Cutting the bills is costing points
Does anyone remember Graham Westley’s remarks he made in the first couple of days at Preston? Well, I do.
He commented in the Evening Post that PNE, and the playing staff, “hadn’t a clue about how to be successful”.
Those were his words on taking over as manager a year ago. Well, forgive me, but I think it is Mr Westley who doesn’t know how to be successful.
PNE are now worse off since he came to our club. He has brought in inferior players and he has got the wage bill down, yes, we can’t keep living above our means and expecting Trevor Hemmings to bankroll us, which he has done in the past, which every PNE supporter should thank him for.
But, facts speak for themselves, the facts being our league position, we have virtually no chance of making the play offs, out of every cup competition and sliding closer to the other end of the table.
I have not been a fan of constantly changing managers but under Mr Westley and his puzzling team selections and tactics, if he is not replaced sooner, rather than later, we are heading for League Two, and then the Conference after that.
If we descend into League Two, and he is still the manager, can you imagine some of the ‘stellar’ signings he would only be allowed to afford to sign.
He was brought in principally to drastically cut the wage bill, and build a complete new team with cheap League Two, and non league players. Well, he has, and the ‘results’ are there for all to see.
There is a well known saying in life and it’s this, ‘you get what you pay for, quality don’t come cheap’.
Church is ripe for structural change
I sympathise somewhat with the statement made by the Vicar of Lancaster concerning the appointment of the new Anglican Bishop of Blackburn and the question of recognition of women’s ministry.
However, it prompts me to think there is something of an elephant in the room when we talk about this and other episcopal appointments: do we need a Bishop of Blackburn at all? Should we have a Diocese of Blackburn?
Even if we should, would not North Lancashire be better off in Carlisle diocese.
If we scroll back say 150 years from today, there were approximately 4m people (of a total population for England of about 17m) in the pews of Anglican churches in England on a typical Sunday.
That is now down to about 1.7m from a population of about 53m. Meanwhile, the number of bishops has risen from 31 diocesan bishops and a handful of suffragan (assistant) bishops back then, to 44 diocesan and no fewer than 69 suffragan bishops today.
Persistent mismanagement of the Church of England over the last half century, from unpopular, clergy-driven liturgical innovation driving people away from church, to the stupid imposition of a compulsory retirement age for clergy, leading to skyrocketing pension costs and crippling financial demands on parishes, has been compounded by a mushrooming episcopacy and associated expenses and bureaucracy. Meanwhile, many churches have had to be closed and, especially in rural areas, parishes have been combined with as many as seven sharing one vicar.
An organisation that is getting ever more skint and closes branches rather than slimming down management to save costs, is an organisation in decline.
The Church of England needs to worry less about individual personalities and how a particular potential bishop stands on women priests or other issue du jour, and do something about its top-heavy leadership, excessive central costs and cack-handed conduct.
Dr Richard Austen-Baker, Abbeystead
Do fans of the bus station use it?
I wonder how many people who want to keep the existing bus station actually use it and whether they would be prepared to contribute any money to refurbish it.
If taxpayers’ money is going to be spent and there’s unlikely to be any other funders, let’s see our money going into a new, modern building that the city can be proud of.
I accept that we all have our own tastes but struggle to see anything attractive about the existing building.
Pippajojo, via LEP website