Parking costs driving shoppers out of town
I read with interest this week the thoughts of Sir John Timpson, whose shoe repair stores are a well-known name on the British high street.
He is of the mind that the local authorities are their own worst enemy when it comes to increasing footfall in town centres, driving shoppers to out-of-town retail parks with their unfriendly car policies.
Looking around Blackpool town centre I could not agree more. The decline in our once grand shopping hub is typical of the town under a Labour authority which knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
The introduction of shared spaces and the increasing complexity of the one way system makes Blackpool off-putting to motorists who are further discouraged by the steep charges for town centre parking.
Compare that to our out-of-town retail parks where ample parking is available just off major access routes.
It is no surprise that, nationally Sir John has opened the majority of his new stores inside supermarkets and not in town centre units.
In Blackpool we have many empty shop units, including prime sites formerly occupied by major national retailers. Even in the Houndshill Centre, where plans have been drawn up for expansion, a number of shops remain empty.
The high rents and business rates in the town centre show how hostile to business the Labour council is.
Perhaps a reduction in the cost to the entrepreneur and the motorist alike would breathe new life into Blackpool’s streets.
Now is the time for action, before it is too late.
No refund on second tickets
In May this year my wife and I booked two tickets to see a 60s show at the winter gardens.
A couple of days ago we saw in the Winter Gardens foyer a notice that Gerry Marsden was appearing and it was going to be his last appearance. We booked two tickets.
When we got home we went to put our tickets into a filing cabinet, when we realised that we had already booked the same show five months earlier.
We shot back to the box office to get a refund on the tickets we had just bought, which cost us £71.
The box office refused, saying just that they were unable to do so.
We feel gutted and in protest have decided never ever to buy tickets again from this venue.
This letter is to warn other people who buy tickets. Don’t buy two sets of tickets in error like my wife and I.
We are pensioners and are at a loss why they could not refund the tickets?
Cap interest on student loans
The Tory proposal to increase the repayment income threshold on student loans from £21,000 to £25,000 is helpful, but merely a palliative measure.
A far more popular step, short of reducing academic fees, would have been to cap the interest at say one per cent.
A post-graduate earning say £26,000 will, if the new threshold is implemented, still find difficulty reducing the loan because of the high interest charges.
The Tories should close the student loan office in Glasgow, given the privileged position of Scottish students attending Scottish universities, and relocate it to an area of England with a significant level of unemployment.
Lies and Tory benefit cuts
Re. the letter by Christian Cox (Your Say, October 9) criticising the claim by Roy Lewis that we have seen seven years of economic failure from this government.
Mr Cox rehashes the old chestnut that Labour caused the financial crisis in 2008.
Does he really not understand the financial crisis was caused by indiscriminate lending by British and American banks?
Royal Bank of Scotland was saved by the Labour government, and due to that investment, the UK government still owns much of RBS.
This was a world financial crisis, and, but for the swift action of the Labour government, it could have created a most serious financial breakdown in the country.
However what is of concern now is the roll out of Universal Credit.
Most severely disabled people will lose £78.35 per week.
This is because in Universal Credit there are no Severe Disability Premiums or Enhanced Disability Premium paid. Those just disappear, which will leave disabled people financially worse off.
Research has shown that the additional cost of being a disabled person is £500 per month.
However the government apparently does not seem to care how the disabled will be able to manage, and are taking away most of the money which they need to meet their additional costs.
We should be asking all Conservative MPs how they can justify taking money from disabled people.
This group of citizens have the highest support needs and are the most severely disabled citizens.
One could be forgiven for wondering how this government and their MPs can justify their actions.
I once read that a nation is judged on how they treat the less fortunate in their society.
This government’s actions, including the austerity programme, which is affecting adversely a great many people, while at the same time reducing tax for people earning over £150,000 per year, I believe, will not fare well.
Blackpool North/Cleveleys Labour party