Letters - September 19, 2016

POLITICSBoundary changes to hit Labour worstIn Alan Vincent's column (Politcally Correct, Gazette, September 14), he appears to claim the present constituencies favour Labour voters over Conservatives. Curious reading as he is a councillor in a Conservative seat. Most of the Fylde and Wyre are also Tory.

Monday, 19th September 2016, 1:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:02 pm
Proposed constituency map for changes 2016 from the Electoral Commission.

The Tory government claimed they wanted to review constituency boundaries to make our democracy fairer, but they’ve used old data, and ignored two million newly-registered voters. Does he know something that we do not know? Now, the Conservative government are spending time and taxpayers’ money on what would seem be an unfair, undemocratic constituency review, rather than taking everyone into account.

The government claimed they wanted to ‘cut the cost of politics’ by cutting 50 elected MPs, but anything they will save is dwarfed by the £34 million they’ve spent appointing 260 new members of the House of Lords. This isn’t about what’s best for our country; it’s about what’s best for the Tories. Mr Vincent knows this, as more Labour MPs will lose their seats than Conservatives, because of the bizarre way the constituencies are to be carved up by the Boundary Commission.

Blackpool Labour wards are set to go into parts of the Tory Fylde and Tory Wyre. There are claims that this is gerrymandering and double standards when we do nothing about reforming the Lords by making it an elected chamber. It is interesting we have not had a census for many years and the electoral register is far from an accurate tool – in Blackpool we have such an itinerant populous and with more people renting property for short periods many miss the registration process. It would have been more accurate for Mr Vincent to highlight the problems attached to boundary changes and the failures of the commission to make the changes more democratic!

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Marjorie Nye

Knowle Avenue

Blackpool

ALCOHOL

Why do we let petrol stations sell booze?

I have just returned to Bispham to visit my friend.

On my last visit I left my friend’s house in the early hours of the morning (2am) to drive home to Bucks – crossing the country is a lot easier at night when the traffic is lighter.

I went to fill up at a local garage.

When I pulled in there were a couple of (very obviously) drunk young men leaving the filling station carrying packs of lager and a bottle of wine. They got in their car and drove away, very fast, and with little concern for other traffic or road users.

They didn’t seem to give a damn that there was a police station just nearby!

I asked in the garage about their licensing for “off sales” – they said it was 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bearing in mind that Blackpool has one helluva reputation to “live down” as a town rife with drink and drugs problems, wouldn’t you think that the council might think twice about issuing alcohol off-sales licences to petrol stations?

My friend told me that Blackpool Council is trying to promote the town as a more “family friendly” place, rather than a “go to” place for stag and hen parties with a “couldn’t care less” attitude – as long as you SPEND!

Good luck with that!

Does it seem incongruous to anyone else that a town with a very bad reputation for alcohol abuse should give licenses for alcohol sales (24/7) to petrol stations?

Alexander Carswell

via email

ENERGY

MPs should lobby for fracking ban

MPs seeking assurances from shale gas companies is a distinct waste of time (‘MP seeks shale assurance’, Gazette, September 10).

Shale gas companies can never give realistic safety assurances as they know from other countries’ experiences that fracking causes serious danger to health due to high toxic emissions, contamination of ground water and billions of gallons of chemicals which cannot be retrieved from the earth’s strata, only to percolate in to agricultural land.

Our MPs instead should be lobbying parliament to ban fracking completely by supporting our county councillors and the people’s democratic decision to prevent fracking in Lancashire and the UK.

The UK signed an agreement at this year’s Paris climate change conference, yet are still being taken in by the hype of the gas companies.

Renewables are where the investment should be. Renewables are the answer which are being ignored.

Mr D Barker

Pine Crescent

Poulton

LITERACY

Your books can help change people’s lives

I wonder if any of your readers have books they no longer want? If so, we would be glad to receive them.

We are sad when we hear of so many libraries closing or facing closure. So here is a way to help. Reading can change lives. Everyone deserves the ability to read and write.

Books for donation may be left at the old Rawcliffe’s shop, 45 Talbot Road, Blackpool.

Ms R Page

Kingsmede

South Shore

CHARITY

Boat pull really does pull in the money

On behalf of Blackpool Lifeboat Station we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated at our recent boat pull-along the promenade. The amount raised was £711.25.

Christine Parry

Secretary

RNLI