Andy Mitchell from Radio Wave
Things are changing politically in Blackpool and maybe it’s a new dawn when it comes to sorting out the business of the town.
Not that we’ve had a change of party in charge at the town hall, but a new era of conciliation and working together seems to be here.
Several weeks on from the local elections, Labour leader Simon Blackburn has made a couple of changes that maybe seen as a move towards closer working with the Conservatives.
This is a far cry from those heady days in the run up to May 2 when you could smell the tension in the town hall. Full Council meetings were an exercise in tearing chunks out of each other as both parties squared up across the chamber.
It wasn’t confined to cross parties differences either. Disputes within parties had led to a situation where something had to be resolved.
What a difference three weeks makes then.
In a master stroke, the ruling Labour group appears to be wanting to work more closely with the opposition for the good of the town, and that can be no bad thing.
The one thing that candidates told me in the run-up to the local election was how being branded with the same name as their national political counterparts, was doing absolutely nothing for local morale or understanding on the doorstep.
Nationally, both Labour and Conservatives carry an identity a long way from what it used to be.
To fight for Blackpool together, free from party politics (to a point) has got to be good for local people who, by and large, are just sick of rosette clad wannabes. They just want the best man/woman for the job so we can get on with running the place at a crucial time for the resort.
Therefore the decision to hand some responsibility to Conservatives on Licensing, the scrutiny committee to the resort’s no-nonsense headmistress Maxine Callow, and the master stroke of giving transport expert Paul Galley the Chairmanship of Blackpool Transport, is nothing short of inspired.
Maybe this next term for Blackpool Council will be the turning point in interest for the the people of the town. A move towards inclusivity could indeed translate to a turnout of more than 29 per cent at the next election.