Readers' letters - June 6
Now that Lancashire County Council is seized by a financial crisis, one that calls into question the very viability of the council’s existence, the future of the branch library in Adlington has become a major talking point.
The sad truth is that, in all likelihood, the Adlington Branch Library will close in the autumn.
A voluntary effort to keep open the library is being discussed.
No matter how laudable voluntary actions are in general, in the context of a public lending library, they will flounder in the face of harsh realities.
Like other public amenities, the library in Adlington has to be kept insured and the structure maintained to a standard, thereby incurring costs.
In addition, the employment of dedicated librarians, the provision of new titles to replenish the stock of books, and the upkeep of the computers are all charges covered by the county authority, which benefits from those economies of scale denied to a stand-alone facility, reliant upon voluntary association.
In the light of these financial realities, the only salvation for Adlington Library – and the others threatened with closure within Chorley – lies with Chorley Borough Council.
This authority is uniquely placed on account of its financial strength to negotiate with the county council and subsidise the library service, by means of a cost-sharing agreement limited to a specified term.
Chorley Borough Council has the wherewithal to be the salvation of Adlington Library and one political figure is crucial to a successful outcome.
Labour’s council leader Alistair Bradley can summon the will in a time of crisis and arrive at an understanding with the county council.
Such an agreement would safeguard the highly regarded library service throughout the borough and offer Lancashire County Council the opportunity to address what the county council leader has described as “an unprecedented financial challenge”.
This effort on the part of the borough council and the attendant outlays might well prove to be a diversion from Mr Bradley’s schemes for an improved market town.
But if he and his colleagues are truly passionate about the fate of the outlying districts of Chorley, they now have an opportunity to save Adlington from becoming a desolate dormitory town and urge the means and will the resources.
P W Pilling, Anderton Parish Council
I was Out in 1975 ... now I’m In
In 1975, I voted against joining the Common Market.
Last week, I realised why I have changed my mind.
On holiday in Portugal, I met a group of young people from Britain, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. They were looking at facilities for older people as more of us live for longer and problems of dementia create new difficulties.
In the divided Europe of the last century, these people would have been fighting each other with bayonets and bullets. Now they are working together using their brains and their books.
We take for granted how much that Europe has changed for the better. For the sake of all these young people whose future is at stake in the EU Referendum, I will be voting to remain in a united Europe this time around.
Mrs May Thomas, Walton-le-Dale
Blair carried out ‘biggest betrayal’
Tony Blair is the latest figure in the Labour Party continuing the daily undermining of Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Blair carried out the biggest betrayal of a Labour government in my lifetime. Mr Corbyn should continue his good work of winning back disaffected Labour voters and the Blairites should stop complaining and start campaigning.
John Appleyard, address supplied
Prestonians have a special affection for the Flag Market. I was saddened to see a photo of this unique place – where Guilds are proclaimed and significant civic events occur – being used for advertising which is inaccurate and deceptive (LEP June 2).
The perpetrators have been told this by no less than the UK Statistics Authority but still persist! The Leave battlebus has a claim on it which is simply not true. We pay about £16m per day to the EU, not £50m if you include the rebate, and other monies that come back to Britain.
Exaggeration by two thirds. The Treasury Select Committee – a group of cross- party MPs – has said the bus should be repainted.
Then, of course, the fair question is whether that is a price worth paying for what we receive back in so many non-financial ways.
Seven of the EU countries pay into the common pool more than we do per person, which is about £2 per week – less than a pint!
And the use of the NHS logo? Is it not illegal to use a brand name and logo of an organisation without permission? Certainly morally questionable. Can I trust anything else that comes from this source? Let’s at least have the truth and have a balanced debate.
Chris Jackson, Ashton
Bad decision at the Boulevard
They’ve done it again. This morning the grass verge along the Boulevard gladdened the eye with an exuberance of wild flowers: two varieties of buttercup, marguerites, yellow trefoil, purple vetch, cow parsley and lady’s bedstraw. Now there is an abomination of lumps of dead grass and shredded stalks. The geranium and pink campion were to be seen last year but are probably lost for good.
Why do it? Anybody who watches programmes about gardening knows that no flowers means no pollinating insects like bees, no insects means no food for us humans.
Mowing costs money in fuel and employees have plenty to do to elsewhere in the parks. That leads me to my second question.
There is obviously no shortage of money. Why are we, therefore, being charged for recycling green waste? We used to be given the compost for which we had provided the raw material. Presumably the compost is now sold. How much does that make and where does the money go?
Joan Higginson, Preston