Your Say - Tuesday October 30

Pumpkin: A lemur at Blackpool Zoo joins in the Halloween fun
Pumpkin: A lemur at Blackpool Zoo joins in the Halloween fun
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Questions on commissioner role

Regarding elections of new police and crime commissioners.

Are we being rail-roaded into voting for the new police and crime commissioners?

It appears a low turnout at the polls is expected which is not surprising because the situation is very unclear.

I think it is very important, and needs someone competent to deal with this matter, so I set about trying to find more information.

Firstly, I telephoned the number on my election notification and was promised more detailed information was available and would be sent.

Nothing so far.

Then I turned to my local parish councillor who said that, as far as he knew, there had been no discussion regarding this issue locally.

I believe members of certain panels and town councillors cannot comment and are of the opinion that policing should not be politicised.

Rules pertaining to this election have precluded anyone, other than persons from political parties, being able to take part as parties are spending thousands of pounds on election leaflets which are still to be seen.

We are not permitted to know the names of candidates before the end of October, the election is on November 15 which is hardly enough time to learn more details.

In desperation, I’m sending this letter to various newspapers hoping someone can clarify this situation quickly so that we may make an informed decision.

Mrs P Vaughan, Clifton

Be on guard over police vote fraud

There is less than one month to go until the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections taking place in Lancashire.

We all value our democratic process, which is why I wanted to remind your readers to take care of their vote ahead of these new polls on Thursday November 15. It is particularly important for those voting by post to fill in their ballot papers privately and return them as soon as possible when they arrive.

Although electoral fraud is rare, it can involve serious criminal offences.

In the run-up to this election, my staff and I, the police and the Electoral Commission have been working to prevent any cases of electoral fraud. If anyone has evidence that electoral fraud may be taking place, they should report it to the police for investigation.

Graham Burgess, Police Area Returning Officer for Lancashire

National service for OAPs wrong

Lord Bichard’s suggestion that those who have just retired should be forced to undertake voluntary work or risk losing part of their pension amounts to little more than National Service for the over 60s and is absolutely outrageous.

Those who have paid their national insurance contributions for 30 or more years are entitled to receive their state pension and there should be no attempt to put further barriers in their way.

We already have one of the lowest state pensions in Europe and one in five older people in Britain live below the poverty line.

This suggestion from Lord Bichard would only make that situation worse.

But the real scandal is that he hasn’t understood the value that pensioners already bring to our society – contributing £40bn extra every year in unpaid volunteering and caring.

Without the army of older volunteers many parts of our society would begin to crumble. Lord Bichard’s comments are also extremely divisive – trying to pitch younger people against older people, when the truth is that the real division in our society is between rich and poor. Frankly, Lord Bichard needs to think twice before making such silly and ill-informed remarks

Derek Barton, secretary North West Regional Pensioners Association

Fun for Halloween is making outfits

Once again Halloween seems to be getting more and more commercialised with the supermarkets full of costumes and all sorts of bits and pieces. Whatever happened to the days when people made their own outfits rather than buying them off the shelf?

Michael Roberts, Fulwood