Eddie liked people, and people liked him
In Eddie Collett, I have lost a very close friend. For more than 29 years we have been together at Bloomfield Road and enjoyed a pint before each Blackpool home game to survey the scene and swap mutual concerns.
We enjoyed our usual chat and a laugh before Blackpool’s last home game in Division 1 and, gloomily, we agreed we’d leave if the score reached 4-1 against us. We duly did, and were unsurprised when the deficit went higher as we left the ground.
Eddie and I shared our respective Mayoral duties as deputy for each other. There was a deep and genuine friendship between us.
I respected him as a man who contributed much for education in Blackpool as the responsible executive councillor. He was, for many years, chairman of governors at Waterloo School.
The idea of all councillors having an annual budget to spend in their wards was his idea, as were the alley gates (Eddiegates we learnt to call them).
Eddie was striking in his physical bearing, always with a ready smile, the ability not to take himself too seriously, but a serious person in his political thought and concern for his community.
More than any other attribute, he liked people and people liked him.
I am glad his horrible days of suffering are over. For the rest of us, the sadness begins. All my thoughts today are for Heather, for David and for Sian.
We need a pledge to ban fracking
The first steps to make fracking illegal in England followed a public meeting five years ago, where I spoke alongside two great champions of equality, then Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP, and former Labour Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, as well as the acclaimed climate scientist, Professor Kevin Anderson.
Whilst the two MPs gathered support in Parliament,Professor Anderson showed the Government why “the safest place for shale gas is to remain in the ground”.
There is nothing anti-Labour, or anti-Conservative, about anti-fracking. In France, it took barely five months for both sides to pass a national ban. Five years later this ban continues, whereas in England, only the Green Party has shown it can be trusted to oppose shale.
One of Theresa May’s new Government’s first actions has been to extend the licence periods for fracking companies to legally operate.
Let’s seriously hope that the two Labour leadership contenders pledge to withdraw these licences on their first day in office.
North Lancashire Green Party
It’s not us oldies who are a danger on road
I write regarding the letter headlined Seniors are a danger to others (Your Say, Gazette, July 22). Here we go, not only did we have the young ones saying us old ones should not vote, but now we got them saying we should not drive over 70.
What next? Stop us going out all together? May I point out to your correspondent Mr Boyce that I have never seen any driver over 65 using his/her mobile phone while driving, and how many over 70s do you see being fined for drink driving? As for the programme you mentioned, no doubt ITV picked these people to make their show more interesting.
I have been cut up three times in the last six months, all by young drivers in too much of a hurry. I notice, too, that most young to middle aged drivers ignore the 20 and 30mph speed limit, and even overtake older drivers sticking to the limit.
They should put up the age to 21 before you can apply for a driving licence. Far too many young people who have little knowledge or road sense drive cars far to big for them. In this day and age of drugs, they are a bigger danger than us 70-year-olds.
So Mr Boyce, I would rather you suggest putting up the lower age limit than say 70s are a danger to others. Perhaps you want the old ones off the road so you can get from A to B faster. And like all drivers, no doubt you’re the best and have never made a driving mistake.
Delays are an act of revenge for Brexit
The chaos on the roads leading to the Port of Dover causing misery to thousands of motorists, including some from the North West, beginning their annual holiday exodus to France is likely to last all summer unless action is taken.
The official cause, extra security checks introduced by the French at their border posts within the Port following the continued terrorist attacks in France, is understandable.
However, it appears that, despite this being an exceptionally busy time of the year, the check-points were seriously understaffed, leading to claims of “payback time” by the French for our Brexit vote.
While the president of the Calais area regional council, Xavier Bertrand has said the queues are “unacceptable” he has also stated “that Brexit must have consequences”.
I’m sure that the French government won’t want harm their tourist industry, therefore they need to take action to end this situation as a matter of urgency, proving it is not an act of punishment for the UK’s Brexit.
North West President, UKIP