Reader’s letters - Tuesday March 24, 2015

Preston North End's stadium in Deepdale, Preston. See letter
Preston North End's stadium in Deepdale, Preston. See letter
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Most cuts in poorest areas

We depend upon our local authorities for basic public services – schools, libraries, social care for the elderly and disabled, roads without pot holes, planning and much more.

We rely upon our councils to ensure that the areas we live in are clean and safe. However, central government grants for local authorities have been slashed since the Coalition Government came to power, especially in the North West where local authorities have seen some of the biggest cuts in England, 25.7 per cent of their budgets, at a time when our need for these services is increasing.

Studies by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (11/13) and the Institute of Fiscal Studies (03/15) have shown that the greatest cuts have been in the most deprived areas (on average minus 21.4 per cent in poor areas and minus 15.8 per cent in affluent areas). For example, Liverpool lost £329 per head, Sheffield, £198 per head, but it was just £27 per head in Wokingham and £15 per head in Epsom and Ewell!

Thousands of local government workers have lost their jobs compounding problems in unemployment black spots. We are not “all in this together”.

The Tory Party has stated that it will continue to cut public services – such as local government, police and justice – by a further £60bn by 2019-20, giving the public sector the lowest level of support since the 1930s.

The Office of Budget Responsibility projects the loss of another one million public sector jobs.

George Osborne has already said he would cut income for the poorest, no matter what give-aways for the well-off he promised this week.

He has said nothing about the billions in spending cuts estimated by the Institute of Fiscal Studies given Tory targets for 2018. Is this the quality of life we want for our children, our parents, ourselves? Is this the kind of country we wish to live in?

Canon Andrea Titterington, Preston

Mixed messages from planning

I read with disbelief your front page concerning the plight of a resident in one of Preston’s conservation areas (LEP, March 21). Not only because most people are aware if they live in a conservation area that these rules may apply, but also because of Preston Council’s outdated planning rules and regulations.

It is amazing how some are able to get planning permission for the most outrageously out of keeping building in these areas ( Watling Street Mosque as a prime example, and other modern buildings and extensions in Victoria Road spring to mind), however others seem to struggle.

I have never understood why a window has to be wooden and not upvc in some of these buildings. The building in question hardly has the same cachet as Salmesbury Hall.

The planning department does seem to send out mixed messages as to what is admissible and what is not.

I am sure there must be a huge book of guidelines to be followed. However, from where I am sitting, following the development of north Preston, this book seems to be firmly closed.

Living in the modern world, Fulwood

Hopes for PNE promotion

Preston North End fans love a big game, re: the Manchester United Cup tie at Deepdale.

And while the stalwart 8,000 to 10,000 supporters cheer their favourites on week in, week out, I’m sure many Prestonians will be aware of Sunday’s Johnstone Cup final at Wembley which attracted 72,000 fans.

Yes, 72,000.

Had PNE overcome Walsall in the semi-finals (which they should have done), they would have taken the place of the Midlanders and given everyone a great day out!

What an opportunity missed. I only hope Preston gain promotion this time round, and give the town something to cheer about for a change.

Neil Farnworth, Preston

Did you know my brother?

My brother Adrian Doherty lived in Preston from August 1993 until January 1996. Sadly, Adrian died in June 2000 at the age of 26, but he crammed a lot into his short life. A book is currently being written about him and we are trying to get in contact with anyone who knew him from his time in Preston.

Adrian first moved to England from our home in Strabane (Northern Ireland) at 16 and spent four years at Manchester United, one as an apprentice and three as a professional. He played at the same time as Ryan Giggs and he and Giggs were seen as the two brightest prospects at the club at the time. Adrian played on the right wing and Giggs on the left in United’s 1990 and 1991 Youth teams.

Unfortunately, Adrian got a serious knee injury in March 1991, when he was 17, and he never got the opportunity to fulfil his potential. He retired from the game aged 20.

He then moved to Preston in August 1993 and worked from October 93 to December 94 at Beeches Chocolate factory and then as a shop worker at Silcock’s Fruit and Veg from June 95 to January 96.

I know he loved his time in Preston and made some good friends there. A lot of people he came across in Preston might have been unaware he was an ex-footballer, as he was a modest lad and just wanted to make a fresh start and move on with his life.

He then moved back to Ireland and lived in Galway for a few years. He had just moved to The Hague in Holland in early May 2000 when he had an accident. He fell into a canal over there and, although he was pulled out of the water, he spent the next four weeks on ‘life support’. He passed away on June 9, 2000, surrounded by his family. We have spoken to people who knew Adrian from his time in Manchester and Galway, but only two so far from Preston. It would be brilliant if we could track down some people who knew him during this period.

The only other information I have was that he had joined a guitar club in Preston and made a few friends there. Playing music and writing songs and poems were his other great interests in life. I realise it’s a long time ago but if anybody who knew Adrian could get in touch or point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. They can call (or text) me on 07731183252 or e-mail me at Thanks

Gareth Doherty via email