Letters - March 4, 2014

BIG VOTE Do you want Fylde Council to return to the old committee system of local government? Whether you do or not you should vote in the forthcoming referendum
BIG VOTE Do you want Fylde Council to return to the old committee system of local government? Whether you do or not you should vote in the forthcoming referendum
Have your say

Declining holiday trade


I read the owner of a boarded-up hotel in South Shore has been refused permission to convert it into luxury flats. Why?

We are told that unpopular building developments on green sites like 
Marton Moss are necessary because of a shortage in housing.

Conversely the demand for hotel accommodation has sharply declined since the days before cheap package holiday and the M55.

Surely the obvious mutual solution is to allow more hotels to convert to residential property.

Given the council has earmarked a number of town centre locations for new hotels, doesn’t a clear out in the existing stock make sense?

Barry McCann

Prescot Place


Town Hall referendum


On May 22, the people of Fylde will vote in a referendum to decide how Fylde Council will operate from 2015 onwards.

We can vote to stick with the current cabinet system or to change back to a committee system.

The majority of Conservative councillors are, in public at least, in favour of keeping the cabinet system, while every other councillor would prefer a committee system.

Between now and May, you will hear arguments from both sides.

For each argument you hear, ask whether it is backed up by evidence or is simply rhetoric.

If someone tells you that one system will be more expensive than the other, expect them to explain why.

If you are told one system is more inclusive of all councillors, insist on being told how.

When the Conservatives tell you how good a job they have done under the cabinet system, ask them to give examples of why they could not have achieved the same under a committee system.

When non-Conservatives tell you the committee system would be more open and transparent, ask them how.

Finally, realise the way in which the referendum came about or how much it is going to cost has nothing whatsoever to do with which is the better system.

Anyone using that argument is simply laying a smoke-screen to distract you from the real questions and treating you with contempt in doing so.

With a bit of luck, by the time of the referendum, we should all know enough to make an informed decision.

I already know how I will be voting, but more importantly, I know why. Will you?

Charlie Duffy

Fylde Councillor

Clifton Ward

Police checking tickets

Bus travel

During a recent journey on a Blackpool Transport Services Ltd bus, a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) boarded and demanded presentation of ‘tickets and passes’.

I understood this task was the duty of inspectors employed by the bus company

Blackpool Transport answered ‘we do have a local PCSO who works with the inspectors in checking buses and helping with revenue protection’.

Do the police extend this service to other private companies?

Do Stagecoach, Classic Bus and Archway benefit from a similar ‘revenue protection PCSO’? Does BTS Ltd contribute to the funding of their PCSO?

I note the police precept is about to be increased by 1.99 per cent, the only local tax charge to increase in the coming year.

Peter Whitehead

Poulton Road


North/South Divide

Is it fair?

Residents of Blackpool are victims of the North/ South divide, said speakers at the North of England Fairness Conference (Gazette,
 February 26).

Prof Johnstone also said ‘the current economic upturn was benefitting the more affluent places first in the south east and London’.

A day later I read in another newspaper that Eric Pickles, the Communities Minister, thinks Merseyside and 
Lancashire are doing well.

His comment was ‘the boom of new private sector jobs and businesses in the northern region is beginning to outpace London and the south east.’

He also said the Prime Minister David Cameron was pleased with the figures.

So how can us up north get fairness when we have a 
biased Minister of Communities?

Mrs P. O’Connor

Portland Road,


Get a wiggle on!

Charity fun

I am writing to encourage readers with children under five to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Eric Carle’s children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by hosting their own Giant Wiggle.

Action for Children is setting little ones in Lancashire a very wiggly challenge – to raise sponsorship by forming giant caterpillar conga lines at their children’s centre or nursery on March 20, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day.

Visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk/giantwiggle.

Angellica Bell

TV presenter