Letters - April 20, 2016

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SUPPORT

Vital sanctuary must not close

I write regarding your story ‘Refuge Crisis puts ‘lives at risk’ (Gazette, April 16).

Most Victim Support groups recognised Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis etc had the expertise in their area. They made an effort to work alongside these agencies and went on to promote each other’s work.

The Fylde Victims Support Scheme was in operation about 25 years. Then, about 10 years ago, the Government cut funding to Victim Support. This reduced staff and volunteer numbers dwindled.

I believe that Victim Support is still out there somewhere, supporting victims of crime and doing good work.

The Fylde Coast Women’s Refuges funding should not be reduced and they must not be closed down.

In the past I worked as a volunteer for many years with victims of crime. I remember the old days when there were communities and relatives lived nearby.

We live in another world today, it’s about people always on the move and one hardly knows their next door neighbours.

These refuges are a safe haven for women and children in their hour of need, before getting help and support (by experienced staff) to enable them to move on and get on with their lives.

I wish Fylde Coast Women’s Refuges good luck and long may the service endure.

P O’Connor

Portland Road

Blackpool

ENVIRONMENT

Where was debate on dogs beach ban?

I emailed Paul Maynard out of curiosity regarding Protection of Public Space Orders (PSPOs) after hearing a report about these orders on Radio 4 several weeks ago, to see if any were proposed for our area.

On April 16, I received a letter from the House of Commons dated April 11, conveniently after public consultation had closed, informing me there was a proposal to extend the ban on dogs from the beach at Bispham.

As a resident who pays toward the upkeep of all services I would like to see where the consultation was advertised. Yes, The Gazette did run an article on this, but there was no mention of dates/times or contact details regarding the consultation process.

I would also like to see the responses to the consultation and have my voice heard.

I walk three times a day at Bispham. This area is not a tourist area comparable to the area between North and South piers. This stretch of beach is mainly used by local dog walkers/residents/families with dogs etc. Why ban dogs?

To protect water quality? I don’t think so.

I assume a study has taken place indicating the evidence for dog fouling on the beach compared to sewage, agricultural run-off, industrial usage, and surface run off from the surrounding urban areas? I would like this report to be published too so the public can make an informed decision.

Why not fine people for not picking up instead of banning everyone, if this is the case? How many families visit the seaside with their dogs? They will simply go elsewhere.

We have a legal right to roam in this country. We have a legal right to exercise our dogs. In the letter I received Mr Maynard’s advice was ‘go further afield’ to walk my dog. I don’t drive. What about disabled people? Where do we go?

The promenade is too dangerous to walk on, due to aggressive cyclists who treat the path as a race track and hurl abuse at anyone in their way. If you want to ban people, start with cyclists on the SHARED path.

Since receiving the letter I have spoken with many people, and not a single person was aware of this proposal of consultation. Let’s have an open and fair discussion.

Mrs L Gilmour

via email

HEALTH SERVICE

Better training will help staffing crisis

I was sad and concerned to read the article in The Gazette regarding recruiting Polish medics amid staff shortage in the ambulance service.

I was an ambulance man in this town for over 20 years. There will be a shortage of ambulance personnel when in-house training is stopped.

I agree with other ambulance personnel and GMB (branch secretary) who say moving away from in-house training to recruiting graduates was a mistake.

I believe this government has something to do with this, starving all parts of the health service of resources.

Paul Jones

Anchorsholme

CRIME

I’d like to see him try an ‘up-kilt’ picture

Your report on school girls targeted (Gazette, April 13).

The mind boggles, a man’s alleged attempt to take pictures of an indecent nature up young girls’ skirts. This got me thinking, has this ever been attempted with Scotsmen in kilts, and if so, did the offender live long enough to stand trial?

Kevin Gooder

Clinton Avenue

Blackpool

EUROPE

EU poll is becoming 
a ridiculous riddle

As the claims and counter-claims about what will, or will not, happen if we stay in or exit the EU get ever more ridiculous, I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s description of the Soviet Union.

On the eve of the Second World War, he was asked what would the Soviets do.

Sir Winston replied he couldn’t possibly foresee what action Stalin would take because his country “is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

What a perfect description of what faces those voting in the forthcoming referendum.

Dr Barry Clayton

Cleveleys