Readers' letters - January 12

Concern over council's future

Thursday, 12th January 2017, 4:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th January 2017, 5:51 pm
Pictured: County Hall

Fifty years ago Lancashire County Council was a great organisation, with a domain stretching from Coniston in the North West to Ashton under Lyne in the South East.

It had distinguished chief officers, leaders in their professions – James Drake, county surveyor and motorway building pioneer, Roger Booth, county architect – overseeing a massive building programme of schools, libraries, homes for aged persons, homes and training centres for those with learning difficulties, police stations and many other projects.

As well as its statutory obligations, it provided for an improved quality of life with its Countryside Service, museums and libraries.

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It seemed at that time to be an empire upon which the sun would never set.

Since those great days, I’ve always supported the LCC when attempts to set up unitary authorities have been made.

The LCC has always been the living embodiment of a proud and historic county.

But what a sorry state it is in now.

Libraries and museums are being closed, many side roads are crumbling away into potholes, expensive projects that nobody wants are built and then abandoned, £60 penalty notices for driving down Fishergate are issued like confetti.

LCC is becoming increasingly dysfunctional.

The big question now is – how much longer can it survive?

Ron Smith



An invite to FoE meeting

Dear Name and Address Supplied, what a pity we didn’t see your interesting letter until Tuesday (Energy: “Friends of the Earth are ill informed”, LEP Letters, January 10). We could have invited you to our Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth meeting last night.

But never mind, we meet again on Monday, February 6, at Beautiful Planet Cafe in Preston. We extend a cordial invitation to you to join us that evening.

We are involved in several campaigns at the moment: the creation of wild flower meadows for bees; the reduction of plastic and food waste; the promotion of renewable energy in an effort to combat climate change; and yes, fracking too.

But at the moment we have no-one in our group campaigning on the climate effects of modern farming methods.

Perhaps we could interest you in starting that campaign for us?

We assume you are already knowledgeable on the subject with your comment on flatulent cows (although we must point out that it is actually nothing to do with the ozone layer).

So please, do come and meet us. We are a friendly group but our only concern is that you might find us rather dull. In the 25 years I have been a member of Friends of the Earth, I have never yet met an “ill-informed rabid protestor” who tries “to bully people”.


Central Lancashire

Friends of the Earth


People of courage

The correspondent who wrote to your letters page, “Friends are ill-informed”, seems to believe that calling Friends of the Earth (FoE) “an ill-informed group of rabid protestors trying to bully people who have the temerity to think differently from them” is a meaningful contribution to the discussion on shale gas (LEP January 10).

Readers of your paper will, of course, recognise such name-calling as the language of the ‘playground bully’.

It is typical of bullies not only to blame their victims but also to be gutless.

I find it highly significant that the person who stooped to such a juvenile piece of negative stereotyping chose to hide under ‘Name and address supplied’.

What clearer demonstration can we have that the supporters of shale gas have lost the argument than by such anonymous scraping of the barrel of innuendo and insult to smear opponents?

For the record, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) did not say that FoE had lied, simply that there was no evidence from this country to support their claims, and that until such evidence becomes available, FoE should refrain from repeating those claims. Some time ago Cuadrilla was reprimanded by the ASA.

Once it had given an undertaking not to repeat its comments, opponents of shale gas let the matter rest.

What a contrast to the shale gas supporters who are now misusing the recent ASA ruling to mount a vindictive hate campaign against FoE.

Hate has no place in this country. Unlike your correspondent, opponents of fracking have the courage to stand up and be counted.

Just look at those nanas who endure rain, cold, wind and insult to defend the interests of local people. These brave ladies are the people who really are “Putting Lancashire First”, not the gutless bullies who slander them from the shadows.

Dr Stephen Garsed



Reasons are in Virgin booklet

I refer to your headline Rail Fury (LEP January 10).

Your reporter Brian Ellis and MP Mark Menzies are both showing their ignorance. I suggest they read Virgin’s booklet, Our Tickets and Fares, available in the timetable racks at Virgin stations, such as Preston,

Lancaster and Wigan.

Several ticket types are available – Business, Anytime, Off-Peak, Advance, also First and Second class...

Advance tickets, such as the £46.60 quoted, are available from most stations, but in limited numbers, to fill seats otherwise expected to be vacant. Presumably Preston’s quota had been sold before Lancaster’s.

These must be booked in advance, and are valid on the one pre-booked train only, often the rubbish seats in the corners with no windows.

Other fares from Lancaster are slightly dearer than Preston’s.

If you really want a cheap fare to London, try Megabus for £1. It can be done, if you wait long enough, but only one ticket. If two of you go it could be £3 or £4 for your partner !

B Parkinson



Carol concert a big success

A choir from Lancaster Churches sang carols from 10am to 12.30pm on Saturday, December 17 in Marketgate to raise money for the Homeless Christmas Shelter in Lancaster. On behalf of the choir, we wish to thank everyone who contributed to the amazing total of £516.83.

Arton and Christine Medd

Address supplied