Free attractions tickets for Blackpool residents 'still stands'

Residents could be entitled to free entry to Blackpool attractions such as the Tower
Residents could be entitled to free entry to Blackpool attractions such as the Tower
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Blackpool's ruling Labour group says an election pledge to give residents free tickets to attractions will be fulfilled - although it will be too late for this season.

The party made the promise ahead of May's local elections and says the scheme will now be introduced "well in advance of next season."

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn

Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams has criticised the policy and questioned how it would be paid for.

He warned: "The season is now over and still no sign of the free tickets. I have also contacted our main attraction operators who state that no discussions have taken place with the council in regard to a free ticket scheme."

He said he would be asking questions about when tickets would be available, which attractions would be included and what the 'real cost' would be to the council.

Coun Williams added: "As usual Labour promises aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

"Free attraction tickets for residents was their big pledge in the last local elections and so far they have never mentioned it again or announced how and when they would do this.

"If the council don’t respond to the many residents who are asking where their free tickets are they may be accused of making false promises to local voters."

But council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said work was being done to put the scheme into place ahead of next season, and discussions were under way with operators.

He said: "We are in discussion with various attractions and details of the scheme will be announced as soon as we have everything in place, which we anticipate will be well in advance of next season."

When Labour made the pledge last April as part of its election manifesto, Coun Blackburn said it could be met without any cost to council tax payers.

He said it was "fully costed and fully deliverable" and that residents would be "able to enjoy a wide and growing list of attractions for free, including free parking, and it won’t cost the council tax payer a penny.”

Labour retained town hall power in May for a third term in charge.