Letters - July 27, 2017

Preston New Road was blocked by campaigners
Preston New Road was blocked by campaigners
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Force needs more funds for policing protest site

I read that earlier this year the police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw stated that the cost to police the protests at Preston New Road fracking site was running at £450,000 per month. Now I read that it is going to be policed 24 hours a day and so, I presume, incur further costs.

I also read that he has requested further funding from central government but that has been refused. The central government overturned a DEMOCRATIC decision by local government to refuse fracking on the site, so in my eyes they should be giving more funding to help an already underfunded police force. Caudrilla is a private company which, no doubt, will make millions and millions out of the site once it is up and running so should be funding the security of the site themselves.

If a person sets up a business and requires 24-hour security, that person employs private security, so why, if it needs the vast amount of officers on site, doesn’t Caudrilla employ the same amount of private security guards and just have a handful of police officers on site to make sure they act within the law.

The protesters have a right to protest peacefully but do not have the right to stop the working public getting to and from their place of work by causing dismay in the area. Preston New Road is the main route into and out of Blackpool and is constantly being closed or reduced to a single lane causing untold misery to the main users.

I passed there myself last week and could not believe the amount of police officers there were just stood around doing nothing and, that they are allowing a campsite to be set up inches from a main road along a grass verge barely six feet wide.

When travellers set up a camp on a grass verge or open space they are moved on instantly so why aren’t the protesters moved especially for their own safety?

I would be interested to know how many people who require normal police assistance from day to day are not getting it because most of the resources are at the site or sat in vehicles around the Whitehills area or on B&Q car park. It’s about time Francis Egan started paying for more security personnel on the site himself instead of letting the public purse pay for it which they can ill afford.

ANON

Via email

KINDNESS

Disaster becomes uplifting event

Wednesday July 19 was a particularly warm and humid day. I decided that my husband Alec needed to experience the new cafe-bar on the promenade.

As Alec is an automatic wheelchair-user, I phoned the bar to see if they had disabled parking. They didn’t. Discovering that the centre of town was the nearest place to park the car, we set off to the promenade.

Having eaten at the cafe, we made our way back to the Houndshill, with Alec struggling to find the energy to operate his disabled vehicle. I suggested he wait on the pavement opposite the Winter Gardens, next to Bella Pasta, while I went for the car in the carpark. As I drove up, Alec set off to join me on the road, unaware of the steep kerb between him and our car.

I screamed at him, “Stop!” but all he could hear was the general hubbub of Blackpool, before finding himself spread-eagled on the road with his wheelchair pinning him down. The sunglasses bought that morning on the way to the cafe-bar had tricked him into thinking that the surface was flat.

During the next half hour, Blackpool’s true humanity came out. Other people, folk going about their shopping trips and working day, sprang into action. The passers-by quite spontaneously formed themselves into a team which helped us through the whole episode. The young man who talked reassuringly to my husband, the lady from Bella Pasta who promptly called the ambulance and manned the phone, communicating the necessary details, the lady who announced herself a first aider.

All played their part. But the action which really did touch me and, later, when he heard about it, moved my dazed husband, was that of the young teenage boy who gave us his jacket to support Alec’s head. He and his mother stayed there until the ambulance took my husband to hospital. The boy insisted he was in no rush. As the ambulance drove off, he gave me a hug and said he hoped Alec would be Ok. Teenagers today ......!

Thank you all for being there for us and making a disaster into an uplifting experience.

Sue Fleming

Via email

HEALTH

Labour activist should check facts

I was rather amused by Labour activist Roy Lewis’ personal attack on me telling me to “do my research” on the NHS.

I can reassure him I have researched the NHS very clearly and I feel he is the only one who needs to do more research.

His letter was full of Labour soundbites but short on facts.

There is no privatisation agenda and there are no plans to introduce an insurance based system, this is complete nonsense. He should also remember the Labour Party introduced private companies into the NHS. Instead of treating the NHS like a political football with scaremongering comments I would rather people like Mr Lewis just let the professionals get on with our job.

Coun Christian Cox

Blackpool

FILM

Superb and 
very moving

I saw Dunkirk, on its first showing and was not disappointed.

You see so many films about the wars showing the Americans as the great heroes but this depicts how brave the ordinary English men were, risking their lives in their various boats to rescue our soldiers from the beach.

Superb and very moving.

The only fault I could find was it showed about 20 boats instead of hundreds travelling towards France which was rather underwhelming.

Maybe it’s just me, but, although I shed a patriotic tear, the thought was there were not enough boats.

Janet Berry

via email