Letters - September 21, 2015

Migrants try to board a train in Tovarnik, Croatia, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.  The train with eleven carriages left Friday morning carrying hundreds to refugee centers in the capital Zagreb and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Migrants try to board a train in Tovarnik, Croatia, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. The train with eleven carriages left Friday morning carrying hundreds to refugee centers in the capital Zagreb and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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IMMIGRATION

Let’s work as one to solve this crisis

The refugee crisis we are seeing unfold across the media calls us to reflect on what it is to be human. This tragedy grows day by day, with lives risked and lost, for want of safe shelter for those fleeing war and persecution.

This is the greatest challenge to Europe since the Second World War. The people of Lancashire and the Fylde coast have always been compassionate, and this is a time to stand up and show that refugees are welcome.

Those stranded across Europe facing razor wire, and police dogs now need a place to call home. The UK should be taking its fair share of refugees, and I call upon the readers of this newspaper and our councillors to send this message to David Cameron and other EU leaders: Refugees Welcome!

Fylde, Wyre, Blackpool, and Lancashire councils need to work together with other governmental functions across the UK and Europe and show solidarity with the victims of the horrors of war.

We are lucky to live in the fifth richest economy and we can and should bring some hope to the refugees, who will in turn bring positive effects into our communities in the years ahead. In these difficult times we must remember that compassion goes around and so we should try and look to our better selves.

The tens of thousands who took to the streets last weekend speak up for this same hope.

Jerome Cowan

Kingsmere Avenue

Lytham St Annes

HEALTH

Take steps to safeguard our NHS

A think-tank has warned that the NHS is suffering its ‘hardest decade ever’. As our lives become more inactive, we are growing unhealthier and continuing to place a strain on our health service. The focus needs to be on prevention.

An easy solution to our sedentary lifestyle is getting more people walking, yet last month’s National Travel Survey results revealed that over one in five people hadn’t walked for 20 minutes at all within the last year. Walking is free, accessible to all and can be easily slotted into everyday life. It is good for our mental health and can prevent chronic illnesses.

The Government Spending Review needs to focus on prevention measures as well as immediate NHS needs.

Most of us say we’d walk more if it was safer, more attractive or more convenient. We need to make sure it is so more people start walking and feeling the lifelong benefits it brings.

Dave Taylor

Regional Director North West, Living Streets

APPEAL

Can you help me to trace my relatives?

I am trying to trace relatives from the Lancashire area from several years ago, and hope readers of the Blackpool Gazette can help me. I’m looking for the family of Walter McLaren who, I’m told was manager of the Pier and Odeon at one point. He was married to Jessie Owen and they had five or six children, including Brian, Keith, McLaren, and Dorothy.

I think Walter must have died in the 1940s or 50s, but I don’t know what happened to Jessie and the children.

If anyone can help with any information, I would really appreciate it.

Angela McLaren

Bulwark Cottage

Rothes, Banffshire

AB38 7AW

Or by email: speygirl@gmail.com

FRACKING

I am living in the UK, or is it the USSR?

I read with alarm that Yorkshire police have held a meeting of 100 local teachers and said that pupils, who didn’t believe in or supported fracking, could be viewed as potential extremists under the government’s new counter-terrorism strategy.

I wasn’t anti-fracking when there was an exploratory drill in our Sussex village of Balcombe, I just wanted to know more about it and look at the regulations in place.

After just a few months of watching our community invaded, traffic and noise planning laws continually breached, the dehumanising and ridicule of any protesters, and only self-regulation by the oil and gas industry – and after years of attending planning meetings, reading worldwide papers, watching millions of PR pounds spent and the chipping away of our rights, this 55-year-old professional mother of two is now apparently an extremist.

Does that label also apply to the brave Lancashire County Councillors, who rejected Cuadrilla’s fracking plans?

Sorry, but am I living in 
Great Britain or the old Soviet Union?

J Harris

Address supplied

POLITICS

This is a backward step for our nation

Historically I am a Labour supporter, although I am by no means as keen a political animal as I used to be, but just when I thought that the Labour Party was beginning to recover from the damage inflicted by Blair and Brown, along comes Jeremy Corbyn.

Admittedly, many people share his anti-EU stance, and I am sympathetic regarding renegotiation.

Where my views really differ from his are in respect of NATO and Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

What on Earth does he think has ensured peace on our planet in the last 70 years?

This is not just a backward step for Labour, but a backward step for our nation and our international credibility.

Jack Banner

Address supplied