WEEKEND WEB: Spalding Guardian letters
Your views on community speedwatch, planning and workers’ rights... plus Thought For The Week
We pay taxes for policing so why use volunteers?
With regards to the front page article of the Spalding Guardian last week – what a load of hogwash.
Voluntees to issue speeding fines, mobile phone use fines etc – if the authorities that are paid through our taxes cannot enforce the law, what chance does anyone else stand?
PCSOs are already a laughing stock as they have no powers. I have been waiting seven years for one of our local ones to call me back on a certain issue!
Does anyone think that a mindless speeding driver using their hand-held mobile phone is going to stop and pay Joe Soap, the volunteer, an on-the-spot fine without problems? Me thinks not!
Oh, and do we get a rate reduction if we take on this DIY job?
Yours, not amused.
Police chief should be congratulated
Just an email to congratulate the Chief Constable for putting forward a realistic approach to reduce speeding through our Lincolnshire villages.
Present mechanisms have had little effect and the speeding issues continue to be one of the main dangers facing community village life with regard to pedestrians, cyclists and, indeed, any other road users.
The proposed system of one PCSO and three volunteers being able to tackle this problem is highly commendable and I am sure would be most effective when implemented.
I personally feel that the potential dangers created to people by speeding motorists is totally unacceptable, and would be only too pleased to offer my services as a volunteer in the vicinity of Moulton.
Good luck with the initial implementation of the scheme.
Essential workplace rights may be lost
I note government officals have raised the prospect that hard won workers’ rights could be reviewed by the Conservative government after Brexit in an attempt to boost Britain’s economy.
A Whitehall impact assessment singles out workers’ protections – such as preventing people from being forced to work too many hours – as an area that might be used for ‘ maximising regulatory opportunities’ after withdrawal from the EU.
This shows that ministers are considering weakening employment rights post-Brexit which I find an absolute disgrace.
Prime Minister Theresa May has consistently said she will not weaken worker rights after Brexit, but she has failed to commit to maintaining specific protections to do with working hours.
Recently the government has faced intense questions over the Brexit assessment paper, which MPs can now view under certain conditions. But it has already been reported that the paper suggests the UK will be worse off after Brexit.
The section ‘Maximising regulatory opportunities’ specifically mentions the EU Working Time Directive as one of the regulations that could present an opportunity. The directive currently limits the hours that someone can work in a week to 48 for most employees, makes annual leave compulsory and states that staff must be allowed at least 11 hours rest between a working day. While the prime minister has committed to maintaining and enhancing workers’ rights in general, she has refused to rule out the possibility that protections in the EU working time directive could be altered.
I do not trust any minister that refers to the Working Time Directive as intolerable. This gives me a big hint that essential workplace rights will be lost. We need a Brexit that protects jobs and guarantees workers’ rights. All options must be kept on the negotiating table. But the best option I currently see to protect workers is through the single market and customs union.
For me. and surely many other people, workers rights are essential, not intolerable.
We need real communities for real people
The Planning Inspectorate badly needs reforming and it’s time the Local Government Association and MPs did more to pressure the Westminster government to change the way it treats rural communities.
The Archbishop of Canterbury recently said: “We must build proper homes – and have a housing policy that is about creating communities, not just bricks and mortar.” He has an excellent point.
Houses alone are not enough, even if they are affordable, as far more should be. There must be reasonably close services and the social structure people need to live fulfilling lives. Medical care, education, leisure facilities, public green spaces, public transport, roads and parking, nearby shops. The things people like me go on about all the time. Real communities for real people.
We can’t be more interested in bricks and mortar than in people. When we do build on a large scale, it’s vital that we choose the best places to develop for both old and new residents and that we plan forward so infrastructure will be in place in good time.
Government policy makes no allowance for the effect of huge new estates in or near to existing communities. It’s left by default to commercial organisations to decide which are the most convenient and profitable sites for them and whilst without profit no one in the private sector will build anything, local communities should not be ignored as they now are. The problem is that the Planning Inspectorate are not an impartial body, they are a crude arm of government, instructed to enforce policy with little reference to local interests by punishing councils who don’t toe the line. It badly needs reforming.
Central Government must cease imposing their will on towns and villages to make it easy for builders and a few landowners to maximise profits. Most rural communities are not NIMBYs, against development in principal, or disapproving of reasonable profit, we just want a little natural justice and common sense in the planning system.
District councillor for Holbeach
Thought for the week...
Lent is a Christian season of preparation before Easter when we remember the death of Jesus and the resurrection where He rose again from the dead.
Lent lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays). This time mirrors the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert before His ministry began.
The bible tells us that Jesus fasted during those 40 days. Many Christians choose to give up something for this period. This is a practice of self-denial, reflection and discipline. So, at this time of Lent let us reflect and remember that Jesus Christ came from heaven to live and die among us in order to restore relationship between us and our Father in heaven by dying on a cross.
It was sin that stood in the way and broke our relationship with God. Jesus denied Himself and took our place.
He was willing to put our need above His own, this is self-denial.
We have a built-in need to be reconciled to our Father in Heaven and we do this by accepting Jesus as our personal Saviour.
He is the only one who can forgive sin and will fill the emptiness in your life that nothing else can satisfy.
Pastor Chas Sandhu
The Lighthouse Church, Spalding