Readers' letters - September 1

Answer is to dredge rivers

Thursday, 1st September 2016, 5:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st September 2016, 6:06 pm
Garstang Golf Club after floods struck again in August. Is dredging the answer to flooding? Picture: Matt Bromley

Letter to Sir James Bevan, chief executive officer of the Environment Agency.

You may not be aware of a beautiful part of Lancashire, namely Garstang and district, but you should be.

In December 2015, the rural communities of North Lancashire were delivered a ‘once in a lifetime’ event – your words – by Mother Nature. These floods occurred after almost two months of continuous rainfall.

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The subsequent damage have had a devastating effect on many people.

Nine months later, after only four days of rain, the same has happened again.

Post-December 2015, the Environment Agency offered flood advice and not once addressed the underlying issues.

To many it is commonsense.

After every flood, the river beds rise with the silt deposits and run off, thus reducing the capacity of the rivers for future events.

Further, your agency acts in an advisory capacity for housing developments and rubber-stamping proposals in flood plains is inexcusably naive.

Forget one of your core mission statements of protecting the fauna and flora. People, their lives and livelihoods are more important.

Dredge the rivers!

The fauna and flora quickly re-establish, river beds are returned to their historical capacities, and are much better equipped to deal with most of what Mother Nature throws at us.

Prior to the set up of your agency, landowners had a responsibility to dredge their waters with hefty fines for non-compliance.

Your agency, instead of distributing pathetic leaflets of ‘what to do in case of a flood’, should divert our taxpayer pounds to pay landowners/farmers to do things properly.

The silent majority demand action. We don’t want inane rhetoric and justification of you and your agency’s position.

Michael Roskell, Nateby

Investing in train services

In response to Steven Moss’ defence of Jeremy Corbyn (LEP August 29), as I wasn’t on the train I have no idea whether the train he caught was full but it has become clear that it wasn’t and there were seats available.

However, overcrowding does occur and for the simple fact that the privatised railway is extremely popular and, even though there are more and faster trains with more seats, the growth in demand is outstripping supply.

However, help is on the way.

Under this Government, around £5.7bn is being spent on building new higher capacity express trains for the East Coast and Western Region. Indeed some have already been built.

In addition, new fleets of trains are being built for Transpennine Express and Northern, resulting in the removal of Pacers.

(I could add the entire fleet of trains in East Anglia is also being replaced by brand new trains 
et cetera, et cetera).

Almost all these new trains are being built in this country.

Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters are simply wrong and talk of a ‘hate campaign’ is ridiculous.

Nationalisation of the rail network and removing all private provision from the NHS, apart from being economically illiterate, would simply take away resources from education, welfare, Local Government, and so on.

Coun Neil Cartwright via email

Library closure at Lostock Hall

I see in the newspaper that the library at Lostock Hall is to close (LEP August 29).

I wonder how long it will be before the builders move back to restart the Tesco site next door.

P Mandarin via email

Bouquets or brickbats?

Bouquets or brickbats; which shall I throw first?

Well, the local council which originally proposed and is now bringing to fruition the development of the centre of Bamber Bridge certainly deserves a big bunch of the former.

What a pity though that these grand plans don’t appear to include the town’s biggest blot on the landscape –the rubble- strewn, weed-infested site of the Wesley Street Mill that was demolished in such unseemly haste over three years ago.

Oh! But I forgot. Their hands are tied until the site owners decide how they are going to develop it. Well, three years has passed and what has happened?


What I and many of the residents of the town would like to know is just how long the South Ribble Borough Council intend to sit on their hands and continue to do nothing? I’m sure if I or any other individual were responsible for creating a similar grot spot in the centre of town, we would soon be receiving official knocks on our doors.

I would have thought that, in conjunction with the proposed new development of the town centre, the council has been presented with a golden opportunity to flex its collective muscle and demand some sort of commitment from the site owners.

And so SRBC, you must now accept the brickbats as well as the bouquets and I am sure you will agree they will not sit well together. One thing for sure is that, when the improvements have been made, they will only serve to highlight and expose a situation that remains unacceptable and surely cannot be allowed to continue ad infinitum.

Derek Rogerson via email

PC destroyed comedy culture

Is the BBC feeling very brave? Remaking classic TV sitcoms of yesteryear?

Classic comedies such s Till Death Us Do Part and Are You Being Served? could never be made today because of political correctness. The PC brigade has eroded the comedy culture that once was the proud British Heritage.

Today there is too much fear of giving offence as the ‘thought police’ has taken away our ability to laugh at ourselves.

Whatever you say these days you upset somebody. I think we have lost all common sense.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool