Letters - February 2, 2016

Ocean Hotel on the Promenade
Ocean Hotel on the Promenade
2
Have your say

TOURISM

We need to expand our offer to tourists

I read the article about the arts-themed hotel today with great interest (Gazette, January 29). More interesting to me, though, were the negative comments left by some readers.

This is a fantastic idea, and one that should be welcomed. Diversifying the tourism offer will only help to attract visitors that would normally not give Blackpool a second thought.

Ten years ago, I changed my small guesthouse on King Edward Avenue to offer only ‘Knitting Themed’ holidays. Those holidays include workshops, trips out around the area, meals at local restaurants and are fully booked, sometimes a year in advance. I have made my sunlounge into a Yarn Shop solely for guest use, and my yarn swap box raised over £1,000 for charity.

The arts and crafts scene in this country is massive, but those people not involved just don’t see it. I have seen my turnover quadruple in 10 years, even though I am closed for three months and have reduced the number of rooms on offer.

My guests tell me they wouldn’t ever have come to Blackpool, but that is where the knitting hotel is and so they came. I believe that an arts-themed hotel will have a positive effect on the area.

After all, just because some areas of the town are in a state doesn’t mean we should do nothing to improve them.

Paula Chew

www.westcliffe-knitting.co.uk

TOURISM

New hotel is a waste of taxpayers’ cash

I have just been reading today’s Gazette (January 29), and either I have misunderstood, or the powers that be on Blackpool Council have finally lost the plot. On the front page, it says they are having to make £5million savings, so 50 more jobs have to go. Then on page five they are backing a £200,000 art hotel plan.

How can they justify local jobs being cut, then fund an arts themed hotel? How can they justify to the local people where the sense is in turning a bed and breakfast in to a glorified art gallery?

It’s is all well and good these politicians keep spending the taxpayers’ money, but I don’t remember them asking our, well my, permission, do you?

I feel really annoyed at this waste of money, for which taxpayers have to pick up the bill.

Name and address supplied

PENSIONS

Us pensioners are hit from both sides

I write in reply to the comments by the unnamed person who thinks workers pay for our pensions and we are awash with freebies (Your Say, Gazette, January 30).

It is ridiculous to say pensioners have “increasing pension, free heating and television”, because the current pension rate which determines an individual’s payment is the lowest value in real terms since it was introduced. Free heating? NO! Presumably you actually mean the one-off, top-up payment from government which goes part way to reducing the cost, but against the overall energy costs, even in the smallest homes, means this is merely a token offer, though welcome none-the-less.

“Free television”? Once again a falsehood. We have relief on the TV licence, not the television, but even then not till 75 years of age.

But your correspondent’s worst mistake by far is the incorrect assumption that he, and all current working people, today are paying for our pensions. You do NOT pay one penny for our pensions at all! The NI payments you make now are for you to collect YOUR pension. Current pensioners paid this government ‘insurance’ during THEIR working life, and this is why your testimony is a profound insult to one’s intelligence!

The concessions of riding free on buses and trams are useful, particularly for those who are infirm, and I will never understand why you would begrudge them this, which probably won’t last much longer anyway.

Despite all the mentioned concessions and pension, the composite value remains impossible to live on as a sole income for the majority. My wife and I, as pensioners, both work, she on zero hours contract (the same hardship you mentioned) because the pension can’t cover our expenses, and we are representative of an increasing mass who will have to work into retirement, so we are being hit on both sides.

Chris Wiseman

South Shore

PENSIONS

We paid for our own pensions, thank you

I was amazed to read a letter in Saturday’s Gazette about pensioners.

I left school at15, and from my first wage I paid into a system to cover healthcare and my old age pension.

Successive governments have used that money for other purposes, and we are now in a position where current workers support the retired, but do not blame us.

We paid into a system and we are perfectly entitled to enjoy the benefits of retirement.

Peter Boden Haigh

Pilling Lane

Preesall

EDUCATION

We should know where money goes

The group Universities UK is out of touch with concern over where taxpayers’ money goes, arguing universities should be exempt from Freedom of Information laws so they don’t have to reveal how much senior staff earn.

Considering these universities receive almost £4 billion a year from taxpayers I think it rather rich there should be attempts to keep secret what happens to it.

Paul Nuttall

UKIP North West MEP