Closure of Barton Road Playing Fields, cyclists on pavements, Brexit, homelessness, fracking, buses, compulsory voting, halal meat

Barton Road Playing Fields
Barton Road Playing Fields

Readers’ letters, September 13

Loss of Barton Road Playing Fields

Lancashire County Council (LCC) has just proposed plans for preventing any public access to the Barton Road playing fields.

This is to be secured by almost a kilometre of 2.6 metre (over eight feet and six inches) high heavy duty mesh security fence around the total periphery.

As well as keeping all the public permanently off the whole of the playing field, it will also prevent the field being used as a pedestrian short cut across to Hala Green.

The public have enjoyed these facilities for decades. It will also prevent any access across the beck to the Hala/Moorside cycle track.

I am certain that many local residents may have strong views on the action being planned for an area already designated as Urban Green Space.

LCC has given a deadline of September 24 by which to receive any comments or objections. Their web site tells you that these can be made via email, letter or their webform.

It is vitally important that LCC recognises the strength of any public feeling on this matter, otherwise the proposals can go through unchallenged and rubber stamped and a valuable local green space, well used by the public, will be lost forever.

I am also sure your county and city councillors would wish to know the level of feeling over the issue.

Clive Shelley, Barton Road, Lancaster

Regarding the proposals for Barton Road playing fields for fencing in and change of use. We wish to object to this application

This area of land is used by local residents for recreation, dog walking, games, access to local amenities and general exercise.

It should not be taken away from the people of the area and locked away behind a hideous fence for restricted access and use.

It is a well-loved area frequented by hundreds of local residents daily. It is well kept, generally rubbish- free and complements the nearby community centre and designated town green. It provides opportunity for exercise at a time when sedentary lifestyles are a major public health issue

The area is bounded by hedges and woodland and is a safe place for both people and wildlife. No doubt the hedges will be ripped out in favour of the proposed metal fences further damaging the environment.

It is the only flat green space of any size in South Lancaster which allows the area to be used by the elderly and those of us with somewhat restricted mobility to exercise safely.

Where is the need for this ‘land grab’, who will benefit and what possible justification can there be to expend council taxpayers’ money on this when we are constantly told there is not enough money for essential services?

Martin and Pamela Duff, Lancaster, Full address supplied

Stop riding on pavement

Isn’t it an offence to ride on pavement? Why is it that so many adults are riding their bikes on pavements? This is so dangerous. They ride straight for you and shout get out of the way. I have had to walk into the road to avoid them. You do not know they are behind you and then they try to pass, nearly knocking people over.

Wendy Dickinson, Address supplied

Will lbs and ozs return after Brexit?

I wonder, when we leave the European Union next March will market traders be free to use avoirdupois (use of pounds and ounces as unit weights) without fear of being criminalised?

Some readers may remember the Sunderland greengrocer Steve Thoburn who was prosecuted in 2001 for using imperial measures in his shop.

Mr Thoburn’s customers preferred and understood British measures.

Margaret Watkins, Crossdale Square, Lancaster

Failing the homeless

Statistics released the other day, hit out at the abject failure of government to tackle Britain’s housing crisis after the number of homeless children spiralled to a new record high this summer.

Almost 80,000 families in England were in temporary accommodation through the first quarter of 2018 - the highest for 10 years. The Local Government Association warned the matter was so urgent that local councils’ ability to borrow, spend and build, so they could address localised issues, should be enhanced.

Eviction from private tenancy has been the leading cause of homelessness for years now and for all the fine talk, this government has done nothing to address this and tries to palm off responsibility on local authorities. The epidemic sees tens of thousands in temporary accommodation and tent cities spring up.

This is a clear result of housing legislation which has decimated council housing and pushed tenants into the private sector where they can be evicted at the whim of gouging private landlords.

It is estimated that approximately one in every 200 people in Britain are currently homeless, with some 380,000 people sleeping rough or in housing deemed inadequate for human habitation.

Royston Jones, Address supplied

Outrage over fracking

If I was a football pundit I’d be 100 per cent in agreement with the correspondent from Lupton Place in the Lancaster Guardian on August 23 (Tories don’t practise it).

I’m fully 100 per cent behind them and their description of the fracking process permission; for the Government not to then finance the policing expenditure for the fracking site is outrageous.

I, too, look forward to our MP’s response to this saga and also to the Conservatives’ reasons for deselecting our ex-mayor.

However, I won’t be holding my breath, because as I’m not a deep sea diver, I don’t think I’ll be able to hold my breath for long enough.

Gordon Arkwright, Thorpe Avenue, Torrisholme

Town edges missing out on buses

There has been public outrage across the country over cuts to bus services.

Bus companies don’t have to listen and respond as they are commercial services.

Publicly-run services can deliver the routes and timetables communities actually need, including early morning, late night and in more rural areas.

A Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report has just highlighted that a lot of low-skilled manual work is now in manufacturing or warehouses on the edge of towns and cities under-served by public transport. Commercial bus companies will maximise profits by just running full buses at peak times on popular routes, with lower demand services gradually disappearing.

It forces people to use cars, adding to congestion and air pollution, while cutting off those who can’t afford a car.

We need clean, safe, accessible, public transport and safer cycling and walking options so people can choose to leave their cars at home.

To achieve this, we urgently need to get public transport back under public control with increased investment to improve local bus, rail and tram services.

Bernard Little, Address supplied

Should we have to vote?

After months of reading arguments and counter arguments as to the ‘validity’ of the Brexit referendum result, I begin to wonder what the result might have been had we followed the example of Australia.

There, under federal electoral law, it is compulsory for all eligible Australian citizens to enrol and vote in federal elections, by-elections and referendums. Failure to vote brings with it a $20 fine.

Using the Australian voting system, whether the 28 per cent who did not bother to vote in the 2016 referendum decided to vote to remain or to leave the EU, the final result would have produced a majority of the electorate, not just the 72 per cent who turned out then, in favour of ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the EU.

As a result, we would have a definite answer to the question on the ballot paper.

Michael Gillian, Address supplied

Why accept this cruelty?

I note that the issue of halal meat supplies to schools is to be further discussed by Lancashire County Council.

While I have never visited a slaughter house, I suspect I can imagine the production line process.

What I do find odd is how we as a nation would be up in arms if we saw an animal mistreated in the street, yet are content to accept the practice of halal slaughter.

Perhaps it’s a case of what the eye doesn’t see, or perhaps it’s deemed racist to object to such cruelty.

It’s good to see that some council members are prepared to take a stand.

John Wood, Email address supplied