I THINK it’s fair to say I am not a founder member of the Faisal Rashid fan club, but I am also prepared to admit that my opinion of him is probably based on his stance over Brexit.

But there is one campaign that Faisal has got behind where I do support him all the way, and that’s the treatment of women who were born in the 1950s.

These women went through most of their lives believing they would be entitled to the state pension at the age of 60, only to have to suddenly deal with the pension age going up to 65 and in some cases 66 depending on when they were born.

Mr Rashid has consistently fought on their behalf to try to overturn – or at least mitigate – this iniquitous piece of legislation.

I very much doubt this, or any, government will either reverse the decision or compensate those women who have lost out on thousands of pounds as a result of the changes but he has picked up on one element where he may have more success.

He says that many women born in the 1950s have contacted him to express their anger over the loss of entitlement to a free bus pass as a result of the state pension age changes and he has called on both national and local government to reinstate concessionary bus travel for them.

The Government response was not what he wanted to hear, with the minister responsible telling him that restoring the age of eligibility back to 60 would recreate the anomaly that some people of working age who may be earning significant wages would be eligible for a free bus pass.

Where do you start with such nonsense?

You can just see the chief executive of a big company waiting until 10am to catch the bus to work so they’re not too early to use their bus pass.

In reality, the only people likely to use a bus pass are those who really need to.

What about free eye tests for the over 60s, and free prescriptions?

I’m sure there are plenty of people earning good money who take advantage of those concessions.

And when I bought my senior railcard, I wasn’t asked about my income level despite the fact I use it to get a significant discount on my train travel to work.

I’m right behind Mr Rashid on this one, I hope he’s successful.

  • There’s a fairly strong community spirit in Penketh, and the annual scarecrow festival that was launched last year has become something of a manifestation of that community spirit.

There’s no doubt about it, the standard of the scarecrows is exceptional and a lot of effort is put into producing them.

There’s also a charitable side to the event as well, trail maps are sold for £1 with proceeds going to the Forget Me Not Dementia Cafe.

What’s not to love?

It’s a way of bringing the community together, it allows groups and individuals to show some creativity, it’s a bit of fun and it raises money for a very good cause.

So my question is why would anyone think it is a good idea to set fire to one of the scarecrows?

What twisted, mindless pleasure would someone get from taking a match to someone else’s handiwork?

What are the thought processes that would lead to an action such as that?

Yet that is exactly what happened to the Mary Poppins scarecrow outside Penketh Youth Club, pictured above. I ask again, why would anyone want to do that?

Sometimes, I really don’t understand people.

  • I see the Golden Gates are back in the news.

The council is spending £110,000 (yes, £110,000) on some new paving stones and lighting so the gates can be illuminated at night.

I’ll just leave that one there.