Reader’s letters - Wednesday September 17, 2014

Trade union leader Jack Jones (with stick) campaigning in Lancashire 2005 at the age of 93 (see letter)

Trade union leader Jack Jones (with stick) campaigning in Lancashire 2005 at the age of 93 (see letter)

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Cost of change too much

Chorley’s proposal to become a unitary authority and do the work in the borough currently carried out by Lancashire County will involve finding new office accommodation, depots, plant and labour to service the jobs it intends to take on board.

The initial financial outlay could be fairly hefty, and, without any from central government, residents and business will be obliged to foot the bill for setting up the project.Larger local authorities, with a big revenue base, may well be able to take this in their stride and opt for unitary status without feeling the pinch, but smaller authorities, with relatively few rate payers, will find it impossible to make the change without bringing in unwelcome rate rises.

Lancashire County Council already has offices, depots, plant and labour in place, and Chorley rate payers have, over the years, contributed towards their purchase and upkeep.

The county’s works’ enterprises seem to be working efficiently, so what good reason is there for wanting to abandon what is already up and running and paid for?

The explanations given to date are that unitary status is the way forward, it will streamline, make things simpler and avoid confusion, but these are really not very good reasons for the serious business of going unitary.

Surely more detailed information should be forthcoming before the proposal can be looked upon as a viable proposition for Chorley.

Some consideration should also be given for those smaller, neighbouring local authorities who cannot afford the expense of going unitary.

As more of the larger authorities opt into the scheme, smaller authorities will find their share of their county rates increasing to cover the county’s standing overhead charges. It’s a situation they will be powerless to avoid, and it will not be surprising if the whole unitary procedure is looked upon by them as being unfairly discriminatory.

Jeff Thompson, via email

Jones’ past was no media myth

Your headline ‘besmirching of a great patriot’ to James Leigh’s letter refers to the comment Jack Jones was on the KGB payroll (letters September 12).

Mr Leigh seems to take great exception to this, labelling it ‘a myth generated by the right wing media to discredit a great man’. No doubt Jack Jones had some admirable qualities. He was however a member of the GB Communist Party from his early youth and maintained its ideals throughout his life.

Oleg Gordievsky was a KGB colonel and acknowledged by British Intelligence as the highest ranking, well connected and reliable agent ever recruited. He was awarded the CMG by the Queen for ‘services to national security’.

Gordievsky recalls many meetings, some even at the home of Jack Jones. Payment was made in exchange for information on matters such as union infiltration, nuclear and military policy. He states his last meeting was in 1984 after the 1983 election. A second agent, Anatoly Prokopenko – assistant director of Kremlin Archives – recalls monitoring a hefty three volume portfolio of Jones’ dealings with the Soviets. All just ‘ a right wing media myth’ Mr Leigh?

Mr Leigh says other comments are contradictory but agrees they are correct ? He attributes the social/economic disasters of the 1979 Labour government to soaring oil prices.

All advanced economies had to deal with the problem. Only Callaghan had to personally approach the IMF with his begging bowl. Not for nothing was Britain called ‘the sick man of Europe’.

Callaghan and Jones, Blair and ‘no more boom and bust ‘ Brown all brought the UK to the brink of bankruptcy with their socialist policies. I wouldn’t trust Labour to run a bath let alone the country.

Pete Hanslip, Lostock Hall

Proms sounded mournful note

Watching the four great nations of this union at Last Night of the Proms it filled me with sadness it could be the last.

But if the worst happens the remaining three nations will still carry on. Maybe no more Auld Lang Syne but God made us mighty this Land of Hope and Glory

Frank Curry, Fulwood, Preston

Deport Scottish city councillor

Former Coun Michael Lavalette’s musings on the Scottish independence debate are typical of someone who propagates left-wing mischief (LEP September 13). If our Scottish brethren were to vote to secede from the Union on September 18, would Lavalette be relieving the people of Preston of his presence, and thereby of the embarrassment of his persistent public protests?

I am sure that we could have a whip-round for a one-way ticket over the new border to Caledonia!

Charlotte Walmsley, Preston

Picking ballot paper apart

Is that a flaw I see in the strategy of the Scottish No campaign?

Even a child knows that yes is more appealing than no.

So why lead with a negative ‘No thanks’ when , ‘Yes, I’m voting No’ or ‘Yes, I’m voting to stay’ sounds psychologically so much better and would have competed on more equal terms with the ‘Yes’ campaign.

In politics as in life key words matter.

Joseph Dawson, Chorley

Independence now an illusion

Is the bid for independence for Scotland simply an old-ashioned illusion?

Can independence exist economically in times which even great powers are interdependent?

Didn’t Scotland enter the union in 1707 partly because of its unfortunate involvement in the South Seas bubble debacle which brought about financial interdependence?

Stan Anderton, Preston