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WITH THE last snowdrifts melting away, keen photographer Cyril Fogg from Scouthead made sure he captured the first sights and sounds of spring.
Below is a colourful picture he snapped of an ‘online goldfinch’ which landed on his telephone line.
I HAVE been a member of the NatWest bank since we moved here in 2000.
Before that we had an account with Barclays but closed it when we moved because NatWest was the only bank, except the Halifax Building Society, in the villages.
I would have thought Tuesday when many of the shops are closed would have been a better choice of days than Wednesday when it is market day.
NatWest customer (by email)
In or out?
WE WILL all shortly be faced with a crucial vote on whether Britain stays in the European Union.
As an accountant, I have worked with some of Britain’s largest businesses and I know the real benefit of being part of the European Single Market, in terms of jobs, prices and exports.
It is naive to think there will not be a substantial economic impact of leaving the EU. Pretty much all of the independent research points to a significant economic slowdown if we leave.
This is supported by what I see day in, day out in the boardroom; only 8 per cent of Chief Financial Officers believe it is in the interests of UK business to leave the EU.
When going to the polls, I ask you to weigh up whether any political grievances you may have with the EU are worth risking all of our prosperity for.
Cllr Alan Belmore, Greenfield (by email)
In 1941 I was just five and we lived in Chadderton. I vividly remember hiding under the stairs with my mother whilst German planes passed overhead during each night of the Manchester Blitz. We heard the ‘Crump’ of the bombs as they hit the ground, my Grandparent’s house in Salford was ‘bombed out’ and they lived with us for the next three years.
What is now the European Union was set up after the war (WWII) to help create such strong links between the industries of France, Germany, Belgium and Holland that future wars between them would be impossible.
This country was bankrupted by the 1914-18 war and we never really regained our previous position in the world. It happened again after WWII, since when we have seen many of our manufacturing industries collapse, with much of what remains now being owned by world conglomerates.
I have learnt enough history to know the UK has always been dragged into major European wars. And we are now an offshore island without an Empire, in a world increasingly dominated by the Americans and Chinese and by such powerful companies as Google, Apple and Microsoft.
Yet the European Union economy is bigger than any of these. The EU may be far from perfect and is still evolving but it is democratic, we do elect members to the European Parliament and the UK government can have a big say regarding its future.
There has been peace between the countries of Western Europe since 1945. We have not seen our children and grandchildren conscripted to fight and possibly die in yet another European War.
Are we really so stupid and arrogant as to think this small and rather Disunited Kingdom will do better outside the European Union and that its members will then be happy for us to compete freely in their home market?
I will be voting to REMAIN.
Alan Roughley (by email)
WE WOULD like to say how much we enjoy reading the Saddleworth Independent. We have found it both very enjoyable and informative.
We do have one concern and hope you would be able to help by highlighting this again. We have seen groups of volunteers cleaning up the villages. These volunteers have worked tirelessly, showing great pride in the area.
The sad part is there is an equal number of people who continue to leave litter about and especially dog owners who continue to leave dog mess on the streets.
In particular areas of Greenfield, Uppermill and Delph have been left in a disgusting state because dog owners fail time and again to clear up the mess after their pets or actually bag the poo, then leave it on grass verges or in hedges.
An area around Delph School is particularly bad. Do dog owners not realise what a health risk to children this is? This behaviour is unacceptable.
Maybe our Parish Council could help by putting up additional signage in the villages and more bins for dog waste.
Now the good weather is here, children should be able to play out without fear of standing or falling in dog muck.
Saddleworth born and bred (by letter)