No need to fear outsiders
I am responding to ‘Worried, of Chorley’ (letters, April 10), who is of the view that only people with strong local connections should be eligible to stand as parliamentary candidates.
Under present rules, anyone can stand for election to parliament anywhere in Great Britain subject to the following criteria: over 18 years of age, is a British citizen, Republic of Ireland citizen or an eligible citizen of a Commonwealth country, can provide a deposit of £500, is nominated by 10 parliamentary electors in the constituency they wish to represent, and is not on a list of ‘excluded people’, which includes civil servants, judges, prisoners, undischarged bankrupts and so on.
Whilst local and parish councillors do need to be from the local community to deal with local issues, it really does not matter if the MP comes from a few miles down the road – the job description is very different. An MP from outside a borough could potentially bring additional benefits: new perspectives, different experiences, fresh energy, fresh thinking, and new business contacts. So to ‘Worried, Chorley’, may I simply say ‘ don’t worry’. Parliamentary candidates should be viewed on their ability to do the job well and represent their constituents, not where they were born or come from.
Kathy Willeard, via email
Think of legacy to generations
The past five years have seen dramatic cuts, in the name of ‘austerity’, to all those services which we take for granted: the NHS and the ambulance services, the police force and the fire service, Legal Aid, education at all levels and the welfare and benefits system.
Our comfortable existence can never be guaranteed. In the blink of an eye, all we cherish can be stripped away from us by accident or illness. It is only then we realise how much we need and rely upon these wonderful public services.
Our grandparents, and in many cases, our parents, suffered many privations but worked and fought hard so future generations would have it better.
And they did. The post-war generation thrived as a result of the NHS and other features of the welfare state, grew up in affordable council housing and later benefited from the free higher education, good jobs and good wages which resulted from Harold Wilson’s commitment to the ‘white heat of technology’.
However, today far too many young people are working in jobs paying less that the living wage, have little access to secure, affordable, rented accommodation, and have given up on any prospect of being able to buy their own home. Indeed many of those ‘hard working families’ are using food banks in order to make ends meet. At the same time, according to the Equality Trust, the wealth of the richest in our society has increased disproportionately year-on-year.
The legacy we hand on to our grandchildren should be one of an equal, just and caring society where all are safe in the knowledge that should help be needed it is there and free to all. This legacy will be squandered if this country were to suffer a further five years of David Cameron.
Theresa R Yates, Walmer Bridge
Red Len is the real worry
Nicola Sturgeon’s role in the forthcoming election is being overplayed. The fact is, following the election, all MPs will have to play the cards they are dealt.
The real problem is an individual whose name has barely been mentioned. Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, has already said he will be the person that writes Labour’s first budget, further commenting the Labour Party belongs to the Trade Unions. After all, this is why Ed Miliband got his job in the first place.
Peter Bye, e-mail
Help sanctuary stay in business
Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary in St Annes is in a desperate situation. After many years, a change of landowner will mean it will have to vacate its present base very soon.
They need a new place fast. If they don’t raise enough money to finance the move, the sanctuary will close for good.
To this end, the sanctuary founder has put her house on the market in an effort to raise some of the money which will be needed. In addition to this, a fund-raising drive has also been running around the Fylde.
Simply put, if the sanctuary fail to raise the money before they are evicted from their present base, they will close for good. Animals presently in their care will suffer. Animals in the future that are in desperate need of a home, food, medical care and TLC will not get it if Easterleigh closes as it’s the only animal sanctuary in the south Fylde area.
So, if you care for animals and want to have a local place to where animals can be taken when they are in need, please donate as much as you can to the fund-raising efforts now.
Please donate here: www.justgiving.com/Easterleigh
The final amount raised will determine where the sanctuary will move to, if somewhere can be found within the budget, if they can raise enough, in time.
Also, if you’re a local business, or a local property owner, please could you help find a new site for Easterleigh? Please could you
offer financial sponsorship to help Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary survive this crisis caused by having to move? Please call Mandy on 01253 595333 or 07444 422 593. Thank you.
Please spread the word on social media. It’s called ‘going viral’ I believe. Please spread the message and help get this appeal ‘viral’ urgently.
Finally, I should make it clear that I have no connection to the sanctuary other than having made donations. I just think about the animals. They can’t ask, so it’s up to us to speak up for them. Thank you all,
Tim Dean, Preston
Where to cross the voting card
Politics came into sharp focus for me when my young nephew announced that he’d received his polling card but couldn’t decide which liar to vote for.
Joseph Dawson, Withnell, Chorley