Letters - April 18, 2016

Wyre Council civic centre
Wyre Council civic centre
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PLANNING

Local plan needs to come up-to-date

There is rarely a single cause to a problem, and increased congestion within Thornton and Wyre in general is no different.

David Power (Your Say, Gazette, April 13) identifies housing as one reason, but other reasons include the amount of commuting done by workers in Wyre due to low wages and a lack of job opportunities within the borough, and another is lack of investment in transport infrastructure.

In terms of planning applications for housing developments, Wyre’s Planning Committee makes its decisions based on the Government’s Planning Policy and our own Local Plan, amongst other things.

As with all applications, large scale housing applications are considered on their own merits, but it’s also fair to acknowledge that without a valid reason for rejection, a council risks an appeal, potentially at huge cost to the council taxpayer. That’s not to say the committee won’t reject such applications; I have voted against many such plans, but, and here is the important point, it should be recognised that the committee is contending with relaxed Government Planning Policies and a Wyre Local Plan that is considerably out of date.

Tightening of Government policy would help protect Wyre from the “over-development” David Power refers to, but residents of Wyre also have an opportunity over the coming months to ensure the council’s Local Plan is fit for purpose. With the help of the public during the forthcoming consultation, I hope we can create a Local Plan that promotes improved transport and employment opportunities, whilst also taking heed of commitments to meet open spaces.

CounTerry Lees

Bourne Ward

Wyre Borough Council

MUSIC

Jazz and blues fest is a force for good

I’m pleased to confirm the Blackpool Jazz & Blues Festival 2016 raised a total of £2,936.30 from sealed bucket collections last weekend staged at The Winter Gardens. Combined with last year’s festival and additional music events performed by The Galleonairs in St John’s Square, over the past year a grand total of £7,662.60 has been donated to Trinity Hospice.

As the festival sponsor, organiser, host and creative director, I could not have staged an event of such magnitude without the help of a dedicated team of volunteers and musicians.

Furthermore, I received generous support from The Ibis Styles Hotel, Virgin Trains, and local firm Northern Security Services.

The secret of the festival’s success was to keep it simple. There was no big budget to spend or egos to feed or managers to accommodate. It was a case of teaming up like-minded musicians from all over the UK to create spontaneous jam sessions of jazz and blues. The two-day festival offered musicians of all age groups the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the finest session players from as far as Budapest, London, and Scotland.

With the continued support shown from Blackpool Gazette, BBC Radio Lancashire, The Winter Gardens, Visit Blackpool and The Blackpool BID team, I’m optimistic that this festival can return again next year, keeping it a FREE non-profit event with Trinity Hospice as the charitable beneficiary.

Harmony is important in both music and business. Blackpool Council parking services offering discounted parking at the Talbot multi-storey is a way of increasing festival activity for the town on a year-round basis. Joined up thinking is one of the keys to help move Blackpool forward. For a tune to sound good, in unison, from the outset everyone needs to be reading from the same sheet of music!

Stephen Pierre

Creative Director

Blackpool Jazz & Blues Festival 2016

EUROPE

Figures don’t back up Brexit claims

On the subject of the EU (Your Say, Gazette, April 13), Mr Coope writes: “Wages are depressed in coastal towns like Blackpool by unlimited and unchecked low skill immigration from poor Eastern European countries.”

In 2011 the Guardian reported that a mere 110000 EU citizens born outside the UK were living n the entire north west. On April 14, 2016 Conservativehome website claimed that 4.6 per cent of the UK’s 64.9million population are citizens of another EU country. Blackpool has a population of about 143,000, of whom around 95 per cent were born in the UK. It is hard to see how these numbers support Mr Coope’s view.

On the same page, Mr Bunting cites problems created by PFI. The EU had nothing whatever to do with whether a PFI scheme was the preferred option chosen by our government for funding a particular project.

Mike Turner

Saltcotes Rd

Lytham

EUROPE

Mr Corbyn has changed his tune

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, has spent his entire political career opposing the European project as undemocratic. Mr Corbyn now wants us to stay in the EU, even though it is an EU he does not want.

I truly believe the Labour Party would put self-preservation of its own MEP’s before that of the national interest.

Mr Corbyn has had to toe the party line. Leaving the EU will mean all the MEP’s from all parties will be kicked off the EU gravy train.

We have a Tory government in power alleging the EU is reforming in one direction and a Labour leader who wants an undemocratic institution to reform in a completely different direction, which is simply not going to happen.

Michael Moulding

via email