Readers’ letters - October 24

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Be prepared for a no deal scenario

As the EU continues to be intransigent over Brexit negotiations, the Government should be fully prepared to walk away with no deal rather than agree to a bad deal.

The Government would certainly have the support of the British people.

According to a new Sky Data poll, a large majority of the public believes that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’.

A massive 74 per cent agreed the country should walk away rather than accept a bad ‘punishment’ deal. Just 26 per cent think ‘any deal is better than no deal’.

As Justice Minister Dominic Raab has said, the UK must ‘strive for the very best outcome from these negotiations, but prepare for all eventualities’.

It is worrying, therefore, that the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, wrote that he will only spend money on preparing for a ‘no-deal scenario’ just before such a scenario should arise.

The responsible action to take would be to ensure that we are prepared for a no-deal scenario now, and not wait until the last minute.

We hope that the UK and EU negotiating teams will reach a deal that benefits both sides.

Indeed, it is in their interest to do so.

However if we want to get a good deal, we have to be willing and able to walk away from the negotiations.

If, because of EU bullying, the UK and EU agree to a bad deal, then Britain will be saddled with the terms of the deal for decades.

J Barraclough

Address supplied

development

Changes are for the best

I just wanted to reply to the letter, Back local traders before big business (LP October 20).

I appreciate Mr Archer’s concerns but we are carrying out the improvements to give our town centre a long- term viable future and bring in more visitors, which will support all the businesses here.

The proposals and how they would be delivered have been widely consulted upon and the majority are in favour of what we are doing.

Yes, there will be disruption as the work is being done and yes, there will be bumps along the way but the end result will be worth it.

We are asking people – both businesses and shoppers – to work with us and keep talking to us while the improvements are taking place and that’s why we are introducing things to help, such as a free park and ride, to make it easier for people to park and enjoy their visit.

We’ve had to close the footpath that runs from the bypass to Iceland to carry out essential work in that area and we expect it to be re-opened again next week.

The negotiations are ongoing with M&S Food but they are committed to coming to Chorley as we have now ironed out all the issues and we are just waiting for the paperwork to be signed.

This is a really exciting time for Chorley and we will all see the benefits when the work is complete.

The biggest risk in all this would have been to do nothing because that would have been letting our residents and businesses down.

Coun Alistair Bradley

Leader of Chorley Council

transport

Stop dumping raw sewage

Rail Union RMT has written to the chief executive of Network Rail demanding clear assurances that the filthy and disgusting practice of dumping raw sewage on Britain’s railway tracks will end by a clearly defined cut-off point with no exemptions or derogations.

RMT has written the letter after Mark Carne told the press that the practice would be phased out by next year – a pledge that RMT wants turned into a cast-iron guarantee with an assurance that punitive action will be taken against those train companies that attempt to flout it.

RMT also wants assurances that train companies will not be allowed to duck the issue by simply stripping out their toilets and replacing them with seats as has happened in the past on the south coast.

RMT has fought long and hard to end the filthy and disgusting practice of dumping human waste on Britain’s railways for many years now and we are sick and tired of being fobbed off with warm words and vague targets.

We want cast-iron guarantees and we want them now.

It is outrageous that wealthy, profiteering private train companies have been allowed to get away with this for so long.

The financial responsibility for ending this scandal should fall to the rail merchants and not the British taxpayer.

If it’s good enough for rail workers in Scotland to have a guarantee that they will not be sprayed with raw sewage out on the tracks from the end of this year then why not the workforce in England in Wales?

The Government cheerleaders at the self-styled Rail Delivery Group are quick to stick the boot into Britain’s guards when they stand up for public safety.

It is time for them to get their house and their industry in order and show some support for the workforce for whom a dousing with faeces from a passing train is a regular occurrence.

General Secretary Mick Cash

RMT

finances

Varied rates

of interest

I find the enormous disparity in rates of interest for borrowing money today very difficult to grasp.

Mortgages for house purchases are almost zero per cent, personal loans from banks around three per cent, credit cards between 20 to 30 per cent.

Yet in comparison, the now widely used payday loan rates seem astronomical.

When will the Government tackle this serious social problem?

DS Boyes

Address supplied