We have duty to help disabled refugees
It was recently revealed that just five per cent of refugees resettled from Syria under the Government’s Vulnerable Person relocation programme (VPRP) have disabilities, including mobility issues or special education needs.
This is despite the fact that Britain’s pledge to resettle refugees made specific reference to support disabled Syrians and that the VPRP, which commits the Government to take in 20,000 refugees by 2020, was set up to accommodate the most at risk groups.
This is appalling and a new low in this Government’s treatment of refugees. Mrs May said a year ago that a disability or health condition should never dictate the path anyone could take.
This Government must be made to understand that they should stop passing off refugees as someone else’s problem. They will go down as the ones that watched while thousands suffered.
We all must also demand that the Government stops playing into a toxic narrative that claims showing compassion for people who are victims of poverty and war is wrong because they are after welfare and wish to do us harm. Whether it was the Vietnamese in the 1970s, or the Ugandans in the 1980s or the Kosovans in the 1990s, we have a proud history of giving sanctuary to those escaping war and persecution.
We demean this legacy by turning our backs on desperate refugees, wishing to escape and build lives here. Europe is facing the biggest refugees crisis since the Second World War. It is a test of our humanity and principles, and test of our international cooperation.
The ‘rec’ is our war memorial
I am sure I am not on my own in hoping that Ribble Valley Borough Council will dismiss the current ill-considered planning application for an extension of Berry Lane Medical Centre, which encroaches onto Longridge’s First World War Memorial Field.
This field is held in perpetuity by us, the people of Longridge, for the people of Longridge.
Longridge’s councillors should be applauded for recommending refusal of the application, my only surprise was that this was not unanimous.
For the benefit of newcomers, the ‘rec’ has been Longridge’s War Memorial for 90 years and, in that time, has been held as sacrosanct with efforts to build on it fiercely resisted.
This is a decision for the people of Longridge only, not those of the ‘surrounding villages’ as some suggest in support of the application, as I am sure they would take a dim view of us interfering with their war memorials.
The plans indicate a relatively small amount of encroachment, but nevertheless this would set an unwelcome precedent and the plans also show a markedly reduced parking area for staff.
This, with a projected large increase in staff and patients, would lead to an already inadequate parking provision becoming intolerable and an even greater problem of on-
street parking in central Longridge.
However you look at it, interference with war memorials is termed ‘desecration’.
I’m sure the irony as we commemorate the centenary of the Great War and the battles of Third Ypres/Passchendaele, where some of the 100 or so men of Longridge were literally ‘lost’, should not be lost on planners and doctors alike.
The Great War Society
Thanks Jamie for your help
On Sunday, August 6, I developed a flat tyre on the M6.
I came off the motorway at the Tickled Trout and pulled up into the bus lay-by.
A young gentleman, who turned out to be called Jamie, drew up behind me and offered to change the tyre.
Unfortunately, as with many new cars, there was no spare tyre provided.
It was 3.30pm and raining. He offered to go and find someone and returned 15 minutes later with another gentleman (Mel, I think) and the two of them sorted me out.
I am 78, had two more elderly friends with me, and Jamie’s actions restored my faith in human nature.
Too often, people of my generation criticise the younger people, sometimes rightly so, but I am so grateful to Jamie for his help and kindness.
Jamie was dressed in a red T-shirt and denims, was quite tall with dark hair, had been in the Army and lived in the New Hall Lane area.
Thank you Jamie!
Flooding will be major issue
I have, for the past 30 years, walked the full length of Hoyles Lane, Cottam, and I have never seen it flood like it does now.
The road gets flooded and gardens are flooded. They never used to flood.
Unless I am mistaken, water travels downhill. Why then are the developers permitted to build houses higher than the well-established properties? This will inevitably cause flooding.
The developers are putting all these new houses up with inadequate drainage facilities being put in place.
In my view, if this keeps happening, which it undoubtedly will, it is only a matter of time before it will become a major issue.
One tax rule for the rich ....
There is charity status for public schools, which means they have 80 per cent tax relief on business rates. State schools pay the full business rate. Now we learn many private hospitals enjoy a £5m tax break over the next five years. It is no secret that the NHS is in a parlous state financially.
Traditionally the Conservative party has ensured ‘nothing but the best’ for their own. The great Victorian Tory statesman Benjamin Disraeli stated that “a Conservative government is an organised hypocrisy”. The Labour Government was no different. When in a position to do something, it did nothing.
Helpers were so considerate
I would like to thank the two ladies for their kindness shown when I fell in Crofters Green, Plungington, on August 8, and I was taken to hospital. I suffered a broken hand and dislocated my fingers, but thankfully I’m all in one piece. Their kindness and consideration shown to me was very much appreciated.