resisted for over five years, so ‘think globally, act locally’ it’s the least you can do.

Martin Sutcliffe

Address supplied