Readers’ letters - March 16

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Please take pride and clear up afterwards

I am disgusted and disappointed by my fellow countrymen/women with the amount of rubbish that litters our towns, cities and countryside. Much of the rubbish is thrown from vehicles.

In addition to this is the amount of regular fly-tipping which has then to be removed by councils.

With regard to the thoughtless people who throw out rubbish from their cars, or drop cans down where they walk, surely it does not need a great deal of intelligence to think about taking their rubbish home with them and putting in their own bins? In my local area there are a group of people who have taken to ‘clearing up days’ and have made a splendid job (I hasten to add I will join them on their next ‘day’). I say thank you for your public spirit.

We can all learn a lesson here. Can my fellow citizens please think about the beautiful country we have, show a little pride and take home any litter they make.

Marilyn S Shaw

Address supplied

politics

Poorest set

to lose most

I do not normally use the word “evil” but since Pete Hanslip (Letters, March 13) uses it, albeit sarcastically,

to describe the Tories, this may be an apt juncture to consider what it means in reality.

Take the recent budget.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has set out a programme that makes so little sense that even economists are incredulous.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, “average earnings will be no higher in 2022 than they were in 2007”.

For the majority of working people in this country, that means 15 years without a pay rise.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has said that Britain is now facing its worst decade for wages since the Napoleonic Wars.

All the four million families with children claiming tax credits are set to lose £500 per year.

Even families with two children will be £1,051 poorer by the time of the next election.

Single parent families with two children will be £3,363 poorer.

The cuts to disability benefits takes away a total of £0.5bn from people who are already desperately poor.

In an economy in which only the super-rich are prospering, the poorest are set to lose most.

No end to this is in sight.

There’s no indication of when this era of grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt will be over.

Instead we move further away from a system which at least had some semblance of humanity into a place where life for most people is harder and darker.

Is this evil? It is hard to think of another word.

John Prance

Penwortham

energy

Who’s paying for police?

Do you happen to have any idea who is paying for the policing on Blackpool Road (the Cuadrilla site)?

I ask because, on the occasions I have driven through there on my way home, there is a constant, large police presence and yesterday in particular (March 14, approximately 4.15pm) I could not believe my eyes ... a number of police vans and a huge number of police officers in riot gear lining the road on both sides.

All I could see were about four or six protestors who, in the main, appeared to be older ladies, just standing there quietly.

Where is the threat that would justify a police presence like this?

Maybe I missed something?

If I did, the police officers standing around didn’t look as though they had anything in particular to deal with.

Is it really necessary to have such a huge police presence and, in so doing, does this not rather enforce the impression that fracking is a decision that is effectively being forced upon the people of Lancashire, whether we like it or not?

Counter productive, possibly?!

I didn’t realise that we now live in a police state.

Whatever and whoever is demanding this ridiculous police presence, I would at least like reassurance that it is not the Lancashire taxpayer who is covering the inevitable costs, particularly when police officers appear to be in short supply when they are needed in other areas.

M Cooksey

Ashton on Ribble

transport

Privatisation isn’t working

Politician Chris Grayling’s perverse idea of the meaning of ‘public service’ – more specifically, transport – suggests that he is more familiar with ‘public school’.

But no, like me, he is a product of one of Mrs May’s grammar schools.

This gives him far less excuse for his chosen disconnection with the day-to-day realities of 90 per cent of us.

Can he accept that UK public transport is a fragmented, ill-co-ordinated, outrageously expensive, increasingly non-existent shambles? It wasn’t always so. Well within living memory, trains and most buses were nationally or municipally operated. Lack of investment left them behind mainland Europe, but at least they were both available and affordable

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher convinced many of us that stockbrokers were the right people to run energy, with transport following.

We were conned, and continue to be ill-served and grossly overcharged in both fields. Time to paraphrase that most effective 1979 election slogan – “Privatisation isn’t working” – perhaps?

ME Wright

Address supplied

health service

We need to keep NHS staff

It is clear if we are to retain NHS staff, we must now scrap all tuition fee debts for doctors, nurses, radiographers, pharmacists and other healthcare professional for medicine-based courses. We must also start paying, as a free gift, tuition fees for all current students in these disciplines. Tuition fee debts are driving them out of the country. Brexit is making NHS recruitment and staff retention very difficult indeed. Staffing shortages are already being felt.

Nigel F H Boddy

via email