MR PENDLE: Colne to Skipton rail link - I’ll believe it when I see it

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our letters pages have been humming in recent weeks as the arguments for and against the reopening of the Colne-Skipton railway line rattle to and fro.

Now Mr Pendle holds no strong opinion on whether or not the long-closed rail link should reopen.

Both sides have put valid reasons forward to support their case - but no one can answer the $64,000 question with any degree of certainty.

If - and Mr Pendle thinks it is a very big if - the line was reopened, would it be used by thousands of passengers every day, or would it be a predominantly freight line?

And of the people who have said they would use the line if it was to be opened again, how many of these said they would because they meant it, and how many said they would to get rid of those asking them the questions as soon as possible?

As Mr Pendle says, he is a waverer between both camps on the matter - but there remains a nagging doubt in his mind that the dream will become reality and until the first trains are actually running - if he lives that long - he will believe it when it happens.

What is the criteria for “rendering eminent services” to Lancashire County Council?

That was the first question which came to Mr Pendle’s mind when he read of six former councillors who had been put forward as honorary aldermen for years of service at County Hall.

Surely, he thought, one of these would be David Whipp, the long-serving Liberal Democrat member for West Craven until his defeat at the polls in 2009.

David fought West Craven’s - and Pendle’s, to a lesser degree - corner for many years, despite his party being in a minority on the council, so Mr Pendle thought that would have put him in line for some form of recognition.

But when he studied the names put forward by the Tory-run council, there was no mention of David - just five Conservatives and the obligatory Labour nominee in Doreen Pollitt, vice-chairman of the council until Labour lost power.

So why no mention of David and his years of service?

Did the ruling Tories feel to recognise his work might be a sleight on his Conservative successor, Keith Bailey?

Or did they see David as something of a pain in the nether regions whose absence from the council chamber was seen by them as a blessed relief?

Whatever the reason, Mr Pendle believes him to be worthy of some recognition - and that it shows the honours system, even at local level, is deeply flawed.