New way to pay Blue zones
Torrox Council in Spain has introduced a rather different sort of ‘blue zone’ parking system for those visiting the historic centre – one that doesn’t fleece the motorist at every turn.
It is a pioneering system based upon self-regulation and costs just one euro.
Not one euro every time you park, but a one-off payment of one euro.
In exchange you get a cardboard disc with clock hands and you set the time of parking.
At the end of the parking time, you must move the vehicle at least 100 metres before parking once more.
The system operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm and from 5pm to 8pm and there are around 100 parking places, marked in blue, in places such as Plaza de la Constitución, Paseo de los Moreras and Plaza de Almanzor near the courts and health centre.
Overstaying your welcome will cost you €100, with the monitoring being carried out by the local police.
In the first three weeks of operation, some 50 people have been fined including a number who would sneak back after 59 minutes to change the clock hands on the disc.
The idea is to promote a constant turnover of vehicles, thus aiding local businesses without burdening the motorist with what are, in effect, extra taxes.
The system appears to be working well so far and the council is not ruling out extending the initiative to include other areas.
Could something like this help Blackpool businesses?
Early in 2009 Wyre Council informed me that, following an inspection, my parents grave stone at Poulton New Cemetery was unsafe and needed to be made safe.
I went to the cemetery and found that a wooden frame had been strapped to the back of the small stone, without any prior notification.
Scores of other stones had been similarly secured.
I contacted my monumental stonemason and the stone was made safe for just short of £100.
On a recent visit to the cemetery a quick count showed that at least 135 gravestones still had wooden supports, although an official notice near the chapel referred to these as temporary.
Surely it is time for Wyre Council to make all these stones safe and recoup as much of the cost as they can.
After five years the wooden supports will have undergone some degree of deterioration.
Quite apart from that, the supports detract from the appearance of a well maintained and, in its own way, beautiful cemetery.
As chairman of Defend Lytham I am disappointed by our MP, Mark Menzies’, reaction to your story last week about his failure to answer the questions we put to him on behalf of our supporters.
This summer Defend Lytham held a public meeting at which we asked those attending to submit their concerns for us to take forward to our political representatives.
Mr Menzies did not attend that meeting.
Subsequently the Defend Lytham Committee have met separately with the Fylde Council Shale Gas Task & Finish Group and Mr Menzies to explore these issues.
In the case of Mr Menzies we felt it necessary to follow up our meeting with some specific questions to clarify his position.
His response to our enquiry was dismissive and ineffectual.
His suggestion that our reasonable questions amount to nothing but a personal “point-scoring” exercise clearly demonstrates that he has failed to grasp the importance of this issue to many of his constituents.
We fail to see how our asking whether he is prepared to stand by statements he made in public 18 months ago, was “speculative” or required an unusual amount of technical knowledge. It merely required consistency and honesty.
Defend Lytham do indeed have a pre-determined agenda.
Our agenda is to defend this area from inappropriate and damaging development and to promote responsible and sustainable local businesses.
This is an agenda that we might reasonably expect our political representatives to share. Mr Menzies is entitled to hold another point of view, but if so then he should have the courage and integrity to express it.
Chairman, Defend Lytham
Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard seems to have been caught off balance with the arrival of a Poundland store in Cleveleys.
It is clear the traders of the Green Market in Cleveleys have a legitimate grouse about the way the landlord has treated them, if indeed they had only 24 hours to remove their stock from the premises.
Their subsequent protest with the aid of Blackpool and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, who shows solidarity with them, is interesting.
He is quoted as saying he did not want to see another high street shop come into the high street at the expense of local independent businesses.
It is a pity that Mr Maynard did not speak up for the traders months ago as it would seem planning permission for the store was submitted to the Conservative council over a year ago and granted.
It seems odd he was not aware of what important planning decisions were afoot in this part of his constituency.
Obviously the council would have known such approval would adversely affect the local market traders and he should have been aware; or he has just jumped on the band wagon at this late stage for a bit of unearned publicity.
Either way it is rather lame way of offering help in a flagging economy that needs to support local business people.
We know only too well Cleveleys is a popular shopping area that needs help to promote its traders properly in a timely manner. Sadly Mr Maynard is too late!
Mr Roy Lewis
Jump jet petition
Readers, have you joined the many yet who have signed a country wide petition to bring back the Harrier Jump Jets.
It’s a disgrace seeing a British aircraft carrier sailing with no planes on its flight decks. Please go to the Government’s e.petitions website, then enter under petition search Harrier Jump Jets to view and sign the petition.
Mr F.E. Sharpe