Readers' letters - June 14

Bin charge is just the start

Tuesday, 14th June 2016, 5:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:13 pm
Residents will have to pay for their garden waste to be collected. See letter

I am complaining about garden waste collection being chargeable from July 4 this year by Preston City Council. They say they are charging as the council has to reduce costs. How come they never seem to want to cut the costs of themselves, for example, wages, expenses, pensions and offices?

They contradict themselves by saying, “Currently your council tax has contributed to the cost of running this service, but we can no longer afford to offer this service free of charge.”

If we have been contributing, then it is not free of charge.

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Besides, when has the council ever done anything for nothing?

Without our taxes, there would be no council. They wouldn’t be able to do anything.

Their argument is weak when they say charging separately for this means only those who benefit will contribute towards it.

If you use this type of argument, then those of us who don’t read newspapers shouldn’t have to pay towards their separate collection.

Lots of taxpayers pay taxes towards things they don’t benefit from but they have to put up with it. We can’t pick and choose which taxes we want to pay and those we don’t, for example, education, healthcare, the royal family, and so on. We may pay a TV licence but don’t watch the BBC.

This new tax is the thin end of the wedge. Next it will be newspapers or bottles.

This is putting up the council tax while insulting our intelligence. It will only lead to increased dumping of waste which I thought this hypocritical council was against. Don’t be surprised when you see garden waste dumped everywhere.

Hortese Feuchtwarger, Preston

Democratic gift of freedom

Well, despite much squabbling among Remain and Leave campaigners, the actual ‘Referendum Vote Day’ will soon be upon us and many voters are still complaining that they do not have enough information.

The overwhelming number of large institutions wheeled out by the ‘Remain Camp’ have all produced dire warnings of impending disasters if we dare to withdraw from this undemocratic 28-nation EU Superstate.

The Leave campaign has perhaps not been able to demonstrate support for equally convincing statistical evidence of the advantages of leaving. It comes down to how much we value our own sovereignty, our democratic right to retain our centuries-old justice system, to vote in and be ruled by our own Government and dismiss them after five years if they are not serving our needs.

The UK is still a world-ranking financial centre, even after 43 years of EU misrule and previous dire warnings of its impending demise when we did not join the Euro.

Our NHS will be at risk by this TTIP agreement now being negotiated between the USA and the EU, over which we, as members, would then have no say.

It is commonsense that a small island such as ours cannot continue to agree to open borders immigration. We are also unable to return the criminal elements to their countries of origin. A UK-operated points system of immigration would be welcomed and a tighter border control would prevent our housing stock, schools, NHS and welfare system from being overwhelmed.

It cannot be denied that a vote to withdraw from the EU may result in short-term uncertainty, while new trading links would be negotiated outside the EU, but we would expect to still continue to trade with them and they with us.

But we need to rally behind our leaders and long-term we shall enjoy the fruits of this new opportunity for our nation.

This EU we joined in 1975 was misrepresented to us as merely trading with other nations, but has since morphed into an undemocratic 28-nation superstate ruling our lives.

We want our nation back as a democratic gift of freedom for our grandchildren.

E J Tilley, Chorley

Go green and vote remain

The green spaces we know and love are better protected thanks to EU nature laws and, with just days to go until the EU referendum, it’s time we put nature at the centre of the debate.

Iconic North West wildlife hotspots like Morecambe Bay, the Lake District and Martin Mere have an important extra level of protection under EU law. Nearly 300 green spaces in Britain benefit from being part of an EU-wide network of protected areas. Almost 11,000 square miles of our country’s most precious wildlife sites are recognised by the EU as special areas of conservation for their rare and endangered species of birds, plants and bugs.

Many of those wishing to leave the EU see nature protection as an unnecessary burden on UK business – we don’t. It is important to protect our wildlife at an international level – the animals and habitats we take for granted locally are often rare in Europe – and the EU is absolutely the best place to work together with our neighbours to do this.

To ensure these places stay as nature intended, to protect the many valuable conservation sites that so many people enjoy, it is vital we vote Remain on June 23.

Jean Lambert MEP, Molly Scott Cato MEP, Keith Taylor MEP – the UK’s Green MEPs

Union not same as cooperation

G W Collinge’s letter, EU good for our industries, describes the benefits of countries cooperating in commercial ventures – NOT the benefits of joining a political union (LEP June 9). It is worth noting the EU was created in 1992 and the Tornado, Typhoon and the Airbus all predate its creation. The prototype Tornado first flew in 1974. Typhoon development began in the 80s with the first prototype flying in 1994. The joint partnership to develop the Airbus began in 1969.

Arguably, the most famous European cooperative venture in aviation was Concorde, whose origins go back to the 1950s with its first supersonic flight in 1969.

The surrender of our sovereignty and political union are not prerequisites for commercial cooperation. I would argue our commercial ventures, if controlled by a single EU political entity, may result in LESS international cooperation, not more. There are many trade blocs globally and they do not require political union or uncontrolled borders.

MM via email