Ways to better health, bus route ideas, Eden Project criticism, local planning strategy, Brexit People’s Vote, Lancaster-Morecambe rivalry, taxi ignorance, night shelter thanks

A reader says government needs to restrict unhealthy food
A reader says government needs to restrict unhealthy food

Reader’s letters, January 3

Take diet and exercise more seriously

It is concerning that we are still seeing rising levels of obesity, given the serious cost to our health this brings.

There is an overall increase in levels of obesity, particularly among women, with children of obese parents three times more likely to be obese themselves.

Almost two-thirds of adults and nearly one third of children in England are either overweight or, worse, obese.

The Government must place far greater restriction on junk food marketing and introduce a simple standardised approach to food labelling.

In addition, the Government needs to underpin efforts by local authorities to increase active travel, make the best use of green spaces, and halt the growth of fast food outlets in their towns and cities.

The data also shows that strong action is needed on smoking and alcohol, as highlighted in our recent report which showed the link to a higher prevalence of cancer, liver disease, heart disease and strokes.

The BMA has been calling for the Government to make health a priority by investing in services to reduce smoking, alcohol consumption and those which promote physical activity and a better diet.

This is important and will save people’s lives by cutting the number of those dying early from preventable ill-health, as well as improving the well-being for those people in most need.

Prof Dame Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chairman

Reroute 6A is a starter

Lancaster District Bus Users’ Group agrees with the councillors and residents of Skerton West that changes to bus services in January will be detrimental to the interests of passengers living on Torrisholme Road. (Worse for Skerton passengers, December 13.)

Whilst we are pleased to see the return of double-deckers to service 2, providing much-needed extra capacity through Bowerham to the University, it is not right that this comes at the expense of passengers, particularly pensioners, elsewhere on the route.

We feel, however, that mixing single and double deckers on the service, as suggested, would be fraught with difficulty even if the single-decker journeys running via Torrisholme Road were redesignated ‘2A’.

It would reduce the amount of extra capacity provided on the Bowerham section of the route where passengers are having difficulty in finding room on the buses and it introduces a serious risk of a double-decker being driven under the Torrisholme Road railway bridge accidentally.

Instead, we have suggested to Stagecoach that service 6A, which currently runs between Lancaster and Morecambe via Westgate using single-deckers, be diverted to run via Owen Road, Torrisholme Road and Scale Hall Lane to Scale Hall traffic lights where it would rejoin its existing route.

This would provide a bus along Torrisholme Road every half-an-hour, would maintain the service to Morecambe and would provide a new link from Owen Road and Torrisholme Road to Salt Ayre, Asda and White Lund.

We hope that Stagecoach will agree with our suggestion which is in the interests of passengers on all parts of the service 2 route.

Jim Davies, chair, Lancaster Bus Users’ Group

Eden Project will worsen climate change

The head of the Eden Project was right when he said that we need to ‘accelerate conversations about why climate change is so important’, although he might have added, and action, too.

He is wrong though to see the Eden Project as a solution to climate change (Lancaster Guardian December 13).

In fact, building the Eden Project, which aims to attract 8,000 visitors a day, and with aspirations to be an ‘international attraction’, will further damage our climate.

These 8,000 extra cars a day will increase the UK’s carbon emissions – the main driver of climate change – at a time when we need to reduce them.

There already exist enough expertise in our local schools, colleges, universities and environmental groups to get the message across, and kick start urgent action to adapt to global warming.

For a tiny fraction of the £250,000 the city council plans to hand over to the Eden Project, it could be organising environmental task forces to work to reduce the threat from catastrophic climate change.

Dick Follows, Haverbreaks Place, Lancaster

Local plan not working

Everyone who lives in Lancaster should buy and read the Lancaster Guardian, but I hope that Mr Richard McCoy, the Planning Inspector, BSc MSc DipTP MRTPI IHBC, does not.

Otherwise this highly qualified and experienced professional is likely to be annoyed to read in the paper’s December 20 issue how Coun Hanson, the cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration and planning, has chosen to present to Lancaster people an interpretation of his responses to the Local Plan as submitted to him and her explanation of its now delayed consideration.

The plan was known by councillors and officers to be under-developed when pushed through council over a year ago and she acknowledges that more work on it still needs to be done, but otherwise all she writes is that it is not unusual for ‘local plan hearing sessions to be postponed’.

However, it is surely unusual for a planning inspector to reprimand a council, twice, November 19 and December 11, in letters publicly available on the council website http://www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/examination-stage, for so misunderstanding statutory planning law as to propose to him a procedure which is illegal.

Stephen Constantine, Galgate, full address supplied

Cross party Brexit benefits

I am very pleased to see not just one but two reports of cross-party co-operation in Lancaster City Council reported in the Guardian on December 13 – on the resolution for a People’s Vote on the EU (p.3) and also on improving carbon emissions in new build homes (p.18). Working together is usually more productive than engaging in tribal hostilities.

Michael Mumford, chair, Forward in Europe (local branch of the European Movement), Belle Vue Avenue, Lancaster

End them and us

For over a decade I have been saying in this and its sister papers that this area has massive untapped potential and that we should be shouting about it from the rooftops.

Finally, the establishment is doing that. I was at the Launch of the ‘Lancaster’ Story and the atmosphere was electric, it just saddens me greatly that it is all, yet again, about Lancaster, it is so divisive.

The video is excellent, but the commentary is about Lancaster whilst showing pictures of Morecambe and other parts of the district, it’s all a bit like “oh, and by the way, there’s Morecambe, too…but back to Lancaster”.

As I have said many times, what would York or Chester give to have a Morecambe and a Morecambe Bay attached to it?

How brilliantly they would be able to market themselves.

The website and the video talk about Morecambe being part of the city. No, we’re not, we’re a seaside town. I love Lancaster, I love the whole area, it’s a glorious district and it is all wonderfully complimentary to each other, you do not need to lump it all under the city banner.

It took a man from Cornwall (Si Bellamy from Eden) to bring Morecambe into the frame at the launch event, and my how passionately he spoke about the resort. Why can’t our own people be equally passionate about it?

Let’s put an end to this eternal ‘us and them’, let’s celebrate our differences and brag about them to the outside world, not paper over them.

Ian Hughes, Morecambe

Driver ignore the signs

I was reminded recently of an article that appeared in the Lancaster Guardian a couple of weeks or so ago.

Apparently motorists are failing to acknowledge taxi signs at the top of town outside KFC.

I was following a taxi over Skerton Bridge into Lancaster when it turned right on to Parliament Street despite a sign advising that this was only allowed between 10pm and 6am.

Just another of life’s little mysteries.

Gordon Arkwright, Thorpe Avenue, Torrisholme, Morecambe

Generous donations for homeless shelter

I just want to say a huge thank-you to Marks and Spencer in Lancaster for their generous donation of two large bags of much needed clothing for the Homeless Night Shelter based at Christ Church, Lancaster. It was much appreciated.

I also want to thank my fellow councillors for their donation of tinned rice pudding and fruit salad and other items for the night shelter.

Homelessness and Poverty is a huge National Issue that Parliamentarian’s need to address and take action. This cannot be side-lined. Coming from the Far East, I never imagined that I would see poverty at this large scale.

Coun Liz Scott, JOG Ward