Readers’ letters - January 1

Cuts could lead to the end of volunteer rangers on Beacon Fell. See letter
Cuts could lead to the end of volunteer rangers on Beacon Fell. See letter
Have your say

Don’t axe Fell volunteers

Lancashire County Council is considering, as part of its cuts, doing away with the volunteer rangers on Beacon Fell.

It beggars belief that the council can think that axing very enthusiastic volunteers – who do a wonderful job not only protecting the environment but also provide a valuable service to visitors – is a cost-effective strategy.

These wardens spot any potential problems in their infancy and deal with them accordingly, thus avoiding these developing into major ones which would need to be dealt with by paid staff and thus costing considerably more in the long term.

This reminds me of going back to the 1960s and 70s when we had an organisation called the Lancashire River Authority, whose employees were responsible for managing Lancashire’s rivers to ensure any problems were soon spotted. This disappeared in the 1980s and regular river management became consigned to history.

I am not saying regular local river management would have prevented the recent floods, but I am sure that potential breeches of the river would have been spotted, which could have reduced the devastating impact.

The council should talk to its retired employees who provided this valuable local service by regularly inspecting local areas.

Whilst the Environment Agency does a good job, in many ways its bureaucratic structure means it can never be as effective as local knowledge.

History can provide a good example of where we can learn valuable lessons.

Peter Watson, Goosnargh

Fans blocked view of game

I was interested to read the recent letters in the LEP from two long-term supporters of PNE, namely A. Summer and Frank Miller (LEP December 17 and 23).

I too have supported North End since 1946, as a season ticket holder for more than 50 years, also going to a fair number of away games.

I entirely agree with all their comments – especially being a ‘lady of short stature’ myself.

At Burnley, our tickets were three rows from the back of the stand, and seats next to the gangway, which would have been fine if seated but, as has happened at other away matches, a lot of fans arrived about two minutes before kick-off and completely blocked the gangway and view. The stewards do not seem to bother.

I could not see the nearside goal or penalty area at all and it is very frustrating, apart from the safety aspect.

It’s sad they cannot find a different song to sing except about hating Blackpool – it seems so irrelevant when we are not in the same division!

J.P, Fulwood

Putting me off from donating

Your correspondent regarding workers being ‘in their face’ in charity shops has my sympathies (LEP December 26).

However, on my visits to charity shops, I’ve been asked a couple of times if I’d like raffle tickets, but this has happened on leaving– not exactly ‘in your face’.

What sticks in my craw are the Big Issue sellers that select their pitches, nearly obstructing pedestrian thoroughfares and wagging the magazines at every passer-

Then, at the end of the day, they abandon their empty cups of coffee bought at high-street coffee shops in the said thoroughfares.

I’m sorry, but that’s the biggest turn-off to donating towards charities.

Kit Rogers


Spare a thought for squaddies

I see that several hundred squaddies are being drafted in for flood relief work. I hope the facilities for their off-duty periods, being provided by the local communities, is a little better than that provided during the Great Firemen’s Strike of 1977.

Folding camp-beds in cold schoolrooms and draughty drill-halls was the order of the day.

A few fared better.

One memory stands out, the hundred or so squaddies in the Leicester Drill Hall had to clear away all their camp-beds from the main area to allow the local ladies badminton class to continue twice weekly. It turned out many of the ladies were firemen’s wives!

Just remember that these guys, shipped in to help out, will not be going home each day at the end of their shifts, to be with their families. Hopefully, they will be well catered for and sincerely appreciated by the populace.

Keith Hallam via email

Divert three months of aid

Most of us want to do our bit to help others who are struggling.

As a country, this generous inclination results in us giving away £1bn in foreign aid every month. You might argue the merits or otherwise of doing this in good times but when we now have serious flooding affecting many thousands of people, it’s surely right that we look after our own first?

The Government is talking about spending £2.6bn over the next six years on flood defences, money that has to be found amongst tight budgets.

All that’s really needed is the political will to divert just three months of that foreign aid to pay for the whole thing and enable us to get on with it tomorrow.

Bill Marsh, address supplied

Motorists being ‘ripped off’

The price of a barrel of oil continues to drop. Last week it fell to $35. This means that the price has dropped 26.5 per cent since the end of August.

At the pump, prices are around £1.02 for petrol and £1.07 for diesel (AA figures). At the end of August they were £1.12 and £1.10. Thus, petrol prices have only dropped by 8.1 per cent and diesel by only 2.7 per cent. Clearly, motorists are being ripped off.

Dr Barry Clayton, address supplied