Readers' letters - April 6

A reader asks, do we still need parole?
A reader asks, do we still need parole?
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Have your say

Where’s the justice in legal system?

The discredited decision by the Parole Board to release serial rapist John Worboys, now thankfully being reconsidered, shines a whole new light on the question of parole.

Indeed, one has to wonder why we need parole at all? Far better for all sentences to be served in full, with any misdemeanours subject to additional terms.

Further, the way in which life sentences are dealt with has become a joke.

A life sentence should mean just that. Shorter sentences need a different name, although at the moment terms being handed down are, more often than not, inadequate.

Consider also the Bill going through Parliament which calls for increased maximum penalties for those who assault and abuse emergency workers. But why do we need maximum sentences?

Let all punishments fit the crime, and to abolish all maximum sentences would be an excellent start. If all the above means the building of more new prisons, then all well and good.

Bob Watson

Address supplied

parking

Pricing is bad for me

I have just received notice from Lancashire County Council that the Lancaster City Council arrangements for residents’ parking are changing and will now be administered by the county council.

The current pricing for visitors works out at 10p per visit (30 visits per £3 card) and £40 for a resident car permit. The new resident car permit costs £25, so car owners will be £15 in pocket.

However, £25 for the visitor permit then makes them at least £7 worse off. Only if they entertain more than 100 car-driving visitors over the 12 months will they be better off than under the old system.

For a non-car owner, however (myself included), the new system is financially very disadvantageous. Last year I purchased two £3 permits which have still not been fully used. I thoroughly object to being asked to pay £25 on the off-chance that I may get a car-driving visitor. I would need 250 such visits during the year to make this permit worth it.

The county is offering two ‘complimentary’ visitor permits per household which does not ameliorate this in any way. Bearing in mind the ‘short overlap period’ stated in their letter, we are hardly likely to get the full benefit of them.

The council should be encouraging the use of public transport/shared car-ownership, etc, but I feel I am being penalised for choosing to be car-free.

A better alternative would be to charge £10 for the visitor permit for those residents who do not own a car, which would put them on a par with their car-owning neighbours.

The current pricing is extremely unfair.

Sarah Dawson

Lancaster

roads

Help cyclists – fit speed limiters

As a result of the landmark case of a musician winning a claim for hearing loss (caused by sitting in front of the brass section of an orchestra), and with a High Court judge saying: “Musicians are entitled to the protection of the law, as is any other worker,” might we now have a judgement that cyclists are entitled to the protection of the law, as is any driver? Drivers have a whole raft of high-tech safety devices and cyclists only have polystyrene helmets – they don’t offer the same protection as steel shells, air bags and so on. Also, where four ‘fat’ tyres and a four-wheel drive helps to prevent drivers from skidding in treacherous driving conditions, two skinny, high-pressure tyres on a lightweight bicycle don’t.

Further, given that the RAF claims “this is a really good time to be involved, not only in the air force, but in the aviation and space industry, as we develop new technologies and new ways of pushing human boundaries”, shouldn’t speed-limiting equipment be fitted to all motor vehicles?

After all, if we need to reduce plastic pollution and encourage recycling, shouldn’t we be doing even more to reduce CO2 emissions and encourage cycling?

Won’t the future of the next generation be threatened if we don’t?

Allan Ramsay

Radcliffe

language

Why postal operatives?

It’s coming to something when you can’t call your post deliverer a postman.

Instead you have to refer to them as postal operatives.

What would Postman

Pat and his cat Jess think of it?

The mind boggles.

EB Warris

via email