North West Region

Is EU Meddling in Egypt?

July 31 Dear Editor, Local born diplomat Cathy Ashton must be very proud of herself now she can be seen as justifying her role as EU High Representative and the salary of £328,000 that goes with it by having private meetings with deposed Egyptian former President Mohamed Morsi. While I was indeed shocked to hear of his removal by the Egyptian military, and would like to see a calming of the situation, I struggle to see why the internal wrangling of this Arab state has anything to do with the EU. Although deposed by the armed forces, Mohamed Morsi is by no means a standard bearer of freedom and representative democracy for the Arab world. His short reign was characterised by the swift railroading of democracy by stripping power from the courts and the brutal trampling over the rights of the over 10 million strong Christian minority in the country. Under Morsi, the economy has nosedived, tourist revenues have dried up and unemployment is at a record high, bringing hardship for many Egyptians. It is no wonder the army wanted rid of him and his hard-line Islamist ways. I sincerely hope that these meetings between Ashton and Morsi do not signal any increased EU involvement in the region particularly now that it looks likely that the EU will be arming bloodthirsty ‘rebels’ in nearby Syria in the near future.   Yours faithfully   Paul...

Do Not Be Taken In By Fracking Scaremongering

Dear Editor, Energy prices are sky high and an opportunity in the form of fracking has been handed to us, which could result in halving energy prices – as it has in the USA, and yet certain groups are now objecting to it. While I can understand people’s concerns, and we all want to be sure that the fracking process is quite safe, it would appear that they have been hi-jacked by the usual “swampy” type militant agitators that will protest against anything that might improve our lives and save us money. The man in the street should not be taken in by the scare mongering tactics of these minority groups. Yours faithfully   Philip Griffiths, UKIP North West...

Wirral BC Should Not Be Lending Surplus

July 31  Dear Sir,  Dear Editor, In a time when we see that the council can’t even get to grips with the problem of overflowing bins in the town, is it really appropriate for Wirral Borough Council to be lending money at rock bottom rates to councils as far away as Doncaster, home of opposition leader Ed Miliband? I find it rather shocking that while residents are having to cope with not only a cut to public services, a 2% hike was added to their council tax bill this April even though they had the opportunity to freeze rates for another year. Town hall bosses need to start looking after Wirral residents and businesses first and foremost. I would much rather this money be spent right here in the borough. There are many businesses looking to expand and employ more people but can’t find the capital and after being turned down by mainstream lenders. Meanwhile, household budgets are stretched to breaking point leaving little money left to spend on the high street. I am confident that the council would enjoy a far quicker return on providing low cost loans to local businesses that create jobs. Helping Doncaster Council should be the priority of nearby authorities such as Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham, not Wirral. Yours faithfully,   Paul...

Blackpool Alcohol Ban Should Be Scrapped

July 29 – to Fylde & Lancashire papers Dear Editor, The last time I checked, Blackpool was a tourist town which besides attracting many families for a visit to the iconic Tower, the three piers and, of course, the Pleasure Beach amusement park, is also a thriving centre for nightlife with party goers from across the North West visiting the vibrant bar scene. It has taken many painful years for the town to adjust from the sharp decline of long stay visitor numbers with many families choosing to holiday in the warmer climates of Spain, Greece and Turkey. However, Blackpool has managed to turn itself around and maintains its place as the prime seaside resort for the north of England. Why is it then that Blackpool Council feels the need to play Russian roulette with the fortunes of the town by proposing an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO), a move that would see a ban on all alcohol sales after 3am? This will kill off the rather lucrative stag and hen market for the town making places such as Magaluf, Kavos and the like even more attractive for a weekend visit. This will put many jobs in the pub and club industry in serious jeopardy and will do nothing to stop the scourge of problem drinkers in the early hours. More pubs will be at risk of closure, forcing more drinkers into off-licences and supermarkets and we will see an increase in the number of people drinking on the streets, whilst the remaining clubs will struggle to compete as they rely on being able to stay open late into the morning. This proposal is badly thought out and must be scrapped for the sake of our night time economy. Yours faithfully,   Paul...

Referendum For Gibraltar MP Advocated

July 29, 2013 REFERENDUM FOR GIBRALTAR MP ADVOCATED MEP Paul Nuttall is advocating residents of Gibraltar be given a referendum on whether they want to return a Gibraltar MP to Westminster and vote in parliament. Detailing the move Paul Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader, said that the weekend traffic jam chaos on the Rock, caused by Spanish police stopping every vehicle leaving, demonstrated the urgent need for such a referendum. “Gibraltar has been a British Overseas Territory since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 and residents have rejected Spanish sovereignty claims on a number of occasions. “Recent incidents, which have included Spanish police boats in British waters – on one occasion firing at a jet-skier – and Spanish air force jets roaring across the territory, show how tensions are rising, as does the deliberate chaos caused by the police border checks,” said Mr Nuttall. “I personally believe a referendum should be held and I would encourage the people of Gibraltar to vote in favour of sending an MP to Westminster who can question the Government on Spanish meddling and interference. “Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as foreign policy, internal security and defence, remain the responsibility of the UK Government. It is a member of the EU and for electoral purposes is classed within the South West of England region.  Yet Gibraltar has no say in the House of Commons. “I believe that there is little sense in Gibraltarians voting in European Elections, having British representatives in Brussels, and not being allowed to vote in the UK General Election and have representation in London. “I would like to see Gibraltar send a representative to London to sit in Parliament, and have input into non-devolved matters. I envisage that Gibraltar would have equal standing to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. “Under the system that I propose, Gibraltar would retain its own parliament, which would deal with its existing devolved issues, as does the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies, whilst sending an elected representative to London. “I believe the residents would choose such closer ties with the UK and this would put pay to Spanish...