Time to talk to the voters
May I be afforded space to reply to the letter by the three Conservative candidates relative to the National Health Service (letters March 25). They contend that the National Health Service is safe in their hands, a statement to which I take strong exception.
They have enabled the Health and Social Care Act which could well bring about the demise of the service as we know it. We have seen the privatisation of services in both the Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals in which outside interest come in with low bids to secure contracts and in one case was proved to be unable to fulfil their contract obligations.
In a bid to save Chorley/South Ribble Hospital from the ravages of these reforms we have established an action group under the auspices of Chorley Trades Union Council, and as part of our campaign we have held two well attended public meetings in Chorley Town Hall.
In a bid to ensure broad public support we have invited the Conservative and Liberal parties to provide speakers at both events. In both cases they have declined to attend. May I remind them that if they choose to promote candidates to represent us in either Parliament or local authorities then they have an obligation to listen to our and the general public’s concerns.
They must be prepared to listen to our questions and observations that surround the privatisation and destruction of a service which we close to our hearts.
Let us consider the most recent sell off of the unit which provides sterile services to both our local hospitals. With virtually no consultation with the staff and trade unions involved they intend to offer the contract to an outside company, without any other companies being invited to tender.
They maintain the favoured company is the only company which can undertake the work to a satisfactory standard.
In order to perform this unusual act they cite a European regulation which permits sole letting of contracts if the company is considered to be the only one able to supply the service.
The management at the hospitals make the case it is to save money, in fact money was in the past allocated to upgrade the unit which serves both hospitals, but it appears to have vanished in the financial cutbacks which the government has thrust on the service.
These are battles which we are waging to protect a service we all love and wish to perpetuate, a service which is open to all irrespective of income.
So come on you representatives of the Liberal and Tory parties come and listen to our legitimate concerns.
Terry Bayes, Hoghton
Sad farewell to printing works
I was very sad to read the other day that Broughton Printers was to close (LEP March 26), I received loads of shocked calls from old workmates , and the phrase “end of an era “ was well used. I say sad even though I never liked the place much. My happy days were spent in Fishergate before its demise in 1989.
Broughton Printers was too big and there were so many titles, you never had the sense of working for anyone in particular, sometimes days , then nights on the Express and the Star.
It’s not the building though, it’s the amount of wonderful people I had the pleasure of working with in those two buildings. So I can only say a big thank you to all my colleagues and I hope the ones still there land on their feet somewhere.
In Fishergate we acquired a commissionaire called Jim Wilding who had never worked in any industry who marvelled at the fact the Post was produced with such efficiency when all the workforce was barking mad! Some sane, serious people did get employed there, happily they didn’t last. Thanks boys, it was fun while it lasted.
Allan Fazackerley, Penwortham
Catching out copy cat crooks
I had a giggle this afternoon at the thought of past police practise and a story told at a Masons’ meeting some years ago.
Apparently a certain bobby was doing rather well when it came to confessions saving police time, money and resources - a mystery that was only solved by a slip of the tongue during a moments unguarded bravado.
It seems the bobby had a secret weapon. A lie detector of the most sophisticated kind.
A huge chunk of a machine that sat in the corner of the police station and to which potential criminals were introduced and asked to place their right hand on.
The bobby then told the individual what the machine was and what it could do and that there would be no escaping the truth. ‘Were you there at the time of the crime’ boomed the bobby smartly pressing a button that promptly shot out an A4 sheet with a bold YES bang in the middle.
Joseph G Dawson,Withnell, Chorley
Importance of casting a vote
There is disillusionment with politicians and there are many who claim that it is not worth voting and that all politicians are all the same.
But stop a moment and think about the sort of society that you want to live in, and then about the ways to bring that about.
I want to see our health service freed from being privatised so that companies can make profits.
I remember so clearly my parents’ pride after 1948 that we had a national health service that was to serve the people.
I want to see public services recognised for the contribution they make to the sort of society that I value.
I want better support for local government to maintain essential services for young people, libraries and the arts.
I want a benefits system that does not treat people with the harshness of the current system. And I want much more.
There is a temptation to give up hope that change is possible.
But not all politicians, and not all parties, are the same.
So I would plead with people to find out about the candidates and beg young people to register and vote – this is your society, your future – the level of tuition fees is intolerable. There is a better way, and it starts with getting out to vote.
Roger Clough, Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University