Tory councillor deselection, bottled water, bees, International Youth Games, democracy, Brexit, trees, cashless shopping, shop theft, bank closures

The Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Roger Mace, next to the plaque at the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.
The Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Roger Mace, next to the plaque at the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.

Readers’ letters, August 23

I understand that our ward councillor, Roger Mace has been deselected by the local Conservative Association and hence not allowed to stand in the 2019 local council elections.

No explanation has been given but I conclude that skulduggery and intrigue, previously confined to Westminster, has spread to this locality.

In local elections most people around here tend to vote for a known individual, with a good track record, rather than a party.

Roger has represented the Kellets for many years and has done a great job safeguarding the interests of local people.

He has supported local communities and is widely known and respected.

Yet he is being sidelined for no apparent reason, along with another long serving Tory councillor.

This is no way to treat elected representatives and the electorate would like some answers – not silence.

Any new candidate will not attract the loyal following Roger has enjoyed.

Alexander Scott, Borwick, Address supplied

Bottled water

Re: Column by Guy Cookson, Bottled water has proved itself a master of invention (August 9).

The blurb about water having been filtered after a 15-year journey through some great mountain 
system is usually followed in small print by the instruction ‘Consume within five days’.

Don Burnett, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster

Bees

I would like to bring readers attention to two Asian pests we have seen in our garden this summer, which attack our native bees.

We have had one sighting of the Asian giant hornet which has a body length of 45mm, a wingspan around 75mm and stinger length of 6mm.

There are many of them in each nest and it is thought that they can eat as many as 50 bees a day, so they are a real threat to our bees.

Apparently the nests are difficult to locate. Unfortunately our sighting was too quick to take a photograph. We also had one sighting of a native bee covered in Asian mites which it was trying to remove.

They suck the blood of the bee leaving open wounds and transmitting diseases and viruses.

Horrible.

Has anyone else seen them or does anyone have any further information about these two pests?

Anne Midgley, Riverside, Main Street, Wray

International Youth Games

We were pleased to see the kind letter from the Mayor of Lancaster published in the Lancaster Guardian to mark the recent International Youth Games in the Netherlands (Well done – our young athletes, August 9).

However, we were disappointed that no mention was made of the rowing involvement in the event. Eight of our young men and women were members of the games team. They had a wonderful time with the other participants from several countries. They were so successful that Lancaster finished top of the medal table in the rowing events.

We are proud of our junior members keeping up the long tradition of rowing success on the River Lune as the oldest established sports club in the city.

Michael J Pugh, Chairman, Lancaster John O’Gaunt Rowing Club

Democracy

I see David Morris MP was invited to the Lancaster and Morecambe College to talk about democracy.

As I understand, the Conservative idea of democracy is let Lancashire vote on fracking, when the result was a massive no to fracking ignore the vote, then, when the massive police bill for protection against demonstrators comes, the Conservative Government refuses to help and lets the people of Lancashire pay the bill even though they didn’t want fracking. That’s Conservative democracy.

C Parkinson, Lupton Place, Lancaster

Brexit

Remember the countdown to the Millennium? When we were all chillingly warned that the end was nigh with computers all over the world shutting down and planes dropping out of the sky? Remember how none of that materialised?

And recall how most of us didn’t believe the doom mongers anyway? I believe that the same healthy scepticism will meet the plans apparently afoot in No 10 to scare us witless over Brexit.

With the failure of the first round of Project Fear, preparations for us leaving the EU without a deal are being weaponised as part of Project Fear 2.0. Not designed to scare us at all!

But I believe the British people are very level-headed and will see through such blatant scare tactics to make us think that Theresa May’s ’soft’ Brexit proposal is the way forward.

In fact the more the Remainers try to intimidate folk the more it will backfire.

Paul Nuttall, North West MEP, UK Independence Party

Trees

Anyone during the hot spell would have taken the option of parking their car on a street under a tree’s canopy if possible, especially when the temperature could be 10°C cooler.

The shade from urban trees extends pavement life because it reduces the amount of expansion and contraction caused by the daily heating of the asphalt. Would this not also apply to roads, especially where they are tree-lined on both sides?

Another study indicates that trees have a calming effect on teenagers and young adults suffering from ADHD.

Trees release social stress for all people – there are many links between the absence of trees and antisocial behaviour.

Researchers have, moreover, demonstrated that motorists suffer less road rage in green urban areas compared to more barren ones and that street trees can help make our cities safer.

Wendy Jenrick, Address supplied

Cashless shopping

I have heard that a supermarket is opening its first ‘cashless store’.

Apparently it is to cater for the impatience of shoppers and create shorter queues.

(Here’s an idea, why not increase the number of staff on the checkouts?!)

I wonder what the elderly or indeed anyone who prefers to use cash think of this ‘choiceless’ concept?

Or if it will increase the debts of those on a budget as they will be less likely to keep a close eye on what they spend (it is so much easier to spend, spend, spend on a credit or debit card than with a £20 note)?

Or maybe that’s the idea.

With cards we can spend to our heart’s content, no longer limited by the idea of ‘living within our means’.

Maybe debt is the future and spending what we actually have is an outdated idea?

Win-win for the retail sector. Lose-lose for the elderly, the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society.

I suspect also with less contact with hard cash, and this seemingly increased impatience for shorter queues, we will all suffer in the long run.

What’s next, a completely ‘staffless’ store to save on salaries? Shush, best not give the big faceless corporations any more ideas!

Molly Clare, Email address supplied

Shop theft

From the description given in the Lancaster Guardian (page 28, August 9, CCTV appeal after theft from shop) I fail to understand how those two shoplifters could not be caught, as “they were wearing the same black dress”, reportedly.

This must surely have restricted their movement somewhat?

Akin, perhaps, to a three-legged race or a pantomime horse?

Just a thought.

Gordon Arkwright, Thorpe Avenue, Morecambe

Bank closures

It’s been announced that thousands more bank branch closures may take place in the UK and, according to the consumer magazine Which?, there is to be a reduction in the number of cashpoints, particularly those installed inside stores on our high streets, which will further impact on the footfall of local businesses.

This makes it even more necessary to support our local post offices.

You can access your high street bank account at any Post Office branch in the country.

And always remember, if you don’t want to lose it, use it!

John Appleyard. Email address supplied