Readers' letters - December 14

Friargate Street Scene, Preston. January 16, 1967
Friargate Street Scene, Preston. January 16, 1967
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City is a skeleton of its former self

My town – a town and its people I knew and loved – has gone and is no more.

The close-knit communities that the elders of my town thrived in have gone too, and the spirit of my town has gone with them. What took centuries to build, took but a few years to destroy.

My town (now a city) is a skeleton of its former self. The major thoroughfares were bustling with townsfolk, six days a week (no Sunday shopping), especially on Saturdays, when the market was a major focal point for the people of my town.

Today, alas, what have we now? Oh yes, we have the main thoroughfare which has been dubbed ‘Psycho Alley’ and with good reason.

Drunkenness and violence is the order of the day. The takeaways add more problems. Weekend revellers hit the town, fuelled with a multitude of alcoholic concoctions and a belly full of takeaway grub, most of which gets thrown away to attract the rats – of which there are no shortage.

About 50 years ago, slum clearance began in earnest and vast swathes of terraces houses were swept away and many close-knit communities went with them, never more to be re-born.

Today, alas, the powers- that-be are once again discussing plans for the town, but I fear it won’t come to fruition. My town needs more than talks.

I’m proud to have been born in my town in 1938.

The main road in and out of my town on the western side was a pleasure to shop in, every corner had a shop or a public house and you could buy any commodity you wished for.

There were butchers, bakers, newsagents, tailors, bike shops, tripe shops and the list goes on.

Today any visitors entering my town must be disappointed in what they see. The powers-that-be ought to be held to account for the way my town has been allowed to deteriorate to the condition it is today. I myself don’t go to town anymore. It holds nothing for me.

I can only wish the next generation all the best for the future.

Oldlancsman

via email

brexit

Will it be worth us leaving EU?

So we have a deal on phase one of Brexit – or have we? Our Government has an agreement on maintaining the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. The ‘Brexit Divorce Bill’ has been settled – or has it? We do not know exactly how much this will be until we know what else is on offer.

We have agreed to a frictionless border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is problematic as we do not have a free trade deal at the moment. If we do negotiate a deal then goods moving across the border will be fine, but what about people? Our Government has stated the free movement of people between the EU and the UK will end when we leave the EU, so how can we keep an open border? All of the above have yet to be put before the EU.

We are often told that the EU Commissioners have all the power. They have not, they are civil servants and are there to enforce the rules set by their political masters.

So now we are moving on to talks on a trade deal with little idea of what we actually want. The Conservatives are hopelessly split on every aspect of our relationship with Europe. Many seem convinced we can create a new world where they make the rules. This will lead us into a low tax-low wage culture with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

The Labour Party is sitting on the fence as they are terrified of losing the votes of their supporters who voted for Brexit. Labour are also heading for civil war as Momentum deselects any candidate who does not subscribe to their Corbynist views.

With our two largest political parties not being in a position to agree the way forward on Brexit negotiations, I see little hope of a successful outcome to these trade talks and we will probably leave the EU with no deal and fall back on to World Trade Organisation rules where our imports and exports will be subject to tariffs.

I believe we could negotiate a free trade deal with the EU, but will have to compromise on a number of issues. We will not be allowed to remove workers’ rights, environmental standards, farming subsidies and so many other things as these would be regarded by the EU as unfair competition. We would probably also have to continue to pay in to EU finances.

So when we know what it is going to cost to continue free trade with the rest of the EU, is it worth it?

Kevan Benfold

Lancashire

trade

What about human rights?

I welcome the news that some jobs will be secured at BAE Systems thanks to the £5bn deal with Qatar to buy 24 Typhoon jets.

But there will have been a pay-off behind the scenes.

You can call me cynical if you want, but the Government will now do nothing to criticise human rights abuses in the outcast state, including the rights of women and the LGBT community.

It will not support criticism of Qatar by other gulf states.

And it will now no longer dare criticise the questionable decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The whole affair would have made a great Yes Minister episode.

Richard Tandy

Blackpool

politics

Blinkered bias on the news

If Neil Inkely (LP Letters, December 12), believes that news regarding the likes of Jeremy Corbyn receives the same level of professional, unbiased reportage as that given to the people who masquerade under the outmoded concept of royalty, then I suggest he seeks an urgent eyesight and hearing test.

Denis Lee

Ashton

weather

Sliding on ice has its dangers

Kids should be stopped from sliding on the ice on the footpaths in Leyland (see picture, left).

It may be fun for them but, for people like me, it’s very dangerous. If someone falls on it, they can hurt themselves.

I am 42 and I don’t fancy having my Christmas in hospital, all because of kids sliding on the ice.

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