Leave job to professionals
I am confused as to what emergency vehicle to expect. If it is a medical emergency do I get a fire engine or an ambulance, if it is a fire do I get an ambulance or a fire engine (LEP April 27)?
It seems the only way to find out which service is better able to cope is to go to Seattle USA and ask them! These wastrel managers of taxpayers’ funds obviously have no clue as to what they’re paid for so they have to go half way across the world to learn how to do their jobs.
Why stop at firefighters to supplement ambulances and paramedics? Why not bus drivers or refuse collectors, even taxi drivers? Give them all a first aid kit and a couple of days training and cancel the freebie trip to Seattle for the NWAS management.
The fire service is good at dealing with fires, that is what they are trained to do, paramedics are good at dealing with medical emergencies, that is what they are trained to do. I fail to see any connection between the two. A paramedic is no more trained to deal with a house fire than a fireman is trained to deal with a drug overdose.
The management of NWAS seems to be oblivious of financial constraint. When they took over the NHS 111 service last year, they immediately, and frivolously, spent taxpayers’ money on needless things. For example, all staff at the call centres had to wear a uniform. This is a call centre, nobody sees them, yet they were provided with expensive uniforms, did this improve the service?
Now they are so bereft of ideas on to how to make the ambulance service work they must go to America for advice. The Americanisation of the health service has resulted in litigation fees and expenses of over £15bn of the NHS budget set aside for medical claims this year against the NHS, do we really need this sort of help from America?
I would suggest that rather than go on this freebie jaunt to Seattle, the management of NWAS look to their own CVs, which no doubt stated that they were ably suited and qualified for the position of management in a key public service and made no reference to their need for guidance from foreigners.
Mike McCarthy, Ribbleton
Quiz hopefuls over frack view
Fracking developments in Lancashire appear to be on hold until after the General Election. However, last week there was an interesting revelation at an election hustings meeting in Sussex which has implications for us all.
When the candidates were asked if they were for or against fracking, Sir Nicholas Soames (Con) said he was all for it (LEP April 28).
But he added that it would be “silly” for it to take place in a “heavily populated” place such as Sussex. Instead he recommended that fracking should go ahead and be tested for safety in the unpopulated Trough of Bowland where “it wouldn’t trouble people”.
Do our Ribble Valley constituency candidates agree with his suggestion?
Muriel Lord, Chipping
Too many new homes in town
Six months ago, Warton residents and the parish council sent the Neighbourhood Plan to Fylde Council.
It has still not been acted upon. This plan was to cap new buildings reaching above 650.
While it has sat on someone’s desk, Warton has been flooded with proposals for 1,600 houses that we feel nobody will want to buy.
Since the neighbourhood plan has been delivered, they began building 85 houses on Riversleigh Far, 200 on the Marconi site and 56 on Oaklands caravan park.
Warton cannot support any more housing. Please FBC, look at the plan and help us before it is too late.
David Hoyle, via email
How the debt is best to tackled
The Evening Post published my letter showing the UK National Debt had doubled during the recent Conservatives Government (letters April 25).
It said respected, independent Institute for Fiscal Studies stated that, after five years of cuts and austerity “the Chancellor has added more to the nation’s debt, in five years, than the last Labour government did in 13 years.”
A Mr Leak replied with a very critical letter. He wrote, shame on me for being ignorant of the facts. He stated the national debt was related to people’s bank credit debts. It is not, it is the money owed by the Government.
Further Mr Leak alleged I was mixing up national debt with the budget deficit. However, I was talking about the national debt, not the deficit. But both are very important to Britain’s economy.
Therefore, let’s look at the record regarding the deficit. During the last Labour Government, between 1998 and 2001, we had four straight years of deficit surplus. But, a government doesn’t just borrow money to pay back the deficit. It also borrows to make big beneficial investments for the nation; such as infrastructure projects that are not included. If the government is running a deficit, it may make worthwhile investments on top of this and will therefore need to borrow to cover both.
For example, in the calendar year 2007, the Labour government borrowed £37.7bn, of which £28.3bn was invested in big beneficial projects (leaving £9.4bn which represented the current budget deficit). Conversely, in 2013, the Conservative-led coalition borrowed £91.5bn, with just £23.7bn invested in big projects (leaving a much more damaging £67.8bn current budget deficit).
At a time of austerity the Tories plan to cut the deficit in, at least, half the time of Labour’s plans. Is this sensible?
By comparison and relevant, at a time of financial difficulty, would most people who are struggling to pay off business loans, or house mortgages debts think it sensible, or practical, to pay off their debts in half of the time necessary. This would often be the way to financial ruin for businesses and of unacceptable cuts to household budgets and hardship for families. Most rational people pay off their debts quicker when austerity eases and they have some extra finances available. This is also what a good government should do.
Peter Ward , former financial director, Cottam