Reader’s letters - Thursday November 06, 2014

Preston Healthport is being taken over by Virgin, according to one reader
Preston Healthport is being taken over by Virgin, according to one reader
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Health takeover headache

I recently attended Preston Healthport at Vicarage Lane, Fulwood, after being diagnosed the person dealing with my complaint gave me their medical opinion and then went on to say that if the pain got worse and I needed to see them again they would only be at the centre until the November 14 2014 after which time they were being taken over by Virgin and I would need to go back to my GP to be referred again elsewhere.

I couldn’t believe what I was being told, Virgin was buying up part of the NHS. I think your readers should know about this I personally find it very worrying it’s like privatisation through the back door.

This is the people’s NHS they are selling off it’s OK for the rich they can afford to pay for their medical treatment in their private hospitals. Cameron recently said on TV that we, the people, are his boss so we, the ordinary man on the street, say to you our employee let the rich take care of themselves but leave our NHS alone.

Jack Fairclough, Hoghton

Time PNE beat the top teams

This morning’s league table shows an interesting picture with Preston still in second place after two consecutive defeats.

What makes it so interesting is that North End have managed to secure only five points from the teams they have played who currently occupy a place in the top nine.

That is five points out of 15. Does this give a feeling of deja vu?

The reports that we read in the Evening Post make interesting reading also because the manager seems to be able to anticipate how the opposition is going to play but cannot produce an antidote to it when it counts eg Rochdale’s diamond shape.

Chris Barwise, Ashton

Find a way for new memorial

Sometime ago I was approached to see if I would agree to my relative’s grave in Whitstable being included in a book by Alan Major entitled “Who’s Buried Where in Kent”.

And so Aloysius Smith, aka Trader Horn, was added to the illustrious list (LEP October 22). Not so in Preston, his home town.

Due to so called “informed advise” ( I still have the emails) I gave up my efforts to have his memory publicly displayed and recognised.

It’s sad that a Prestonian of note can be recognised 300 miles away in Kent, yet acknowledgement of his deeds cannot be recognised by his home town of Preston.

Perhaps history means more to Kent.

John R Smith, via email

No excuse for driving too fast

I refer to the letter about 20mph signs (letters November 4), firstly I believe this is a central Government initiative followed by shire and metropolitan authorities, not local authorities, the signs are evident throughout Lancashire alone, not just one borough.

Secondly, I have seen several police officers checking speeds and stopping offenders in these areas sometimes accompanied by youngsters from local schools.

Thirdly, as a retired emergency services vehicle driver, if the complainant can’t adhere to the 20mph limit, as many paramedics and ambulance technicians have to do because of a patients serious injuries, he or she should not be driving.

Fourthly, if one of the complainants close relatives, including children, was killed in such an area and the coroner’s words were “If the driver had been travelling at 20mph the victim would have lived” would he or she be of the same mindset.

Fred Hodson, via e-mail

Make transport publicly owned

Stagecoach PLC had an operating profit of £200m in the last financial year. Yet its need to increase bus fares shows once again the quite legal yet morally suspect rationale behind all PLCs.

Shareholders are more important than customers – or in this case – passengers. The need for Stagecoach to maintain increased share prices and dividends is more important than serving the people who need to, or choose to use public transport and who generate this wealth.

That’s one reason why an incoming Labour Government must bring public transport provision back into community ownership. And it shouldn’t stop there. For instance, the UK’s archaic planning laws which in the housing market favour the big developers over communities, need radical change to include public transport provision in any planning permission.

So whenever an estate is planned over a certain size the developer would have to financially contribute to a future local transport authority to help provide public transport links from and to that estate. It works in Europe – it can here.

It just takes political will, an understanding of what people want and of course removing the dead hand of the Treasury from local funding.

There’s an old saying in the Labour movement that goes something like: You can’t control what you don’t own.

It’s time public transport was taken from the private hands of the few and into the hands of the many – us.

Martyn Jowett, Morecambe

Firms should pay living wage

People go to work and expect to earn enough to live on. For those paid below the living wage, they are not getting a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work.

Low pay is blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of families across the region. And the consequence is we have to spend on tax credits to subsidise low paying employers and we bring in less in tax.

The fact is there are employers out there across the North West who can afford to pay living wages, but aren’t. It is now time for all responsible employers to commit to adopting this standard, which enables workers to earn just enough to be able to live a decent life.

Lynn Collins, TUC Regional Secretary for the North West