Readers’ letters - February 2

Badgers are being culled ' yet there is another solution says a reader. See letter

Badgers are being culled ' yet there is another solution says a reader. See letter

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‘No friend of the workers’

Trade unions helped workers win health and safety law, fair wages, maternity and paternity pay and a better deal at work.

Without trade unions, we would have no paid holidays.

Days lost to industrial action are at an all-time low as unions these days are settling concerns at work before they become disputes.

Over six million working people and their families are supported by their unions. They are the drivers, carers, paramedics, oil workers, cabin crew, scientists – you name it, they’re in a union – of the nation.

So why does this Conservative Government want to crush their trade unions?

Their (anti) trade union bill is making its way through Parliament.

It has been slammed by managers, ex-ministers and even the Government’s own regulators, denounced as ‘not fit for purpose’ and dangerously ‘ideological’.

Even Tory MPs feel unease about it, with one saying it was akin to something found in ‘Franco’s Spain’.

When this bill becomes law, the workers of these isles will be the poorest protected, easiest to mistreat in the EU.

Quite an achievement for a Government that pledged to be the ‘party of the working people’.

In May when the local elections come, I urge readers who can vote to do so. When you go to the polls remember this – the Tory government is no friend of working people.

Steven Turner (Chorley & District Trades Council)

Help instead of tormenting

I never thought I’d say this, but well done to the House of Lords!

They have voted against the Government’s cynical plans to target, yet again, the disability benefits of the vulnerable and disabled people who cannot work and who get extra support to help them possibly try to find work with their Employment & Support Allowance.

The Government planned to axe the extra top-up of £30 for all new claimants from 2017.

If the Tories had made it crystal clear of how they would treat the disabled people who claim these benefits – and what disability benefits they would target – before they won power, the result of the general election would have been very different.

The Tories are always targeting the most vulnerable, knowing full well they can’t afford to fight them. Thankfully, the House of Lords has blocked their plans.

Why are the Tories trying to say that ESA (Employment & Support Allowance) is the same as Jobseekers Allowance? It isn’t. It’s completely different, and so is the qualifying criteria.

I also think the “bedroom tax” should also be scrapped.

Why are the Tories ‘bullying’ and ‘harassing’ disabled people in this country with these cynical tactics?

Please do stop – or your plans will cause more suicides among those most vulnerable which you really should be helping, not tormenting.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool

Arrogance is the way of the world

I would just like to drop a line on the culling of badgers as they seem to be still going ahead with it.

I’ve heard that in Wales they are trying a different method and I think it seems to be working as in trying the vaccination of cattle.

I don’t believe this Government has really tried all the options, I think they just want to get it done.

I have never seen a badger in the wild and it looks like I never will.

I also have never seen a beaver or any of the other wild animals.

When they have killed all the badgers, what are they going to do then?

This seems to be the way of the world now, and so many animals are in danger because of people’s arrogance and indifference.

Katherine Newman, address supplied

Merging could be good idea

In the light of the announcement by Mike Penning, Police and Fire Services Minister, that Police and Crime Commissioners may well take responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Services as well, it focused on the potential possibility of merging the emergency call centres.

On the face of it, it seems a good idea.

I served for 28 years with the Lancashire Constabulary and cooperation and joint working with colleagues in the Lancashire Fire and Rescue was essential for everyone and continues to be a daily occurrence as both services seek to serve the people of the county.

Information would be received from the BT 999 service and passed to both control rooms separately.

On arrival at the scene of a road traffic collision, fire or other incident, we would then jointly decide on the best use of the staff and equipment to deal with the incident.

So it would seem to make sense that this command and control should begin earlier in the process.

However, I add a word of caution.

The telephone and radio control centres of our emergency services are an extremely complex working environment.

In some months, the staff have to cope with over 90,000 calls (Home Office 101 data), many of these are life and death situations and the stress and strain on them can be extreme.

Before we go down this route of merging, we must carefully weigh up all the advantages/disadvantages and, of course, the potential financial savings could be of great benefit to releasing more front-line resources.

Andrew Pratt, Conservative candidate for the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner elections

Funds will help flood victims

I am writing to thank everyone who supported Preston Rotary Club during its collection in the Guild Hall for the duration of the pantomime.

With the help of the Reindeer and Santa’s sleigh, we collected £963.09. This is a great result for the club as it will enable us to support local flood victims, plus other charities who seek our help in the coming months.

Thanks also to all the Guild Hall staff for their help and support.

Lyn Fenton, Preston Rotary Club