Letters: 13/02/14

John Halewood Dood of LHD Solicitors presents Hilary Wellgate, Lancaster Homeless Action training co-ordinator, and Emily Jones volunteer helper from The Dukes, along with service users, with a cheque for �600. LHD Solicitors sponsored a 10-week course of drama workshops run by the Homeless Action with the Dukes.
John Halewood Dood of LHD Solicitors presents Hilary Wellgate, Lancaster Homeless Action training co-ordinator, and Emily Jones volunteer helper from The Dukes, along with service users, with a cheque for �600. LHD Solicitors sponsored a 10-week course of drama workshops run by the Homeless Action with the Dukes.

Letters from this week’s Lancaster Guardian.

A grateful first mum

Like many first time mums in the area I heard terrible tales about Royal Lancaster Infirmary so I set my sights on a natural birth at Helme Chase.

My body had other ideas though when I went into labour at 35 weeks, straight to Lancaster I went with my dreams of a natural birth flying out the car window.

My worries and concerns about Lancaster couldn’t have been further from the truth.

What I was met with was kind, caring staff who helped deliver my tiny baby daughter, naturally and with minimal fuss.

The after care was marvellous so much so we were home four days later with our little bundle of joy.

Then came winter, along with its nasty bugs.

After fighting a cough/cold for a few weeks and a number of trips to the doctors we were finally sent back to Lancaster to see if they could help my now 15-week-old tiddler.

Once again I was met by the most wonderful and friendly staff who showed great concern for my little girl.

Encouraging me that whilst she was poorly they see a lot of babies with this and she would be better soon – phew.

This stay lasted eight days on the Children’s Unit where the nurses cared for Lily around the hour.

A viral infection means no medication could make her better, it was just time, love, care and support that she needed. Not only did they nurse Lily back to health but they looked after me; a first time mum, still breast feeding, scared for her little baby and sleeping on a pull out bed.

I am tired of hearing bad things about Royal Lancaster Infirmary and encourage other people who have had good, positive experiences like mine to shout about it.

Not just for people’s peace of mind as they make their way to the hospital doors but also for the sake of the nurses and support staff who work crazy hours, with a smile on their face to care for our loved ones ... for nowhere near the pay they should be receiving.

My thanks and love goes out to the nurses and staff on the maternity ward and children’s unit for looking after the most important thing in mine and my husbands life – our little girl.

Clare Boyle

Kirkby Lonsdale

What about the T-shirts?

I would like to comment on the Lancaster Guardian’s report of Lancaster University students boycotting The Sun newspaper due to that newspaper publishing scantily clad women on page three.

I myself do think that page 3 is both extremely sexist and offensive towards women as a whole.

That anyone who purchases The Sun is not only encouraging sexism and disrespect towards women, as well as giving money to News International, the company at the heart of the phone hacking scandal, and buying into Conservative party propaganda.

However, whilst I support the Student Union campaign against The Sun newspaper I would like to ask them what they plan to do about the sale of sexist page three-like T-shirts more and more men are wearing.

Not only is the wearing of these T-shirts encouraging sexism and disrespect towards women as a whole, but also shows a disrespect towards women of the wearer’s family.

Added to the fact that many women work in the retail establishments where these items are on sale. These establishments also seem to be disrespectful towards their female customers by selling such products.

Helen Horton

Full address supplied

Our rural lifeline

My wife and I are pensioners living in Whittington. As we do not drive, our sole method of transport to Lancaster/Morecambe/Kendal is by 

There is one taxi in Kirkby Lonsdale and this isn’t always available in the evenings and weekends.

We have no shop, or public house, in the village and therefore must travel for the same entertainment, relaxation, shopping and religious worship (if you’re anything other than Church of England) that people in Lancaster, Morecambe and Kendal can enjoy without relying on public transport.

The council tax bands in the rural areas are higher for similar sized properties to those in the city and large towns.

As a result we pay more council tax but have access to fewer facilities, such as the cinema, theatre, museum, libraries and open spaces that are enjoyed by our urban counterparts.

To reduce even further our opportunities of enjoying the facilities in Lancaster, Morecambe and Kendal is to impose additional burdens upon us.

We appeal to all those involved in the decision making process in this connection to give consideration to not eroding the balance of life between the city and rural areas even more.

John Keegan

Loyne Park


(Editor’s note: Lancashire County Council has announced it will review the bus cuts)

Public speak their mind

The Conservative Councillors for Lower Lune Valley and for Lancaster Rural East wish to thank all those who attended our public meeting in Caton to discuss the proposed cuts to our local bus service.

More than 100 people came to see County Coun John Fillis, the Labour member for Highways and Transport, receive a petition against the cuts and answer questions from concerned residents.

We are delighted that the county council has now done a U-turn turn and no longer intends to cut all the bus subsidies.

However, we need to ensure that sustainable public transport options for the most vulnerable, the young, the elderly and all those living in rural Lancashire are maintained.

We will be watching closely to make sure that this is the case.

City Couns Joan Jackson and Jane Parkinson

County Coun Susie Charles

Comments still stand

I feel compelled to respond to Mrs. Stephanie Bruntlett’s letter, February 6 (An attack on police).

Mrs. Bruntlett argued that I should criticise the Home Office rather than the police when commenting that there is severe pressure to meet unrealistic detection targets. That’s what I thought I was doing.

It is the Home Office which imposes such unrealistic targets and the police which are set the unenviable task of achieving them. Clearly I am sympathetic towards the police in this regard.

Indeed, I was suggesting that such pressure was the reason why I believe the police are actively dissuading people from having a solicitor at the police station.

There is both statistical and empirical evidence to show this is happening, regardless of what Mrs. Bruntlett may have been told to the contrary.

She also suggested that it was inappropriate for me to use my column to attack the police in such a way.

Having established that the Home Office was the intended target of my criticism, I should point out that my column allows me the opportunity to express my opinions and that, with the leave of the editor, is what I will continue to do.

I was accused of being mischievous when quoting that the police routinely massage their figures regarding detection rates, and the source of this assertion was questioned.

It may surprise Mrs. Bruntlett to discover that this was the finding of The House of Commons Public Administration Committee which, when investigating this issue, heard from both serving and retired police officers before arriving at this finding. A finding that was widely reported in the media.

Finally, I began the column that Mrs. Bruntlett took issue with by conceding that I have a vested interest in seeing that those interviewed by the police take advantage of their right to free, independent legal 
advice. After all, I am managing mirector of a firm that provides such advice. However, I declared that interest at the outset and was aiming to be as transparent as possible.

Given that Mrs Bruntlett is “reliably informed” of what goes in police custody perhaps her source could explain why the notices advising of the right to a solicitor have been removed?

John Halewood-Dodd

Managing Director

LHD Solicitors Ltd

31 Church Street



Hometruths for Tories

Your readers may spot the irony when our Conservative MPs,oppose the cuts to bus subsidies, which are being proposed by a Labour-run Lancashire County Council.

Yet wasn’t it the same Conservative party imposing £250m cuts on the county council in the first place?

Another Conservative councillor, Susie Charles, adds succinctly that “cuts would have to made elsewhere in the budget.”
Quite. Maybe she should propose instead even more cuts to home care services to for older people ?

Already it is likely that 2,500 county council jobs will go with a significant impact on our services.

My own view is that these cuts will again hit the most vulnerable in our community and are unnecessary in the first place.

Many will campaign against them.

So when your number 10 bus doesn’t turn up one evening ring David Cameron, perhaps he’ll send his chauffeur.

Coun Andrew Kay

Green Party

29 Derwent Road


Shame on rail bosses

Dogs are supposedly man’s best friend...you wouldn’t think so on Thursday, January 30, in Lancaster as Network Rail refused to close the line in Scotforth to allow a possibly injured/dying dog to be attended to.

Instead those desperate to reach him had to wait until 9.30am on the Friday to identify and retrieve his body.

I know life has to go on but I don’t understand why in the middle of the night when the line must be much quieter than 9.30am Friday it couldn’t have been closed.

I think overall the line was closed 30 minutes to enable this poor creature to be reached, hardly a huge inconvenience and for those who loved and cared about this dog, including many members of the public who searched for him, it was a long and upsetting night just wondering if that dog could have been saved.

Many thanks to Animal Care and their dedication to these animals, so sorry Network Rail were so heartless.

Name and address supplied