Letters of the day April 12

Readers’ letters features in Lancaster Guardian, April 12

Better uses for this cash

Nuclear disarmament campaigners are horrified at the announcement of an extra £600m for spending on the Government’s scheme to replace the existing Trident nuclear weapons system with an even more dangerous and even more costly nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

At a time when vital public services in the health, social care, education and housing sectors are under constant attack from government cuts, spending on Trident is already out of control.

Indeed, the extra money announced by Theresa May demonstrates that the Ministry of Defence is overspending at a very early stage in its project to replace Britain’s nuclear weapons system.

Using the government’s own figures, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has previously demonstrated that so-called ‘Trident replacement’ will cost more than £205 bn over its lifetime scheme (see www.cnduk.org/cnd-media/item/2505-trident-will-cost-%C2%A3205-billion-not-%C2%A331-billion-heres-why).

Now, the Government is planning to squander even more public money, while never admitting to the full costs.

Adding another £600m to the Trident bill is very negative news.

It represents more millions that should have been spent on social care, on schools, on hospitals and on new homes.

Philip Gilligan

Cumbria and Lancashire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Rose Hill Grove

Milnthorpe

Anti-semitism

Concern is not a plot

I was astounded to read the letter in the Lancaster Guardian regarding anti-Semitism (April 5, Mural was a critique).

To suggest that genuine concerns raised by victims of this are part of a media plot to ‘get Corbyn’ beggars belief and is an insult to those brave enough to speak out, many of whom have been subjected to threats and abuse from Labour Party supporters.

The media has a duty to report issues it uncovers and to suggest that victims of anti-Semitism who protest are merely stooges of the press is offensive, as is the description ‘a few old white (Jewish – yes they were, eg: Maureen Lipman) people’, being both ageist and racist in its undertones. It is yet again an example of trying to ‘spin’ the truth to undermine those telling it.

I don’t know for a fact if Corbyn has anti-Semitic views but his actions appear to indicate this is the case, despite his protests.

As leader of the Labour Party he has a clear duty and responsibility to make sure anyone holding these views is disciplined and expelled, but he has failed abysmally to do this.

Your correspondent suggests there may be ‘pockets of anti-Semitism’ within the party; I would suggest that it is now part of its infrastructure and ideology.

The party is in a sorry state when those not toeing the party line or who speak out against the racism, misogyny or anti-Semitism are under threat of de-selection despite being loyal hardworking members.

Barrow is likely to lose an excellent Labour MP because he has chosen to stand up and be counted. Meanwhile, our own Labour MP Cat Smith is conspicuous in her silence.

Name and address supplied

SACK THE PLASTIC

Why just 
the bottles?

I read with interest your article Sack the Plastic Campaign.

I am all in favour of recycling everything possible, especially plastic wherever possible.

In recent weeks, after our recycling boxes had been emptied, I found several items of plastic had been left behind, even though the said plastic items quite clearly bore the recycling logo.

I contacted Lancaster City Council, Refuse and Recycling Centre. After explaining the reason for my call can you imagine the surprise I got when the lady informed me that Lancaster City Council only collected plastic bottles.

Upon asking what I should do with all the other plastic items I was advised to place them in the normal grey household rubbish bin. (Where it would end up in a landfill site never to biodegrade.)

My other choice would be to take my plastic to Carnforth Recycling 
Centre.

How can our refuse department contemplate this course of action midst the global outrage at all the plastics entering our oceans and then into our food chain.

Steven T Craig

Long Acre Close

Crag Bank

Carnforth

parking

No vans on pavements

Though not a motorist myself, I am well aware that a road tax entitles a holder to park on any thoroughfare.

This is all very well for the owners of private cars – but I do feel those with large vans should not have the same privilege.

These are surely commercial vehicles, and when not used for the business they were bought for should be parked off the road of a residential street, in a garage or the like.

I take this view after the regular parking outside my private house, particularly at weekends, (a) preventing me having a view of my neighbours and (b) meaning would-be visitors having to park their private cars some distance away.

In other words, buyers of large cars or vans should ensure they have arranged to be off the residential streets before they undertake the sale.

And if the large vehicles belong to firms not residing in small streets, ensure their drivers move to a pre-arranged building, particularly at weekends. I appreciate this may be unpopular for some, but for others it could be a blessing.

Neil Kendall

Address supplied

driving

Can’t wait for bus pass

It’s annoying and dangerous how many drivers either don’t use any lights in dull/dark conditions or use them incorrectly. I don’t think re-reading the Highway Code will make much difference as most instructions are common sense, like the one about the main purpose of car lights isn’t to see but be seen – otherwise why fit indicators? Another irritation is lights either left on high beam or incorrectly adjusted, temporarily blinding oncoming traffic.

Can’t wait for my bus pass, then someone else can have the stress!

Penny Marsh

Address supplied

POLITICS

Claims

disputed

David Morris MP claimed that ‘the UK has come a long way over the past eight years’. According to Mr Morris’ column our ‘economy is growing strongly, unemployment is at a near-record low, the deficit is down and there has been more investment in public services like the NHS.’

Let’s look at the facts. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) unemployment increased among young people under the age of 24, with the number of jobless rising by 46,000 to stand at 1.47 million in the three months to December.

We’ve seen the weakest economic growth since 2012 - GDP grew by 0.4pc in the October-to-December period, down from the initial estimate of 0.5pc.

The revision was due to slower growth in production industries. In 2017 as a whole, the economy grew by 1.7pc, also lower than previously thought and the weakest since 2012.

The worsening picture was emphasised by figures showing a slowdown in the creation of jobs, a fall in the number of hours worked and a dip in productivity growth.

So what about the NHS? Anyone with half an eye on our hospitals and GPs know they are struggling.

The relatively small increases to health budgets are not real term increases when you look at the demand for services.

This is continuously exacerbated by the huge cuts to local authorities, which have responsibility for preventative health programmes and social 
care.

The effects of the economic and public service management by this Government are clear to see - their policies simply are not working.

Lizzi Collinge

County Councillor 
Lancaster East