Letters - May 11, 2016

Blackpool fans look dejected during the second half as time ticks away on their sides battle to avoid relegation
Blackpool fans look dejected during the second half as time ticks away on their sides battle to avoid relegation
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FOOTBALL

Club is not plaything of the shareholders

As one of those who have supported Blackpool FC for almost 60 years (mostly from at least 200 miles away, and latterly as a season ticket holder for the last eight years from the West Midlands – just a 270-mile round trip fortnightly) may I congratulate you on an excellent, balanced article (Gazette, May 9).

I refused to renew my season ticket this year, because to me it seems this fall from top flight to League Two in five seasons cannot have been the result of inexperienced management by the owners.

We should not forget they presided over the glorious ascent from Division Four to the Premiership. The Oystons are very successful businessmen. It is quite difficult to dispel the suspicion that this calamitous decline has to have been, if not actively planned, then at the very least consciously permitted to happen.

I have no truck with the vile abuse some have hurled at the Oyston family, and if this was a revenge mission I would possibly understand the Oystons’ motivations. But the club is not a personal plaything of the shareholders, it has wider responsibilities and a wider role and these have been ignored; it has wider stakeholders and these have been ridden roughshod over.

I can see no future for the club while these owners remain, but equally, with loans from BFC funding their other activities, it is difficult to see how they could sell.

Regrettably, therefore, I think we have further yet to fall.

The TV money and the parachute payments gave a once-in-a- lifetime.opportunity. That opportunity has been squandered.

Frank Meisel

via email

LIBRARIES

Wonderful system is in terminal decline

I am dismayed and depressed by the scale of the proposed library closures in Lancashire. In over 40 years in the profession, I have seen some hard times, but nothing of this magnitude.

The first public library act was in 1850, so for the last 166 years libraries have been providing information, education and recreation to millions of people.

Originally libraries only loaned books, but over the years the whole ethos has changed. Libraries are now hosts to writers circles, reading groups, mums and toddlers, baby bounce, story times for children and other community groups. Outside organisations use libraries to stage events. Even more important in this digital age, those without computers can get two hours’ use, free of charge, at their local library, with staff assistance if required.

I am particularly saddened as when I was District Librarian(Fylde) two modern purpose-built libraries in Freckleton and Ansdell were opened, and immediately became community focal points. Furthermore, Lytham and Kirkham were refurbished and the whole district was well-served with libraries and qualified staff – now it seems they are to go.

County councillors are keen to point out the need to support statutory obligations. It is pertinent, therefore, to point out that under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 there is a statutory obligation to provide “a comprehensive and efficient library service”. I suggest axing a large number of libraries is hardly comprehensive and the handing over of libraries to community groups, however well-meaning, is hardly efficient.

The implications and ramifications are numerous. What about the supply of new books, data protection, inter-library loans, reservation fees, overdue notices, British Library loans, insurance and so on?

I was fortunate to work at a time when libraries were at their best, and well-supported by the local authorities. Now it appears they are in a downward spiral and this wonderful system is in terminal decline.

Derek B Timms MCLIP, Dip Loc Hist

Mere Avenue

Fleetwood

THANKS

Lady bus driver saved my dad’s life

I would like to thank the bus driver who helped my father, George Lennox, when he fell ill in Cleveleys on Friday, May 6.

It was through her quick actions that we still have him with us, he has had a moderate stroke but is doing very well.

She realised he was ill and not drunk, like other people thought as they walked past. I know my mother thanked her, but I would like to say “thank you and I’m so glad you were there”.

Margaret Russell

Cambuslang

POLITICS

Labour must build on election showing

Corbyn’s Labour clearly passed the election test, and did well in most of England, considering the obstacles in his path.

The Labour that Corbyn, at the at the head of hundreds of thousand new members, is revitalising, has difficult legacies to overcome – the loss of five million votes under Blair and Brown as it abandoned working class communities,a reputation for involving the country in unprovoked foreign wars.

They’re all the same mentality, encouraged by Tory-lite economic policies and blatant Establishment corruption in expenses or money-grabbing antics.

Similarly, across England and Wales media hysteria was unable to seriously dent Labour’s vote, but the media onslaught won’t stop.

The establishment is not going to play fair when its power and privileges are threatened by democratic revolution, so Labour’s ability to fight through and build on Thursday’s result is crucial.

Royston Jones

Anchorsholme