Letters - January 27, 2015

Grand Theatre Blackpool
Grand Theatre Blackpool
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Amateur dramatics

Great record

I refer to Neil Kendall’s letter published in The Gazette on Wednesday, January 21, and would like to respectfully point out that the Grand Theatre welcomes all amateur and community groups and has a policy of encouraging them to present performances at the theatre.

Besides being home to the two major operatic societies in the town since the theatre was reopened in 1981, to emphasise its commitment to community activities, the theatre invited all the dramatic societies in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde four years ago to bring a production during a specially designated amateur drama week. At the time, only one group took up this offer.

As a result of this initiative, Poulton Drama have now performed four times over the past three years and will be bringing a production of “Yes, Prime Minister” in June.

In addition, the Fylde Coast Players also staged a production last year.

The CEO is extremely supportive of its use in the community and ensures that amateurs are treated with the same respect, courtesy and offered the same facilities as visiting professional companies.

There are some really exciting and innovative projects coming up, specifically aimed at the amateur groups within the area, details of which are soon to be published.

The new season’s programme, which is currently being distributed, offers one of the widest varieties of presentations in the theatre’s history, a significant portion of which is presented by amateur and community groups.

Anthony P Stone

Chairman Blackpool Grand Theatre (Arts and 
Entertainments) ltd

Iraq war probe

Delay disgrace

It has been confirmed that the Chilcot Inquiry Report will not be published until after the General Election.

The Inquiry was set up in 2009. It took its last public evidence in 2011.

Reasons given for the delay in publishing include: the opposition of Tony Blair and his team of top legal advisors, objections from the secret services, the sensitivity of the many notes between Blair and George Bush, objections by former senior military personnel who were involved in the planning and operation of the Iraq invasion, and claims that the US administration are opposed to publication, an odd claim given that the US Attorney has only recently said the Report ‘should be published without further delay’.

Whatever the reason, delay in reporting is scandalous.

The country, particularly the people who fought in Iraq, those who died or were badly wounded and their loved ones and relatives, have a right to know why we made a terrible error in Iraq.

The delayed inquiry is proving to be costly. In the financial year 2013/14, the committee and advisors received £201,000.

So far the total cost is now just short of £9m.

In brief, a great many people are dreading the publication of the Inquiry’s findings.

This unacceptable delay represents a disservice both to democracy and to voters’ rights to know, in what will be a finely balanced election result.

Colonel (retired) Barry Clayton


On street parking

Consider guide dogs

Cars that are parked irresponsibly on pavements can cause a potentially dangerous 
obstruction for pedestrians as it can force them on to the road and into the path of 

Newly released research by YouGov has shown that three quarters (74 per cent) of people are affected by vehicles parked on the pavement.

Some groups – including people living with sight loss, older people or those with buggies – are at greater risk. 91 per cent of respondents living with sight loss who responded to a Guide Dogs survey said that parked cars on the pavement regularly obstruct them.

You can see how dangerous pavement parking can be in real-life video of a guide dog and their owner having to go out into the road to get around a car at www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMQt-cfEFsg

Please don’t park on the pavement.

Sandra Woods


Winter Gardens

Chilly reception

With reference to the story about the freezing cold pigeon show. My daughter got me a Champagne reception at the Winter Gardens as a present and we went along all dressed up on January 18.

It was freezing. We sat there for three hours freezing. We ate our sandwiches in our gloves. I am nearly 80.

And when we left we realised that we had not been offered any Champagne!

We rang up later and eventually spoke to a nice young lady who asked us if we wanted to come again. We would love to but not until the weather is warmer. Such a shame.

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