Reader’s letters - Wednesday 29 January 2014

A reader says the government is acting unfairly by changing pension rulesA reader says the government is acting unfairly by changing pension rules
A reader says the government is acting unfairly by changing pension rules
Pension ruling so unfair

Mr Regan (LEP letters, January 23), I have been banging on about how unfair this pension ruling is for months.

The government keeps moving the goal posts – not just once in my case but twice.

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I was born in January 1954, which makes me 60. I will be 66 before I receive my state pension.

If the government can get away with continually moving the goal posts, they will continue to do so.

Someone should take the government to the court of human rights on this very unjust and unfair pensions issue.

In one breath they tell us there’s no money to pay us what was promised all those years ago.

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We entered into an agreement with the government, i.e we paid our contributions, in my case, not a married woman’s contribution, but a full one for many years, and a pension would be paid out when we reached 60.

In the next breath they send huge amounts in overseas aid, there’s no end of money going there, but they can’t afford to give us what we have paid into for the best part of our working lives.

We should stop acting like “they are doing us a favour” and more “it’s our entitlement”.

If I am right, they tried to move the retirement age in France from 60 upwards, and they didn’t stand for it there and neither should we here .

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It’s the same with everything this government does, they pick on the easy target.

In this case, a fairly small minority of women.

Dianne Sharples via email

Time for bus services to help

Lancashire County Council is proposing to reduce the subsidy they pay to private companies for buses.

Instead they’ll focus on maintaining services during the daytime and ensure the county’s most vulnerable people can access public transport.

The council proposes to invest a further £500,000 in dial-a-ride services to ensure community transport providers have the capacity to cater for those most in need.

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The plans will look to save £3.8m over two years which would see funding withdrawn for evening and Sunday services that currently receive council subsidies.

The proposal would see subsidies withdrawn from 72 evening and Sunday services from May 2014. The county council is facing an unprecedented financial challenge, needing to save £300m over the next four years due to funding cuts by the Tory-led Government.

These cuts won’t only affect bus services, but will include massive reductions in county council staff and cuts to other services due to Local Government Minister Eric Pickles’ attack on local democracy.

Eighty per cent of bus services in Lancashire are run by private companies on a commercial basis because they are profitable.

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The remaining 20 per cent are currently subsidised by the county council.

Last year Stagecoach, the area’s major local bus operator, reported an increase in underlying profits to £218m for the year to April, up from £202.5m a year earlier.

The bus companies have done well out of our district.

They must have or they wouldn’t still be here.

Now is the time for them to give something back.

I call on Stagecoach and other bus companies to take a slightly smaller profit and maintain as many services as possible (all?) without a subsidy for the benefit of our community.

Were they to do so the bus companies would gain lots of friends in the Lancaster/Morecambe district.

Colin Hartley, Scotforth West, Lancaster

Display brought back memories

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Last Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, so off we set to Astley Park. We were very impressed with the ‘Chorley Remembers’ display, and also by the number of children in there asking relevant questions to parents. Congratulations to those who achieved such an impressive exhibition in a limited space.

I was surprised that the 303 rifle, with which I became very familiar during my time as a National Serviceman, seemed to have been used as far back as the First World War, and had changed very little.

The display boards brought back memories of when we had visited the Normandy beaches, while touring in France.

My main memory of those visits was seeing the remains of the Mulberry harbour at Arromanches, and visiting the 360 degree cinema on the hilltop above the town. This gave a real impression of being on board one of the landing craft or even of being in one of the planes. We also have lasting memories of the vast rows of headstones in the cemeteries, which seem to stretch forever.

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Both my wife and I have shed tears at the sheer magnitude of the events which had taken place.

I remember saying that anyone entering politics should be made to visit these areas, and then, if they want to go to war, they should lead from the front, not push from the back.

Graham Archer, Chorley

Our thanks to helpful bikers

My wife and I were walking in Rivington two weekends ago, when my wife fell a couple of times on the very muddy terrain.

Two mountain bikers came to our rescue, helped us to the main road, and even arranged a lift in their vehicle so we were able to catch public transport home.

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We want to thank the bikers for the trouble they took to help us.

John and Joan Chamberlain, Horwich

Heritage or no heritage?

After spending so much of ratepayers’ hard-earned cash to enhance the heritage of Leyland, the Leyland Cross cobbles disappeared. And now, once more, cobbles have disappeared again, this time from around the arts and craft centre at Worden Park.

Heritage or no heritage? That is the question. It would appear one hand does not know what the other is doing. Please stop spoiling Leyland, especially our park area.

P Iddon, Leyland