Reader’s letters - Monday 07 April 2014

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (right) and UKIP leader Nigel Farage during their second televised debate
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (right) and UKIP leader Nigel Farage during their second televised debate
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Inquest must be thorough

As another enquiry about the Hillsborough disaster gets underway, no doubt the police will yet again be vilified for the blame.

On April 15, 1989, the ground was the scene of one of the worst sporting tragedies of all time when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in an FA cup semi-final.

Official investigations into the disaster criticised Sheffield Wednesday for not acting upon previous incidents (especially the 1981 FA Cup semi-final) that had shown the potential for crushing at Hillsborough.

The ground did not hold a valid safety certificate, it had not been updated since 1979. I believe the enquiry should go further back and deeper than just the police, the circumstances and consequences of the events on April 15, 1989, were put in place well before the date of the disaster, even if crowds had been limited to official capacity.

I am talking about the actual design of the stadium. Why was it designed to corral fans in with nowhere to escape? Had the cages not been erected, the fans could have overflowed on to the pitch. In the circumstances many were crushed up against the cages.

Why has there been very little comment or questioning about the stadium design or about who allowed this design, who actually designed it and why it was not dismantled after 1981?

The police may have done things wrong, but nothing as far reaching as designing and allowing such an irresponsible stadium design to be implemented, and following warnings not to have it dismantled. The stadium itself was a death trap.

Fred Hodson, Penwortham

Poor eateries should be shut

It is with increasing disbelief that I have read articles regarding the star rating system covering Preston’s catering establishments. Surely our council has an obligation to the people who pay rates, to stop these offenders who receive zero or only one star, from trading.

The farce regarding the Chinese restaurant, on Aqueduct Street, is a shameful example of the lack of authority the council actually have.

Why bother to operate the star ratings system when they have no intention of taking action against repeat offenders?

For me, the simple answer is to ensure that the green card showing how many stars have been issued should be displayed on the front door of each establishment by law. Failure to display would result in a large fine.

This way I would love to see how many people would bother to frequent a filthy establishment that cannot even manage the basic hygiene rules.

Preston rate payer, via e-mail

Leaders need to join the debate

The outcome of the ‘In or Out of the EU’ debate between the UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Deputy PM Nick Clegg has shocked the political establishment to the core, and proves how out of touch our career politicians are. Shock, horror, the polls taken right after the event, from the people, put Nigel Farage on 68 per cent and Nick Clegg on 26 per cent. Both the Labour and Conservative leaders under-estimated the electorate’s views about the EU and thought Nick Clegg would win the day and therefore lay the matter to rest.

PM David Cameron has now branded both Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg as holding “extreme views” about the EU. I’m not sure what is “extreme” about wanting Britain’s independence, governing ourselves and not being ruled by the unelected European Commissioners.

Perhaps both Cameron and Ed Miliband should have taken part in the debate to declare their views, or better still, agree they should all take part in general election debates next year.

Philip Griffiths North West President, UK Independence Party, Lancaster

EU does a lot for our region

It is with interest I read the correspondence you receive from UKIP and its allies. I find the emphasis is always on what we give, and what it costs us.

However, even here in Lancashire we benefit and receive a great deal from the EU. On large public works of infrastructure, the credit given to funding received from the EU is acknowledged by a very small icon or badge. But it is there.

As regards foreign aid, the evidence of need is seen every day in the media. Critics of such expenditure must be extremely cold-hearted to equate the levels of insecurity and unrelieved poverty which are found in such places as Darfur, South Sudan, Palestine, Somalia, and Central African Republic, with the conditions generally enjoyed in Britain.

Aid and support in those countries are not just a humanitarian imperative, but are a way of beginning to stem the flow of migrants from intolerable conditions.

I would further suggest many of the financial problems in this country could be remedied by the cancellation of our nuclear weapons and Trident programme.

This country is rich enough to look after all its people, with a decent standard of living, and rich enough to help others less fortunate than ourselves.

M J Franey, Wilpshire

Chris saves our fish and chips

Well done, Chris Davies. Our North West representative has won an ‘MEP of the Year’ award for his successful campaigning to reform the European Union’s fishing policy to protect our seas and fishing industry.

Thanks in part to his efforts, fish and chip shops can be confident that their supplies of fish will not disappear.

Chris did this like any other Liberal Democrat. He worked with people from across the North West to persuade MEPs to vote for what was right by running petitions, email campaigns and by doing some good old fashioned campaigning.

Real decisions get taken every day in Europe that affect jobs and our environment.

We are lucky that Chris Davies is there to stand up for the North West when those choices are made.

Prof Jo Crotty, chairman North West of England Liberal Democrats