THE proposal to spend more money putting right the ‘mistake’ of making Bond Street one-way is pure folly.
Restoring two-way traffic is not the answer. No one went down Bond Street when it was two-way, because no one goes down Waterloo Road anymore. Why? The answer is staring in the face of anyone who cares to look. There are 11 closed shops and the empty former Post Office. Plus four charity shops, and eight shops selling T shirts and the like. Oh, and a tattoo parlour. Closure of the Palladium Bingo Club didn’t help. What is needed is to make both Waterloo Road and Bond Street more attractive to shoppers.
A few mature trees would be a start, but please not the ‘sticks’ that have been planted elsewhere, which take years to grow if the vandals don’t get there first.
Hanging baskets on lampposts by the council, and also by shop owners/tenants, on their facias wouldn’t cost a fortune. Hey presto. It wouldn’t look like Beirut any more.
I’D just like to say thank you to the Talbot ward councillors Sarah Riding and Mark Smith, along with the council workers who daily clean Whitegate Drive.
Both councillors assured me in May that they would have a positive impact on the area, and I must say I had my doubts. However, on my way to work early in the mornings, I’ve noticed bins being emptied daily and the pavements and road being swept, despite cuts and job losses.
To all those concerned, a job well done.
St Albans Road
YOUR editorial is right to warn us of the dangers of any government action that seeks to curtail press freedom.
In an open society, a free press plays a crucial role. That is why tyrants always muzzle the press as one of their first acts. In 1933, Hitler did so in his first three days in power. Stalin in only 24 hours.
Originally dubbed the ‘fourth estate’, it is today a necessary and powerful ‘second estate’, because political power is increasingly held in limited hands.
In a free society, the press plays a pivotal role. It informs the political debate, holds the famous and rich to account, curtails the power of the powerful, and helps the vulnerable.
However, it is not only dictatorships that despise and crush press freedom, free societies do it as well, but with more subtlety. George Orwell warned us of this in 1935 when he wrote: ‘ free societies can silence unpopular ideas and keep inconvenient facts in the dark, without any need for an official ban’.
You are right, therefore, to warn of any attempt to further encroach on this precious freedom.
DR BARRY CLAYTON
THERE is clearly a systemic problem within this council, following the embarrassment of Bond Street, of the long-standing Bispham roundabout fiasco and, of course, the nonsense that is the new Promenade.
Ask the professional drivers in the district what they think of the traffic systems, generally. Oh, and don’t forget that smug message ‘it will all be worthwhile’. Yeah, right...What are the elected members doing to bring these people to account for their blunders? Judging by previous behaviour, the answer will be ‘nothing at all’. We are the ratepayers and we want personal accountability.