Readers' letters - March 24

Ex-pat Scots should be allowed to vote

Friday, 24th March 2017, 3:27 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th March 2017, 11:44 am

It must be stressful for Theresa May trying to exit the EU with Nicola Sturgeon fighting against her.

I wish she would work alongside the PM to get a deal for Scotland. Forget division and tackle the real issues.

We are ex-pat Scots, living in England and have nothing against SNP voters.

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The Scottish Government office rules have suppressed ex-pat Scots from having a vote at independence referendums one and two. If one contacts the Scottish Office, the excuse is one has to be a resident in Scotland because it’s a bit messy proving who is a Scot.

If you watch the show on TV Who Do You Think You Are? researchers go back a couple of centuries and find documents for people’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather, so we don’t believe that excuse.

As Scotland’s indy/ref one, people allowed to vote included British, EU and Commonwealth citizens if they were resident in Scotland.

We felt people in the whole world got a vote, except ex-pat Scots living in the rest of the UK. There was an extension of the franchise to include 16 and 17-year-olds. I wrote and asked could there be an extension of the franchise to include ex-pat Scots – no reply.

I read a few days ago that if there was an indy/ref two, everyone over 16 years is eligible to vote, as are European Union and Commonwealth nationals living in Scotland.

But Scottish-born people living in the rest of the UK cannot vote. English, Welsh and Northern Irish residents in Scotland can vote.

The Scottish independence referendum is an historic vote, not a general election. Turkey allows its expatriate citizens to vote in its referendum.


Address supplied


Get financial house in order

What’s the cost of a new village hall?

What’s the true cost of Much Hoole Parish Council’s tax hike?

One pound a week increase may seem small beer to the chairman of Hoole Parish Council, but the council makes no mention of the overall cost of the 25 per cent increase.

Based on figures supplied to me, the sum works out as follows:

Band D property £1.04 per week (figure stated in Spring Parish Council News Letter) x 42 weeks x (828 Properties in Much Hoole Parish figure supplied by South Ribble BC) =£36,167.04 increase.

Yes, £1 per week sounds so much better.

We’re told this is a one-off increase.

Does this mean the parish council tax will revert to the 2016 level or will it remain at the 2017 amount with a nominal percentage increase in 2018?

Just for the record, Much Hoole Parish Council tax has gone up by 314.4 per cent since 2014.

More worryingly, we are told by the parish council they had to reassess the original building costs of the new village hall (has someone got their sums wrong?) hence the increase in the parish tax, all this before they’ve even laid the first brick.

It makes one wonder what the final cost will be.

Yes, it’s a very laudable thing trying to build a new village hall (artist’s impression pictured above), but someone wants to get their financial house in order first (hall in this case) before expecting the tax payer to foot the bill once again.

Iain Houghton

Much Hoole


Young people are worse off

We have been expecting interest rates to go up, we are told importing daily food is more expensive and so we have to accept it, yes?

No! The banks have

laid off thousands of staff since the crash and lots of other items have gone up, everything up but savers rates.

Why can’t the Bank of England force banks to do this?

Then more people would save.

And what’s this about wages going up?

One of our granddaughters has a good degree.

She is working for £7.20 per hour and young people have to wait until they are 25 for more than £8 per hour.

When we were 25, we had three children and a mortgage we could just about afford.

What have the young people got today? Very little.

Mrs B C Hughes

Bamber Bridge


Long queues and lights

Will the person who is in charge of traffic lights please start earning their money?

I am sick to death of remaining stationary on green lights because the traffic lights, yards further up the road, are set on red.

The main culprits, in my experience, are Garstang Road/North Road, Ringway/Corporation Street and St Andrew’s school road junction and Cottam Lane, but I am sure there are many, many more. It is causing gridlocks and ridiculous uncalled for queues.

Also why are some flows of traffic at road junctions honoured with right hand turn filters, whilst others are lucky to get a single car through, resulting in many trying to go through on red lights?

Blackpool Road/Deepdale Road is one of the worst examples. Get your act together.

Very fed up, frustrated traveller



A great teacher and lovely man

It was with sadness that I read in the LP of the passing away of Ken Henry, former teacher at Preston Catholic College (LP March 20).

I remember him as my technical drawing teacher at college and I can honestly say that his tuition and guidance was a big factor in my pursuing a career as a draughtsman.

I last spoke to him at Chorley Golf Club and, prior to that, at Fr Spencer’s funeral.

He was a great teacher and a lovely man.

Speaking to him on these two occasions, he was delighted to meet a former PCC student and we reminisced about the old days. My condolences to all his family.

Alan Smith



Finding time for constituents

When Ed Miliband was leader of the Labour Party, he frequently accused George Osborne of being a part-time Chancellor of the Exchequer.

News that Osborne is to become the editor of the London Evening Standard makes you wonder how he can find the time to serve his constituents as an MP – a former editor of the London Evening Standard claimed he worked an 80 to 100-hour week.

John Appleyard

Address supplied