Readers’ letters - March 8

British Home Stores is considering closing some of its shops and high rents has been blamed. See letter

British Home Stores is considering closing some of its shops and high rents has been blamed. See letter

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Rents too high for shops

British Home Stores is considering closing some of its stores – with the loss of around 500 jobs.

The issue here is ‘greedy landlords’.

Yes, landlords are not content with charging realistic and affordable rents, but hike up the rents they charge.

Bad news for British Home Stores and for all those people losing their jobs because of this issue.

Hence why more and more shops and businesses are all closing down – due to unjustifiably high rents – and, in some cases, massively high council tax and business rates.

Why don’t these property/business landlords not reduce their rents they charge?

This would help the businesses get the economy back on track again.

And this way there wouldn’t be any job losses, maybe it would create more jobs.

A bit of negotiation when renewing the rents of the business and watch them all flourish.

Sadly, in the world of money-making greed, this probably will never happen.

I have seen many shops close, and all because of unjustifiable high rents, council and business rates. Councils should be doing a lot more to keep local shops in business, not financially forcing them all out of business by hiking up their business rates! And, property landlords, please, reduce the rents and help businesses stay in business.

Good luck to British Home Stores and all its staff.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool

Urgent nursing crisis in NHS

Working in any environment experiencing staff shortages can be incredibly challenging and have potentially serious consequences. This is particularly true of nursing.

New figures, obtained through Freedom of Information requests, suggest there were more than 1,876 nursing vacancies in the North West and some 23,400 nursing vacancies in the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as of December 1 last year. The latter is the equivalent to nine per cent of the workforce.

Sadly, this is no surprise to the Royal College of Nursing.

Nursing posts are often the first target when savings need to be made, leading the NHS to find itself dangerously short and having to spend more on agency staff and recruitment from other countries. The UK is not training enough nurses to meet our needs, and changes to student funding are yet another threat to future staff numbers.

The consequences are felt by nursing staff and patients alike – nurses work under relentless pressure and patients face delays.

Tackling the problem is made no easier because vacancies are no longer collected, held or published centrally so we could effectively assess workforce gaps nationally. Freedom of Information allows us some insight but is by no means perfect. The gap between NHS staff needed and staff available must now be reduced as a matter of urgency.

Estephanie Dunn, Regional Director

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the North West

Smiley sign in Fishergate

Grinning Grandad George should have looked closer at the picture of Fishergate (LEP Letters, March 4).

The obstacle should have been on the other side of the 
van.

It looks like the driver was cutting the corner.

We drive down Fishergate weekly and have always seen this obstacle.

If drivers drove at the correct speed they would also see 
it.

It would be nice to see a smiley speed sign installed with a read-out of drivers’ speeds, because they still tend to drive faster than this development was intended for.

Michael Wareing snr

via email

Sensible Sunday compromise

It may not be perfect but the current law on Sunday trading represents a sensible compromise which allows large retailers up to six hours of trade whilst enabling their smaller counterparts to make a sane business judgement over whether to open and, if so, for how long.

Sunday shopping is certainly convenient but it is not toll free.

It comes at a price – one which is paid by those who work in the retail trade on what has traditionally been the nation’s day of rest. Instead of tricking ourselves with the delusion that unregulated Sunday trading will allow high street retailers to compete on equal terms with their online counterparts, we would be better off as re-imagining our town and city centres as social spaces where people can relax, socialise and enjoy refreshments together.

Adrian F Sunman via email

Independent shops won’t gain

Long opening hours on a Sunday will be to the benefit of major supermarkets, and to the detriment of independent shops. Is this what George Osborne wants to achieve? How about sorting out the economy, George, rather than meddling like Gordon Brown? Look what happened to him.

Andrew Mercer, address supplied