Letters - March 6, 2017

POLITICSResort public needs more transparencyI am never surprised by the personal insults the leader of this council hands out to anyone who dares to criticise his management, but in the article in regard to the £9.5 million interest paid by the council over the last two years, his defence seems to be both contradictory and dangerous (Gazette, March 2).

Monday, 6th March 2017, 9:48 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:45 am
Blackpool Town Hall

Firstly he accuses me of being ill-informed – well he needs to talk to the chief accountant at the council, who actually works for him, as it was this same accountant who gave me the figures quoted in The Gazette which I directly shared with the reporter. Secondly, as for these high interest rates being related to money the council has invested, well that’s way off the mark too. The council is currently over £168m in debt and that’s what the interest rate of £5m per year refers to.

Coun Blackburn states the council will make more from their investments than the interest they pay on loans, where did this sudden skill in business acumen come from? As far as I know Coun Blackburn has no private sector business experience.

If the council’s investments are so lucrative, then why do they continue to hide behind excuses of confidentiality and secrecy and show the people of Blackpool a breakdown of the loans, partnerships and profits, but they won’t.

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As an example of this council’s financial expertise I can reveal that, through their Business Support Fund, they gave a social enterprise company a six-figure loan. The loan was unsecured. However, I can’t elaborate any further, for as usual the deal is under the council’s cloak of confidentiality.

Coun Tony Williams

Leader, Conservative group on Blackpool Council

ENERGY

Funds only go to the anti-frack legal fight

I write in response to the letter you printed in The Gazette headlined “Where are all the fracking donations going?” from “Name and address supplied” (Your Say, Gazette, March 2).

I wonder who is really behind this letter and why? Why should anyone respond to an ANONYMOUS entity making totally false accusations against them, thinly veiled as a question? How easy is it to make such accusations when you will not allow the newspaper to put your name to it?

On balance, because this is such a serious accusation I will respond briefly on behalf of Frack Free Lancashire. It is made 100 per cent clear that all donations collected will go into the Legal Fund, and that is where every penny has gone. Let me assure everyone who has donated to the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund that they can be certain that their donations have ONLY been used, and will continue to ONLY be used, to directly support the legal challenges of members and their groups. We would like to thank all those people who have so generously donated to make the legal challenges possible.

What people donate personally to support a protection camp is their business, but it goes without saying that no funds have been, nor could they be, used from the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund.

Maureen Mills

Frack Free Lancashire

ENERGY

Officers hands are tied at the protests

The events on Preston New Road, recently reported in The Gazette, were quite deplorable.

The travelling protesters brought disgrace upon themselves and on the wellmeaning (if sadly misguided) demonstrators who actually live in the immediate area.

The police are in a difficult situation. Their job is to maintain order, but they find their hands are tied when it comes to dealing with such behaviour.

Not many years ago, the then Home Secretary firmly denied the use of water cannon against rioters in London, so presumably would now still hold a similar position.

What is to be done?

Local Resident

address supplied

TRANSPORT

You can’t teach good customer care

I’ve just read the letter from Christine Forrest (Your Say, Gazette, March 3) about tram conductors, and can agree where she is coming from.

I used to work on the trams in the old days before the new trams came in. We used to have banter with the customers and have a good laugh. These days there is no announcing of the stops, this is done automatically, and yes you should never have a bad day. Any problems should be left at the door as you enter the depot.

I have travelled on the new trams, and while they are not a personal favourite of mine, it doesn’t take a minute to smile and exchange pleasantries. Believe it or not, you are one of the first people that visitors and the beloved locals see.

The older generation conductors know what I mean. It’s a shame but you can’t teach customer care. I hope that Mrs Forrest and her grandchildren still enjoyed their day. Bet they loved Nickleodeon Land.

Nigel Morris

Old school conductor

ANIMALS

Taking things home is a two-way street

I’m sick of reading letters from so many getting their bowels in an uproar about our four-legged friends leaving poo and owners not removing it.

Whilst I and most owners are conscientious in this regard, may I speak for the animals? They have to dodge broken glass on pavements as uncaring two-legged beings throw their empty bottles to shatter where paws are at risk.

Take your empty glass bottles home please.

Neil Kendall

Stamford Avenue, South Shore