Letters from this week’s Lancaster Guardian.
I don’t usually reply to party political letters, but Coun Mace’s charges in The Lancaster Guardian recently deserve a response.
He accuses me of blaming the Government for the reductions in services we expect to introduce.
The Cabinet is at the early stages of examining the budget and we have not made any decisions yet, but we are looking at options.
Services are the last thing that we want to cut. We must find other options before we are forced to do that.
Who does he think is lowering our funding by £3.5 million in the next two years?
He tries the usual Tory trick of blaming the last Labour Government.
The economy was growing when Labour left office, even in the global recession, but the Tories have managed to make people believe the opposite.
I have tried to avoid party politics in the last two years and the council has worked together well.
All parties wanted to support The Storey, but there was no cost-free way to keep it open at the time and then to manage this fantastic building which houses about 40 people working in small businesses.
Efficiency savings, income generation as well as invest to save are priorities in our Medium Term Financial Strategy. However, after years of cutbacks, a 27 per cent cut in Government funding already, and a 15.3 per cent over the next two years, efficiency savings and higher charges won’t cover it.
A one year effort to avoid cutting council tax relief has yet to be examined.
We await information about how other authorities have fared in taking residents to court to collect small sums that may cost them more than they recover.
This and bedroom tax and the ever-rising costs of fuel are causing real hardship and we decided to try not to add to their burdens.
Our last two budgets have been difficult but manageable, but now we face some choices that none of us want to make. Services come first however, and it is not helpful to start blaming anyone when we will have lost 42 per cent of our funding to 2015 and have to balance a dwindling budget.
Coun Eileen Blamire
Leader of the Council
No personal attacks
In reply to the letter from David Taylor regarding HML6 and his undeserved attack on David Gates, Mr Taylor needs to recognise that David Gates is chairman and spokesperson for TSLM, he is not acting as an individual but represents the thousands of local people who for so many years have argued against the road.
It is unfair and wrong to launch personal attacks on a person of high principal who has been prepared to stand up and say what most people believe.
This is the wrong road, in the wrong place and will not bring the perceived benefits that Mr Taylor alludes to.
Lancashire County Council has long since given up claiming that it will improve Lancaster’s real traffic issues.
Lancaster City Council cannot fill the small industrial estate at Junction 34 so why would others want to invest at the far end of Heysham?
By all means have your own opinions Mr Taylor but direct them to everyone you disagree with and not make it personal.
29 Russell Drive
Would it be at all possible for you to make the general public aware that Goodwill parcels to the troops at Christmas time can block the actual proper parcels sent by families & close friends.
They know the public want to help so would prefer that donations to official military charities would be better instead.
The family parcels go up seven-fold at Christmas time which means a struggle to get these to the troops but they do somehow cope but many thousands of goodwill parcels makes the job so much harder and can cause very serious delays.
I know you understand how important this is and it would be a vital help indeed and hope you can be an excellent way to spread this message.
Can you do this please? Perhaps you could pass on this information to other newspapers.
Thank you for battling
In contrast to David Taylor (Readers’ Views, November 7, Goliath of road protest), I am a local resident who would like to say how very much I appreciate and support TSLM and David Gate in their campaign against the Heysham M6 Link Road.
They have remained steadfast, even when, like Mr Taylor, some supporters of the road feel the need to resort to personal comment and attack.
The immense cost to the people of Lancashire will not be through any build delay, but through an enormous amount of taxpayers’ money being spent on a badly planned and inadequate road scheme which will ruin so much of our beautiful local environment whilst doing very little to alleviate traffic and access problems.
Time will prove this road to be a tragic and costly mistake. Thank you TSLM and Lush for helping us fight against it.
Wrong time for this loss
I find it amazing that someone made a decision to close Parksafe car park in Lancaster for refurbishment work when the water authority is carrying out essential work in the same area.
This work has meant other car parking in the area has been vastly reduced and the closure of the car park opposite the bus station which has been converted into a temporary bus only area.
Surely this refurbishment work could have waited until the water authorities have finished their work. Who would make such a stupid decision?
An unhappy car driver
Name and address supplied
Try catering for others
Regarding letters in the Lancaster Guardian (November 14).
One can only assume B&B visitors to Lancaster don’t stay long enough to experience its limitations and the overwhelming numbers of students, having escaped the constraints of home, neither know nor care where they are living.
To be fair to the planners, they will never please everyone but surely the growing, discerning ageing population should also be catered for.
Where are the affluent people moving into the luxury houses built on Green Belt land by Moor hospital going to shop?
Surely the likes of Paperchase, White Stuff and Lakeland are unthreatening enough for Lancaster?
There is also a need for more independent and artisan shops, stationers, florists, cafes and antique shops in the New Street/Church Street/Sun Street area.
Larger stores could be situated on the edge of the city, thus maintaining attractive and historic areas.
No-one wants the soulless high street of many other towns and cities, but I hope the planners can vastly improve the down market image of what could be a sparkling and exciting shopping and entertainment city.
J M Pickering
Lancaster can do better
I would just like to say that I agree 100 per cent with the letter from Paul Kondras about the demise of the already drab city of Lancaster.
To think it can be revitalised by loud music, a performance area and hi-tech (ie totally inappropriate) lighting in the market square is naive in the extreme.
We need shops, both large and individual, cafes and attractive and historic areas to attract visitors and cater for local residents.
What must the parents of university students think when they visit their children? Lancaster – what a dump.
Name and address supplied
Issues to chew over
One night when I was in Lancaster ordering my pizza at around 11pm I was talking to a chap and his wife who had just come from Blackpool after watching a concert by Bob Dylan.
As a 69-year-old I remember Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight Pop Festival in September 1969, and said to them he was magic.
Alas, this couple said to me that Bob Dylan was, in their words, absolute rubbish and had lost his sparkle.
As I was walking home munching my pizza and chips it annoyed me that pop stars of similar age to me will not retire and enjoy their monies that they have earned when they were younger. Isn’t it time that they give in gracefully to their years and enjoy their wealth?
But sadly these people, who I shall not name, cannot accept a normal life in old age retirement, and who in their right sense would pay X amount of pounds to watch an ancient rocker of similar age to their grandparents?
If they do this confirms that people are stupid and have more money than sense.
Hotline is can help
As Older People’s Champion, I went to a conference with Esther Rantzen the speaker on her launch of The Silver Line.
Loneliness and isolation in this country is one of the main killers.
Esther spoke really well of the sadness that could happen to anyone of us at any age, suddenly finding yourself on your own.
You could be in a room with hundreds of people but having to go home to a empty house or not seeing or hearing from anyone days at a time is heart breaking.
The Silver Line it is a hotline you can ring just to hear another voice or if you have something new you want to tell someone.
Ring the hotline on 0800 4 70 80 90.
Councillor Margaret Pattison
Older People’s Champion