Reader’s letters - Wednesday January 21, 2015

Clive Grunshaw  officially opens the Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company last year
Clive Grunshaw officially opens the Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company last year
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Focus on policy not funds

Like the Police and Crime Commissioner I’m not sure Tracey Wilkinson understands the democratic process (letters January 19).

Democracy means giving the people the opportunity to air their views even though you and the commissioner may not like the result of that consultation.

If his democratic principles were applied to the forthcoming General Election and we banned all the fringe parties on the principle that the party in power didn’t like their views or didn’t like a chance that they might have to negotiate with one of them to form a government we would all be up in arms including, I imagine, you Tracey.

On the economic side it is patently obvious the commissioner is still wearing his socialist hat with the result that, like always, the only way he tries to solve perceived economic problems is to raise taxes and throw money around as if it was confetti. Shades of the last disastrous Labour Government?

The Police and Crime Commissioner should be providing strategic leadership not tinkering at the edges of Lancashire’s budget.

Those days have gone. He should be negotiating with his fellow commissioners in Liverpool, Manchester, Chester and Cumbria to form a regional police force with the massive savings which can obviously be made.

But, and it is a big but, will Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables give up their fiefdoms and massive salaries.

As I have stated before “Do Turkeys vote for Christmas?”

Bernard Darbyshire, via e-mail

Policing not a public priority

Clive Grunshaw, the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, is hardly qualified to advise the Home Secretary about financial management and police funding, (LEP January 16). The Police and Crime Commissioner’s only acumen regarding financial matters is his penchant for over claiming his expenses.

It is easy for a man on a £100,000 plus salary package to say there is no need for a referendum claiming his ‘research’ shows 82 per cent of residents are willing to pay more council tax to fund the police and his office, with the average wage for the region being not much over £20 000, perhaps the commissioner has been a little selective in his ‘research’.

Of course the majority want better policing, just as they want a better NHS, better schools, better roads etc.

I’m sure that if the commissioner’s research questions asked people to prioritise what they would prefer to spend more of their money on policing would not be top of the list.

Mr Grunshaw’s ability and suitability as police and crime commissioner have been seriously questioned and were his position not guaranteed for his elected term he would most certainly have been told to seek employment elsewhere, despite many calls for his resignation he remains in his lucrative post.

It is ironic that the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire is twice accused of submitting false expenditure claims whilst campaigning for more funding.

Michael McCarthy, Ribbleton

Get officers out of police cars

Which part of the county has Mr Grunshaw asked about a rise in contributions.

He certainly has not been round where I live. If he wants us to pay more why can’t he start the ball rolling by taking a pay cut,because I do not want to pay anymore when he supposedly has millions stashed away.

He needs to introduce pedal power more instead of them driving round in nice warm cars where the wrong doers can see them. Rant over.

Name and address supplied

Tough step to go to food bank

A question I am deeply saddened to ask but it would be remiss of me if I didn’t is, do you need an invitation to visit a food bank?

Just under 3,000 residents of Morecambe and Lunesdale visited Morecambe Bay Food bank on Green Street in 2014, one of a handful in our district.

None of them needed or desired an invitation. Instead many of them used the food bank as a last resort to feed their families and themselves in times of desperation.

Benefits delays, benefit sanctions, debt and low-pay are all cited as significant reasons people in our district are relying on food handouts. Compare this to the local Tory MP, who has demanded a number of conditions be met before he can grace our local foodbank with his presence. These include a need to have an invitation and accompaniment by the CEO of Trussell Trust which supports Morecambe Bay Food bank.

It is not enough for him that men, women and children in his constituency are so poor, so beaten by his government’s welfare cuts that they turn to complete strangers to support them.

However the final nail in the coffin is his assertion he needs all these conditions to be met so he can make ‘a responsible visit’. If only residents had the luxury of such conditions.

Food banks are not an emotive issue as this Tory government and its representatives claim. Rather they reflect the morality of our nation leadership, the seventh richest in the world. All one can take from these resolute dismissals of food poverty is an armour of dishonour and cowardice. Not attractive qualities for anyone, least of all very privileged public servants.’

Amina Lone, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale

Check common courtesy out

When I was in a Tesco Express store one morning I said hello to a woman customer. She just ignored me and walked away. When I was at the checkout this woman came up behind me and I took my opportunity to ask her why she was so ignorant.

She said: ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, (as they usually are) I didn’t hear you.’ Then she said hello to meand I replied; ‘There, that didn’t hurt, did it?’ And I very calmly walked away. The friendliness and politeness of some people really does astound me.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool