Readers' letters - March 28
Cutting budgets has led to rise in crime
Reading the article regarding the rise in anti-social behaviour, there is one answer to deal with it more effectively and that is restoring the police budget (LP March 21).
It is common sense that when there are fewer numbers of police on the streets, the crime figures will escalate.
For many years now the Police and Crime Commissioner has been warning that front-line services are suffering and that this affects the crime statistics.
Equally a properly funded social services and probation system, restored to the public sector with properly trained staff, is part of the wider picture to tackle this problem.
Austerity and the cuts in public services to tackle socially dysfunctional behaviour have greatly impacted on the police, probation services, courts and social workers, alongside the NHS.
These services struggle to cope with the many issues that anti-social behaviour bring to our public services.
In the 1980s, the Conservative Government tried the punishment route by issuing tougher sentences to young offenders in detention centres and young offender institutions.
It failed to reduce offending on two counts.
It did little to address offending behaviour while the young people were incarcerated, neither did it have any significant impact on re-offending rates, as incarceration of first offenders only put them into contact with more prolific damaged individuals.
It also increased the cost on the detention centre system at that time.
Council cutbacks have impacted greatly on local services dealing with drug or alcohol addictions, as well as social services not having enough trained staff for anger management, dysfunctional parenting and the raft of issues that confront our community services every day. We need therefore to put money behind treatment again and recognise the impact that austerity has had on poorer families and our communities.
Plot brought back canal memories
I enjoyed the article about Preston’s own gunpowder plot (Retro March 6) regarding the failed attempt to blow up the canal aqueduct in Preston (LP Retro March 6).
Living in nearby Shelley Road, I came to know and use this vital thoroughfare for its last 20 years of its existence.
The devastation it would have caused, had the explosion been successful, would have been enormous.
The cotton mills nearby relied on the canal, as a water supply for their coal-fired boilers.
I can remember quite large lorries mounting the single footpath and using the short tunnel as a short-cut.
Later on, signs were put in place to limit vehicles to under 30 cwt.
It did leak a little and, in winter, froze, making cycling very tricky.
A small electric light, up on the tunnel roof, burned 24 hours a day.
About 150 yards north of the canal itself was a waste hot water pipe. This entered the canal.
Local children had cleared the canal bed of any rubbish and it became their very own heated ‘swimming pool’.
Older Prestonians would remember the spring/summer canal cruises.
These would operate at weekends from Marsh Lane to Catforth, a three-hour return trip.
They used an ex-lifeboat (motorised of course), often pulling another one in tow.
Pop and crisps were sold on board. No doubt there would be a rush for the toilets at the Catforth end. I can remember the trip costing 2/6 (12 1/2p). Happy Days.
Errol H Simister
My name is Daniel Swainston and I live in Burnley, Lancashire. I’m writing to you as I would like your help in finding a man called Robert who lives in the Preston area.
The reason why I want to find Robert is because he is a cousin of a relative of mine who died in 2008 and I would like to meet Robert to find out more about the relative of mine who died, who was called David.
David was born on November 24, 1941, and we was adopted a few months later.
We believe David’s adopted father was a doctor and his adopted mother was a nurse and they first lived in a big house in Manchester, probably provided by the hospital where they worked.
David married a woman called Eleanor in the Blackpool and Fylde area in 1966 and they had a son called Jason.
We believe David died in 2008 and we’ve tried to find Eleanor and Jason but with no luck.
Because David was adopted, we tried an adoption agency to find David’s records and possibly to trace them, this is how Robert got involved because the adoption agency got in contact with him.
They wouldn’t give us his surname due to data protection but we were told he was living in the Preston area.
That’s why I have thought of contacting you. If you were able to put an article in the LP, maybe he or another relative would get in contact.
My email address is
hotmail.com please contact me at any time for any more information.
Reform overseas aid programme
We are constantly being reminded about cuts to services, from schools to care, the NHS to local councils, with the Government saying that it has made sufficient provisions in funding these services through their “reforms”, which actually means cuts.
There is a very simple remedy to all of this, one which would close down the debate altogether and provide the funds necessary to satisfy the growing demands that these services need.
Reform the overseas aid programme, to which by law we have to donate 0.7 per cent of our GDP – currently £13bn and rising as our economy grows.
This is taxpayers’ money, which is handed out to countries which don’t need it, don’t want it and, in some cases, have corrupt regimes. It is putting our money into the wrong pockets.
We need to reduce it so that our own services are properly funded to the benefit of our own people first and whatever is left can be allocated to those countries that really need it. That is fair to the taxpayers, the services involved and the future funding of our country’s needs.
North West President, UKIP (UK Independence Party)
Referendums – not the best of three
I find it incomprehensible that, when a referendum is held, those who don’t agree with the outcome seem to think they have a right for another vote. Scotland voted AGAINST leaving the UK, and the UK voted FOR leaving the EU, so why do people moan and complain when it has been a democratic decision?
Just remember, it is not the best of three, and we have to deal with the decisions made.