LETTER: Plans for mills not ‘stuck in Dark Ages’

I WOULD like to respond to Coun. Paul White’s letter criticising my views on the demolition of Spring Gardens and Green Road Mills (March 22nd).

If Coun. White had taken the trouble to read what I actually said, he would not have concluded I was simply against the demolition of the mill and for the site to be redeveloped.

I have had a long and interesting meeting with Mr Stephen Wolfenden, the original owner of the buildings who passed the business over to his sons some time ago. He, like many other Colne residents such as Carol England and David Penney who have expressed their views in your letters pages, is against complete demolition.

Far from being stuck in the dark age and having no idea how the private sector works, I would like to inform Coun. White that in the 1980s I built up a very successful textile business which I eventually sold to George Davies, who was chief executive of the Next Group.

After this, I became a divisional director at Lamont Holdings, another textile company, based in Northern Ireland. Since moving to Colne in 2000, I have run my own sales and marketing company specialising in textile distribution. The suggestion I have no idea how the private sector works is not only ridiculous but slightly insulting.

In the same letters edition, we have Tommy Cooney boasting about how much the Tories have cut and how much public money they have saved. I notice there is no mention of the cuts to front-line police and health services, reductions in working tax credits, housing benefits, the granny tax, a complete lack of support for the poor, hard working and vulnerable people in our community while the coalition gives a tax break to millionaires. Borrowing for 2015/16 is soaring towards £80 billion, and claims Labour would borrow more are false.

I want to see jobs and investment in the economy, which is why I support the Labour Party’s proposed policy on a mansion tax with its proceeds funding thousands of jobs and apprenticeships for young people. We should be using public money to support fledgling businesses as has been done with the community co-operative shop Coun. White has helped set up in Laneshaw Bridge.

However, in my estimation, I would say that without a lot of goodwill from the community, such small local shops will be a thing of the past.

IAN GRAHAM

Labour Candidate, Pendle Central