Readers’ letters - November 2

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Politicians play role in holidays rip-off

Once again it is ‘rip-off’ time... the time when the holiday companies rip off those conscientious parents who take their children on holiday during the school holidays.

This should never have been a problem for parents, nor the schools, nor indeed the local authorities.

It has always been the problem of the holiday companies and the government of the day.

I was, for several years, a governor at two primary schools, and I tried to argue the point with fellow governors, who had a great deal of sympathy with my views.

Little sympathy came from some of the schools’ teachers, whose attitude was “I have to take my holidays then, so why shouldn’t they?”

When I wrote to the Department of Education, as it was then, their dismissive reply was,“we cannot interfere with the workings of private companies”.

Of course, a child’s education suffers if they are taken out of school in the period leading up to any exams, be they Sats or GCSEs, but any responsible parent hopefully would not do that.

Perhaps one myth could be exploded. A child’s education does not suffer for life as a result of them taking a week out, otherwise the many thousands of children who take a week off due to illness would be similarly affected.

David Craggs

Address supplied

industry

Preston Model not so radical

I’m not sure why there is so much excitement about the ‘Preston Model’ (LP October 30).

With scarce resources, working together to achieve economies has to, and does, make business sense. It’s hardly radical – or even new!

Credit is clearly due to the city council and its partners for what has been achieved financially but, to coin a phrase, it would be a ‘zero sum game’– or worse – if it was replicated regionally or nationally and, of course, there is the risk of losing out on economies of scale.

What would happen to Preston firms, such as Conlon Construction, who bid for or actually do have contracts in Greater Manchester or Merseyside or Blackburn?

Local procurement would not help them.

Let’s also not forget that large companies such as BAe regularly encourage local suppliers and sub-contractors to bid for contracts so there is nothing new – or radical– about local sourcing.

The Living Wage – this is now endorsed across the political divide.

It’s obviously good news that a local firm won the new markets contract but viability of the scheme was, and always should be, a key issue.

The council, after all, also has a duty to its council taxpayers

and, indeed, employees when considering tender offers.

Limiting bidders to purely local firms could – indeed probably would – result in schemes costing too much. This is unfair to council taxpayers and could possibly cost other peoples’ jobs.

Of course to Messrs Corbyn and McDonnell (and Brown), the Preston Model is regarded as the first step to what they really want – ‘democratic control’ (i.e. Labour councillors) and ‘workers’ control’ (i.e. unions) of everything they can get their hands on.

Suppliers and contractors such as Conlon would not win a contract (if they were allowed/able to survive) unless they were effectively run by the workforce (i.e. the unions).

Of course, the interests of consumers and council tax payers would be a secondary. They would have less choice and would have to pay higher prices.

Coun Neil Cartwright

Leader Conservative Group,

Preston City Council

transport

A driver’s nightmare

Locations – Lostock Hall, Farington, Leyland, Wigan Road, M6 Junction 28.

Traffic status – Continuous queuing, nightmare / Groundhog Day.

This is BEFORE the Friday and half-term ‘rush hour’.

There appears to have been another major incident on the M6 and, yet again, the good folk and service users of the illustrious South Ribble transport infrastructure find themselves hostage to this situation which is now a customary sight on our local network of roads.

I look forward to Ikea staff and customers, ‘seven days a week’, joining us on these jolly journeys in and around the ‘Cuerden Strategic Site’, now that South Ribble councillors have granted planning permission to this venture.

Sarah Elsy

Bamber Bridge

environment

Clean up after your waste

This picture (see above left, inset) show the entrance into College Close, Longridge.

We seem to have attracted a person or people who see it as okay to dump their rubbish on any available piece of grass land. Of course, we do not know where these people come from, they could be from Longridge or neighbouring areas.

This is the third time Longridge litter pickers have had to attend this grassy patch where large black bin bags have been dumped.

Whoever it is, we would point out to you that there is a household waste centre just up the road, just before you get to St Lawrence’s Church.

There will be someone reading this and they will recognise the item in the picture. Longridge generally has a good history of respecting the need to dispose rubbish in the proper manner. Of course, there is always litter, but never before on this scale.

Longridge Litter Pickers