Letters - January 26, 2017

Age UK on Abingdon Street is closed until further notice
Age UK on Abingdon Street is closed until further notice
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Confusion over charity shop funding

Further to the recent letters regarding charity shops.

There is always confusion regarding their funding.

We are a small local independent charity of the old fashioned style where the overwhelming majority of monies raised goes exactly where people think it is being raised for in - our case the cats in or under our care.

We do have to pay full commercial rent for the shop, electricity and water rates and pay for two part staff who work far more hours than they are paid for.

We at present pay 20 per cent commercial business rates and expect in time shop rates for charities will rise (tricky for the councils as if you remove charity shops the streets will be bleak).

In addition to providing a fantastic range of goods, ranging from quality clothes shoe etc to modern and antique furniture so generously donated we seem to be, as with most charity shops, a haven for lonely, sometimes distressed people and have the time and patience with them.

Sadly not all “charity” shops are the same.

Please do question where your money/goods are going to the genuine registered shops will be only too happy to oblige they should be able to provide accounts.


Cat Rescue Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde


Festival good for raising our image

I am writing to thank all concerned in helping me bring The Blackpool Jazz & Blues Festival back to The Winter Gardens for its third year (1-2 July). I’m pleased to announce this year’s event will be supported by Blackpool BID.

The festival first and foremost is about the music. It will remain a community-led project, a free-entry event and proceeds raised for Trinity Hospice. In order for the festival to evolve, I have been fortunate to compile a programme of music that crosses several generations.

This year will see the return of graduates from The Royal Northern College Of Music Manchester. Also graduates visiting from leading music conservatories The London Guildhall, Royal Academy, and Leeds College of Music. BBC young jazz musician award winner Alexander Bone will be making his debut at The Winter Gardens with his contemporary jazz/funk quartet.

I have complied a varied programme that can be respected by the purists but also appreciated by those who are not ordinarily fans of jazz or blues.

There will be three stages of music at this year’s event. The outdoor event in St John’s Square, The Spanish Hall and Baronial Hall inside The Winter Gardens. I’m pleased Blackpool BID have included an outdoor element to the festival, this will undoubtedly increase footfall and awareness.

Blackpool has tremendous potential to improve its arts and culture offerings. In comparison to some towns which present music festivals of this kind, the promoters on a shoe string budget (like myself) and are lucky if they can find some wasteland or back street car park. The Winter Gardens is steeped in entertainment history and is the perfect prestigious venue for presenting The Jazz and Blues festival.

I think it’s very important that Blackpool is seen by a wider demographic, staging cultural events. ‘Showzam!’ and the nice interesting people it attracts, is a good example of improving Blackpool’s cultural image, with continued positive media exposure, the support of Blackpool BID, Visit Blackpool, The Winter Gardens management and the team of festival volunteers. Collectively we have the capacity to make the Jazz and Blues festival one of the best free events staged in Lancashire this summer.

We are a non-profit event, supported by creatives and volunteers. We have a simple slogan ‘Let’s make it happen’.

Stephen Pierre

Artistic Director

Blackpool Jazz & Blues Festival


You have to want to stop smoking...

Well I really think TV ads have hit an all-time low with the new “stop smoking ad”.

Fair enough, we all know the health risks associated with smoking but for Smokefree to show someone supposedly getting tobacco out of a pack who gets blood and gore all over his fingers instead of tobacco, then proceeds to roll a cigarette and smoke it only to get a lump of gore in his mouth is disgusting, especially when you are in the middle of an evening meal.

What next?

I hate to think how low they can go to try and get their point across.

I was a smoker and stopped more than 10 years ago and I don’t think these over-the-top ads and shock tactics would have made any difference to me.

If you want to stop you will – no amount of spearmint, sprays, patches, TV ads can stop you smoking, it’s down to wanting to stop and a great amount of will power. How this ad slipped through, I don’t know.

David Mitchell

Via email


Did the protesters actually cast a vote?

Watching the thousands of people demonstrating against America’s President Trump made me wonder if those people actually voted? If they did, they still lost democratically.

A bit like the UK and ‘remoaners’ taking umbridge because they lost to Brexit. I would suggest lessons in democracy should now be compulsory, not in schools but in our own Parliament.


Via email