Letters - October 16, 2015

A scene from Blood Brothers, coming to Blackpool's Opera House
A scene from Blood Brothers, coming to Blackpool's Opera House
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Have your say

ECONOMY

Tax avoidance does affect us here

Congratulations on your spread exposing the extent of offshore ownership of Fylde coast properties (, Gazette, October 12) based on Private Eye’s investigations.

However, it was disappointing you felt no need to balance the complacent and misleading views of County Coun David Borrow that this practice “does not have any direct financial bearing on the local economy”.

The avoidance of tax by corporations and individuals inevitably has implications for the tax revenue collected by central government, and this in turn inevitably impacts on local government. Because of reduced central government funding, Lancashire County Council has to deliver savings of £685m between 2011 and 2020. As a result, the council anticipates it will have to lose 2,500 posts by April, 2018. This strikes me as having a direct bearing on the local economy!

Coun Borrow also suggests the practice of offshoring is not “anything to be concerned about as long as there is no illegality”. He is wrong. The taxes avoided by big corporations and the rich have to be compensated for by higher taxes paid by the rest of us. Also, tax avoidance by big corporations distorts competition, since it means small companies who pay their taxes are not competing on a level playing field.

Tim Davies

Hesketh Road

St Annes,

POLITICS

Councils are under attack Mr Maynard

I found The Gazette article in which Tory MP Paul Maynard heaped blame onto Blackpool’s Labour Council for not helping the poor and vulnerable people in our society (October 9). He is obviously totally blinkered and would need to be to make such an unwarranted attack.

He is toeing the Tory party line, totally heedless of how cuts affect the provision of services that are desperately needed in the town which he represents. This council is under attack, like many other northern towns, from his government.

Paul Maynard is a man who supports slavishly the Tory government’s austerity programme and the huge reduction in the government grant to Blackpool. I understand these cuts to councils nationally now total a massive £20billion, hitting councils in the north of England harshly whilst the leafy boroughs in the South of England have not suffered such treatment.

Yet Paul Maynard attacks local councils. I ask him to come down to earth and see what his government is doing to local democracy.

He has also supported a Tax cut for the very wealthy and the reduction of inheritance tax, which the Conservative Party backers, bankers and hedge fund millionaires welcomed.

Instead, Mr Maynard should have ensured they paid heavily for the financial situation their bad practices brought about.

Jack Croysdill

Chairman Blackpool North/Cleveleys Labour Party.

ENTERTAINMENT

Musical giving our theatres a miss

To paraphrase a famous line of Eric Morecambe’s replying to a criticism of his piano-playing by Andre Previn: “I’m playing the right notes but possibly not in the right order”.

I feel the same way about the recent announcement of forthcoming musicals to the Opera House. They are good musicals, but not in my popularity order.

I have criticised the failure of the management for their choices in the past and, sadly, the latest batch do not ‘float my boat,’ or that of many other theatregoers either. Surely Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat has passed its sell-by date at the Opera House?

The same with Blood Brothers, which has become a Nolan Sisters benefit production, and I’m sure audiences would like to see a change in the role of Mrs Johnstone.

Which brings me to musicals I would love to have seen booked at our wonderful theatre, but alas, it seems we have been beaten to them by theatres in Manchester, Salford and Liverpool. I particularly refer to Mack & Mabel (with old Blackpool favourite Michael Ball), Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate, and Hairspray. Also, just announced for a tour, after 10 years in the West End, is Billy Elliot the Musical, opening at Manchester’s Palace in November, but will we see it?

Neil Kendall

Stamford Avenue

South Shore

HISTORY

Columbus did not discover New World

In Monday’s Gazette (On This Day, October 12), it was stated that Christopher Columbus sighted new land in 1492 and thus discovered the New World.

I would like to point out that the “New World”, had been settled more than 36,000 years prior to Columbus, by people from North East Asia.

It would appear that only white discoveries are historically acceptable.

Frank Ruddy

via email