Letters and emails on March 14, 2012

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The Lancashire Evening Post’s letters’ pages online

So Chris Davies MEP thinks UKIP is composed of fanatics. Others might call them a voice of sanity. He considers it a redeeming feature that a £25,000 EU mugging of start-up companies will only apply to those on the stock market register, and not small firms. Will this not inconsiderable sum be redeemed to the relevant Company in the future? Or is it another back door scam to feed the insatiable greed of the EU behemoth? He contacted the Small Business Federation to confirm they wouldn’t welcome this additional imposition. Not unexpected. It’s surprising they didn’t take the opportunity to enlighten him as to the strangulation of their members with red tape and the mountain of EU bureaucracy and legislation making them buckle at the knees. The Lords Prayer has 66 words. The Ten Commandments have 300 words. The American Declaration of Independence has 1,138 words. The EU directive on exporting duck eggs has 26,900 words. You’re a waste of trees, Mr. Davies. Pete Hanslip, Lostock Hall

Keep 50p tax rate, Chancellor

People earning £150,000 or more enjoy tax breaks worth more than the annual salaries of nearly eight million workers. Anew TUC report shows that around 300,000 people in the UK earn at least £150,000 and therefore have part of their earnings subject to the 50p tax rate. The report uses the latest HMRC data to estimate that taxpayers on the 50p rate enjoy tax breaks worth around £3.5bn - or £15,000 each. Government statistics show that around 31% of workers in the UK (7.8m) earn less than £15,000 a year. Critics of the 50p tax rate often argue that it has forced people to leave the country. However, the report argues that as the vast majority are either employees or self-employed with UK-specific skills, opportunities to move abroad are limited. Another argument for scrapping the 50p tax rate - it is apparently causing people to work less - is insulting to hard-working wealth creators and contradicts the Government’s own policy on work incentives. Under Universal Credit, the radical welfare reform which the Government claims will make work pay, millions of basic rate taxpayers will keep just 24p of every extra pound they earn due to a loss of tax credits and benefits. The Chancellor must keep the 50p tax rate and use his budget to clamp down on tax breaks and loopholes by the super-rich. The truth is that calls to scrap the 50p tax are about the richest 1% trying to dodge paying their fair share and making everyone else pay more instead. Derek Barton, Preston and South Ribble Trades Council

Not even game for bit of rain

Once more football matches were called off at Cottam on a recent Sunday. Local people are given very little thought. Preston should never have been given City of Sport. Will the Co-op Games be cancelled if they get a quarter of an inch of rain? We were promised Moor Park would be put back to normal after the Radio One festival but we are still waiting as there are broken drains, broken fences and spoilt driveways. The football pitches were in a good state before this event. They certainly don’t get mended by scattering a little soil on them. J D Rayton, Preston

Photo is a belter, quite literally

I just thought your readers might like to see my contribution from the amazing lights show in Preston over four nights between Thursday and Sunday last week. I had planned to photograph it from some distance, ie the village of Brindle, but wasn’t happy with the results. So I decided to head for the docks as this would add to the effect by also catching the reflection from the water. Right idea, wrong lens...

So I had to improvise by spotting a convenient life belt and resting my lens inside that to take my photo. Job done. By the way, I apologise for calling the marina “the docks” but for someone who spent many a happy hour watching the boats coming and going and have many tales to tell of various mishaps and incidents, I think it’s the case that old habits die hard. Ken Chapman, via email

Repairs hinged on top-notch service

Last week I called Chorley Council to request new hinge plugs to repair the broken lid of my green wheelie bin. Their contact offered to send someone to make the repairs but I explained that the bin could not be found at my mailing address as our vehicle access is off Meadway (which is where we get the bins emptied). We agreed that two plugs would be mailed out to me and that I would make the repairs myself. Yesterday, I noticed that the bin was slightly out of place so I went to put it back and immediately noticed that the two hinge plugs had been replaced. I can only assume that an enterprising member of their staff had worked out where the bin was - hidden out of sight, 50 yards up a private drive - and carried out the repairs for me. That is service well beyond my reasonable expectations. I’d be the first to complain about poor service and have previously done so via these pages – so it’s only fair that I compliment the council and the staff member who showed such initiative. Jon Simkin, Preston Road, Clayton-le-Woods

What’s sauce for the goose...

We are urging would-be tourists to stay away from the Lake District this year in protest against the proposed mass cull of Canada geese on Windermere. The killing of 200 birds on their nests this spring – and hundreds more in coming years – is also opposed by the RSPCA. Local bird experts and campaigners say the killing will be a bloodbath. Despite making claims that the birds cause pollution and decimate grassland, the local authority has admitted that “Windermere has had no specific studies regarding the effects of Canada geese on local habitat”. The authority has not sought the advice from humane deterrence experts and is determined to pursue a cull. Anyone who opposes the killing of these majestic birds should vote with their wallets and book a holiday elsewhere. Kate Fowler, Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid

Old new town land a better bet

Please could Preston Council let me know whey there has to be planning permission for houses at Cottam (Hoyles Lane, Sidgreaves Lane, Lea Road to the Lancaster Canal) In 1972 there was a compulsory purchase order put on a huge amont of land locally. It took in Cottam and Ingol as well as other areas and was called the Central Lancashire New Town. We had a farm in the Cottam parcel. Do you not think these parcels of land should be built on first as they have already got road access? Mrs Margaret Davies, Lea