Letters - December 15, 2018

Rail passengers on the Fylde have been hit by cancellations - and fare rises
Rail passengers on the Fylde have been hit by cancellations - and fare rises

Profit before needs of the passengers

I am sure many regular rail users in our district will be annoyed at the 3.1 per cent rise in rail fares that will be put in place in January.

It needs to be pointed out that rail fares have grown faster compared to wages which have fallen in the last 10 years. It is hard working people who are being penalised for using the rail network, many of them reply on rail travel to get to work.

If you evaluate the standard of customer service in the last year as well as the standard of management I don’t think many regular rail users will believe this rise is justified.

Rail users have had to contend with a substandard service due to inconsistency, lack of customer care and botched timetable alterations. We have seen customers having to contend with intermittent cancellations with feeble excuses and also a severe lack of seating on most trains causing situations where there is overcrowding to a level where healthy and safety is compromised. It is clearly all about profit before the needs of the customer.

It is apparent that Chris Grayling Secretary of State for Transport has a lack of empathy with rail users because there is very little evidence to suggest things will improve. If Labour get into Government Rail Franchises will be put into public ownership as they expire as well as halting the expansion of driver only operations and cuts to staff which jeopardise safety on The Railway Network.

David Whitaker

Address supplied

Older people let down - yet again

It is deeply concerning to read that the social care green paper has been delayed yet again until the New Year.

Successive governments have failed to address the social care crisis, and the country’s older people have once again been let down.

Whilst the government’s focus is rightly on Brexit, this cannot mean important domestic issues, such as the social care crisis, continue to be neglected and left by the wayside.

The number of people ill-prepared for later life is worryingly high – Anchor’s research shows just 14 per cent of people are currently saving for care needs, and 25 per cent mistakenly think that all care is state-funded.

With the sector facing an unprecedented amount of pressure and the bill for care set to rise by 159 per cent by 2040, we desperately need solutions that are fair for all.

The system can’t continue to fail the people it is meant to serve.

The green paper is a chance for the government to turn this crisis around, giving today’s and tomorrow’s older people the respect and peace of mind they deserve.

Jane Ashcroft, CBE

Chief Executive

Anchor Hanover

Points for our MPs to bear in mind...

Here are a few points for our MPs to consider when voting on the mandate that the people of this nation gave them.

The EU will be moving inexorably to the federal state of Europe and, by implication all laws, rules and regulations (you know, MPs, the sort of things you should be doing in this country) will be centrally controlled. Thus your jobs will be utterly irrelevant. ‘Your Place’ and ‘the Other One’ would make great tourist attractions though, so maybe a few of you could be employed as guides.

Not only that, but all finances will be centrally controlled and doled out as it will be the behemoth of Central Europe bureaucracy which will determine what we should get; just like you are doing to our cash-starved county and borough councils at present all under the barrier of ‘Austerity’. Indeed in many ways, when the next financial crisis arises (as sure will happen as night follows day), ours is a microcosm of what will happen then i.e. just like the councils who need it less will get the most, those councils who need it the most will get the least but, in this EU Utopia, it will be the likes of France and Germany who will get the most, leaving the rest of us to settle for the scraps (assuming that there is any bone left on the meat).

I am a realist and never imagined that we would get all we wanted from the EU when Brexiting, but what the EU negotiators have achieved is just what they did when the people of both the Republic of Ireland and Denmark voted to get out of this circus: divided opinions and the political parties and people of those two fine countries almost at each others throats. We know what happened there.

Of course, the deal presented (no matter what our PM tries to make it out to be - silk purse and sow’s ear come to mind) is horrible. That is what the EU wanted in order to try and convince us that we are better in than out (because, when the next financial crisis hits a Federal Europe, it will be desperate for our ‘contributions’).

Thus MPs, if you force us to stay in the EU (which is against the will of the people), ask yourselves just what real influence we are going to have in Europe.

If you think that throwing vast sums of money at the EU gives you influence, then think again. Oh that’s right, tops for embarrassment, just like you lot are doing now. Words like ‘shame’, ‘hanging in’ and ‘head’ come to mind.

Neil Swindlehurst

Address supplied