Readers’ letters - April 20

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Missed chance to solve traffic issue

We had the final day of consultation on Lancaster City Council’s Draft Development Brief which set out housing development plans for possibly the next decade and beyond.

Residents of The Freehold, particularly those living on Derwent and Ullswater Roads, were devastated to learn that the planners have seemingly turned down a golden opportunity to put in place a stretch of straight, well-screened non-residential road, running mostly alongside the M6, joining Quernmore Road to Caton Road. This would relieve rat running in our old housing estate and take hundreds of daily journeys out of Lancaster’s one-way system.

The planners envisage 1,000 new houses on Ridge and Cuckoo Farms, specifically mentioning they do not want to construct a through road within the estate which might allow those living in South East Lancaster to get quickly to junction 34 and the new link road on the M6. For goodness sake, why not?

The huge expansion of housing on the Moor Hospital sites, Nightingale Farm and The Potteries, along with the opening of the link road, has led to a massive increase of traffic on The Freehold and the Ridge, which unlike the projected new estate, were not protected from rat-running when these new developments were planned.

A thousand more houses will generate even more traffic, both down East Road into town, past the Boys’ Grammar School and also along Derwent Road, which is the major route to the Central High School, Lancaster Royal Grammar School rugby fields and the Christ Church and Firbank Primary Schools.

Derwent and Ullswater are already dangerous residential roads and becoming ever more so. Mute witness to this rise in traffic levels are the numerous deep pot-holes, which have emerged in the last few months.

A well-designed, non-residential, single carriageway, arterial road bordering the new estate, behind the prison and alongside the motorway, would have no harmful impact on housing. Good tree screening would in fact reduce the residential impact of noise from the M6. Importantly, it would massively reduce journey times between SE Lancaster and junction 34, whilst greatly reducing traffic in The Freehold and the Ridge estates.

Stuart Lawson

Lancaster

politics

Have say on ward boundary changes

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across Ribble Valley to comment on its draft proposals for new council ward boundaries.

A 10-week public consultation on the recommendations will end June 19.

The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Ribble Valley.

The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that Ribble Valley should have 40 councillors in the future, the same as the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent 14 two-councillor wards and 12 one-councillor wards across the borough.

The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the commission’s website at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings.

The commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible to develop final recommendations for Ribble Valley. If you would like to make a submission, please write or email us by June 19:

The Review Officer

(Ribble Valley)

Local Government Boundary Commission for England

politics

Clever strategy by Prime Minister

The Prime Minister said she wouldn’t call an early General Election, for good reasons. She has now done so for even better reasons.

Firstly, it has become apparent that the other parties and the Lords are intent on scuppering the negotiations underway to leave the EU.

She argues that they are preventing her offering to the country the Brexit deal that is best for Britain. What she didn’t mention is that some 50 Tory MPs are determined to oppose any attempts by the EU to extract important compromises if we are to get a worthwhile deal.

By calling an election which will emphasise a hard Brexit, May hopes, if she wins, and significantly increases her party’s majority, to ensure that she will get Parliamentary approval to press ahead.

Two more factors influenced her decision. It has become increasingly clear that a generous ‘implementation phase’ will be needed. If she wins, she will have two more years to ensure the transition. These will prove to be invaluable.

Finally, the most recent polls indicate Labour is more than 20 points behind the Conservatives. It is in a parlous state, offering little in the way of credible or robust opposition.

By supporting the early election, Corbyn, whose position as leader now hangs by a thread, has ensured that the PM will get the necessary 434 votes required by law to call an election for June 8.

The election will not eat into our negotiating time because this will not start in earnest until late summer when the German and French elections will be over.

However, it will seriously eat into the time needed for some very important and complex domestic legislation. Crucially, it will mean there will be far less time for the scrutiny of Bills.

A win for the Tories will give May a clear mandate and this makes for strong negotiators. Clear mandates limit the negotiator’s ability to make concessions and so increase their bargaining power. The EU will find it much harder to extract concessions. It is a clever strategy.

Dr Barry Clayton

Address supplied

environment

We’ve taken our share of the burden

So it’s been confirmed that green belt on Euxton Lane will be used for 140 more houses.

When will enough be enough? When there is not a single bit of greenery left of Euxton?

I agree the whole country needs to build more housing but if you look back over the last 30 years, surely with Astley Village, Gillibrand, Buckshaw, etc etc, we must have taken our share of the burden in the Chorley area.

It’s about time Lindsay Hoyle did something at a government department level if local councils have their hands tied.

I’m afraid he seems to be pretty ineffectual when it comes to the issues local people are bothered about.

Perhaps the coming election is time for a change?

(Although what any politicians says when canvassing and what they do once elected is rarely the same thing).

Roy Mark

via email

politics

Lots of thinking to do before June 8

A General Election for June 8 is a clever move with the Lib Dems wanting a re-run of the EU referendum, SNP wanting to stay in the EU and Labour saying they might vote against any deal on the EU. So what do we want?

Another four years of Tory rule and leave the EU or rid of the Tories and stuck with the EU? Lots of thinking to do.

Mark Read

Address supplied