Reader’s letters - Thursday, September 17

An artist's impression of how the new Fishergate Centre would look

An artist's impression of how the new Fishergate Centre would look

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Think carefully over crisis

The extent of the Syrian refugee problem seems only recently to have become headline news in Europe, whereas the grim reality of this war has been borne by neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon, who for the last five years have had to accept many millions of displaced Syrians fleeing for their lives. What appears to have been overlooked by the EU is that we in Britain have previously helped these affected countries to set up camps, together with the cost of feeding these refugees.

Now sensibly Cameron has announced that the UK will accept 20,000 refugees but they must be genuine Syrian refugees taken from these camps which will hopefully also reduce the number of imposters, a number of whom are actively seeking to become economic migrants here.

Because of the ‘Shengan Agreement’ creating EU open borders (which thankfully the UK has never been party to), it is now extremely difficult for EU countries to properly process these non EU people and distinguish Syrian refugees from African and Bangladeshi economic migrants, also fleeing to Europe for a better life.

Apparently the EU, witnessing the unfairness of Greece, Hungary and Italy having to solely bear this unco-ordinated immigration problem, has previously attempted to get a fair distribution across all member EU Countries but this has been rejected by their governments.

Unfortunately now Germany and Sweden, by their expressed willingness to take many more millions of refugees, do not appear to be putting in place any means of identifying the refugees from the migrants, which will only further encourage the ‘criminal gangs’ operating out of Africa to enrich themselves further by sending ever greater numbers of desperate people by flimsy boats across the Mediterranean.

This present competition as to how many refugees each European country is declaring they can support, must surely be based not purely on each country’s economic rating, but on available land area for the provision of employment, new housing, the number of schools and hospitals and doctors’ surgeries available to support this proposed influx.

It is easy for us in our comfortable European democracies to shrug off any responsibility we may have to help these desperate people seeking succour, but we also have a responsibility to ourselves and children to ensure that we do not overwhelm our country with thousands who we cannot properly employ, house, educate and care for, thereby condemning ourselves and them to an impoverished future.

E J Tilley, Chorley

Time to look 
at plans again

George Stephenson has a lot to answer for.

News of plans to invest £25m in Preston’s Fishergate Centre, including a sparkling new Vue cinema replacing the Capitol Centre one, if approved, brings the popcorn and city centre pizazz just 16 train minutes away from Chorley, quicker when electrification if complete.

As Chorley Council seeks to extend its Market Walk shopping centre, including a cinema, on to the main shoppers’ car park, councillors are already being challenged over the viability of Booths, which relies on convenient car parking.

Now with the news of the Fishergate development, so very close and convenient in travel time, is another great reason why Chorley councillors need to scrutinise their own council’s plans further.

It is not only the impact building on the main car park will have on retailing throughout the town and on its own retail tenants, but councillors should now question the commercial viability of the cinema hailed as key to their own development.

I ask because Chorley Council is spending our council taxpayers’ money on the project.

Peter Malpas, Chorley

Making bridge more popular

Bridge is a wonderful game and should be learnt by all. However, in today’s hectic lifestyle, families no longer sit down together for a game of cards, even at Christmas.

This is a shame as cards teach numeracy skills and give hours of pleasure at very little cost. This is where I believe the problem lies as to why bridge isn’t attracting more new players.

Bridge has so much to offer, listening to others during the auction, assessing your hand, being courteous and gaining immense pleasure when you make more tricks than anyone else, as well as making lots of new friends.

It would be excellent if bridge became part of the national curriculum and could be taught in primary schools, carried on through secondary education and then through university, as soon it will be a part of the Olympic games, in my opinion, as a mind sport. If anybody can enlighten me on how to recruit new players it would be appreciated.

Dave Parkin, Preston Bridge Club

Honest person handed in ring

I’m a volunteer at Baby Beat at Sharoe Green Maternity Unit, Royal Preston Hospital.

On Saturday, September 5, I was doing my shift, then left the hospital. I got home and noticed I had no gold ring on my finger.

So I phoned the reception in Maternity and was told somebody handed it in, after it was found in the toilets area. So I would like to say to the person who found it, you are a very honest person.

Thank you so much for doing that. It is much appreciated.

I did leave a thank you card at reception in case this person went back to see if it had been claimed, but nobody has.

I bought that ring some years ago in Bulgaria so it has some sentimental value to me.

Joan Johnston via email

Call for urgent EU referendum

Mr Cameron give us the referendum now! Another two years of open borders and the NHS, schools, housing, and roads will have collapsed under the weight of numbers. Cut us free from the madhouse of the EU, which in a few years’ time will be in flames, as people fight over fewer resources. Let us have what is left of this great country.

P. Ward, Leyland