Letters - March 13, 2017

Disabled parking space
Disabled parking space
4
Have your say

PARKING

The blue badge is just for the driver

It was a good article on disabled parking problems (Gazette, March 9) but there is also a problem with disabled drivers themselves not following the rules!

How often do you see a person sat in the driving seat while parked in a disabled bay? If they are the disabled driver, are they allowing a fit person to go shopping?

Also how often do you see a person sat in a passenger seat parked in a disabled bay? If they are the person that has the disabled badge, they are possibly allowing a fit person to go shopping?

The badge is for the disabled to get out of the car and go shopping. Not for a fit person to go shopping for them! Someone left in a car when disabled parking should be investigated.

Some years ago I knew there was a woman forcing her sick mum to sit in the car while she went shopping. I asked a friendly traffic warden about it – he said if he knew he would ticket them. Later, when her mum died she eventually had the badge taken off her... but no fine!

Keith Hallam

Holmfield Road

Blackpool

POLITICS

Landlord issues are not simply ‘banter’

I’d like to reply to remarks made by Conservative councillor Colin Maycock about the Warbreck by-election (Politically Correct, Gazette, March 7). He’s upset that I, and Blackpool Labour, have had the audacity to campaign in a seat the Tories take for granted.

He seems to think we shouldn’t draw attention to the deficiencies of their candidate. He is anxious we produce ‘glossy’ leaflets (all Labour councillors in Blackpool donate four per cent of their income to our Blackpool campaign fund, which allows us to do this).

This Conservative councillor repeatedly uses the word “banter” in his article – as if he imagines local government, and the debates around it, are akin to some some sort of late-night ‘lads’ discussion in a pub or a changing room.

That worries me. There are big issues at stake here.

I am campaigning on Blackpool Labour’s record of delivery on job creation (in the Fylde coast’s two Enterprise Zones), of winning Government funding (for our new £25m conference centre), fracking (there is no Green candidate in Warbreck this time round – I believe that we are the only party who can be trusted to stand up for those concerned about the impact of such controversial energy recovery methods) and the general state of the ward.

But the worst thing, which should make everyone sit up and think, is the fact the Conservative councillor says that absentee landlords are (and I quote) “mythical”.

Perhaps if this particular individual read The Gazette, and saw the page upon page of photographs and stories covered in these very pages showing the squalid conditions which our selective licensing schemes have uncovered, he’d be a little better informed. We’ve known for a while the Conservatives don’t like this policy, and it shows in Warbreck.

We were particularly disappointed when the Conservative MP, Paul Maynard, voted against the Labour amendment to the Housing Bill which would have seen councils given the power to ensure all private rented dwellings were “fit for human habitation”, as he believed they had enough powers to do so – the very powers the Conservative councillor appears to have an issue with.

There are huge numbers of people angry about absentee landlords, who fail to take responsibility for the behaviour of their tenants.

So far I’ve been unable to explain to them why the Conservatives haven’t wanted to talk about or tackle this issue.

Now I can – because now we know. The Conservatives refuse to accept that the issue even exists (maybe they think it’s just “banter”?).

Ian Treasure

Labour candidate for Warbreck

Also standing are Kevan Benfold (Lib Dem), Walter Cairns (UKIP), and Michele Scott (Conservative)

COMMUNITY

Well done for getting men back on track

I would like to say a personal thank you to custody at work team at HMP Prison Kirkham. They made the path around the playing field on Blackpool Road North, St Annes.

It is a great idea helping in the community and re-engaging the men into life outside. They worked non stop through the worst of the weather in January and February this year.

Well done to all.

Enid Pollard

address supplied

ECONOMY

We must protect 
the self-employed

For a party supposedly of “wealth creation”, it is difficult to see how the Tories could present their Spring Budget as such. It has been described by some as “boring” yet will have detrimental effects to some 2.45 million self-employed people, entrepreneurs, who represent the future of the UK.

The Chancellor has increased National Insurance Contributions (NIC) to the self-employed by two per cent, which will add around £1,000 to their tax bills.

These are the very people that we should be encouraging rather than discouraging as we prepare to leave the EU.

He said it was fair, as the self-employed enjoyed the same services as those who are employed, but he did not mention their risks, responsibilities, as well as the fact they do not get holiday or sick pay.

This Tory Government appears determined to punish its entrepreneurs. How can they be trusted on anything?

Philip Griffiths

North West President, UKIP (UK Independence Party)