Readers' letters - December 15

Does sinkhole trouble lie under the ground?
Does sinkhole trouble lie under the ground?
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Have your say

Sinkhole trouble lies under the ground

Sinkholes on Channel 5 has been a programme full of surprises.

Not only do they occur in places like Florida, where whole lakes are created, but it seems that beautiful Ripon is the sinkhole capital of the North of England.

Repeatedly, the programme pointed out that underground Britain is full of man-made holes, the result of hundreds of years of mining, mostly for coal, but for other minerals too, including iron, lead and tin.

A new house, built without investigation of the site, on an area full of holes, can suddenly disappear into the ground.

People have died, and houses on the same site become unsaleable.

This is the inheritance we have from the past.

What of the future?

What of fracking?

More disturbance of the geology that underlies our towns, villages and countryside. Do we really need it?

Diana M Priestley

Address supplied

health

Should we be more patient?

For months now we’ve heard that the NHS is in crisis (hasn’t it always been the case for the past few decades?) Yes, by all means throw more money at it and, I’m sure for those of us who do pay taxes, we wouldn’t begrudge paying an extra 1p if it were to go to dedicated, front-line services rather than paying for additional ‘suits’ in a back office, playing with spreadsheets.

However, one factor that never seems to get mentioned when patient numbers versus NHS resources is mentioned is that, back in 1948 when the NHS was started, the UK population was 50.2 million.

When the NHS targets were introduced in 2004, it was 59.9 million. Since 2004 until the present day, recognised net immigration has added, year on year, 250,000 additional people to the UK, to an increasing ageing population. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics for 2017 put the population at 65.6 million, rising to between 67.5 to 70 million by 2020.

While I’ve had to sit and wait for treatment, when I received it, it was first class.

Maybe it’s time politicians stopped playing politics with the NHS and got together in an all-party group to sort out a long-term solution but, as we have had a substantial increase in the population over the last decade, maybe it’s about time the waiting times were readjusted and we accept a longer wait?

James Fenner

via email

roads

Council got its priorities wrong

I read with great interest the article about LCC charging residents new ‘kerb charges’ (LP, November 21).

Evidently the council believes, according to your quote, that it has a duty under the 1980 Highways Act to maintain roads and pavements and keep them safe for users. Surely, the cabinet of Lancashire County Council would therefore agree that the number of potholes in road surfaces and the lack of clearly painted road markings are also evidence that the county council is failing to comply with regulations and their statutory duties.

Consequently, it is clear to me that the county council has got its priorities wrong in this respect.

David Jolly

An Old Chorleian

politics

Good to see a tough minister

It is refreshing to hear that the new Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, pictured, has suggested that anyone British who has fought for Islamic State should be killed before they can return to the UK, where they could resume their terrorist tendencies.

It is also great to know that at last we have someone who believes in the role of our Armed Services, and, unlike his predecessors, is prepared for a fight with the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Treasury for an increase in funding for them.

And it is even more encouraging to have a senior politician with guts instead of the usual spineless variety that we have become used to.

Phil Griffiths

Commentator and broadcaster

society

Oh no, not dogs again

We are constantly reminded about dogs, owners and their needs. One of the latest crazes is to walk four at a time. Not to mention all that dog poo. Just recently owners started fighting about not picking this up!

Well, let’s look at this issue from a different angle.

My husband and I, along with friends, have given up our walking because of dogs almost everywhere.

We used to walk through Cuerden Valley Park and Avenham and Miller Park. Sometimes we would walk along Tram Road or through to Penwortham, then finish up at the cafe on the park. We don’t any more due to dogs galore. So now our exercise is coffee at a garden centre.

Maybe it’s time to give others some consideration before pushing for four at a time. Open spaces seem to be taken for granted that they belong to dogs. Can someone inform us where we can obtain our outdoor exercise without being confronted with this issue?

Ann

South Ribble & Preston