'We got up early and got on with things'
I thought it must be April the 1st when I read suggestions of a 10am start for schools.
It seems, over recent years, that the hours have become shorter and the holidays longer.
I started secondary school in the late 1960s.
I had a mile and a half to either walk or cycle to the bus stop to catch the school bus which came about 8am.
I then did the return journey, arriving home after 5pm.
As Mum was terminally ill, my sister and I were often in charge of making a meal, Dad being still at work.
Weekends were often spent helping with cleaning, washing and ironing. Then, of course, we had homework to fit in.
We just got on with things. No concessions were given as regards homework or exams.
It did, however, prepare me for work – my first full-time job, 9am-5.30pm, plus travelling time, of course, and again helping at home with housework etc.
Little wonder that it comes as a shock when today’s youngsters are asked to work eight hours or more a day for their wages.
Not long ago I overheard a young work colleague saying they found six hours a day “too tiring”.
Additionally, what about the many parents who currently drop their children off at school on their way to work?
Will they be allowed to start work an hour or more later? I don’t think so!
Mrs C Gannon
Years of tremors and noise
My young family live 400 yards from the fracking site on Preston New Road.
We have endured years of earth tremors, property damage, noise, HGVs, smells, industrialisation of fields and the stress of toxins in the air, water and land.
It seems the only jobs created are security guards.
Cuadrilla has sought variations to its planning licence on several occasions to enable the company to cope with things it got wrong.
And here we go again, after causing dozens of earth tremors which has slowed and now stopped work, they are seeking to have the tremor earthquake limits (the so-called Traffic Light System, TLS) raised above the 0.5 level - which they previously assured us they could work within.
The reason for Cuadrilla’s latest difficulty is that they have persistently refused to accept that the geology of the Preston New Road site comprises of complex and sensitive geological fault lines which also interface with underground life giving lakes.
Analysis by a renowned British Professor of Geology (an expert in the field) of Cuadrilla’s just recently released, 3D geological survey drawings, show them to be inaccurate, possibly dangerously so. If the Government and LCC care about the well-being of people in Lancashire, they will stand firm against the industry’s commercially driven campaign to increase the earthquake limits within which it has to operate.
The TLS earthquake limit must remain at 0.5.
Peter Watson, Preston
The recent decisions by Nissan and Honda illustrate one of the fundamental weaknesses of government policy.
For decades, the UK has relied on invitations to huge multi-national companies to set up in the UK in order to address national and local employment issues. Our politicians have been mesmerised by big business, big money, big workforces and huge plants. We can now see the weaknesses of this policy.
The great multi-nationals can just as easily pack up and leave when it suits them. When big business packs up, thousands find themselves suddenly out of work with little notice. On the other hand, SMEs cannot move themselves abroad quite so easily. Perhaps national policy should reflect this.
Deserters help Tory cause
History never repeats itself exactly. Take for instance the comparison between the SDP’s creation and The Independent Group.
Throughout 1980, Labour had been ahead every single month according to Gallop polls. And their lead in January 1981 over the Conservatives was 13 per cent. Later that month, the rebel “Gang of Four” launched the Council for Social Democracy (CSD), later to become the SDP.
Today, however, the opinion polls have shown a Tory lead prior to the formation of Chuka Umunna’s grouping.
What does this mean? Largely that Labour still remained hopeful after the SDP had been formed, believing their bubble would burst.
Alas Labour is in a weaker position now, with any deserters harming its prospects of gaining power. So the breakaway MPs are largely helping the Tory cause.