Reader’s letters - Wednesday 07 May 2014

One reader was upset by aggressive cyclists on the Guild Wheel in Avenham Park
One reader was upset by aggressive cyclists on the Guild Wheel in Avenham Park
Have your say

Lay off those on benefits

Recently, in tabloid newspapers and LEP letters pages, there have been an increasing number of critical comments about the abuse of state benefits. They imply most, on tax funded payments, squander it on smoking, drinking, wide screen HD televisions and gambling. Several governments, over recent years, have brought in strict, more onerous measures to combat the scroungers. Still many think these measures are not tough enough.

Those critical seem to be unaware of the well documented facts. Of the increasing suffering of genuine people on benefits – including those on low pay.

A significant number are families with young children, the disabled and the elderly are in desperate need of basic support. For example, most have had their benefits, or pay, frozen. They are not able to afford heating and other essential needs. Some are suffering the injustices of the bedroom tax.

Are the sceptics also unaware of many whose benefit cuts means they now can no longer afford their housing rents and are being evicted? These are often homes in which families, many with low paid jobs, have lived for years. In several areas they are told the only affordable accommodation is miles away, in other towns, where they are strangers.

More people with genuine debilitating disabilities, especially those with mental health, learning difficulties, or not obvious serious medical problems are now being assessed as fit for work. Then their disability payments are quickly stopped causing additional poverty. An appeal, takes many months and finds many are genuinely unfit to work and their invalidity benefit is restored. Often, in another year, or so, this unjust and stressful circle is repeated.

I agree, in general, those who can work and jobs are available which pay, at least, the minimum wage, should work. In my long experience, with disability benefit cut cases, I find those in the greatest need, who are not assertive, and would dearly like to work, if they were able, are the ones who most often suffer. It is the verbose, deceitful types who, all too often, get full benefits when their case is not genuine.

Beware of generalised accusations based on misleading information from those who want to further divide society. It is not the general population, or the poor, who have caused the recent biggest financial crisis and fall in living standards, since the 1930s.

It is the unchecked, fastest growing gap between the rich, those who demand and get far more than their worth, and the rest. It is this greed and mismanagement, for several years, by many of those at the top, of UK society, which has so greatly divided our society.

Peter Ward, author of ‘Low income and chronic sickness in Preston’

Guild Wheel cycle bullies

I was enjoying a walk by the river with my daughter and her dog in Avenham and Miller parks on Saturday and thought the council had worked wonders with the landscape.

We felt very threatened by cyclists using the path and was disgusted by their abusive language.

They felt pedestrians should not be there. I am a very fit 79-year-old lady and I don’t need to be treated like this.

Name and address supplied

Wait and see on road changes

Many people have written to the Evening Post regarding the road changes on Fishergate.

All are premature in their evaluation of the effects of the change and not based on any valued assessment. The work will continue until completed despite peoples protest.

Let’s wait until the changes have been functioning for a set period before a proper researched assessment is possible. We may learn to love the change.

M Pate, via e-mail

Fracking will feed bankers

Fracking is being presented as a boom for Lancashire, however, residents have not been consulted and are denied a say about the numerous drawbacks.

Anti-fracking residents point to the many studies which show the costs of production far outweigh the benefits of this form of energy production.

Great play is made of bringing jobs to this area. Many of these will be technical jobs, most likely fulfilled by outside contractors, who will bring their own skilled operatives.

They may need quite a few lorry drivers as our country roads are likely to be choked with their heavy plant machinery and water supplies for the wells.

The gas will be sold within the European Union and to countries like China. I suspect trade deals have already been baked into the mix.

Meanwhile, Lancashire residents are going to have to put up with perhaps hundreds of horizontal drilling rigs which will be able to bore underneath our properties with impunity .

The noted oil exploration expert Ian R Crane has advised residents to conduct full structural surveys on our houses now before earthquakes commence because we will have to prove in a court of law that it was their underground explosions that caused our properties to subside.

Many of us know where this drive for fracking is coming from.

It is the same greedy banking industry and their political advocates that do the bidding for these get rich quick schemes.Future generations will not excuse our disregard for our environment when so many viable alternative energy production schemes already exist.

G Lloyd, address supplied

Look overseas for frack advice

The debate about fracking goes on and on.

Would Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, and energy minister Michael Fallon pop over to France and ask the French Government why they have banned fracking and also ask the state of Ohio in the United States why they suspended it?

I await their answers. I won’t hold my breath.

W. Collier, address supplied