Letters - October 17,2016

PENSIONThousands affected by the age changesI was very pleased to see the article you featured this week, highlighting the plight of women born in the 1950s due to the unfair increase in state pension age (Gazette, October 10). The ladies you featured are to be commended in gaining the support of their MPs.

Monday, 17th October 2016, 12:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:59 pm
The Berwick WASPI group was well represented at the protest at the Houses of Parliament.

I am one of 3,970 women in Fylde constituency also adversely affected by these appalling changes, due to the 1995 Act and then ultimately the 2011 Act, which resulted in our pensions moving not two years ahead of 60 but to 66.

We are asking Government to consider fairer transitional arrangements for these women who have suffered many inequalities during their working lives, such as lower pay, reduced career opportunities, and a social expectation to take time out from careers to raise families.

This is not a direct political issue, as is demonstrated by the All Party Group in Parliament and this includes various politicians from the Blackpool area who are very supportive to our cause.

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Unfortunately, although he is somewhat sympathetic, we have not yet had endorsement from our local MP Mark Menzies, and I am campaigning along with other ladies in our group on behalf of WASPI to enlist his support.

We would love to hear from anyone who would like more information, this may affect them or a member of their family or friends. Email us at [email protected]

Sandra Rigby

Fylde WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality)


You can’t compare us with Manchester

In response to Mr . Kay (Your Say, October 12, ‘Is Manchester as deluded as resort?’) I would like to clarify a couple of points.

Trams appearing to run fine in Manchester is all well and good, but we have a prom, Manchester doesn’t.

Trams here run from A to B and that’s it. Getting on a tram is only practical if you are staying near the prom, working near the front or visiting for a day !

I agree wholeheartedly that buses, taxis spew out fumes, but they are a vital link to outlying areas, where trams can’t go. Rerouting trams up and down Talbot Road is nonsensical. Passengers coming into North Station wanting to travel to areas away from the prom won’t want to go by tram.

I was originally from Bolton, where trams in the 40s and 50s used to run from the centre of Farnworth to Bolton and back. The reason for terminating them was because you had to get off in the middle of the road, which was extremely hazardous in passing traffic.

Council officials considering this ludicrous idea seem to be away with the fairies.

Brin the trotter



What a fantastic weekend of music

The Blackpool Music Festival seems to have been a great success! As well as showcasing the amazingly varied local talent, the festival attracted acts from Scotland, Yorkshire, Manchester, Reading, Derby and all over Lancashire.

I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks to all of the event managers, the sound engineers, the magnificent volunteers, all of the artists and, of course, the public, who came out in their hundreds to support the event.

A special thank-you though is owed to Stephen Pierre who, at great personal expense, transformed the two-day Winter Gardens event into a musical spectacular. His hard work, dedication and sheer love of music drove him to produce, yet again, a fantastic weekend of free entertainment. I owe Stephen a huge personal thank-you.

The festival has also been important for raising funds and awareness for local charity, Streetlife, which is dedicated to providing support, shelter and direction to help vulnerable young people find their way.

Jon Bamborough

Blackpool Music Festival Organiser


Northern towns had a real connection

A new book called Memories of Revoe is a must read for nostalgia lovers of Blackpool.

Most of us of a certain age can identify with the down-to-earth hard-working folk of that era of innocence.

I went to live in this area 50 years ago. I immediately connected with Ibbison Street to Cobden Street. Where I was brought up in Batley, West Yorkshire, Tony Warren recognised all these northern streets connected in a social way, hence Coronation Street. All of us brought up in these streets could produce an Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples, Minnie Caldwell etc and many others who have come and gone, but only Blackpool could produce an ex-mayor who was once an ice maiden on the Golden Mile – Coun Mary Smith.

This book is also a record of social history in that era of innocence without all mod cons and gas light. The youth of today would benefit from this book, and should be in every school in Blackpool.

Kevin Gooder

Clinton Avenue



Delighted at support for a ‘Helen’s Law’

I am delighted MPs have given early support for “Helen’s Law’, which the mum of murder victim Helen McCourt has long campaigned for.

This would deny killers parole if they will not reveal where their victims’ remains are, and while these cases are in the minority of murder cases it is an important issue.

Helen’s mum, Marie McCourt, from St Helens, has never been able to find peace in her heart since her 22-year-old daughter was murdered by pub licensee Ian Simms.

He is still behind bars having been jailed for life in 1988, and still will not reveal where Helen’s remains lie, but could be released on parole.

Marie’s life has effectively been on hold since the day her daughter vanished and I am so pleased that her petition for the law to be changed has reached the Commons.

Hats off to her MP Conor McGinn, who is pursuing the matter on behalf of all such bereaved families with the proposed Unlawful Killing (Recovery of Remains) Bill.

Paul Nuttall

North West UKIP MEP