Letters - January 31, 2017

Is raising council tax just a short-term fix for the cash crisis in social care?
Is raising council tax just a short-term fix for the cash crisis in social care?
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HEALTH

Council action call 
is to be applauded

The devastating news regarding the collapse of NHS services around the country affects our own health services in Blackpool. We continue to suffer shortages in GP services and it impacts on adult social care.

This falls upon local councils to provide a system of ongoing health care from hospital to home. Now the government is set to implement another scheme – ‘the Sustainability and Transformation Plan,’ linking Lancashire with Cumbria. This cannot be good news and we must be grateful for Coun David Owen for getting his motion passed in council, highlighting the NHS problems here and asking the Secretary of State to intervene in the health crisis facing Blackpool.

Under the Health and Social Care legislation, the NHS has suffered, as private companies such as Virgin Health and Circle Holdings are awarded contracts to run our health services. I am grateful, therefore, that Blackpool Council has passed a motion to outline the shortcomings of the NHS as it affects people here. We have an unprecedented challenge with government cuts in grants to the council; it is ironic, that Blackpool has to fund an important service such as social community care, when government have cut the funds to implement it!

As the founder of the NHS Nye Bevan said: “Illness is neither an indulgence for which people should have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune. The cost of which should be shared by the community.”

I wish the council well in its endeavours to call the government to account for their failings, asking it to urgently invest in our social community care budget, as well as other services such as A&E and walk in centres, so badly affected by national and local budget cuts.

Marjorie Nye

Knowle Avenue

Blackpool

Member of 38 degrees Blackpool Fylde and Wyre

SOCIAL CARE

Who can elderly turn to now?

I am writing regarding the closure of Age UK Blackpool.

It’s such a shame that it has come to this, not only for the elderly who rely on this service, but for the workers in the offices. Can the council not help them out?

I think it’s terrible that the elderly will suffer because nobody will help. There seems to be plenty of help out there for the drugs dependant people etc, but no one can come forward and help the elderly of this town.

Some of these people have no one. They look forward to the day centre visits, and also there was always someone on the end of the phone offering help and advice for free. Now who have they got? Nobody, that’s who!

The phones ring unanswered, the offices once filled with help are empty. It’s heartbreaking.

L Rogers

via email

TOURISM

Blackpool still has the ‘wow factor’

Hotelier Mick Grewcock (‘Wow Factor’, Gazette, January 25) forgets the fact that, while the money invested for a conference centre incorporated with the Winter Gardens is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the money invested for Brighton and Bournemouth, the two resorts in question need to move forward with such facilities, otherwise face a downturn in their continued quests as holiday and visitor destinations.

Mick also points out that Bournemouth has unveiled plans for a £150m revamp of its own ‘former Winter Gardens site’ presently a car park, note: ‘Former Winter Gardens’, obviously gone! We still have ours with ongoing refurbishments bringing it back to its former glory, not forgetting the Empress Ballroom is a jewel within, and walking through the Floral Hall already has the ‘Wow’ factor.

I admit, the artist’s impression of the new conference facility does look somewhat plain and could do with a slight re-design away from the shoe box effect, but nevertheless it’s a successful boost for a modern centre and hopefully one that will encourage other conferences. However, I don’t hold much hope for political parties to return and we won’t have the security costs impacting on the town’s strained budget.

Our ‘wow Factors’ still remain, namely the world famous Tower, Winter Gardens and all within, Pleasure Beach, three piers and one of the most beautiful theatres in the country (the Grand) so don’t despair, we’re still on the up!

Clifford Chambers

Ashton Road

Blackpool

NOSTALGIA

Trying to trace an old waiting friend

I wonder if you can help me? I have tried to contact Goni Robinson, an old mate of mine, without success. He used to manage the Queens Dolphin Bar on the front at Cleveleys, in the sixties.

His elder brothers, Bill and Paul, ran the OBJ and The Manchester pubs on the front at Blackpool. I waited on at the OBJ when I finished my National Service, and we had a great time. I am also trying to contact John Ashcroft, who used to play for Blackpool Borough, he will be about 76 now.

There used to be an annual waiters’ race along the lower promenade. They had to race with a tray full of drinks and I remember all the waiters came from the “posh hotels” and wore evening suits or tails, but one of the lads ( Les?) from the OBJ pub entered, wearing a short, white pub waiter’s jacket, and some wag immediately said “he’s the only grey in the race”. He didn’t win, but he gave it a shot, which was more than I did.

If anyone has any information, please contact me on 07850577124, or email colinoldfield1@yahoo.co.uk

Colin Oldfield

via email