Readers’ letters - December 12

Do voters get treated as adults by their representatives?
Do voters get treated as adults by their representatives?
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Have your say

Treat us as adults please

Reading yesterday’s letter by Councillors Davies, Hunt and McLoughlin brought it home to us all how sloppy Wigan Central’s elected representatives get when none of them face an election for 18 months. I have to say, though, blaming local residents for a spate of burglaries is a new low, even for them.

They forget that they were the ones who sighed The Deal on their voters’ behalf – freezing tax as the Council loses central government funding, forcing spending cuts across the board, as evidenced in the latest plan to reduce bin collections.

In a couple of days, the council will put out its latest “consultation” in which it will, as always, argue that it is doing us a favour by doing less. It will then ask us a series of leading questions that will bounce respondents into supporting their position. Then, the three councillors attacking their constituents this week will hail the wisdom of the handful of replies they have received.

So here’s a wacky idea: why not treat their residents like adults? The law allows financially struggling councils to formally consult residents on increasing tax bills to pay for the services we need. Being honest (and respectful) to residents is a win-win for councillors: if residents vote yes, councillors have a clear mandate to increase bills for services. If they vote no, then councillors have an equally clear mandate to cut services.

Levelling with residents about the choices we all face, and putting the decision truly in our hands is better than sham consultations and stern lectures about voting for parties promising budget cuts.

It’s also not quite as foolish as slating constituents for the way they vote, when they are the ones who’ve voted you in!

But the councillors needn’t worry. If Councillors Davies, Hunt and McLoughlin truly believe that the people of Wigan Central are voting the wrong way, the Green Party is on hand to help residents make a change.

Will Patterson

Chair, Wigan & Leigh Green Party

health

Meningitis fightback

I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent death of a 10-year-old boy from bacterial meningitis who was a student at a primary school in Lytham St Annes.

On behalf of Meningitis Now, which represents thousands of families affected by the devastation caused by meningitis and associated diseases, I pass on our heartfelt sympathies to this child’s parents and their family and friends.

Meningitis and septicaemia are often difficult to diagnose and can kill in hours.

I lost my baby son Spencer to the disease some time ago, and can well imagine the pain that all those who knew her are suffering. We are here to help the family and anyone who has been affected by this tragic loss.

As a charity we are fighting back against all forms of meningitis-related disease. Because it can strike quickly and be difficult to detect, we fund pioneering preventative research to wipe out meningitis, as well as provide support and care to those affected.

For a free symptoms information pack or further information, please call our freephone helpline on 0808 80 10 388 or visit www.MeningitisNow.org.

Steve Dayman

Executive Founder

Meningitis Now