Letters from this week’s Visitor.
Our city council is being forced to make some tough choices if it is to manage within its means next year.
Council tax only funds part of the services local councils provide. Most funding comes from a Central Government grant.
It is expected that the grant for next year will be reduced by 15 per cent. If this happens it means that since the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition came to power in 2010 funding for our council will have reduced by over 42 per cent.
No organisation can sustain that level of cuts without significant reductions in what it does (services).
So far, Lancaster City Council has done well. Efficiencies have been found and new ways of working have saved money and protected many of the services it delivers so that residents have not been affected.
This latest round of cuts means that the council will have to find an additional £3.5m of running cost savings each and every year.
This can only be done with a real reduction in things that the council currently does.
According to the council’s own website this might mean looking at community swimming pools, how Salt Ayre Sports Centre is run, management of Williamson Park, Tourist Information Centres, etc.
I have no doubt that everything is ‘on the table’.
All councillors take office to try to make life better for local residents.
Certainly the council’s Labour Group does not want to cut services and I’m sure will strive to protect them where possible.
In their deliberations I trust they will apply the principle of ‘People, services and jobs before buildings’.
Save on MPs to pay for it
Crime figures rise and services are cut.
So, finally we have official acceptance of what Jo Public has known for years. The streets of Morecambe are not a safe place.
Cyclists on pavements, parked vehicles obstructing pavements, drug dealers plying their services in the West End of Morecambe, etc, etc. The list goes on. So we ask, where are the police? What are they doing about the job they are paid by us to do, to deal with crime and criminals?
The only police you see are the occasional PCSO officers.
Where are the proper police, apart from the occasional police vehicle going along the road from A to B without any concern for what is between?
We are told that there are further funding cuts. How about the following plan? Dispose of most of the police vehicles and put the officers back on the streets. Then they may actually see crime. It is not invisible, it is there to be seen.
Remove all the seats from the police mess room at Morecambe Police Station.
If the chief constable continues to roll over to the will of the politicians, then change the chief constable. I am given to understand that the cost of the Morecambe PCSO officers is covered by Morecambe Town Council.
Possibly they should take over the whole of the police operation in Morecambe, close the Morecambe police station and move the administration to the town hall. That should make a large saving.
Full address supplied
Staff giving up work
Increasing numbers of your readers will be taking on care of loved ones – over half will be juggling paid work with unpaid care for loved ones.
In particular we are seeing a rise in the number of working families supporting a loved one with dementia.
They may not instantly identify themselves a ‘carer’. It might be they are helping mum or dad or an older relative with shopping, housework, medication or getting about. Help can start at a few hours a week, but need can also suddenly creep up and become difficult to manage, especially if families are living apart.
Care for an older loved often comes at peak career age. Without the right support, the strain of caring for an elderly loved one and working, often alongside raising children, can force employees with valuable experience and skill out of the workforce.
Carers UK’s research shows 2.3m people in the UK have given up work to do this.
Businesses we are already working with tell the same story as the statistics – dementia care is a key issue for workforce retention, recruitment and resilience.
Through a survey we will examine key issues and support needs for employees caring for a loved one with dementia and practical ways in which employers and other parties can help.
The surveys can be found at www.carersuk.org/dementiasurvey
The British Polio Fellowship held a Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) Day in Winchester in October.
The event was the first of what we hope will be a number of similar events across the country next year marking the charity’s 75th anniversary, but we need your help to make this a reality.
Andrew Love MP tabled early day motion 573 in the House of Commons on behalf of our charity calling for the Department of Health to address the needs of those living with Polio and PPS and to publicise those needs within the medical profession.
You can make a difference by asking your local MP to add their name to the growing list of signatures supporting the motion.
Our hope is the motion will highlight not just our work, but the plight of those still living with polio and the 120,000 people with PPS in the UK.
By writing to your MP, you will be demonstrating that this forgotten condition is still a reality for many constituents like you.
While contacting your MP, we also urge those living with polio and PPS to contact us.
PPS Day in Winchester proved there are many out there with polio and PPS who are unaware we are here and ready to help. Our support is a call or a click away. Our 75th anniversary and this motion are part of our attempts to reach out to those across the country who still need us.
The charity’s website at www.britishpolio.org.uk has details of how to contact your MP as well as a template letter or call us on 0800 018 0586.
Ted Hill MBE
CEO, The British Polio Fellowship
On behalf of Lancaster City Council and Lancaster Arts Partners, I would like to express our thanks and gratitude for all the splendid press coverage that your newspapers gave to the Light Up Lancaster event which took place over four days during from October 29 to November 2. In particular Lancaster’s Fireworks Spectacular.
Light Up Lancaster has been a phenomenal success for the city, with businesses and the council’s Visitor Information Centres stating record figures and takings.
The combined marketing and press coverage worked wonders with approximately 7,000 visitors to the city on Friday night and more than 12,000 in the city on Saturday night, plus sell out Waterways performances.
Once again, thank you for promoting this event and for all your support in ensuring everyone around the city had a safe and enjoyable time.
Assistant Marketing Officer
Lancaster City Council