Readers' letters - December 13

Protest against this treatment of OAPS
Cold has been systematically killing our elderly people for more than 30 years says a readerCold has been systematically killing our elderly people for more than 30 years says a reader
Cold has been systematically killing our elderly people for more than 30 years says a reader

Cold has been systematically killing our elderly people for more than 30 years from cold-related illnesses against a background of soaring energy bills.

The state pension paid out in this country has been meagre since the 80s, when Margaret Thatcher’s right wing Tory Government broke the link that kept it rising as male average earnings increased – a pension to which our elderly people had paid decades of National Insurance contributions.

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Consequently, Britain’s State pension has been reduced to a pittance compared to Western European levels, particularly that of Germany, where the state pension is £26, 366 per year, and the French state pension is £15,811 per year.

Age UK says every winter, 25,000 older people in England and Wales do not survive the bitter weather.

This represents 206 deaths a day.

None of this is necessary if Britain’s state pension was on a par with Western European levels which, as stated, are far higher than the UK’s State pension.

Britain’s low state pension has nothing to do with costs, because there is a “surplus” in the National Insurance fund in excess of £30bn.

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And the National Insurance system was set up to pay state pensions and benefits.

Britain is a very wealthy country.

Please sign my online petition, and share it, to show your disgust at this disgraceful treatment of our oldest citizens, and to force Parliament to discuss this issue,

Michael Thompson

via email

city centre

Preston used

to be vibrant

Your invitation to list the ways in which Preston can be improved begs the question “Where to begin?” (LP December 8). I am so sad when I visit Preston. The wonderful Miller Arcade is like a mausoleum and I take my hat off to the shops trying to make a go of it.

Whichever council was responsible for the stupid idea of making the station the “hub”, should look down and weep tears of remorse.

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On the Park and Ride from Walton-le-Dale, the bus passes along Church Street, so depressing! My suggestion would be to look at the buildings of architectural value and demolish the rest. That goes for most of the main roads in and out of Preston.

I appreciate that UClan is responsible for putting a large amount of money into the town’s coffers, but is it really necessary to turn every empty bank, shop, or other building into a bar?

I was under the impression that the students of today were so impoverished that they could not afford to drink until the early hours or even until the late hours. Come on, there are other people living in Preston.

I lived in Preston until my marriage in the late 50s when post-war “austerity” was the word, but I remember it as a vibrant, interesting place with many independent shops and places of entertainment, that would have been the envy of much larger towns.

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As a post-script, may I just say that most places would make a feature of a great open space like the Flagged Market at Christmas but I fear, not Preston.

On the plus side, Avenham and Miller Park are beautiful.

Valerie Andrews

St Annes on Sea

city centre

Shipping containers

What is Preston Council thinking of?

They are spending millions on the market redevelopment but they are installing what look like shipping containers.

At first glance I imagined they were shelters for the homeless or asylum seekers for the Christmas period.

On turning the corner,

lo and behold, it turns out they are market boxes in grey.

Could they not have them a more eye-catching colour for the town centre and market?




Tough times call for greater faith

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That we live in a sad sick world is patent for all to see. We hear many say “what is the world coming to?”

Immorality in schools, government, television and politics, nations spending millions on weapons and armaments, while in many places people are starving.

Evil in our world is not an anomaly – it’s the norm. It’s bad now but it’s only going to get worse. With the nuclear atomic weaponry we have today, it would take half an hour to destroy the world. As we survey the world’s escalating anxiety, we conclude it is a world of tragedy and threatening disaster. Things have been on a downward spiral since Adam and Eve. Godlessness and lawlessness are going to increase, so how does this give us any hope?

The good news is that, in spite of wickedness which fills our world, Jesus Christ will continue saving sinners and building His church that will never be overcome – even the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

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We easily forget that the helpless babe in the manger later said: “I will come again”. We don’t know when but our current world crisis points to its near approach.

This truth should challenge the believer in Christ to face his responsibilities in work and in witness, while at the same time it should confront the unbeliever with the urgent need for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

John Ashton



‘Magic money tree’ course

It seems the TUC attended the same magic money tree maths course as the shadow chancellor (County has lost out, LP December 12).

If public sector workers had been paid £7bn more since 2010, it would have come out of the public’s pockets, resulting in neither a loss nor a gain in the sum total.

The Ashtonian