Letters and emails on January 12, 2011

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The Guardian’s letters page online

Dear editor,

Following your correspondent’s letter in the Guardian (January 5), I’d just like to set the record straight about my support for the PCSOs who do an excellent job here in Chorley.

The current administration brought additional PCSOs into Chorley five years ago and we fund a high number of them because we believe in the great work they do and the reassurance they give to our residents.

Having safe communities is one of our priorities and as long as Home Office funding is in place we will continue to support them financially. We have said that on numerous occasions and once we got that reassurance from the Home Office we issued an announcement about our funding.

People have told us that the PCSOs have helped to reduce crime and make them feel safer in their communities so we’ve listened to them and intend to keep our funding in place.

Coun Peter Goldsworthy, Chorley Council leader

Let’s recognise the volunteers

Dear editor,

Once again high office seems to bring greater reward than seems befitting to most of us mere mortals.

How the chief executive of Chorley Council (Donna Hall) manages to get a gong in the New Year’s Honours list is beyond me (Guardian, January 5). Irrespective of how well or otherwise she does her job, she gets very well paid for it, whereas thousands of volunteers in Chorley give of their time over many years for no financial reward whatsoever and don’t even get a sniff of recognition never mind a CBE.

My mum has been a volunteer in Chorley for longer than Donna Hall has been alive. She doesn’t want recognition and you can bet your life she won’t get it.

Name and address supplied

Gardens are still up for grabs

Dear editor,

In the Whittle-le-Woods parish newsletter this month is an article on ‘garden-grabbing’ saying that new legislation ‘should’ make it easier for the council to block applications in gardens which are thought to be ‘inappropriate’ - nothing concrete here then.

Coun Peter Goldsworthy stated that Whittle-le-Woods is a ‘settlement area’, which in effect means anything to the west of the M61 is fair game.

Local councillors are inert in being able to do much about developments going ahead.

The recent pushing through of such developments is the impending ‘Big Society’ plan to shift power from town halls to local residents, who under neighbourhood schemes would be able to block new developments.

Until then - be warned!

Norman Wignall, Birchin Lane, Whittle-le-Woods

Donna was an ‘amazing’ girl

Dear editor,

I write in response to the death of Donna Barrow (Guardian, January 5).

I was an old school friend of Donna’s and went to Holy Cross High School in Chorley with her between 1995-2000.

Donna was an amazing person to be around with pure wit and warmth. My thoughts go out to her family.

Emma Booth, Preston

Pub is not the town’s answer

Dear editor,

As someone who has been a critic of the so-called regeneration of Hough Lane, since seeing the presentation given by Coun Michael Green on the subject, I was naturally interested to read the special report on the empty shops in Leyland (Guardian, January 5).

I completely agree with Paul Atkinson about the big name players not being able to be accommodated in the area, simply because of the size of the retail outlets. It was a point raised with Coun Green but it fell on deaf ears.

While (a new Wetherspoon’s pub) will increase footfall it won’t, in my opinion, necessarily attract retail (shoppers).

I think the answer to the problem of empty shops is found in the numbers of businesses on the waiting list for the indoor market and why these business do not feel that they can open one of the current empty outlets to achieve their aims.

Andy Farrell, Leyland

Selling off asset not the answer

Dear editor,

So Coppull Parish Council want to privatise the local community centre by selling it off!

The facility hasn’t even been offered on the market to test that a good price is being obtained.

Not only is the building to be sold, but, amazingly, even the access road is to be sold.

There certainly can be no guaranteed long-term future for the facility for the people of the village.

What will it become? A private up-market health club? Who knows?

There was a very good reason for all the hard work that went into securing the leisure centre (and indeed a range of other community facilities) by previous parish councillors and local people 20 or more years ago.

Coppull had been ignored for a long, long time by Chorley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council.

So there was a concerted effort to get better sports facilities and to open up other opportunities for young people. Things gradually improved and eventually Chorley did recognise the need to support the village.

There are other alternatives. The borough council could put some effort into developing a quality programme at the centre, as they do at All Seasons in the town centre and at Clayton Brook.

Or the new people seeking to run the centre could be offered a lease for say five years for them to then demonstrate their capabilities.

But selling off this public asset is not the answer.

Richard Toon, Coppull

Is it not time to stop paintballs?

Dear editor,

Firstly I’d like to wish you all a happy New Year and secondly I’d like to mention our friends at the paintball site in Coppull who carry on as normal regardless of their planning application refusal.

Is it not time now that after more than two years of untold environmental damage and public nuisance this company are stopped from their illegal activities on protected greenbelt land and abide by the laws of the land that we all are obliged to respect?

Surely the council or the police can shut this place down once and for all due?

Barry Hough, Castle House Lane, Adlington