Letters - December 9

Confused by free fare cost

The councils are screaming about a

concessionary fares shortfall crisis.

Am I missing something which most other over 60s might also ask?

What financial loss is there for the bus companies or councils?

OK, pensioners are sitting on seats, going from A to B for free with their pass but the buses are running on the same routes and times as they were before.

There are not extra buses to take the extra pensioners and the buses still have the same running costs.

If there were no free passes, it is quite likely most pensioners would not be taking these extra bus rides so where is the lost income?

The income shortfall is being worked out by calculating the accumulated fares as if those with free passes should actually have paid the normal fare for their journey.

However, the vast majority of them

wouldn't have been on the bus if they had to pay the fare, hence the companies wouldn't have taken that money anyway.

The councils are in fact receiving quite considerable sums of money from the


They are receiving these funds (212m

between councils in England), for collaboration with the bus companies, just for having a few extra bottoms on seats on buses that are running anyway and generally nowhere near full after 9.30am.

I hasten to suggest councils are receiving funds for something that actually doesn't cost anything.

It could be the bus companies are the

beneficiaries, charging the councils and thereby effectively receiving 'actual fare

payment' for the additional riders, whilst not incurring any additional costs.

It seems to me while the councils are

shouting, the bus companies are not.

Perhaps the councils wanting more

council tax, or suggesting services cuts, should negotiate with the bus companies – anyway doesn't Blackpool council own Blackpool Transport?

Mr B Wild


Museum loss is bad news

Along with many others I was truly disappointed on hearing the news we wouldn't now be getting the V&A theatre museum ( The Gazette, December 3).

It is very sad after all the hard work put in by council officials and members of the public who lobbied for the scheme and the 50,000

frittered away on a feasibility study.

Where this red-herring figure of 60m to build a museum comes from is anyone's guess.

Here in Blackpool its rather apt though – for my guess is that this figure, rather like a white rabbit, has been pulled out of a magicians top-hat. Its an illusion beyond belief!

Here's my suggestion.

As it is proposed to site a new

Central library in the Talbot

Gateway area of the town, why not grasp this golden opportunity and incorporate a museum there?

This would not only cater for

theatre exhibits but would provide the town with the general purpose museum it has been crying out for.

Terry Regan

Lincoln Road


Call time on rebel

I am extremely pleased to see common sense has finally prevailed and Hamish Howitt's premises have been closed down. But I'm amazed it needed to go all the way to a the High Court.

You cannot just decide you will ignore the law and do just what you want and expect to get away with it.

This nonsense should have been ended months ago by Blackpool Council, but

seemingly they couldn't put a proper case together.

Why not? You break the law, you admit you do it, people see you do it – it should be an open and shut case – yet they failed to make it stick and now it is apparently costing taxpayers 30,000.

I'm afraid the press are also at fault here, constantly

giving Mr Howitt all the

publicity he wants.

Hopefully now the matter will be laid to rest.

Name and address supplied

End trade for puppy farms

I agree with Dr and Mrs K Lloyd "A Time of Danger to New Pets" (The Gazette, November 29).

Puppy farming is a very cruel and lucrative trade which

involves poor breeding practices, unlike those of Kennel Club

registered breeders.

On puppy farms hundreds of

females are forced to produce

several litters each year, which are then transported to either large pet retailers, or sold literally on the doorstep.

The mothers are left to

continue their isolated lives

confined in small pens.

It is fortunate that we have an effective and diligent Trading Standards team, who have

responded to local people's

concerns about problems within the pet trade on the Fylde.

RSPCA Longview, Easterleigh and all our other animal rescue centres do a wonderful yet very difficult task in re-housing vast numbers of unwanted pets each year.

A restriction placed on

ambiguous advertisements for pets would help considerably in

controlling the unscrupulous pet trade.

Miss C Hopkins

West Drive


Prices rose after cut in retail tax

As pensioners on a restricted

budget we have been choosing a replacement for our old kitchen.

We saw a nice sink and taps in a popular Blackpool suppliers but decided to wait for the reduction in VAT.

When we went to the shop on

December 2 we found a new price list – a rise of at least three per cent on the goods we wanted to buy.

How can Government be

effective when it is undermined by cynical business practices.

Shelagh Johnson

Address supplied

Woken by bin lorry passing

I wonder if Blackpool Council might possess the noisiest

dustcart in in England?

I don't know if anyone else is woken at 6.15 am every day by this antiquated cart trundling past their window on

Devonshire Road?

It sounds like the 6.12am from Blackpool North going past! After many many complaints to the council to do something about this din I am yet to be able to get any sleep before the crack of dawn.

Lynne Kelly

Devonshire Road, Blackpool