Singer’s cancer battle
I write with regards to the piece on Joe Longthorne (Gazette, July 14).
Joe’s recent cancer battle was another mountain to climb for him but he once again faced it head on and fought all the way.
Even with all this going on, Joe’s thoughts were as always with other people and how he could use what he had gone through to help others.
I have known Joe for more than 20 years and he still inspires me and I’m sure others. Joe really is an inspiration and I wish him well in his recovery and hope to see him back on stage very soon.
Joe is a legend and I am proud to know him. Keep smiling, Joe.
We are all rooting for you and waiting to welcome you as you return to the stage doing what you love best – entertaining.
Single transport body
I was pleased to hear another petition is doing the rounds urging the County Council to rethink their abandonment of the concessionary tram fares for Wyre residents, so I thought it worth a quick refresher.
We all pay our council taxes here on the Fylde to a range of councils.
Blackpool is unitary, so gets the bulk of the money Blackpool residents pay.
But in Wyre, a lot of it goes to Lancashire, as we have a two-tier system of local government.
Wherever you are, it is the upper tier that does the expensive stuff such as social services or public transport.
So tram concessions are the responsibility of the County Council. They can choose to go beyond the national legislation, or choose not to – which is what Lancashire has done here.
But to say Wyre should fork out misunderstands where the responsibility lies.
It would be like the Government saying it wasn’t going to pay the basic state pension to local residents any more, and if that was a problem, well Lancashire County Council can foot the bill. No-one would accept that, would they?
Of course, it is ‘only’ £170,000, not much when you consider Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council have just been given £230m to enhance local infrastructure.
I’m surprised they haven’t even tried to make an effort to find the money, just looking to shift blame elsewhere.
I suspect the solution lies in making the new Transport for Lancashire group, launched last July by all the upper tier authorities, into a proper transport authority with common rules across Blackpool and Wyre.
As Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways and transport at Blackpool Council, said at the time: “There’s so much overlap when it comes to transport across the county, it makes perfect sense that we work with our neighbouring authorities to maximise the benefits for all of our residents and visitors.”
I’m sure we would all agree such a sentiment should apply to the concessionary fare scheme on the trams. Then it would no longer be an argument about Blackpool subsidising Fleetwood and Cleveleys or vice-versa, but of the whole Fylde Coast continuing to share in economic growth together.
Paul Maynard MP
Conservative – Blackpool North and Cleveleys
Despair over road signs
Always blown over
Another picture (above) of the many roadworks signs around Blackpool that are not fit for purpose, especially the bigger ones with the surface area of a small sailing boat.
We all know that it’s the wind that drives them along, or over in this case.
Surely it’s not beyond the wit of the designers to make something sensible, something that is not going to fall over with a puff of wind.
What this message is really about is the dilatory way that council workers and officials and even councillors ignore the problem.
This sign has been down for at least three days, the roadmending workmen that I presume erected (I use the word loosely) this sign are in the area for over a week now.
They are parking their vehicles nearby, walking and driving past the downed sign as if it doesn’t exist.
I would stand it up myself but that would lead me into health and safety country.
I could be blamed if it fell down again and hurt someone, hey-ho.....
I’m writing to ask readers to host a Strawberry Tea party for Breast Cancer Care .
I believe my sister, Lynn, who had breast cancer, would have been delighted with a Strawberry Tea!
Through holding a Strawberry Tea for Breast Cancer Care you can ensure that everyone facing this devastating disease has someone to turn to for information and support.
To register go to www.breastcancercare.org.uk/kettle anytime before August 31, or call 0870 164 9422.
Vanessa Redgrave CBE