By focusing on the surge of UKIP in the recent county council elections we are failing to note something of far greater importance, namely the extremely poor turnout.
There is something very badly wrong in a liberal democracy when some two thirds of those eligible to go to the ballot box cannot be bothered to vote.
As a consequence , for several years now, in general and local elections, we are placing political power in the hands of those who represent only a minority of the electorate.
There are many well rehearsed reasons for this, for example the fact that many politicians have a very poor reputation, and the similarity of party manifestos.
Whatever the reason, it cannot be healthy that people feel it is not worth making the effort to vote.
Many years ago a Greek philosopher said: ‘those who refuse to vote condemn the populace to the tyranny of the few’.
We should all take note before it is too late.
Dr Barry Clayton
Councils can help
It’s a sad fact that the bee population is in decline.
When the bees go, I’m afraid we’ll go too as they are needed to pollinate the crops.
They are a vital part of the natural world we live in.
I would like to know if our local councils are doing anything to help the bees.
This week I saw council gardeners mowing all the verges and park areas so that they looked neat and tidy.
Would it not be possible for the gardeners to leave swathes of dandelions, daisies and clover to grow long, thus providing food for the bees?
Being neat and tidy won’t help us when the bees have gone.
Keep dogs safe
With the great British summer finally upon us, the Dogs Trust would like to remind people, taking their four – legged family members on excursions, not to leave dogs alone in cars.
Our advice is:
Never leave your dog in the car alone.
With temperatures easily reaching over 40 degrees in some parked vehicles, dogs could die within minutes. Parking in the shade with the window down does not make it safe!
Ensure you keep your dog as cool as possible when driving: avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds and open a window to allow for a cooling breeze.
Ensure you have a supply of water as dogs can suffer from dehydration very quickly.
If you do see a dog in distress please contact your local police station or the RSPCA.
Anyone wanting advice about travelling with their dog should visit www.dogstrust.org.uk or contact 020 7837 0006.
Dogs Trust Veterinary Director
Be fair to all
The Lords supported an amendment to the Growth and Infrastructure Bill to give Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) the right to opt out of the provisions whereby the Government proposes that permitted development rights for householders be extended significantly.
Blackpool Council, like most LPAs, could not support the move when we responded to the consultation.
With the existing provisions, neighbours often feel cheated when development next door undermines their right to amenity, and they have no redress.
So many issues arise when ‘bad neighbour’ extensions take place and most complaints about the planning process involve such matters and it would be wrong to increase the scope for such abuse by implementing the bill as it stood before the Lords improved it.
Permitted development rights were originally limited to extensions of no more than 10 per cent of the original cubic capacity of the property when built.
Modest increases have been allowed over the years, but this latest move would do more harm than good.
The benefits for a few would be greatly outweighed by the loss of amenity to many more.
Coun David Owen
Blackpool Council Planning Committee
We all have to pay
I write in response to your front page about litter on Talbot Road (Gazette May 4).
It makes me angry to see litter anywhere.
Why are some people so selfish that they see fit to pollute our shared spaces with their leftovers?
It is sheer lazinesss that people cannot keep hold of their rubbish until they reach the nearest bin.
And we all have to pay the cost of this selfishness because it means the council must clear up after them.
And who pays the bill for that?
Every single one of us that pays council tax.
More should be done to punish the litter louts.
Name and address supplied