Readers’ letters - May 11

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Include MPs in the highest tax category for rich

Being a lifelong Labour supporter, I was pleased to hear Jeremy Corbyn, pictured, announce that anyone earning OVER £80,000 would be eligible for tax increases and anyone earning under that amount would avoid tax rises.

Great, fantastic, about time but hang on a minute, where did this magical figure come from?

Was it pulled from a bingo machine or a random number selector?

Why not 50, 60, or 70,000, why the magical £80,000?

Some people may ask how much do MPs earn and which side of the £80,000 do they fall in?

It doesn’t take a genius to work it out.

Is this another case of MPs only thinking of number one again?

I would think more of Jeremy Corbyn and his ideas if it had been £70k because the MPs should fall into the “rich” category, in my humble opinion.

Dave M

via email

transport

Don’t isolate passengers

The 24A bus service (Chorley to Abbey Village/Blackburn), until recently operated by Stagecoach (on behalf of Lancashire County Council and Chorley Borough Council), has been taken over.

The operators of the 24 and 24A (Transdev and Stagecoach) operated reciprocity on tickets and passes. Without any warning, the new operator introduced a 50p ‘surcharge’ per journey for passengers using Transdev or Stagecoach passes on April 24 but did not advertise this until April 27.

This surcharge has significant adverse implications for those living in villages and disadvantages people who rely on the buses.

I would have expected the competition process for the 24A service to have included a ‘like for like’ or ‘improved offer’ on the extant contract – this doesn’t appear to have been the case.

I am visually impaired and disabled (unable to drive medically). I have recently had to finish work due to an incurable rare disease so the bus is my absolute lifeline.

I live alone with my son who goes to school in Chorley. He attends a group in the town on Monday and Thursday evenings.

Because the evening services are so infrequent, I have to travel to Chorley to meet him to travel back together, otherwise he would be alone at the bus station for just under an hour until the 24A service at 10.05pm.

The absence of staff and the anti-social behaviour at the bus station make a lone child extremely vulnerable.

The unfair surcharge means an additional £4 in bus fares just for him to attend his group, and rules out any travel on Sundays, Bank Holidays and evenings for us – effectively isolating those who rely on public transport.

This worsening of service comes just 12 months after the services through to Blackburn were axed in the evenings, removing the opportunity to attend the cinema or theatre.

These are my concerns:

Transdev (adult and young people’s) weekly passes should be accepted on the 24A bus services with no additional surcharge.

The buses should have proper signs on as they are almost impossible to see in the dark (they currently only have a laminated A4 piece of paper with 24A on and no proper destination signs). I would be amazed if this was compliant with the Equalities Act 2010, which I understand puts statutory responsibility on local authorities in respect of public transport.

Transdev return tickets (one month validity) should be valid on Avacab 24A buses with no additional charge.

Assurances should be sought that changes to service/prices should be properly consulted on and advertised ahead of the changes being implemented.

Name and address supplied

development

Don’t destroy our jewel

Re: Hothersall planning application (pictured left). That anyone would want to build an industrial site adjacent to Ribble Valley’s “Jewel in the Crown” – the Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – beggars belief.

While the aim to provide employment for young people is laudable, the reality is that half the workforce would come from outside the town. One has only to look at the rush hour traffic entering Longridge in the morning and leaving in the evening.

The site would be within 500m of Bowland AONB. RVBC Core Strategy Policy states “…AONB adjacent areas proposals should contribute to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the landscape.” Well, the proposal isn’t going to do that, is it?

Work is taking place on the new Longridge Loop Cycleway which joins Blackburn Road at a known accident blackspot. What price safety? Most of the site traffic would pass through Longridge. Traffic between Longridge and Preston/M6 is already horrendous.

The proposal is adjacent to Hillside Specialist School whose pupils have severe learning difficulties and the ambience of the site is important for their wellbeing. Noise and pollution would have a significant adverse effect.

Ribble Valley Borough Council Planners have chosen their preferred option for 1.5 hectares of “potential employment land” adjacent to the proposed site. Is there really a need for this additional proposal as well?

Many people love visiting this part of Lancashire because it is a wonderful area in so many ways. The proposal, for eight acres of industrial units, is out of keeping with the Hothersall area, being surrounded by farmland and biological heritage sites. The warehousing in itself will no doubt result in high, grey buildings which will have a deleterious effect upon the views looking south-west.

David G Balding D.A.S.E, D.P.S.E

Retired Deputy Headteacher

local politics

Thank you to my supporters

I am thrilled to have been elected as the county councillor for Euxton, Buckshaw and Astley. I look forward to representing our community over the next four years. I hope to do us proud. Thank you to all those who have supported me.

County Coun Aidy Riggott

Euxton, Astley and Buckshaw