Make us a Lotto winner

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I am writing to ask for your readers’ help in recognising the achievements of all the lives that have been transformed locally by Age UK’s health and wellbeing programme ‘fit as a fiddle’.

Age UK has received the great news that ‘fit as a fiddle’ has made it through to the final seven in the Best Health Project category of the National Lottery Awards.

We now need as many people as possible to vote for the project for it to become a winner!

The charity’s ‘fit as a fiddle’ project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Wellbeing programme, has helped over 385,000 older people across the country to get involved in a range of activities from cooking lessons and exercise classes to pot holing and abseiling.

As a whole, the project has encouraged older people across the country to be more active, make friends and have fun.

Please spend a few moments today to recognise all those involved in ‘fit as a fiddle’.

Register your vote by July 24 2013 for Age UK’s ’fit as a fiddle’. Please call 0844 836 9700 or log on to

Your vote will really make a difference.

Lynda Bellingham

Age UK Celebrity Ambassador

Nice thought on VIP visit

They say yesterday’s news is old news, but not in your case.

The article you published regarding the Mayoral boat trip with Lancaster councillors later prompted a very nice letter from Coun Ron Sands, which you also published.

I am happy to tell you that someone took this from your paper, placed it in a waterproof jacket, and pinned it to the door of the Old Stables at Crooklands, where the Waterwitch boat sails from.

It looks very impressive and a nice thought by someone.

Thanks to all concerned.

Frank Sanderson

Public Relation Officer

Lancaster Canal Trust

Join protest to back NHS

I suppose it is true that all governments play politics with the NHS but David Morris’s shameful and shameless attempt to deflect all blame for a rapidly deteriorating situation on to Labour, will not earn him any brownie points with the public, who, by and large, and in spite of heavy coalition spin, remain more suspicious of Conservative attitudes towards the institution than they do of Labour, who after all instigated the NHS in the first place.

What we want to see from all politicians and, particularly, those associated with the government in power, is a mature addressing of existing problems, never mind who ‘caused’ them.

For God’s sake grow up.

This surely becomes a question of priorities.

We are told the NHS must suffer a further crippling £30bn of cuts.

There is no need for us to passively accept this. There are controversial plans ahead on things like HS2 or Trident, which cost a lot of money. If there are choices to be made let the public decide what they should be, by referendum if necessary.

Even if you support these projects, do you support them over and above a functioning NHS?

If you opt for the NHS then join a nationwide protest on August 31 by standing in front of your nearest NHS hospital demanding a change in these priorities. More money is not the sole answer to the problem, bad management, bad nursing and a baffling belief by some doctors that being asked to operate 24/7 shifts is unreasonable, all play a part, as Morecambe Bay Trust patients know to their cost, but politically motivated cuts will not help.

Time for outrage. Indignez-vous as the late great Stéphane Hessel would say.

H Martin

Hest Bank Lane


Resurfacing didn’t last

After around four months of road closure on Watery Lane for essential sewer works, we now have the road open again. Thanks so much United Utilities.

The road has been resurfaced and now must be one of the smoothest in the district.

Ah, but wait a wee while, a nice letter drops on the mat a couple of days ago.

They have, in the process of refurbishment, found several domestic water leaks.

Some of them have been fixed but others will require the road and pavements to have “some digging” thus returning the road to a patched used look to match most of Lancaster’s highways.

D Bray

Watery Lane


Caring RLI for my mum

My 95-year-old mother has just spent 10 days in the RLI, wards 35 and 36.

The staff could not have been kinder. They took time to calm her, cut up food, made her as comfortable as possible – all done willingly and with compassion.

When she was discharged they even packed her a tea up. Surely going the extra mile?

I have nothing but praise and admiration for them.

Name and address supplied.

Cherish our league past

Thank you for publishing the article by your football historian on the life and times of John Bagot (Bagot – a man without equal, June 27) who was the central figure in the North Lancs League when I played in the 1950s and 60s.

He had an excellent committee to support him and we had all heard of people like Wilson Huck, Jimmy Brown, Ken Irving, Jim Bell, Sam Price, George Nelson, Frank Wimlott, John Garnett, Jimmy Downham and Bill Waggett who were legendary, passionate football men who cherished the history and tradition of the game, and worked diligently to ensure their clubs prospered.

In fact, I’m sure a nostalgia piece could easily be written about each and every one of them.

John’s work and contribution to the local community was the reason why me and my friends felt so strongly about the present North Lancs League committee’s failure to provide details of his long tenure as secretary of the league (39 years) and sent a letter voicing our disquiet to the Lancaster Guardian that was published a few weeks ago.

If we asked the league for a list of secretaries or chairmen from 1919 to the present day it seems unlikely that they would be able to furnish these details with any degree of accuracy.

Let us hope that this article serves as a wake-up call to the league management committee to remind them that history and tradition are all important and they should take positive steps to ensure it is all recorded for future generations.

The work and achievements of men like John Bagot should be cherished and preserved in the records of the league so that future generations can read about and respect their dedication.

It might be time for the league council to appoint a historian from within their ranks to ensure the accurate compilation and recording of events and statistics rather than tolerate the sub-standard system that appears to be in place at the moment.

J Sherrington

Regent Leisure Park



Ditch Royal Mail sell-off

The Royal Mail has a history of more than 300 years. Last year it made an operating profit of over £400 million.

I believe it is a grave mistake to contemplate privatising this service.

Two thirds of people surveyed said they disagreed with the sell off.

Given such opposition from the general public is it right to continue with the privatisation?

K Stone

Address supplied

Libs want to leave EU too

It is not necessarily right wing to want to leave the EU. UKIP are not the only political party committed to an independent UK.

The continuing Liberal Party which, unlike the EU-fanatic Liberal Democrats, quite rightly opposes giving up the pound for the euro, is also in favour of leaving the EU and 
bureaucratic rule from 
Brussels, given the EU’s aim of ever closer union and likely resistance to adequate reform from within.

The Liberal Party, whose traditional constitution demands “liberty, property and security” for all, calls for a more socially just, democratic capitalist society where progressive taxation finances a citizen’s inheritance for young UK-born UK adult citizens and claws it back eventually from those receiving larger lifetime totals.

We want more small businesses created, and a dynamic society with real investment in human capital for all, improving the NHS and state schools relative to private health and education including sporting facilities, by extending VAT from ordinary spending by all of us, rich or poor, to such luxury spending by the rich, naturally including non-residents.

These radical progressive Liberal policies for greater equality of opportunity in health, education and the inheritance of wealth in the UK would help make genuine sense of mealy mouthed calls from other political parties for an opportunity society and a property-owning democracy.

By contrast, UKIP’s response to vast inequalities of opportunity and wealth in our still dynastic capitalist country, in which some receive billions in lifetime gifts or inheritance free of tax while others receive or inherit no capital at all, is to call for the abolition of inheritance tax altogether, lock stock and smoking barrel.

Now that is right wing. UKIP is right to want to leave the EU, but not to want an ever more unequal UK.

Dane Clouston

Member, Liberal Party 
National Executive Committee

Volunteer champions

There are many older volunteers in the north of England who do amazing, but often under-recognised, work helping others in the community.

Older people’s charity Royal Voluntary Service has launched the 2013 Diamond Champions awards, sponsored by 
McCarthy and Stone and supported by HRH The Duchess of 
Cornwall as president of the charity, to celebrate the work of volunteers aged 60 and 

Sixty Diamond Champions will be chosen including 10 from the North of England, then people from across Britain will be invited to a reception in the autumn.

We want people in the north of England to nominate their volunteer hero and celebrate the difference they make to the lives of others.

Nominations can be made at and the closing date is September 15 – so get nominating.

Carol Nevison

RVS head of operations for North of England

RVS, Beck Court

Cardiff Gate Business Park