When can I make use of this ‘asset’?
Even though I am ‘fifty something’, I am still willing to listen to and appreciate the views of others, even when they clash with my own.
I therefore have taken note of the many letters that have been written against my views of libraries being out of date and therefore should be closed. I was shocked at the outpouring of feelings towards my letter, that there are so many services available within libraries for all age groups, and that people have no issue being able to check out new publications. It is in fact a thriving hub, for all the community, that they can ill afford to lose.
I thought, I have to see this for myself. Unfortunately I work during the week so, after my evening meal, at around 6.30pm on the Monday, I decided to call down to my local library in St Annes. It was closed! Never mind, I had a half day off the next day so called in mid-afternoon. Guess what? It closes for half day on a Tuesday! Okay. One last chance. I have family commitments on a Saturday, but Sunday seemed like an appropriate community day, so I dragged myself off again at around 11am. Closed!
So the library is a great community hub for people who are retired, unemployed, children at school or off for the holidays, but not for people who have a full-time job and contribute via their taxes for sustaining this service.
Fifty something - St Annes
We must all unite behind our team
The supporters of Blackpool Football Club who are not renewing their season tickets, or even worse going to watch other local teams, need to bury the hatchet with the Oyston family and vice versa.
A truce is now needed to stop the war of words between the parties and to galvanise support behind Gary Bowyer and the players to ensure the rot stops and we do not end up in the position of drifting out of the Football League.
Burnley nearly went there and had to win their last match of the season to survive. Look at the teams who have been in the Football League and are now struggling to and get back to where Blackpool now sadly are – Stockport County, Tranmere Rovers, Chester, Wrexham, Barrow, to name but a few.
Our football club has a rich history, and we need to unite and ensure the team are supported in a positive manner so they are motivated to perform week in week out. I moved to the town in the 80s when we were in the bottom tier and things were tough, but the supporters supported their town team.
I say to the Oystons you have got it wrong for four years now, having got it right from when you bought the club. This is your time to correct your recent poor management and lack of investment and give the supporters something to cheer. Invest some money to attract the best players you can reasonably afford for next season, and make a step towards getting back to being at least a Championship team.
Bring the fans back on side by demonstrating positive behaviours and instilling a greater feeling of partnership. However, we fans have to recognise it is your club.
For the sake of our children and grandchildren let us start a united journey this season to bring the good times back.
It always takes two to tango. I say to the Oystons and the stay-away supporters unite and build our next phase of success.
However, the Oystons need to make the first move by investing and giving the fans back their hope for success this coming season.
Nigel Patterson - Blackpool
Social workers must be supported
Reading at length the very sad case of six-year-old Ellie Butler, killed by her father Ben Butler, several questions remained unanswered.
Why were the local authority social workers so hindered and undermined by family judge Mrs Justice Hogg? Was it because Ellie’s estranged parents (Ben Butler and Jennie Gray) had campaigned to the media and appeared on daytime television?
You don’t need to be a barrister or a bookmaker to place the odds that Ellie’s life would be put at significant risk returning to live with her paternal parents. The plain facts and evidence were presented to the Courts in this complex case months before she died.
It was made clear that her father Ben Butler had a disturbing history of grievous bodily harm and had multiple convictions. Ellie’s paternal grandparents who had been looking after her, fought the court’s decision to return Ellie to the hands of violent-tempered Ben Butler and their daughter Jennie Gray.
Since the sad case of 17 month old Baby P who died in 2007, local authorities, social workers and police forces with their limited resources have endeavoured to prevent such children’s services failings re-occurring. Social workers need the support from the public and the courts to do their difficult and complex jobs without being undermined to such an unreasonable degree. The Ellie Butler case demonstrates what would seem overzealous intervention from Mrs Justice Hogg to prevent the local authority social workers from carrying out their duty of care.
Should Dame Justice Mary Hogg apologise for her actions and decisions? Yes. If the local authority social workers blatantly failed in their duty of care would they be facing media criticism? It’s highly likely the social workers involved would be facing the sack had they got it so wrong.
I believe in fair play and transparency and because this case has saddled and shocked the nation, it’s only fit and proper it should become a public inquiry.I doubt very much Ellie’s wicked parents were ‘wronged by the system’, as claimed by Justice Hogg.
Stephen Pierre - via email