Letters - September 6, 2018

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It’s not the guards who are on strike...

On strike... who is? Much coverage again is being given to the guards’ action to protect the safety of passengers on trains.

I was one of them over my 50 years service with the much maligned BR, but I don’t recall, even in steam days, trains being cancelled. OK, sometimes they ran late but surely that is better than none, as it is now.

My last 30 years were spent as a guard and for 25 of those I was branch secretary of the local NUR (later to become the RMT after merging with the National Union of Sea Workers).

During my time on the trains, I had to deal with many incidents. Football hooliganism to and from matches was starting and I had to deal with six life-threatening issues with passengers during their journeys... even one when a woman was starting to give birth.

Although a driver can open and close doors, what can he or she do in their cab under such circumstances?

The real people on strike are the management - pocket-lining overpaid spivs, or Northern Rail who can’t provide a train service due to their incompetence. I’m proud to have been sacked for being disruptive to the interests of the business whilst campaigning through our unions RMT also ASLEF and TSSA against privatisation. Do I need say any more?

Michael Carr

Hawes Side Lane
Marton

APPEAL

Support tougher cruelty sentences

I would like to ask you to support the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home campaign to increase the maximum custodial sentence for the most serious acts of animal cruelty from six months to five years imprisonment.

Some of the UK’s most beloved comedians, including Paul O’Grady and Ricky Gervais, are joining forces with Battersea to spread the message that the maximum sentence for animal cruelty in England, Wales and Scotland is so bad, it’s laughable

In England and Wales, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 sets out how people should look after animals. It places a duty of care on pet owners to provide for their animals’ basic needs, spells out the animal cruelty offences and sets out the penalties for breaching the law.

Currently, the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences in England and Wales is just six months imprisonment, a ban from keeping animals and a fine. This is the highest sentences that the courts can give, even in the worst cases of starving, beating or killing animals. In comparison, the maximum custodial sentence for fly tipping is five years and theft is seven years imprisonment.

It is clear that the current maximum sentence for animal cruelty is inadequate, and out of step with sentencing for other crimes.

In September 2017, the Government announced that it would increase the maximum penalty to five years in England – however, this has yet to happen and almost a year has elapsed without positive action. I sincerely hope, our elected Government do not change their mind. resulting in a U-turn on this very important issue.

Battersea warmly welcomes the Government’s announcement, but there is still work to do, and we still need to see the legislation to make this change happen.

Battersea welcomes the results of last week’s Government consultation, and its staff , volunteers and supporters look forward to seeing the Bill laid before Parliament this year.

I do hope you will consider supporting this campaign and helping to achieve this change for animals.

For more information, please do visit notfunny.battersea.org.uk and make a positive difference.

Garry Richardson

Catterall Close
Blackpool

RESPONSE

Saying what people don’t want to hear

Julie Jones can feel free to criticise Israel and you won’t be called antisemetic (Your Say, August 16). Try it.

But try and criticise Mr Corbyn and the full weight of momentum will descend on you. Ask Frank.

If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear... Corbyn included.

Re. Housing (Royston Jones, Your Say, August 30) - if you allow 250,000 people to settle here each year, then you’ll always have a housing problem, so the solution is to stop this immigration and then kick the one million illegals who are here, out.

We are after all a country of limited size.

I’m fed up thinking that everywhere I go, I’m living in Grand Central Station!

So Royston Jones - fewer people = fewer housing. Sure you can grasp this.

Mr P Webberley

Cedar Avenue
Warton