Letters - November 2, 2015

Jeremy Clarkson has attracted controversy for his remarks about Blackpool
Jeremy Clarkson has attracted controversy for his remarks about Blackpool
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CLARKSON

Despite jibes, our town can still thrive

Oh! Oh! Not much news around. What are we going to write about? I know – let’s trash Blackpool.

Guffaw guffaw. Jeremy Clarkson, the petrolhead/controversialist columnist, wrote harsh words about Blackpool.

I do not think that Clarkson has ever suffered any social problems, or even experienced poverty. What we have to remember is that people’s (Clarkson) own prejudices are not always apparent to them. There are people ensnared in their own provincial perspectives.

Seaside resorts like Blackpool have been neglected over the years while cities have prospered – Liverpool, Manchester, London, Glasgow have all been regenerated in recent years.

Blackpool has been going through hard times for years and the future was beginning to look bright. Then the savage cuts came.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Blackpool. I read two great articles for holidays in Blackpool.

One was in the Daily Mail (Holiday section) and the other in the Scottish Sunday Post a few weeks ago.

There are also people in Blackpool trying their best to improve the reputation of the town and would rather not see its image besmirched.

A message to Clarkson: Don’t belittle Blackpool. Blackpool is my kind of town.

P O’Connor

Portland Road

Blackpool

PERSPECTIVE

You can still find beauty in this town

The other afternoon, I walked along the cliffs between The Cabin and Bispham.

The sun was shining and the sea was lapping gently against the seawall, the Lake District hills clearly visible in the distance. As I breathed in the fresh air, I bemoaned my luck at happening to reside in the fifth worst place in the country to live.

John Adam

Washington Court

Blackpool

COMMUNITY

Thanks to those who stopped to help me

May I use your columns to sincerely thank all the wonderful people who helped me when my scooter tipped over, throwing me off, on a slightly sloping footpath this afternoon.

The several drivers who stopped to lift me back on the scooter were a Godsend. One lovely lady even escorted me home to make sure I was safe.

Thank you all for you kind care.

Brian Massey

Bispham Road

Blackpool

TRANSPORT

What a difference a year makes to trams

Twelve months ago, many letters appeared on this page about the shambolic tram service that was in operation.

What a difference this year!

The service has improved dramatically. There are around twice as many trams operating in service on a daily basis in the peak half-term holiday week.

They have been busy, but more comfortably so. Very few people seem to have been left behind and passenger satisfaction levels also seem to have risen.

Admittedly, there are still one or two issues to be resolved. For instance, the Norbreck Castle Hotel was poorly served in the evenings until more recently, when some extra trams have been operating to Little Bispham or Cleveleys. Extending an intermediate Bispham tram every half hour to Little Bispham or beyond would resolve this and relieve the pressure on the half-hourly Fleetwood service.

The security control at tram stops has helped at busy times, but the staff could be more flexible at quieter times - passengers have been directed round a tram stop when there is no queue and a tram which was not full was sitting there, only to see it leave before they could get to it. A simple common sense approach is needed.

It was good to see the Heritage fleet operating on many more days this year.

From my observations, this seems to have been a successful season for the Tramway.

Congratulations to Blackpool Transport, and Blackpool Council - let’s hope this progress is maintained in the future.

Harold Blythe

Rossall

CRIME

Facts do not back up death penalty case

Jon Bancroft’s letter (Death penalty could reduce murders, October 28) gave some interesting history of local executions, but also mistaken facts to back up his belief it works as a deterrent.

The UK today is a much different place to the 1950s, and so we cannot compare like with like. However, we can do this in the USA by comparing murder rates between states that have the death penalty and those that don’t. The states that don’t have had consistently lower murder rates for many decades. But a telling example is New York state where the death penalty was reintroduced in 2004 and then abolished again in 2009. It had no measurable impact, as the New York murder rate (and other violent crime) was falling before, during and after this period and is explained by other social factors.

In Florida, mentioned by Mr Bancroft, as well as having the highest number of state executions it also has one of the highest rates of murder of police officers in the US, which would indicate that the policy is not working and may even increase murder rates where criminals feel they have nothing to lose.

Of course, others accept the death penalty is not a deterrent, but support it out of revenge. However, we all know that miscarriages of justice occur and a pardon would mean little to an innocent person we had mistakenly killed.

James Dye

via email