Letters - March 17, 2015

Central Pier in Blackpool
Central Pier in Blackpool
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Piers may not be ‘raking it in’

It’s difficult to know what attractions to add on our piers that would bring enough revenue for them to thrive.

Assuming Peter Sedgewick’s monopoly of rides on both Central and South Piers are a good source of income for each pier’s running costs, yet despite current owners Cuerden Leisure’s claim that they’re doing well, the financial revenue can’t be that good or they wouldn’t be selling them.

We all realise a pier must have very high maintenance costs as North Pier owner (Peter Sedgewick) has experienced since the unfortunate storm damage that all piers are threatened with annually – and we imagine insurance companies won’t commit.

Having perused both Central and South Piers regularly throughout the summer season they seem to do well with an abundance of rides and businesses in full swing, but during poor weather, the pier is the last place visitors wish to tread and there is nothing doing during winter months so our piers rely on the resort’s annual season.

What we see as busy periods when we think they’re raking it in financially probably isn’t how it looks.

As for a buyer, perhaps Karl Oyston could make a go of them with all the money he’s built up from Blackpool FC failing to invest in skilled players.

Clifford Chambers

Ashton Road, Blackpool


Gerald’s legacy lives on after fund-raiser

On August 23, 1971, 38-year-old Supt Gerald Richardson was murdered having been gunned down by armed robbers following a raid on a Blackpool town centre jewellers.

Gerry was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

At the time of his tragic death, he was a member of Blackpool North Rotary Club and his Rotary colleagues set up the Trust in his memory.

The aims of trust reflect Gerry’s passion for supporting young people – ie, to promote youth development by supporting young people, aged 25 or under, to attend courses and activities of an educational, cultural, sporting, adventuresome or character-building nature.

It is willing to entertain written applications for financial assistance from young people living or working within 15 miles of the town hall in Blackpool.

The trust is still very active to this day. Since it was set up, the trust has disbursed well over a quarter of a million pounds in grants and helped more than 16,000 young people.

Gerry would have been so proud and it is a wonderful legacy.

Retired police colleague Bob Dobson and retired police communications officer 
Kathryn Cavanagh decided to organise a fund-raiser evening for the trust.

A Lancashire Night was held at St Kentigern’s Parish Centre, Blackpool on March 6, with tasty Lancashire cheese on offer, hotpot and apple pie.

Entertainment was provided by well-known folk duo Ian Gartside and Sue Bousfield. It was a night of fun, and those attending enjoyed a great evening.

Many people attended to give their support to this worthy cause, some donating cash or raffle prizes.

On behalf of my fellow trustees, I would like to thank Bob and Kathryn and everyone who in any way helped to make the evening a success.

With some pledges still to come, more than £500 will have been raised.

This will help to ensure Gerry’s legacy lives on thus benefiting many young people.

Jeffey Meadows

Chairman, Superintendent Gerald Richardson Memorial Youth Trust


Farage comments will stoke up racism

Nigel Farage of UKIP, from his recent comments about scrapping anti-discrimination laws, is clearly looking for racist votes in the general election and to stoke up racism by scapegoating migrants.

Farage, as a former commodity trader, is one those who has contributed to the banking crisis that has led to austerity – but is now trying to put the blame on migrants.

It is clear there is still great inequality in society – witness the higher rate of unemployment of young black people with the same qualifications and the fact that women still get less pay than men.

Farage wants to take us backwards.

We therefore have to protect the progress we have made.

The issue of racism will be important in the election. We should be cautious of those who have an interest in scaremongering.

Wages are historically low because of government policy over many years – this is not the fault of migrants.

All workers are victims of these global market forces – the solution is stronger collective bargaining and unionisation.

As an important next step, UNISON and the other trade unions are supporting the major demonstration against racism in London on Saturday, March 21, for United Nations anti-racism day.

This needs to be as big a demonstration as we can make it.

Tony Wilson

UNISON National Executive Council member (North West Region)