Readers' letters

Pubs are community assets

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 12th October 2016, 5:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:38 pm
The Boars Head, Barton, Preston, which has been closed. See letter
The Boars Head, Barton, Preston, which has been closed. See letter

The Boars Head pub at Barton may not be a pub that you went in before it was abruptly closed by the owners to the surprise of the managers, staff and local customers – but it could have been!

Unfortunately this is typical of what is happening to a lot of pubs up and down the country to a tune of approximately 25 a week.

“So what?” some say, “if it isn’t attracting the custom, the owners cannot continue to subsidise it and there are other close-by alternatives.” The problem for the locals of Barton is that there are no alternatives and Barton is not alone in this respect as there are quite a few local areas served by only one pub.

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Quite often the pub is THE hub where communities can meet and discuss local issues, organise events and, in some cases, make contact with the outside world.

The locals of the Boars Head have voiced their anger at the closure but the problem for them is the very place where they could organise and get together to do something about it, is now closed to them.

Hopefully they can still continue their fight to get it re-opened as they indicate that it was being turned around and they valued the efforts of the licensees to do that.

But if you are a resident of Woodplumpton, Grimsargh, Hutton or Brindle for example, could the same happen to you? The time to discuss and plan is while your pub is still open and you should consider it now.

Some time ago the Government, under the Localism Act 2011, made it possible for the listing of ‘Assets of Community Value’ with the local council.

This could apply to any premises and does include pubs, and many pubs around the country have been listed. It will not protect any pub from shutting but it should stop it happening without going through a planning application process, where there would be the chance of an appeal by ‘interested parties’.

Act now while your pub is still open. Get together with other regulars and apply to the local council for listing. It is so much harder once it is closed.

Steve Jackson, Ashton

We won’t feel benefit of shale

Governments rarely do anything to obstruct big business profits.

Cuadrilla insists that, when it comes to widespread fracking operations, it will generate thousands of jobs. Latest research indicates that a year-long jobs spurt would ebb away, resulting in a net increase below 200 only.

Prime Minister May’s decision to buy off affected communities with £10,000 to £20,000 is a one-off bribe for suffering pollution,poor health and possible earthquakes, while fracking company shareholders enjoy the benefits.

Governments always have funds available to do the bidding of big business, but never enough to invest in real alternatives to fossil fuel. Withdrawing, reducing or means-testing subsidies payable for installation of solar panels, loft and wall insulation and renewable research, and a refusal to prioritise renewables, as Germany and other countries have done, mean objections to fracking and other dirty alternatives are met with insistence that they are the only alternatives to the lights going out.

We must reject such blackmail and insist on a new environmentally friendly energy policy.

Royston Jones via email

Praise for the Royal Mail

At the weekend I received a postcard posted by my friend while on holiday in the South of France on July 18! A month ago, whilst in Southern Italy, I posted four cards to members of my family and none have yet arrived! Thank goodness for the efficiency of our own Royal Mail postal service.

Jim Oldcorn, Great Harwood

Fracking boost for our youth

Now the decision has finally been made by Government to allow horizontal fracking in Lancashire.

I wish to reiterate my steadfast support.

Our Government has now given opportunities for young people of obtaining quality employment in Lancashire and beyond.

Be it through graduate entry or through apprenticeships in the many fields of the industry, not only drilling, those opportunities are in an area where the young job seekers have long been deprived.

We now await for those employment opportunities to materialise through Cuadrilla and the satellite industries connected with the technology of natural gas production.

We have now, not only the employment possibilities for our younger generation, but also a safeguard of our national energy supply for the future.

Stuart Sykes


Windmill Youth Development Group

I’m a happy customer

I would like to commend the staff at Greenhalgh’s Bakery, on Chapel Street,Chorley, for a wonderful example of their customer service.

I was in a last minute panic at the back end of last week and I needed to order a birthday cake at extremely short notice for my daughter’s birthday.

We were having a party on Saturday and I only remembered on Friday that we needed a cake!

I shot into town on Friday morning and went straight to Greenhalgh’s where a very helpful assistant took the details of my order and assured me that everything would be okay and on time.

The cake was duly ready for collection on Saturday at the arranged time as promised and a potentially awkward situation was averted.

In an era where it’s all too easy for customers to complain about all sorts of nothing, in this case, it’s only right that I should thank the staff for their response and attention to my last minute order.

Thank you to all concerned and it just proves that you can’t beat shopping locally for that personal touch and attention to detail!

Mrs Gallagher