On a recent visit to Lancaster city centre, I was asked no less than 14 times to sign up for a charity direct debit.
In this case it was Save the Children, a very worthwhile charity and one that may well be worth supporting.
However, it may also be worth noting that the young people who sign you up to the charity do not work for that charity.
They are only interested in the £100 they receive for each person signing up.
So if one was to make 12 payments of £5 and then cancel the direct debit, the charity would lose £40.
I think it’s time the council stepped in to stop these charity collections. It is intrusive, stops people shopping and is only benefitting those gangs which collect.
I urge people to support charities but to sign up online and then all the money you send is received by the charity itself.
In the meantime I will go back to the Trafford Centre for my shopping where I can browse the shops without being constantly harassed by gangs effectively asking me for £100 for themselves.
Martin Baker, Heysham
Cash wasted on Trident
I was disappointed to read that our MP Cat Smith didn’t turn up in the House of Commons to vote against renewing Trident.
Nor was she there to add to the cross party support for Green MP Caroline Lucas’s bill on reforming and modernising our democracy, including introducing proportional representation.
Nuclear weapons are immoral and also useless against many of the threats that the world faces.
And at £41bn I would have hoped that Cat Smith would have used the opportunity to speak and vote against Trident’s renewal. Her Labour colleagues on the county council would have welcomed some extra cash to sort out the closing of children’s centres and weeds on our pavements.
Coun Jon Barry, Lancaster
Make Britain more humane
I write to encourage readers to mark World Humanitarian Day on August 19 by asking ourselves how might we all contribute to a more humane Britain?
The United Nations created World Humanitarian Day to celebrate the ordinary heroes around the world working to save lives and alleviate suffering when disaster or conflict strikes.
Yet even here, we can contribute to the humanitarian cause.
Right now, the UK Government is making decisions on how many places of sanctuary to offer to refugees from Syria and elsewhere. You often hear it said ‘charity begins at home’ and one small thing we can all do is to tell our Government we stand for a country based on compassion, inclusion and treating people with humanity, wherever they’re from.
Please visit http://careint.uk/refugeepetition16 to sign a petition calling on our Government to do more to protect refugees, here and across the world.
Ms Kath Rockliff, Prescot
Let’s bring back hen harriers
The driven grouse shooting season starts today. A petition led by Chris Packham and Mark Avery to ban this activity is gaining real momentum and will prompt a discussion in Parliament if it achieves 100,000 signatures by September 20. The choice for our Forest of Bowland is simple – view hen harriers, peregrine falcons and red grouse or just red grouse. There are no breeding hen harriers this year in what used to be the English heartland for this iconic bird.
Grouse moors right across England now equate with no breeding hen harriers. Illegal persecution has to stop.
Sign the petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003.
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