Reader’s letters - Thursday September 18, 2014

Preston's indoor market is under threat of closure (see letter)

Preston's indoor market is under threat of closure (see letter)

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Human impact of closure

I am writing to you with regard to the closure of Preston indoor market. I am very disappointed about the seemingly lack of consultation with the people who use these excellent facilities.

I think very little thought and consideration has been given to the customers and the upset and inconvenience the closure will cause. I am a regular and loyal customer and have been for many years.

Preston Indoor Market provides an excellent array of produce of a high quality and value for money. It is also for many people a meeting place where they can meet with friends and take refreshment or just see a friendly face and have a chat.

An outdoor market can never replace the facilities which already exist and I fear many current traders will have to reconsider their options and some stall holders I have spoken with have intimated they will cease trading altogether if the changes take place and this would be detrimental to everyone.

I realise the decision has already been made to close the market but I feel so strongly about it that had to write to you to express my views.

The indoor market has been a vibrant institution for many years and Preston will never be the same without it and much poorer for its loss.

Mrs Lilian Counsell MBE, Penwortham

Betters deal for deaf customers

I write on behalf of the deaf community regarding the checkout in stores which are not giving deaf people an idea how much they need to pay. Lancashire Deaf Rights Group based in Preston is concerned deaf shoppers are paying for the things without knowing the total amount they have to pay.

It is good that many stores have the display screen at checkouts showing the amount for each purchase and also the total amount to pay. Deaf and hard of hearing people can’t hear the checkout assistants, so the display screen is very helpful.

The problem is why do some stores have checkout assistants untrained to do the task of putting the total amount on the screen?

Even worse there are some shops without the screen at checkouts. What the group is saying is deaf shoppers have the right to access to information like everybody else. Also there is the public address system at superstores, that is not accessible to deaf people, there should be a display screen around the stores visible to deaf and hard of hearing people. Deafness is an invisible handicap, why not make things visible for deaf people?

Len Hodson, Lancashire Deaf Rights Group.

Review scheme for teachers

I refer to the payment of facilities time money to teachers (and perhaps others)

I have no objection to the proper use of this fund ie­ to enable a serving teacher who is a volunteer for a union to be released from teaching to support a teacher member who needs support in a meeting (although I think most meetings should be held after school when no teaching time is lost).

However, the current situation is that some people are choosing to work entirely for the union but be paid a salary through Facilities Time and the powers that be are aware of this.

Examples in the NUT are: a ‘supply’ teacher who is registered with an agency but never works for them. It is merely a way to receive funds.

A teacher who is not a secretary but is described as one. Retired teachers. Unemployed teachers. I can suggest a foolproof system to prevent this.

Only allow schools who have booked and paid for a substitute teacher to replace a permanent teacher to claim facilities time funds.

A very disgruntled rate payer

Find out more about bird life

With reference to recent letters from Amanda Anderson, of the Moorland Association, (letters August 25) and from Martin Sutcliffe (letters September 4), the former attacking the opinions of Chris Packham, the conservationist, and the latter defending those same opinions.

It just serves to indicate the polarisation of views of those two disparate interests surrounding the future of the Hen Harrier.

If you are interested in learning more about the principle subject of this argument, particularly in Lancashire’s Bowland Forest, then I can do no better than suggest you attend the first meeting of the approaching Winter season of lectures with the Preston Bird Watching and Natural History Society.

It takes place this coming Monday, September 22, at 7.30pm, in St Mary’s Church Hall, Cop Lane, Penwortham, and is entitled, “Sky Dancer Project - Hen Harriers in Bowland” with the RSPB’s Gavin Thomas. Sky-dancing is a reference to the mating display of this species, and it is a life-enhancing spectacle that we are in grave danger of losing in Bowland. Non-members are most welcome, with a £2 cost for the single talk. Anyone wanting further information, please ring me on 01772 768637

Steve Halliwell, committee member of Preston Bird Watching and Natural History Society

No variety in a poor show

Am I a gluten for punishment? I decided to give the revised Sunday night at the Palladium a look-in but boy, was I bored. If this is the best in talent they can find please don’t make another series. That host was not a patch on Sir Bruce Forsyth, Ted Rogers or Jimmy Tarbuck.

Where has all the talent and the variety acts gone to? And those so-called comedians is this the real cream of the crop that TV can offer us?

It just hasn’t got that magic pulling power that the original Sunday night at the Palladium had and that show made international stars of the acts which appeared.

I guess ITV thought they could resurrect a fabulous and variety filled family show again. Sorry, in my own opinion they failed and failed miserably!

This whole sorry programme doesn’t say much for today’s so-called alleged talent.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool