Parks have a vital role in residents’ health
I am a great supporter of a greener, healthier Blackpool and Louie Horrocks Park on Lytham Road, South Shore, is a vital part of the lungs of the town.
Just recently I visited the park with the friends group of volunteers, and with members of staff from the council’s parks department to discuss its effective maintenance programme and the replacement of a mini roundabout in the playground.
It is a great shame that when our Government wishes to challenge obesity, diabetes and other public health issues, it does nothing that is sustainable such as suggesting a national strategy towards supporting parks.
I know I am not alone in appreciating the benefits of a good walk in a well maintained park.
This could be achieved in Squires Gate due to the unstinting effort of the friends group at Louie Horrocks and the council’s parks department.
This is why I will do anything I can to support initiatives in the park as I know how important it is to the general health of Blackpool and in particular to the residents living in my ward.
On a slightly separate note, I was also delighted to be able to help secure funding for a new bus shelter for residents on Lytham Road and Albany Avenue.
I know the news was welcomed by many people in the area.
There was a real sense of frustration amongst residents, who often had to wait in the cold and rain for buses.
Public transport, particularly buses are an essential lifeline for a lot of people, especially the elderly and disabled living in Blackpool.
There it is important that local politicians like myself do all we can to make them as accessible as possible.
As the first ever Labour councillor for the Squires Gate ward, I am committed to doing all I can to help and support the people living in a neighbourhood I am proud to represent.
Backing small business
Last month, I joined Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden in my ward to support local firms and shops for Small Business Saturday.
We went to the recently opened restaurant Montagues on Highfield Road for a tasty breakfast, before then going to local Butchers G & K Mitchell and sons, which has been there for over 25 years.
Squires Gate provides a beautiful array of small businesses, which keeps the village nature of this particular part of Blackpool alive and well.
Small Business Saturday is one way of saying thank you to the contribution that these businesses provide to the area and Blackpool.
I am glad to have been part of Small Business Saturday as I am very aware that these businesses often feel overshadowed by the much larger companies that often represent the public image of Blackpool and small firms should be as equally valued in the maintenance of such an image.
Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ .
Since its launch, it has attracted widespread support.
Highfield Road parking plans
Parking has always been a problem on Highfield Road and in fact is considered an unsolvable conundrum by businesses and local residents who wish to visit the shops and businesses there using their cars.
However as an attempt to ease the congestive nature of the parking, I have approached the traffic department at Blackpool Council to come up with the beginnings of a solution.
The taxi rank outside Highfield Social Club is frequently not in use and therefore the process of deregulating the parking spaces and turning them into places for public use has been put in place.
Parking is as much a part of an integrated transport system as getting a bus shelter or improving conditions of the road.
Resolving parking issues such as this helps keep the traffic flowing and enables people to park and shop at their leisure.
This in turn is part of the lifeblood of a thriving local economy.