Letters - November 14, 2012

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DAVID Slattery Christy hit precisely the wrong note in his response to the appeal by Coun Simon Blackburn for everyone to work together to try to solve the problem of Blackpool having a very high percentage of social security claimants (Letters November 8).

Unlike the contributions by David Haythornthwaite and Coun Tony Williams, both avowed Conservatives, his letter seeks to make this a party political issue when just the opposite is required.

This problem is not specific to Blackpool but is rife in every seaside town.

When a councillor in Kent, spanning 23 years, I saw the same problem in Margate and other Kentish seaside towns.

Blackpool is just the biggest of them all and so has bigger problems.

The real answer lies in local authorities having the will, and the power, to deal with rapacious absentee landlords who are the main culprits.

The provision of good quality residential accommodation in the many over-large properties which are plentiful in most seaside towns is a legitimate commercial activity and good landlords should be joining with Coun Blackburn in exploring ways in which the bad ones can be put out of business. Only united effort will achieve this.


Sandhurst Avenue,


I WAS born in Blackpool and have lived and worked here all my life. I have always thought one of our main problems has been the transient population.

Many years ago, as a student in the 1960s, I worked in the catering industry with people from various parts of the country who travelled to work the summer season in Blackpool.

At the end of the season they returned to where they came from unless they could find a permanent job in order to pay their way and obviously to fund their living accommodation.

Ironically, in a recent Gazette I came across a piece titled “Fresh Start Ended in the Dock”.

A Scottish couple had been prosecuted for stealing goods from a Blackpool store. Evidently they had moved to Blackpool to make a fresh start. Their defence counsel stated that “they had struggled to find accommodation and sort out their benefits, so they stole to buy food.”

Perhaps the obvious question would be why, when they had no employment, no accommodation, and no visible means of support, didn’t they stay in their own home town?


Harewood Avenue,


TO those complaining about betting shops (Gazette November 7), please don’t begrudge the pleasures of others.

At least with my pleasure, I can hopefully get a return on my activity – what do you get from smoking or drinking? Cancer and liver disease.

At Ladbrokes, you get friendly banter and good staff who gladly offer you a free beverage, and you don’t have to be putting pounds over the counter to qualify.