Reader’s letters - Friday March 06, 2015

Just one of the areas earmarked for new homes in Ribble Valley

Just one of the areas earmarked for new homes in Ribble Valley

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Reminder for polling day

The Government is telling us, with simpering sincerity, that it is up to local people to decide where housing development should go in their local area.

So why is it that local opinion is being ignored and large developments are being allowed particularly on our green fields and open spaces? Simply because the Government, through its Planning Inspectorate, is driving through a policy of increasing development.

In my borough of the Ribble Valley a Local Plan is on the way to being completed. One of the elements to be included in the plan is the total number of houses to be built over a 20 year period from 2008 to 2028.

Last month the borough council decided to increase the number from 3,000 to 4,000. The reason given was because the Planning Inspectorate would not accept the lower number (the number which has been in place for some time and interestingly, not achieved) and would return the plan and keep doing so, until a number more suited to the Government’s requirements was included.

As part of the consultation on this change local opinion was “noted”, but ignored. Irritatingly, more weight was given to the submissions of developers than to local people, but it was the Government’s requirements that were behind the decision.

The constituents of the Ribble Valley voted for this Government in good faith but they find the Government is being disingenuous with its localism agenda. More than that, it is being deceitful. If our valley is covered in all these houses the residents will remember who it was that promoted such destruction and how it was achieved.

Nick Walker, via email

Energy pledge just a gimmick

I’ve just been told about a Labour Party leaflet that is being delivered locally and I almost choked on my cornflakes.

Labour are still pledging to freeze energy prices until 2017 – have they not noticed the downward trend in oil prices or the fact energy companies are cutting their prices and lowering our bills?

If they had been in a position to have brought this gimmick of a law in to force we would now all be locked in to paying more for our energy for the next two years.

The trouble with gimmick policies is they are just that, a gimmick, drawn up on the back of an envelope with no thought to consequences.

Labour just cannot be trusted, they have not learnt and they have no plan except tomorrow’s headlines.

Howard Ballard, address supplied

Data being sold to businesses

In reply to e-mail from Bryn Thomas (letters February 9, I can empathise totally with him.

The same thing happened to me in a business car park in Preston, where my daughter and I purchased several hundred pounds worth of goods, but failed to notice the sign limiting parking time to one hour 20 minutes.

Whilst I admit that I was in the wrong and expected to have to pay the penalty, I was, nevertheless, incensed at the fact that a company such as Parking Eye is allowed access to our personal and supposedly private details.

They must obtain these details from DVLA Swansea, and I’m sure they don’t get them free.

Just how much money is the Government making out of deals like this? What happened to the Data Protection Act 1984? Has this been abolished, or is the Government exempt from British law?

Needless to say, my daughter and I shop elsewhere now, and we certainly won’t frequent Charnock Richard service area, or anywhere else where we see Parking Eye signs.

Irene Swarbrick , Chorley

Plea over long lost attraction

Is there anyone who could help me in my search for information about a long gone attraction, Winged World Tropical Bird Aviary, which was sited at Heysham Head, Morecambe, between 1966 and 1977?

This attraction was opened in 1966 and was part of the new Heysham Head Entertainments Centre until its closure in 1977.

From my enquiries, what information remains about Winged World is extremely sparse and very fragmented.

This is a great shame especially as it was described as a tropical bird aviary but, in fact, there was a wide range of bird species which would have been considered, even by today’s standards, rare (in captivity) and delicate to keep and maintain let alone breed under managed controls.

The exhibits were predominately displayed behind glass and even boasted a free flight area. Each of the displays were landscaped and contained tropical plants. In my opinion the attraction was world class, regularly demonstrating how species, many of which today are under threat and even possible extinction, should be managed under controlled conditions.

That is why it is very important Winged World should not be forgotten and every attempt made to record for posterity the important work done by those involved.Any information about Winged World, such as whose original idea it was?

What were the challenges in turning the idea into reality? How did Clive Roots (the initial curator) become involved? Who was responsible for the design of the unit Winged World occupied, and who designed the displays?

Where were the birds obtained from and over the period of the time they were open, how many birds were purchased?

What were the annual stock procurement and maintenance budgets and costs? How many breedings were there in total and of these how many were first breedings in the UK?

If any readers have any brochures, documents and particularly photos of the building, displays and exhibits they took during their visit which I may borrow, I guarantee safe return. Similarly, are there any ex-employees or their relatives who may be able to provide information, such as the head keeper Bill Ranson? I can be contacted either by telephone 01939 234342 or email glynnwoollam158@btinternet.com.

Glynn M Woollam, Trentham Road, Wem,Shrewsbury