Readers’ letters - February 23

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How can we replace all these job losses?

It seems almost inevitable that French car maker Peugeot will buy GM’s loss-making European arm, which will probably mean the closure of the Vauxhall Plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port.

This could result in the loss of 34,500 jobs here, but it is understood this might also result in the possible closure of Germany’s Opel Cars.

However, it is understood that their 30,000 jobs have already been promised protection by Germany’s politicians.

EU over-capacity in car manufacturing and our impending Brexit negotiations make it extremely unlikely the French government (16 per cent owners of Peugeot) will provide us with any deals when their car maker’s competition could be reduced overnight by the Vauxhall plants closures.

So it appears our Government will have the unenviable task of replacing these 34,500 jobs quickly in the near future to add to their other challenges.

E J Tilley

Chorley

brexit

End ‘tyranny of the majority’

Chris Moncrieff, in his column headed Who are the real ‘tyrants’?, states that he does not understand what is meant by “the tyranny of the majority” with regard to the outcome of the EU referendum (LP February 21).

Let me explain.

Those of us who voted to Remain now find ourselves being told to “get over it, you lost!”, and to get behind the decision, or are referred to as ‘remoaners’ because we fundamentally disagree with the majority.

We are told we are ‘anti-democratic’ for disagreeing with the ‘winners’.

That is what is meant by the tyranny of the majority, where those who disagree are portrayed as unpatriotic, and told to shut up and get in line.

Well, that is not how democracy works.

In a real democracy, people have the right to disagree with the majority, to continue to fight for what they believe in, and to stick to their principles.

In the case of Brexit, for millions of people that means continuing to believe that Britain would be better off remaining in the EU, and continuing to make the case for that.

After all, those who never wanted Britain in the EU in the first place fought (and moaned!) for 40 years to overturn the 1975 referendum result!

And don’t forget, if Chris Moncrieff really believes that the Leave side won the referendum “reasonably handsomely”, he either has a short memory or is bad at maths.

Leave won by the most narrow of margins, and represented only 37 per cent of those eligible to vote, not a majority at all, really!

Many who could have voted – like EU nationals resident in the UK – were excluded from the vote.

So, for the sake of a mature democracy, let’s have an end to this ‘tyranny of the majority’, Mr Moncrieff.

John Wright

South Ribble Liberal Democrats

environment

Garden waste still composted

The article in Tuesday’s LP reported the welcome news that people in Lancashire are good at recycling, ensuring we now recycle or reuse more than half of all household waste (LP February 21).

However, I would like everyone to know that their garden waste continues to be composted and not, as the article stated, sent to landfill, as it would cost a great deal more, and reduce recycling, if everyone stopped separating their garden waste.

We’ve changed the way our waste processing plants work, so we no longer compost garden waste indoors on site. We now send it to other companies to compost for us outdoors.

It’s vital that people continue to separate their garden waste as it costs around £20 a tonne to compost this way, but would cost around £120 a tonne if people put it in their grey bins and it had to be landfilled.

The reasons we have changed the way the plants at Thornton and Farington operate are complex, but we can do things much more cheaply due to changes in legislation and in the composition of waste, as people are now very good at separating it before it reaches us.

We still use these plants to process everything people separate into their recycling bins, process the leftover ‘grey bin’ waste (most of this is turned into fuel), and to collect green waste before it goes on to be composted elsewhere.

In Lancashire, we’re doing very well at recycling, so please keep doing it – including separating your green waste.

County Coun Marcus Johnstone

Lancashire County Council cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services

business

Green light for shops to close

What cynical economics by the Government and local councils.

High Street shops are struggling to survive, so instead of the Government and local councils freezing or even reducing business rates, they have a “brainwave” and hike them up.

If there ever was a green light for local shops to thrive – this isn’t it. It’s a green light for more shops to close down.

But isn’t it about time these “charity shops” started to pay some business rates? Their items are donated, yet they hike up their prices to the customer.

The days of paying NO business rates are now over, and they should now contribute to the economy and pay their fair share in taxes.

I fear I will watch more businesses on the High Street all close down.

The future most certainly does NOT look too bright for the once bustling High Street shops! RIP!

Darryl Ashton

Blackpool

business

Past nation of shopkeepers

We were once known as the nation of small shopkeepers. Are the new business rates going to kill us off?

Need we say what will happen then?

Jarvis Browning

Address supplied