Readers’ letters - November 1

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We should get smart with smartphones

A few weeks ago I was having a hair cut and noticed during that 10-minute period, the young barber must have paused to check his phone updates at least five times.

The young barber is an amateur guitarist who said he wanted to improve his music skills but finds little time to practise due to his time taken up working and travelling every day. I asked him how many hours or minutes a day does he actually spent looking at his phone? He replied with a grin. “That’s a very good question”.

I asked could he sacrifice 30 minutes a day away from his ‘digital social media life’ to find time to practise his guitar scales and arpeggios? He was honest and said, without the social media activity in his life, he could easily find at least an hour a day to improve his guitar technique.

Social media sites are a powerful tool for networking and updates amongst friends and relatives. Equally I think too much of this online communication craze can be detrimental, especially to young people. It’s staggering to think how many hours a week can be spent looking at social media linked to your mobile smart phone. I have been guilty myself.

Is society losing the etiquette of the ability to hold real life face-to-face conversations? How many people do you see walking in the street preoccupied with their phones and not watching where they are going?

Can you imagine how difficult it would be for some young people today to actually spend a week without the use of the internet?

I suspect the overdosing of social media has contributed to the increasing levels of obesity. Those born and raised in a generation experiencing the growth of the internet will not remember the good old days of regularly meeting and greeting people.

Young people should be encouraged to be ‘smart with their smart phones’.

I think to maintain good physical and mental health in modern society, people should be encouraged to find rewarding hobbies, such as sports, music and creative activities.

Stephen Pierre

via email

environment

Concerns over proposals

Thank you for your article on the site S on Brindle Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston (LP October 27). The article missed our main concerns about this application and, as we are now in the Bamber Bridge West area, our councillors are Warren Bennett and Jim Marsh (not Dave Watts). This application is not classed as Bamber Bridge but as semi-rural Coupe Green and Gregson Lane.

The original figure for this whole site, given by Susan Heywood in her report, was 250 houses for the whole of site S. The site was, at this time, 22.7 hectares but land not belonging to the application had to be taken out, leaving a new figure of 16.02 hectares, less than the inspector gave her figure for!

We, as a group, have been heavily involved with Persimmon, our local councillors, and planning officials all the way up to and past the refusal of their last application.

The last meeting we were involved in was October 23, 2015. At this time we were ready to accept around 220 houses with a few minor tweaks.

In the meantime, planners and Persimmon have been meeting, it appears, without any invite or information for our Focus Group to view and report to our residents.

The Localism Act reads: “Give a voice to the people during the planning of a development”.

This is NOT taking in the opinions of local people and councillors to get a final result that everybody agrees on.

After our last meeting with the planning manager, we were told to look into South Ribble’s latest view on housing land review or SHLAA (only just published) and to our complete amazement, we found that the Site S had been increased from 250 to 360 houses without any mention to ourselves or our local councillors.

Despite the fact that the site has shrunk from the original figure and despite the buildable land being just 9.7 hectares, the two applications have proposed 454 houses on the site as a whole, leading to a density of 46.8 houses per hectare which is totally unacceptable.

No 2.5 storey houses should be put on this site as they are not in keeping with the surrounding area.

We need more bungalows on the site for the elderly, disabled and people downsizing from larger homes, thus releasing the same for families.

We as a group are not against the proposal but, as we have the opportunity here for a very nice village-type development in keeping with the local community, we do not want a badly designed site based on how many houses can be squeezed on this site for a larger profit!

Give us a design that really would make it a great place to live for families. Please print the views of residents and our focus group, as there is a very strong feeling about the above points throughout our community.

Peter Carter

Member of South Ribble Eastern Area Focus Group

animals

Law should

be obeyed

I am not the brightest and best informed person in this day and age, but I am getting rather confused with all the debate on the question of halal meat.

Many people in this overcrowded country of ours have many faiths. Fair enough, worship who you want, but please, you have chosen this country to come and live, and I believe we, as a nation, have often bent over backwards too much, but when it comes to the slaughtering of animals for food, surely we must have stringent laws governing this procedure?

So if it’s the law that animals are dealt with within these strict boundaries, the law is the law and must be adhered to .

If you don’t want our laws, tough. But if we went to other countries and dictated to them, I am not sure we would be overly welcome. Anyway, I am just an old Englishman who has always been proud to live here, well, I think I am!

Allan Fazackerley

via email

gratitude

Thank you for helping me

I am writing to thank the two ladies who very kindly came to my assistance when I fell on the car park at Lidl on Strand Road, Preston, on Thursday, October 26. I am a 94-year-old war veteran and their help was very much appreciated.

Name and address supplied