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Friday, 31 October 2014

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A decent store takes priority

HAVE the powers that be not yet realised that Workington is the only place in Cumbria that hasn’t got a decent supermarket in the centre of town?

Perhaps someone can explain why.

Surely having been deprived of our Co-operative all this time, people will greatly appreciate a Tesco, within hopping distance of the town centre, no matter if it is to be built on the Cloffocks.

I’d say a decent supermarket takes priority over the excuse of a rough and tumble once a year for no other reason than an excuse for a brawl.

The reason smaller shops are closing down is because they can’t afford to stay open due to the high rates they have to pay.

However, one has to move with the times and a good supermarket is handy, especially for the elderly.

Please let us forget about the Uppies and Downies and have some consideration for those of us who haven’t got transport. Give us a break from the selfish attitude of those who only think of themselves at the expense of others in dire need of a really good food store.

DOROTHY BIGGINS

Thirlmere Avenue

Workington

* I MUST object to the cuts in bus services throughout Allerdale, which are set to include: evening services between Cockermouth and Carlisle as well a to Maryport; services between Whitehaven and Workington; buses between Seatoller and Keswick; as well as a whole range of other draconian cuts to rural communities.

These cuts are short-sighted and plainly wrong, and against the practice in every other part of the country.

Preventing people travelling between major urban centres will have negative effects. People use these buses for work – this is the 21st century and we are part of a 24-hour society.

Should we pay people to be unemployed, rather than to help them travel to work?

People also use these later buses to go out of an evening and drink. These cuts will almost certainly encourage people to risk drink-driving.

Moreover, 24 per cent of the households in Allerdale do not have access to a car. Take away the buses, and they have no alternative – resulting in greater car use and parking problems for everyone.

In short, Cumbria county council appears set to make worse the problems which appear weekly in your pages – a sense of isolation, unemployment, car accidents and parking.

In the National Park the issues are a little different, but still as acute. At weekends the traffic and parking problems around Grange and Derwentwater are atrocious.

But there will be no alternative than to use a car if these cuts go ahead, making things worse and turning people away from the whole area.

And this at a time, come April 2008, when all the over 60s will be arriving brandishing their free bus passes, but finding no buses to use them on. What nonsense!

If economies have to be made, then the county council should be putting their constituents first, and Stagecoach’s shareholders last.

A paltry £1.28 per person per year is reportedly spent subsidising buses in Cumbria, a 10th of that in other counties. Yet Stagecoach made £180m profit last year, with bus revenues up 10 per cent. Its head, Brian Souter, earned over £1m. So someone is doing well out of this, but it certainly isn’t Cumbria’s bus users.

The young and elderly, those on low incomes, or those medically unable to drive will all suffer from this decision.

Cumbria council should listen to them, and take account of their needs. If anyone wants to join me in convincing them, then please write or email me.

ANDREW GILBERT

Printers Court

Cockermouth

* AS A resident of Great Broughton, where the BNP secretary, Nigel Williamson failed to gain an elected seat on Allerdale council earlier this year, I felt extremely concerned by the style and tone of the report (Times & Star, November 2).

It gives a very misleading impression of Mr Williamson's position. He did not gain an elected political post as a member of the BNP. The headline “Patriot takes a first council seat for BNP” is extremely inappropriate.

Cath Ferguson clearly states “We are not a political council.” The BNP have no role to play here and ought not to be heralded as having gained some kind of political victory in an area and era where social tolerance is absolutely essential.

He simply sidled his way into a parish council vacancy in a village where there was one. No members of the Broughton Moor public gave the BNP any official support.

I would hope that he could be legitimately sidled out as he and his variety-intolerant party are using this non-political role in an extremely political way.

YVONNE REAY-BENNETT

Great Broughton

* IN reply to Councillor Carl Holding's letter (Times & Star, November 9), well well Carl, you are showing your true colours now.

I was at the parish council meeting and for your information there were four vacancies with six or seven people asked to attend, but only three plus myself bothered to turn up.

So, as for in through the back door, I don’t think so.

If the others had bothered to turn up it would have gone to a vote. If you had been at that meeting you would have seen for yourself that it was all open and above board.

COUN NIGEL WILLIAMSON

Moorfield Bank

Great Broughton

* I WAS very pleased to read that the former steelworks site in Workington is to be extensively developed, but local people would be more than delighted if Corus promised some of their profits from the sale of the land would be used to clean up the disgraceful legacy, left over many years, on the beaches of Moss Bay, Salterbeck and Harrington.

It would be nice also to include a definite offer for an alternative site for the loss of the Ranch football pitches used by so many over the years.

Here in Harrington the local football pitch has been fenced off for the last three years and certain other areas of the marina denied access because of land contamination. Promises of a playground area some years ago have still not been met.

Numerous telephone calls to the environment department regarding the situation always states work will begin when funding becomes available.

Yet, only yards away, funding for the repair of Harrington Harbour has been released at some £500,000.

The sale of land around the Harbour side for building houses is expected to fund the development of a marina complex.

Have we got our priorities right?

We need funding to benefit all of our community, yet the beautiful old infants school on Church Road, vacant for three years, has become vandalised, derelict and an eyesore in the middle of the village. This is money just going down the drain.

Yes, plan for the future, but the needs of the community come first, especially the children who need open spaces to play and develop. Not concrete jungles nor umpteen old people’s care homes nor desolate local beaches, nor contaminated public land.

HILARY HARRINGTON

Independent town councillor

Harrington ward

* GORDON Brown would have us believe that there is no need for a referendum on the EU Reform Treaty, because unlike the Constitutional Treaty it is only an “amending treaty.”

Not so. As Valery Giscard d’Estaing points out, that “amending” process actually boils down to copying almost all of the legal innovations he put in his Constitutional Treaty, “word to word,” and inserting them into the existing treaties.

So in legal terms the end result would be “absolutely similar” to the EU Constitution.

As he puts it, “lift the lid and look in the toolbox: all the same innovative and effective tools are there.”

In 2005 we were told that we would have the final say on whether the EU should be allowed those new tools - including more powers to both by-pass and over-rule our Parliament, and control our lives in ever widening areas, in ever increasing detail.

The ruse of putting the same tools in a different box, with a different label stuck on top - a ruse certainly not unknown to the dodgier kind of street trader, out to cheat the public - cannot cancel our moral right to make that decision, in the referendum we were promised.

MURIEL PARSONS

Campaign for an Independent Britain

Stamford House

Calcot Park

Reading

* DAVE and Michelle Magrath, Murray and Jacqui Spiers, Mitch and Deborah Gorley and Roy and Liz Campbell would like to sincerely thank all friends, family and work colleagues in West Cumbria who donated most generously to Breakthrough Breast Cancer the UK’s leading charity committed to fighting breast cancer through research and education.

They ran either the half marathon or the 5km race through the streets of Amsterdam on October 21.

The sum raised is in the region of £2,000 and some money is still being donated. Our special thanks to those attending Malcolm Fulton’s 40th birthday party where £345 was collected.

LIZ CAMPBELL

Lakeland Sheep and Wool Centre

Cockermouth

* MR D Williams’s disfavour with faith schools seems to have inspired a more positive enquiry into the reasons why people decide to turn to faith (letters, November 3).

A small error in his creed, however, could prove costly to the progress of his research - faith as “a belief with insufficient evidence” should be weighed carefully with the other time-honoured enduring definition, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Christian faith is not a leap in the dark. The role that knowledge (or rather wisdom) plays can only be answered by the people whose lives have been changed because of their faith. Clearly Mr Williams has grasped this.

Looking for a god occupies the minds of millions. Everybody, including Mr Williams, will in their lifetime put their faith in something, but when God comes looking for us, and we are willing to be found, faith can arrive like an uninvited but welcome guest. Who hasn’t heard, or sung a line from, “amazing grace?”

So far I have probably failed miserably to impress Mr Williams but I do know of a group of local men who meet weekly for breakfast to discuss the very same issues, who excel in the qualifications Mr Williams desires, the “observation of the world and use of logical argument.”

Among the group are a world-travelled engineer, two scientists, a serving magistrate, a distance-learning tutor, and an NHS consultant. They all have faith, and the breakfast is free!

RAYMOND HALL

Isel Road

Cockermouth

* AFTER working at a food manufacturing plant in West Cumbria, I have seen first-hand the problems which have occurred with the influx of East European workers.

Very few of them speak any English, trying to train them to do jobs is very difficult and at times is a serious health and safety issue. They do not integrate into society very well because of the communication problem and, in groups, intimidate local people.

Most of the workers send most of their wages back home to Poland, Lithuania etc, which in itself is not what I am against. But they do not contribute to the economy of West Cumbria in any way and in fact some are now on benefits.

I can understand the reasons behind opening up our borders, but I doubt it is worth any British person travelling to work in any of these countries, which is what being in the European Union is supposed to be about.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

ALLERDALE councillor Carl Holding may be new and relatively inexperienced as a Labour Party councillor but he's certainly proving an old hand at New Labour spin.

By his assertion (Times & Star, November 9) that the BNP "have come last in every vote" contested in Allerdale, he is trying to imply that the BNP has no support in the borough. This certainly isn't the case.

In the council elections in May, the BNP became the first party for 12 years to take on Labour in the Maryport wards of Ellenborough and Ewanrigg.

When the votes were counted, the average vote for the two Labour candidates in Ellenborough ward was 607 while the single BNP candidate attracted 342 votes. In Ewanrigg ward the average vote for the two Labour candidates was 591 while the single BNP candidate polled 276 votes.

That's over 600 BNP votes across the two wards and one-in-three voters supporting the British National Party rather than Labour. It's a clear indication of the high level of support for the BNP in the town.

Mr Holding's attempted “no support for the BNP” spin is also factually incorrect. In the Wigton ward for Allerdale council in May 2003, the BNP candidate Paul Stafford polled 261 votes while Bill Walton, one of the Labour candidates, polled 246 votes and came last.

MARTIN WINGFIELD

BNP candidate May 2007

Ellenborough Ward

I AM really looking forward to spring when the full splendour of an amazing make over in Cockermouth Market Place is revealed in all its glory.

I am sure the whole town will be impressed and that all the disturbance we are about to go through, particularly the local business owners and residents, will have been worth it.

In fact, I could even foresee a clamour for other areas to receive similar treatment.

After the initial reaction has died down, the plaudits been handed out and the contractors despatched with a suitable pat on the back, what then?

Will we be worthy of the splendid new surroundings we have created or will they quickly develop the pock-marked rash that surrounds certain doorways along Main Street?

Yes, I am talking about the menace of chewing gum after it is discarded.

I know others share my disgust at this spreading blot on our pavements (and our town) as I have mentioned it to many I know, but what can we do about it?

I raised it at the recent neighbourhood forum with the Allerdale representatives but no immediate action was suggested.

Can anyone out there throw any good suggestions up as to what we can do to stop our new market place paving being quickly turned into an unpleasant eyesore?

I am sure there is someway to improve on this sticky menace.

R J SWINDELLS

The Parklands

Cockermouth

I NOTE with interest the ‘save our village’ campaign taking place in Great Clifton .

May I suggest that Allerdale planning officers take a look at the survey, which Little Clifton Parish Council undertook in conjunction with them.

The parish council and villagers were against two new developments that the officers forced upon them, bringing them to a village that has no regular bus service, no shops and no school.

The planners wanted to build there and so it had to be. Irrespective of the government guidelines, 25 houses were built.

Can the planners answer this question? How is it that one mile away, in Great Clifton, which has a shop, school and is on a bus route, planning officers are requesting another housing survey? The application is being sought for previously-developed housing land, the parish council is supporting the new development, and there are no objections from villagers, only support.

Could it be because this is planned on private land and not county council land?

JOE AGNEW

Little Clifton

I AM looking for someone with historical knowledge and the time and commitment to search for the graves of family members.

A few years ago I undertook a history project that discovered my great grandmother unveiled the war memorial at Vulcans Park in Workington.

She lost three sons in the first world war and a brother and an uncle, I think.

Perhaps because we just have passed the 11/11/11, it is uppermost in my mind, or because I have left the area I fear I may lose this link to my heritage.

I am now doing a degree and have neither the time nor the knowledge to find the information I seek.

I would, though, ultimately wish to visit the graves of these men, just to say that even if it seems that no one else does, I remember them.

Any help would be gratefully received.

LINDA WILKINSON

22 Manley Gardens

Brigg

Lincolnshire

THE 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, brave and heroic, they gave their todays so that we could have our tomorrows.

Half a century later (MI5 tell us), secret cells of suicide bombers are still being nurtured by the Islamic promise of a sensual “afterlife” - deluded, deceived, consumed with hatred, intent on taking our todays so that they can have their tomorrows.

RAYMOND HALL

Isel Road

Cockermouth

YOUR story of the first wedding at Plumbland’s former Congregational Chapel stated that this chapel had closed, as a Congregational place of worship, in 1962 (Times & Star, October 27).

This was not so, as the chapel had been closed for services much earlier, about 1953-54.

I can remember attending a Harvest Thanksgiving here, when aged about six, about 1953, and it was then on its last legs.

Plumbland is the only ex-Congregational Chapel in this district still in use as a place of worship.

JOHN N M CHARTERS

Plumbland

Aspatria

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