Readers' letters - July 27

They don't see the true cost of closure

Friday, 27th July 2018, 2:32 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 3:37 pm
Chorley Magistrates Court

Reducing the business at Chorley Magistrates’ Court started around 15 years ago (MP slams decision to close court, LP July 25).

Removal of the police cells at Chorley had a knock-on effect of transferring all the custody cases elsewhere which reduced the business.

More and more cases were listed at Preston until the majority of the cases, by 2015, were motoring at Chorley.

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I predict that the great plan, if there is one, is to have three magistrate courts to cover Lancashire – Blackpool, Preston and one in East Lancashire.

Local justice by local magistrates who knew their area has gone in the vast majority of cases.

It is reported that the average extra travelling time by car will be five minutes.

Travelling by car at 8.30am to attend Preston Magistrates Court for a start at 10am will be the norm, having to get through traffic queues of people going to work.

Finding a parking place in the centre of Preston is not easy and will take time and cost.

I suspect it will take longer than five minutes.

There will be an increase in travel cost at this time of austerity.

With rising crime rates at an all-time high, the courts of the future may have a difficult time accommodating a flood of business to the remaining magistrates courts.

It has been reported by the Lord Chancellor that he aims to save money.

Five years ago, in 2013, the Government had a grand plan to link all NHS Trusts with the Lorenzo IT system which never worked.

This cost the taxpayer £11bn for nothing.

Throughout this period, our local MP has diligently acted on behalf of the people of Chorley to keep our local magistrates court open with various options.

Unfortunately the Justice Department appears not to see the true cost and damage to Chorley and its villages in shutting our magistrates court down.

Paul A. G. Helmn

Retired Magistrate



Fracking is a water risk

Millions of households in the North West of England face a hosepipe ban on August 5.

The water company United Utilities said seven million customers would be affected.

According to UK Water Industry Research, a hosepipe ban can reduce water usage by five to 10 per cent, which in the North West would amount to more than 100 million litres a day.

In their Shale Gas Statement of October 2015, United Utilities stated: “The North West potentially holds vast quantities of shale gas.

“We have worked with shale gas operators to understand their potential water usage.

“Even under the most optimistic assumptions for shale gas production in the North West, the water required for hydraulic fracturing would amount to less than one per cent of our current water production.

“We are confident we can supply these volumes without compromising our ability to supply water to our existing customers.”

Assuming that their figure of one per cent is correct, around one fifth of the water we are being asked to save would be used up by the fracking industry.

Perhaps then we will be a little less willing to do our bit to save our precious water supply.

Water authorities are statutory consultees on fracking and, as the water supplier for the region, United Utilities has a legal duty to offer a supply to any legally operating company that asks for it.

But some companies, including United Utilities, are actively interested in fracking and have said they will allow it on their land, and seek to make money from the disposal of waste water.

So the company that has the monopoly on water supply and disposal in our region appears to be exploiting fracking to generate shareholder profit from those activities, at the risk of compromising domestic supplies.

Anne Wilson



Disgusting use of fossil fuels

On the day when extreme weather events resulted in significant loss of life through fires in Greece and floods in Laos, our ‘government’ gives the go-ahead for fracking in Lancashire, an activity which, if followed as a precedent, will inevitably result in a boost to global warming, to climate change, and to the subsequent increased incidence and severity of such events.

One’s disgust is matched only by one’s anger at the stupidity, cupidity and avarice which keeps these puppets tied to the fossil fuel industry. Enough is enough.

David Cragg-James

via email


Let the people decide on EU

The Brexit stalemate makes a No Deal outcome more likely.

This will be an economic disaster for our country as, immediately after leaving, we will have no free trade agreements with anybody!

There will be chaos.

We will immediately enter into a self-imposed recession. Is this what the Leavers voted for? The claim that another referendum would be against the will of the people is nonsense. Giving the people another opportunity to express their will is democracy. Democracy ceases if the people are NOT allowed to vote again. The only way to save our country is to have a second referendum on Brexit, now that everybody knows what the consequences are.

Let the people decide.

Mike Turner via email