Letters and emails on July 20

The Guardian’s letters pages online

Community needs to get behind the bowling clubs

Dear Editor,

Firstly, I would like to thank both the Guardian and Robert Kelly for the balanced reporting regarding the phone masts at East Ward Conservative Club (July 13).

I am a member of the crown green bowling section of the club and as the secretary mentioned in the piece, clubs like ours are under threat and you have to exhaust every avenue to bring in revenue .

I’m very concerned about this situation, because when a club closes a community is lost.

I was a member of Sacred Hearts bowling section, in Worth Street, Chorley, and now the club has gone, replaced with 15 houses.

St James Social Club, in Eaves Lane, Chorley, has shut and the bowling section are trying their best to keep the green open.

Also, a good number of catholic club bowling sections in the local area are very concerned for the future, as their governing body has withdrawn much needed funding.

The bowling section of East Ward has just gained a life-saving financial boost, through the kind sponsorship from local car dealers Wilson and Co.

If it wasn’t for their generosity we would have finished the season in the dark, our floodlights having failed and there was no way of us raising the £2,000 needed to replace them.

As I mentioned earlier, communities are decimated and a much-needed support network lost if a club has to close.

A lot of regular bowlers are of a certain age and I know at our club, if someone fails to attend a bowling session, phone calls and check-ups are made just to make sure everything is alright.

The game of bowls is also growing amongst the youth of the area, with a two division junior bowling league having been formed.

I was also at St Mary’s Catholic Club last Sunday, where my 10-year-old granddaughter was bowling for Chorley juniors.

There was an after mass coffee morning for the parishioners in the downstairs of the club and auditions for children’s musical upstairs.

I couldn’t help but think, what would happen to all those people if the club had to close.

The crown green bowling situation is that grave, that it motivated bowlers from the north to take their concerns to Westminster.

I hope you agree that this is a local issue that people need making aware of.

Alan Calderbank

East Ward

Conservative Club

Glad uniform is being done up

Dear Editor,

I went to Wellfield School in Leyland between the years of 2002 to 2007.

During the whole of that time me and my friends - one was head boy in the final year - tried to get the uniform changed to blazers as we felt that our uniform wasn’t as smart as the other local schools had blazers.

The most we were able to change was the colour of the prefect jumpers (which was green to black).

We were told it would be too expensive, but I’m glad its finally changed.

Megan Kearns-Page

Address supplied

Thank you for Pals support

Dear Editor,

The trustees of the Chorley Pals Memorial would like to thank all those who attended the act of remembrance at the Pals memorial on the Flat Iron at 7.30am. on July 1.

In particular we’d like to thank family members of the Pals and of course Captain Aaron Beaver Chorley and his daughter Rachel for their part in the ceremony.

Some 25 others attended the event, including serving and ex-servicemen and women, members and standard bearers of the Royal British Legion (Chorley branch), Chorley & District Ex-Services Association and the Royal Air Force Association.

Their presence was most welcome and added to meaning of the event, commemorating as it does, all the men from the Chorley Pals who went over the top at the Battle of the Somme on the July 1, 1916.

The two founders of the charity, Lindsay Hoyle and myself, would like to convey our apologies for not being there but Lindsay was representing the House of Commons at the official opening of the Scottish Parliament and I was in Normandy leading a coach trip to the D-Day Beaches, arranged back in the autumn of 2009.

However, we look forward to being there next year and to seeing more people joining us at what is to be an annual event.

Finally, may we place on record our appreciation of the support given by the Chorley Guardian to the memorial since its inception in 2007, the coverage of our events and the promotion of our new project, ‘Chorley Remembers’.

Steve Williams

Secretary & Trustee

Chorley Pals Memorial

We need a pro-active approach

Dear Editor,

I am writing to respond to Coun Peter Goldsworthy’s comments in the article about town centre rats and (me) running to the press.

The Conservative leader’s tone holds no bounds as he personally criticises me for featuring in the Chorley Guardian.

It is ironic that Coun Goldsworthy objects to me being in the press when he regularly goes to the papers making policy announcements before the relevant decision has been taken by the council.

Unlike Coun Goldsworthy, before the report in the Chorley Guardian, I did raise the issue with the appropriate cabinet member, Coun Eric Bell.

Unfortunately Coun Bell took no action but rather chose to give me a ‘Big Society’ lecture saying that Labour councillors were so lucky to have so many church volunteers who could help clear up our areas.

He then went on to say he had recruited some young children do some balsam and weed clearance in his own area.

Clearly this failed to address what is a major public health issue and we should not rely on volunteers to carry out one of the council’s primary duties.

While the problem is created by people dropping litter I would have expected a more pro-active response from Coun Goldsworthy and one that was concerned about public health.

I cannot criticise the efforts of the neighbourhood team who work hard with very limited resources but believe the council should focus more resources on keeping our streets tidy.

I make no apology for highlighting this through the Chorley Guardian in the hope that we will now see action taken to combat this problem.

On a final note this is the third time in as many weeks that Chorley Tories have criticised Labour councillors for standing up for the residents they represent.

Perhaps if Tory councillors led by example they wouldn’t feel the need to pull people up for working hard.

Thanks to the Chorley Guardian for helping me highlight this issue.

Coun Julia Berry

Chorley

Getting it rght about Daisy

Dear Editor,

The Daisy Restaurant has been open in the area for two years and as owner I am pleased that the Guardian visited us and did a review (July 13).

However, there were some mistakes.

We have got a lift to provide access for disabled customers and our telephone number is 01257 265567.

Also our opening times are: Monday to Thursday 5pm to 11.30pm, Friday and Saturday 5pm to midnight and then on Sunday it is 1pm to 11pm, on which there is the all-day buffet for £9.99. Children eat for free on Sunday if they are under 10.

On Monday to Thursdays there is also a seven course buffet priced at £9.99.

Monir Uddin, owner

Daisy restaurant

Hedy hedy hedy hedy

Dear Editor,

Whilst Robert Kelly gave an excellent thumbs up in his ‘Qt Dining Out’ review of the Daisy Restaurant in Chorley town centre, there were three incorrect statements in his report.

Firstly, the staircase is not the only entrance into the first floor restaurant.

There IS a lift in the ground floor entrance with ample space for wheelchairs and prams so customers do not be put off.

Secondly, the telephone number printed in the paper was wrong. The correct number is 01257 265567. Thirdly, the Daisy does not close its doors as early as 6pm on a Sunday afternoon.

I’m glad Robert enjoyed his time at the Daisy with his mates but in these difficult times, businesses need all the help and promotion they can get, so, let’s at least get the basic facts correct.

If the reporter had realised these points, would the rating have been raised from a good 8.5 to a well deserved 10 out of 10?

A frequent visitor.

Address supplied

Travellers have a human right to stay

Dear Editor,

As one of the long-term Hut Lane residents I feel I have to add my thoughts on the issue of the Hut Lane travellers site, specifically in response to the letters published recently.

It’s now been over two years since Mike (Linfoot), Joe (Boswell)and their family members arrived in Hut Lane and in that time they’ve shown themselves to be responsible members of the small community.

Indeed some of the long-term residents of Hut Lane now seem to be accepting their presence and are even offering support in various ways, ranging from grazing for their ponies to help with their childrens’ school projects.

I must point out that this support is being offered by other residents in addition to the two Smalley families whose support for the travellers is well known.

A number of the residents now greet the travellers, especially when out of sight of the hard core of opposers whose influence prevents some residents from voicing their support.

I think it’s fair to say that they are now beginning to find their place here and I would challenge anyone to prove any harm or disturbance caused by their presence.

Protection of the greenbelt has been used again and again as the main reason why many of the locals object to the family’s occupation of the land when the real, veiled issue is the fear of a presumed drop in house values coupled with longstanding perceptions of the threat of gypsies living close by.

The ethos of the travellers is to live lightly on the land, causing no harm to the neighbouring countryside and doing their level best to integrate with the wider community. The past couple of years have proved this.

The travellers have never sought special treatment, just an affordable plot of land on which to stay as a family.

Land that is not greenbelt is too expensive and they would still face the same objections and prejudices that they are having to contend with on the Hut Lane site.

Many local residents think that their plan is to sell the land at a vast profit once residential permission has been granted but nothing could be further from the truth.

On two occasions a Hut Lane resident has offered Mike a six-figure sum for the land, an offer which Mike has refused.

As he says ‘what’s the use of a six figure bank balance when you’re living with your kids in lay-bys?’

Their dream is to live long-term on that small corner of land, giving their children and ageing parents some stability and security. Who of the residents, and even the council has the right to deny them that basic human right?

It’s been claimed that the travellers have refused to leave but it really isn’t that simple.

They truly have nowhere to go.

Mike and Joe have worked hard to find an alternative place to live but there is nothing suitable in the area. Even the council has drawn a blank. The travellers are in constant touch with local councils, estate agencies and the Home and Community Agency as they hunt for a place, but there is nowhere.

To make matters worse all of the possible places where the families could find temporary respite should they have to leave have now been blocked, their entrances closed with huge concrete structures.

I would appeal to the families who live close by to think long and hard about this issue.

I’ve known most of the objectors for many years and see them as good family people.

I would ask that they take a fresh look at the whole big picture of the travellers living amongst us and consider whether they really do want to be responsible for making them move on yet again.

Jason Smalley

Hut Lane resident.

Traveller settlement on Hut Lane is illegal

Dear Editor,

The continuing Linfoot/Boswell saga has long since been a farce.

Their planning application was rejected by the planning inquiry inspector on the main grounds of inappropriate use of greenbelt land.

Their appeal to the High Court also failed on the same grounds and they were given a month to exit stage left.

Thereupon they submit a revised application to Chorley Borough Council, but this should have been returned to them as invalid because no matter how worthy it may be, it cannot circumnavigate the inspector’s ruling, nor the decision of the High Court, that their occupation of the land is inappropriate use of greenbelt land – and is illegal.

Although that should be the end of the matter, it should also be noted that these ‘travellers’ intend to put down roots (they’ve already been there two years).

Mr Linfoot said: “The site provides us with a HOME, a BASE and we have never been more SETTLED.”

Then he goes on to say ‘we are travellers’!

The house in Bolton is an investment for their children?

In the same breath he says it’s too small for his family. They obviously have plenty of money so they can buy a bigger house or houses, failing that, they can do what travellers profess to do, travel.

Name and address

supplied

We could all learn a thing from travellers

Dear Editor,

Having read various articles in the Chorley Guardian over the last several months, I now feel it is the time to express my views with regards to the travellers on Hut Lane site, Chorley.

I was first introduced to these people when my son started school at Adlington Primary.

Prior to this, several people asked me how I feel about my son attending school with the gypsy children.

How would this statement have been received if the comment was made for example against ‘coloured children’? I was however, not phased by this as I experienced similar prejudice when I was a little girl living in a caravan (albeit my family were not travellers).

I got to know Patty Linfoot and Jackie Bird when we all joined the PTFA. I can honestly say that these families have given 100 per cent support to the school.

Regardless of all the stress and upset these families are dealing with, nothing is too much trouble for them when it comes to school fundraising.

I have witnessed first hand how the children have been accepted in and out of school.

My siblings understand that some children live in a house whilst others live in a caravan. My four-year-old child said the other day, ‘mummy can we live in a caravan as well’?

I strongly feel nothing but admiration for their family values and community spirit.

In today’s society, maybe we could all learn a lesson from this. Where has our community spirit gone? Maybe we are all too materialistic these days, with a need to look after No.1.

Parent at Adlington School

Greenbelt is protected from all for a reason

Dear Editor,

I refer to your article in last week’s Guardian about the Hut Lane travellers entitled: “We fight on for our children.”

What a shame that the family mentioned did not feel quite as strongly when, by their own admission at the public inquiry, they uprooted their children from a settled education in Bolton, to occupy a piece of greenbelt land in Chorley.

I’m also surprised that they consider a two bedroomed terraced house as insufficient for their needs.

I’m sure there are many people who might disagree.

However, the issue is, and always has been, that greenbelt land is not an appropriate environment for this proposed development which includes the parking of commercial vehicles, caravans, and brick-built toilet (utility) blocks.

The greenbelt is protected for a reason, it is not there for ANY of us to develop in contravention of the planning laws, nor should anyone attempt to manipulate that system to their own ends.

If you chose an alternative lifestyle, that is your choice, just don’t break the law in order to enjoy it.

V Ashcroft

Heath Charnock

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