I FOLLOWED Blackpool to a play-off final at Wembley for the third time in five years on Saturday, and, although the result was disappointing this time, it was the first time I have feared for my own safety within the stadium.
The reason for this was that, directly behind me, in seating blocks supposedly allocated to Blackpool fans, were some 30 to 40 West Ham fans. There were also West Ham fans in other blocks on the same level.
I estimate between 100 and 200 West Ham fans had somehow managed to get tickets in the Blackpool areas, on my level between blocks 219 through 224.
The atmosphere got quite tense at times as the game progressed, with fans of both teams integrated in this way. How and why did this happen?
Some serious questions need to be answered.
What happened to the policy of fan segregation at matches? How did the West Ham fans manage to get tickets for areas supposedly allocated to Blackpool fans?
Who is responsible for those tickets finding their way to West Ham fans?
Why did the Wembley authorities, safety stewards or police allow the West Ham fans to take their places in these areas?
Although I would hope to follow the Pool to future events at Wembley or other neutral venues, my experience on Saturday will make me more circumspect in future.
Season Ticket Holder
AS part of Wyre Council’s Shaping Your Neighbourhood Policy, a neighbourhood lead member has been chosen for each area of the borough to consult with residents, and to be a primary contact on issues affecting their neighbourhood.
The councillors for each area have chosen one of their number to fill this vital role.
At the annual meeting of the council on May 10, councillors Penny Martin, from Cleveleys, and Terry Lees, from Thornton, claimed they had not been consulted, and would play no part in the programme.
Penny Martin declared she would act solely as a Labour councillor, meaning that if you didn’t vote for her, she doesn’t want to know you!
Both of them were consulted, but, because they weren’t chosen, they have thrown their dummies out of their prams, cutting themselves off from decisions about their areas.
In particular, money will be available for neighbourhood improvements, and councillors and residents, will decide how this money is to be spent.
COUN DON MACNAUGHTON
I WOULD like to thank everyone for their donations when we held our street collection in Blackpool on Saturday, May 12, on behalf of the Prevent Unwanted Pets Fylde Coast Branch. We collected £78.85, which will help animals in need.
KATHY M PATE