Readers’ letters - February 17

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Park a perfect place for horse racecourse

A major report has just been published to say that British parks are returning to a period of neglect not seen since the 1980s.

And it has to be said that the vast expanse of Moor Park is not what it was.

Okay, it still has the observatory, the bowling greens, the swings and the far from attractive duck-pond, but long gone is the outdoor swimming-pool (pictured), the miniature golf course, the big pavilion and the aviary (albeit once populated by rather sorry-looking peacocks!).

Crowds used to pack to the edge of Blackpool Road to watch the cricket in the 1930s, but that is no more than a distant memory.

What we have now is a large expanse, of well, nothingness that is largely unused. So what to do about?

Well,it is the perfect venue for a racecourse. The area has ‘form’ in this regard.

Horse races used to be held on the site and one of the most famous horses of the 19th century, Dr Syntax, won the Preston Gold Cup on no fewer than seven occasions, making him a national equine star – such was his reputation that they named a pub after him on Fylde Road.

Moor Park is perfectly placed for a racecourse – in fact, it is surprising that it has not crossed Trevor Hemmings’ mind already!

It has the acreage, as well as the motorway link and would be ideal for an all-weather track. It would fulfil a need too.

Yorkshire may be extremely well off for racecourses, but the same can’t be said for this side of the Pennines, where there are none. There is Haydock, Chester, Aintree and Cartmel in the North West, but more than enough room for one in God’s own county, an ideal, viable proposition for the racing man with the right entrepreneurial spirit.

Stephen Simpson

Preston

health services

Help save our cherished NHS

Your special report, The great NHS gamble, by Johnston Press investigators, has been excellent.

The NHS Reinstatement Bill has a second reading in Parliament on February 24.

This proposed regulation to end the effects of austerity and privatisation of the NHS is important.

Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act laid the ground for the final stealth and privatisation of our cherished NHS after decades of cuts and private sector outsourcing.

This makes the NHS Reinstatement bill most timely and important as the privatisation of our NHS could see the Government out of office, even if it does try to cut and run, with a general election.

Many Tory voters are turned off voting Tory with Osborne’s and Hammond’s austerity. If the petition to stop Trump gets nearly two million signatures in a matter of weeks, surely the petition to defend our most loved NHS and public services can gain many more?

Visit NHSbill2015.org

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) has pledged to nationalise the NHS so there is plenty to fight for.

Royston Jones

via email

politics

The nasty party rules supreme

We are the fifth biggest economy in the world.

We cannot afford to look after our sick or our disabled or our elderly because of lack of social care.

We cannot afford to accept any unaccompanied child refugees from Europe.

We cannot afford to fund our schools, our prisons, our courts, our local government or our environment.

We can afford to cut corporation tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.

Meanwhile we are hurtling away from our 500 million free trade neighbours into the arms of the protectionist and delusional Trump. We are in danger that, after 10 years of negotiations, “Great Britain” will have become “Little England”.

We have no effective opposition to challenge these priorities because Labour is in crisis.

So the nasty party, as Theresa May once called it, rules supreme.

Mike Turner

via email

charity

Share our wealth with other nations

I write in response to Lindon Dove’s letter (LP February 15) about his grandmother’s wisdom that charity begins at home. She sounds like a wonderful lady with a wealth of common sense and good family values. However, it is important to remember she was of her time. We are no longer a country struggling to recover from two world wars. We are no longer a people who are starving and unable to get even basic medical care.

And yet there are people in the world who are starving, who are unable to get clean water, and who are dying because of a lack of basic medicine.

As one of the richest countries in the world, I find it deeply sad that people still think we should not be sharing that wealth with some of the most needy countries.

The mantra that we must “look after our own first” is supremely selfish in this day and age and I urge people to look beyond their own personal horizons at the horrors that are happening elsewhere.

Yes, there are some of us who are struggling in the UK, but the amount we send out as foreign aid is a drop in the ocean of our national budget.

As for Mr Dove’s lamentations over health tourism plaguing the NHS, is he aware the cost of that to the taxpayer is just 0.01 per cent of the entire NHS budget?

Julie Jeffries

via email

politics

Insulting ex-Labour voters as ‘toerags’

Paul Mason, the Corbyn-supporting former BBC reporter, told an audience in Hackney, east London (where else?) :“Most of the UKip people are either people who haven’t voted or have flipped in a radical way from Labour.

“They are toerags, basically.

“They are the bloke who nicks your bike.

“No, seriously, that’s who it is, it’s the bloke who does all the anti-social things.”

So if you are working class or a disillusioned Labour voter or a first time voter and are considering voting for a different party then you are a thieving, anti-social “toerag”.

We now know how the trendy left Labour Corbynisters considers their traditional and new voters.

Bernard Darbyshire

via email

health services

Rise in population doesn’t help

Well, the NHS seems to be sinking (so we are lead to believe).

Open your eyes people, the NHS is doing a fantastic job with what it has.

But the more people we let in from other countries “to use our facilities” – for instance, the health service, schools and housing – then yes, we will struggle.

We as a nation are vastly over populated.

Anon