Readers’ letters - July 3

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Why single out the forces for praise?

Last weekend, celebrations of the British armed forces took place across the country.

Councils up and down Britain organised and supported military parades, displays of weapons, military assets and military-themed family entertainment.

It is actually a day to reflect on how we got to the point where the armed forces are singled out from other public service professionals, who also face danger every day, for national celebration.

What are the long-term implications of further entrenching militarism into our culture and equating armed service with family fun?

Armed Forces Day is turning into Armed Forces Week with flags flown over town halls and public institutions and communal groups of all kind enlisted to support the military,including schools, performing arts, sports clubs and faith groups.

The diversion of council staff away from other duties represents a hidden cost and impact on other services. The demand of hosting an essentially large promotional event will contribute to the pressure and delivery of vital year long services.

BAE Systems is a regular sponsor of national armed forces day - it is also the largest arms company in the UK and has been implicated in numerous human rights abuses, selling weaponry to oppressive regimes.

Local authorities have become the military promotional agents sending endorsements for military approaches and military recruitment out into the community.

We must stop being blinkered to the destructive power of the military.

We must learn the lesson from the recent past to work for a mature and ethical way. War divides communities. Peace has a tendency to unite them.

So let’s promote peace.

Royston Jones

Anchorsholme

parking

Disabled charges are a disgrace

The decision by Lancashire NHS Trust to massively increase all car parking charges way above inflation will hit the disabled and poorest in society the hardest.

The vast majority of people with disabilities live on a low income and find it difficult to use public transport, as they get in the way of an unforgiving and often an abusive society.

If you have a disability, long term illness or are elderly you will need the services provided by the NHS far more than others, and now to be held to ransom to get to an appointment is a disgrace.

The statement that the NHS Trust needs the money to improve the car parking facility and provide extra security is a joke as they have said this before and nothing was done and go on to say that any surplus will go to invest in health care is unbelievable. It is not the disabled, long term sick and the elderly that are the cause of the cuts to the NHS it is the government that does not care about society only profit.

Derek Barton

Disabled Pensioner

planning

City does need to build new homes

Like your correspondent Brian Lockley (letters June 28), I am not going to get into the Marmite debate about the Preston North End training ground and ancillary facilities at the former Ingol Golf Club.

However, I would take issue with him about the League of Ireland players that PNE have signed, some of whom have had Champions League experience never mind our Premier League.

Brain declares him a fan of PNE for 60 years, yet has completely ignored perhaps, in my opinion, PNE’s greatest ever goalkeeper, that Irishman Alan Kelly, who played for both his home side of Bray Wanderers and also Drumcondra as well as for his national side on many occasions.

Thus I consider that Mr Lockley does our increasing Irish contingent a disservice. PNE have down the years also been astute at bringing in other players from other countries, notably Scotland. Starting to remember the likes of Tommy Docherty, Bill Shankly (pictured, inset) and Willie Cunningham are we now, Brian?

However, my biggest gripe is that Alan Kelly Jnr honed new Everton boy Jordan Pickford’s goalie skills while he was on loan with PNE, yet did they get one boot lace’s worth of money for so doing despite turning him into a multi-million pound goalie?

Answers tied to a goalpost and sent broadside on to the LP letterbox, if you please! Oh go on then, if you force me!

Preston is a growing city and even if it were not growing, even the current population as they grow up will need somewhere to live so, like it or not, houses ARE going to HAVE to be built and this should reflect the population dynamics ie ranging from first homes right through to mansions and also reflecting the proportions of each increasing size of dwelling. However, that also means a change to the infrastructure of the city in order that people can get around to work, for shopping and leisure and it is here that Preston becomes unstuck or rather the opposite.

It now needs a new strategy to cope with the increasing population of Preston and that requires some tough decisions to be made, ultimately by the city councillors, who should not shy away from their responsibilities by abstaining on issues, in particular controversial ones.

People do not elect councillors for them to sit on their hands or on a fence. Perhaps the thought of them having to sit on a spiked fence if they do not vote one way or another should focus their attention more or perhaps I should say sharpen their attention more.

As I see it, Ingol Golf Club was private green land for which one paid to actually use its facilities. Now some of it is to be opened up so that the public can now use it for free.

Nevertheless this still has to be paid for by someone or somehow, the latter solution being to build some houses from which an income can be derived or would the Ingol residents and councillors who are moaning so much be prepared to put their hand in their pockets to keep this green space?

Thought not, yet they expect others to do the same. It is like most green spaces around Preston ,eg parks and gardens, and one is fortunate to have such beautiful ones.

Someone has to pay for their upkeep and, for Preston residents, that is through one’s council tax, whether or not one chooses to use such facilities.

Another PNE Fan

name and address supplied

highways

Anger aimed in wrong place

What a surprise! I did not realise that stopping traffic going down a main thoroughfare would mean the traffic diverted would go down another route (LP, June 24).

It is obvious to anyone that knows Preston that any traffic diverted from Fishergate would use Ringway as their only alternative route to Penwortham. I think it’s time for Lancashire County Council to employ qualified civil engineers who know what they are doing.

Alf Gregory

via email