Letters, emails and texts on October 16

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A chance to have your say about the latest local and national headlines.

Family toiled to improve graves

I was interested in the recent article about the graves of the Maughan family in Preston Cemetery. I often notice them due to the fact that my mother is buried close by.

I saw that an improvement had been made to the shabby potholed area nearby but assumed the council had done it - in fact a relative and I discussed the improvements on the phone and said how much better it looked.

So it is to the family's credit that they have done it at entirely their own cost and effort.

The graves they have are very big and ornate and the council has obviously allowed this to happen for many years so it seems inconsistent that they are now changing their minds.

I know in the past a lot of councils have objected to additional items being placed at graves as they feel it makes cemeteries look untidy.

When they take up an increasing amount of space, they may impede maintenance. Perhaps that is at the root of this issue over the size of a headstone.

Name and address supplied

Danger of so many chaotic drivers

Gordon Brown's plan to restore some safety and respect back onto the streets of Britain, by targeting 50,000 of the UK's "most chaotic" families, can't happen soon enough.

So what might he have in store for Britain's five million most chaotic drivers?

Decent parents who wait patiently and responsibly outside the school gates for their offspring, can't help but notice such drivers: parking on footpaths, double yellow lines and zig-zags; driving at excessive and inappropriate speed to get there and to leave; not wearing their seat-belt nor requiring their children to do so; drinking, eating and smoking whilst they drive, and most disturbing and dangerous of all, talking/texting on their mobile phone.

When children are freed of the fear of danger when walking or cycling to school, both they and our schools will be a great deal happier and healthier for it.

Allan Ramsay, via email

Time for veterans' groups to unite

I was happy to preside at a meeting to bring closure to the matter referred to in the letter recently printed from our chairman, Mr SG Cavies, the subject of which was an apparent dispute between Lancashire Veterans who served in the Malayan Campaign.

The matter has been amicably resolved. However there are veterans of that campaign, and indeed others in which National Servicemen participated, who may not be aware of the ex-service groups in this area which are open to them.

May I therefore make it clear that the regimental family of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment embraces any man or woman who has served under the cap badge of any of our antecedent regiments, whether regular, National Service, Territorial Army or cadets. The Preston branch of the association has always applied this principle to its membership and we are particularly proud to include those who served with our own local regiment, the Loyals, in the Malayan insurgency campaign between 1957 and 1959.

The majority of Malayan veterans were national servicemen whose contribution to that and other campaigns is now perhaps achieving the full recognition it deserves.

At a time when veteran issues are so topical, it is important that all veteran groups, whether official or unofficial, work together.

Col GB Stam, president, Duke of Lancaster's Regimental Association

Tougher sentence for false rape claim

I am writing regarding the story about the woman who was jailed for making a false allegation of rape.

How it is right that someone who tried to ruin the lives of three innocent young men gets sentenced to only a year in prison?

Longer sentences are handed out for shoplifting and benefit fraud!

She should have been jailed for the same time the men would have served had they been convicted.

Jeff Waters, Preston, via email

Cruel life, painful death for birds

Readers may be shocked to learn that every year in Britain, more than 45 million pheasants and partridges are mass-produced to serve as feathered targets for wealthy 'guns'. This brutal end to their lives is the final insult. From birth, they are confined in cages, sheds and pens. Many birds, frightened and stressed, are fitted with devices that restrict their

vision and prevent them from pecking their cage-mates.

Only a fraction of the shot birds are eaten - even pro-shooting magazines have reported that many are buried in specially dug holes.

Killing animals for fun has no place in a civilised society.

Michelle Gornall, Preston Animal Rights Group, Fulwood, via email

Don't let pet catch disease from tick

Pet owners – especially dog walkers – should be on their guard in the coming months, following some alarming findings about Lyme Disease - a painful, disabling condition which can affect both humans and animals.

We have seen a 150% increase in the number of suspected cases over the last three years.

It is transmitted by a tick bite and can spread to humans, dogs and cats, plus some other species.

Symptoms include a rash, fever, lameness and fatigue.

We advise pet owners to cover up when in woods or long grass – and to check their pets after walks for signs of ticks.

If an owner finds them, a vet can safely remove them and also give advice on how an owner could do this in the future.

Elaine Pendlebury, senior veterinary surgeon, PDSA

Glad to see full wallet returned

My son rang me at work on Wednesday (October 14) to say that he had lost his wallet on the 8.05am Number 61 Stagecoach bus from Preston to Blackpool.

His wallet contained some personal information as well as 15 in cash.

He immediately rang Stagecoach who were very helpful and said if the wallet was returned they would contact him.

To be honest I didn't hold out much hope but by 10.30am the company had contacted my son to confirm that the wallet had been handed in with the contents, including the money, intact.

I would just like to thank Stagecoach for their assistance as well as the honest person who handed in the wallet. It has restored my faith in human nature.

Grateful Parent, Longridge, (name and address supplied)

Crippling strike

Have the postal workers considered the effect of their strike action on small businesses?

It is difficult enough to survive at the moment without being caught up in someone else's fight.

Name and address supplied

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