Readers’ letters - October 27

The Tata Steel Plant in Scunthorpe. A reader criticises Michael Heseltine's comments about the steel industry. See letter
The Tata Steel Plant in Scunthorpe. A reader criticises Michael Heseltine's comments about the steel industry. See letter
Have your say

There’s never a good time

In response to Michael Heseltine, former Tory Deputy Prime Minister, can I say it is never a good time to lose your job in the steel industry or any other place of employment, as he asserted over the weekend.

This is the same Michael Heseltine who, in 1981, supported a government that appointed an American banker, Ian MacGregor, as chairman and chief executive of British Steel. Thousands of steel workers lost their jobs.

In 1983, MacGregor, with Heseltine’s support, was made chairman of British Coal. Rumours of 50 pit closures were denied by Margaret Thatcher, who said there were no plans at all to close any pits. We now know the truth and the coal industry has been decimated.

This attack on British industry was followed by the privatisation of British Telecom, Cable and Wireless, British Airways and the British Airport Authority, British Gas, British Steel, England and Wales Water Companies and electricity. If it was British, the Tories sold it.

The Tories pushed unemployment to over three million. Just as today, with a Tory government, there is an ideological commitment of austerity towards those on low pay and benefits. This policy is not a necessity and should be reversed.

John Appleyard, address supplied

Fishwick buses will be missed

I was saddened to read of the closure of the Fishwick bus company.

Amidst the demise over the years of many similar small operations, Fishwick’s had seemed indestructible.

My father drove their buses for a while about 70 years ago, and I remember being quite proud of the skilful way he (and his colleagues) managed the double-de-clutch, non power assisted vehicles.

I also recall that the fleet at that time included some 1929 single deck Leyland Lions, in which the long-handled hand brake was to the right of the driver rather than to the left.

I will certainly miss the distinctive green buses.

David Hughes, Walton-le-Dale

Don’t change our Sundays

I am aware that the Government intends changing the law to give local authorities the power to change Sunday Trading hours in their local area.

As a shop worker at a large retailer, I am very concerned about these proposals and how they will affect me, my colleagues and our local community.

I am worried that these proposals are a deliberate attempt to deregulate Sunday trading by the back door.

As a shop worker, it will mean I and my work colleagues will come under pressure to work longer hours, meaning I will have less time to spend with family and friends.

I hope that you will agree with me that, at the moment, the Sunday Trading Act works well for everyone because retailers can trade, customers can shop, shop workers like me can work; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and importantly I am able to spend some time with my family.

I would urge readers who share my concerns to join me in lobbying our local MP to vote against these proposals.

Name and address supplied

Share your experiences

A team of Sixth Form students at Lancaster Royal Grammar School is seeking to interview local people about their 1939-45 wartime experiences, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Second World War now and over the next five years.

The team is eager to hear from members of the Lancaster and district community now who were:

In the 1939-45 armed forces;

In the auxiliary services, for example: ARP, Fire Service, Home Guard;

In the women’s uniformed services (Wrens, ATS, WAAF);

In the women’s civilian services (Land Army, WVS etc);

Evacuees from southern England, Manchester, the Midlands etc;

Families who ‘took in’ evacuated children;

And/or munitions workers and others who were in wartime reserved occupations.

Tom Diamond,

Alumni relations officer, LRGS

Telephone 01524 580612


A disaster if we leave the EU

It would be idiotic for Britain to leave the EU because, on leaving the EU, all the exports leaving Britain to enter Europe would have to have import duty paid on every item.

Therefore Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Ford Motors, General Motors,Tata Motors,Hitachi Trains, Bombardier Trains, Siemens Turbines, are just the main companies that would relocate to eastern Europe where labour is available.

This would be disastrous to the British way of life, with millions out of work.

Ronald Hardy, address supplied