Reader’s letters - Tuesday July 01, 2014

The Queen on a visit to Poundbury, in Dorset,  which one reader believes offers a planning model for Lancashire
The Queen on a visit to Poundbury, in Dorset, which one reader believes offers a planning model for Lancashire
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Tories to blame for blight

There has been a lot correspondence in recent weeks from people alarmed at the various plans to build new hundreds of homes across the rural areas of Lancashire.

For most people a home is the largest investment they will make both financially and in terms of emotional investment, and Englishman’s home is his castle and all of that.

One thing which does strike me is so many of these proposed schemes are in Lancashire’s True Blue heartlands where the faithful return their Conservative candidates at every opportunity.

And yet it is the Tories who unleashed this wave of house building on the countryside in a bid to kickstart the economy at the same time as encouraging the arrival of fracking in the countryside with an uncertain legacy still to be fully understood.

Will people remember this next time they head to the ballot box or are the alternatives so unpalatable that a new housing estate where once there was a scenic view is still the preferred option.

M Roberts, Fulwood

Up the ante on fracking bosses

I am completely against fracking anywhere in the UK. Once a water-table is contaminated there is no way back and the companies applying for these ecological disasters know this and don’t care.

There is enough evidence from the USA to show this. I’m appalled that the leaders of this country can see no further than the money... and that is all this ‘rush to frack’ is.

Money and the devil take the hindmost. If it was safe, France and Germany would be on to it like a shot. What is needed is a law to say for every frack contamination, all the directors of the company involved get a mandatory 10-year jail sentence, then see who is willing to take the chance!

Keith Hallam, address supplied

No frack risk is worth taking

In reply to comments about fracking plans being submitted, no wonder other countries treat the British as a soft lot.

When the fracking companies started to drill some time ago, I said to my wife that I knew they would get their own way. Some people have commented that even if there is a slight risk, it is necessary. But I would like to suggest to those people that this is the case only so long as you do not have it near you.

Paul Smith, address supplied

Other area lead way on building

I think the best solution for the need for new housing in the Lancaster area would be a new heritage-style town, like Poundbury in Dorset and Fairford Leys in Buckinghamshire.

The reason? Well, the city cannot take any more traffic on its congested roads (which will only get worse with the already proposed new housing), despite the promise of the new bypass .

Ditto the A6 corridor, with its bottlenecks at Galgate and Carnforth traffic lights. A new, small, purpose-designed and built town, with newly-installed infrastructure with enough capacity to cope (unlike the city and local villages), is the best way forward.

As for location, well it needs to be away from the A6 for the reasons already stated, but with good access to the new Junction 34 on the M6, so the north-east proposal looks to be the best.

If we could make it as lovely as Poundbury (I haven’t visited Fairford Leys, so I can’t comment, but I understand it’s built on the same lines), but sympathetic to our own area, then it could be a lovely addition to our area.

Stephanie Bruntlett, Forton

Pensions need to be fairer

It is disgraceful that some widowers, surviving civil partners and same-sex spouses are losing out on thousands of pounds of retirement income, simply because of their gender or sexual orientation.

This discrimination is especially widespread in the private sector, where one in four defined benefit schemes discriminate against same-sex couples.

Thankfully, a new Government report shows it doesn’t cost much to put right the injustice. The £400m cost to their private sector schemes is equivalent to just 0.03 per cent of pension liabilities.

While the costs across public sector schemes are greater, the £2.7bn in extra liabilities which would be paid out over several decades is easily affordable. The government must now do the right thing and change the rules on defined benefit pensions so everyone is entitled to a full survivor pension when their spouse or civil partner dies.

Derek Barton, British Pensioner and Trades Union Action Alliance, Preston

Nation is a soft touch and mess

What further proof is needed to show that the UK is fast becoming a Third World country mainly due to our continued membership of the EU, aided and abetted by our weak-kneed/liberal politicians.

Our politicians, with a few notable exceptions, appear to be oblivious to the ongoing decline and decimation of our educational system, falling standards and the adherence to political correctness, human rights and over-regulation by both the EU/Brussels and our own government.

We witness the likes of the former discredited PM Blair who is now pontificating over the Iraq/Iran crisis and the UK’s further involvement and the proposal to send aid when we cannot even sort out our own internal problems. Meanwhile, the NHS needs more funding, our minor roads are a disgrace and yet the Government want to build more houses, presumably to house the ever-growing numbers of immigrants.

Why do these immigrants want to come to the UK in spite of our obvious internal problems?

Perhaps they have heard we are a soft touch and they are protected by the human rights laws and abused legal system plus the inadequacy of our sentencing system. What a mess we are in!

David W Wright, address supplied