Letters - September 12, 2018


Train debacle even tougher on disabled

All summer we have been hearing about the problems faced by passengers using, or should I say trying to use, Northern Rail since the new, seeming unworkable, time table was introduced.

These problems are serious, there is no argument about that. They are causing extreme inconvenience for everyone who uses the so-called service. However, disabled people are being hit especially hard.

Northern Rail has in my view never been a disabled friendly company, in spite of what their disabled policy may say.

The carriages they use, in our area, are often old and uncomfortable, with little or no space for wheelchair users.

The on-board toilets on many trains are totally unsuitable for a disabled person to use, as they are much too small.

Many of our local stations are unstaffed, or only staffed at busy times, therefore there is no-one to ask for assistance.

If the company gets its way and we do end up with driver-only operated trains, many disabled people will not be able to travel by rail at all.

Often trains are being replaced by inaccessible replacement buses.

This is hard on the general travelling public, so imagine what it is like for those with hearing or visual difficulties, mobility problems or mental health issues.

Many disabled people are unable to drive because of their disability.

Others are losing their mobility cars after being assessed as not disabled enough to need one. As there are cases on record of double amputees being refused a car, this is difficult to understand.

However, for whatever reason, people with disabilities are often dependent on public transport and it should be able to accommodate their needs. The Government is putting more of our money into private rail companies than they did when the railways were nationalised.

Jean Withers

Address supplied


Deal or no deal... give people a vote!

We are leaving the European Union on the March 29, 2019 currently with no deal on our future trade relationship.

A number of Gazette letter writers appear to be un-happy with this as they argue it is not what we voted for in the referendum.

I fail to understand what they want.

During the referendum campaign both sides clearly stated that if we voted to leave we would trigger Article 50 which would start the two-year process, after which we would cease to be a member of the EU. This is exactly what is happening.

I would also argue that leave campaigners told us that the EU would be falling over themselves to offer the UK the best deal ever as they need us more than we need them, well this has not happened.

So why have we not been offered a trade deal?

Well the Conservatives have been blaming everyone except themselves; it is always someone else’s fault. This is just arrogance, as they play games among themselves, vying for power to see who will take over from Teresa May as Prime Minister and to hell with the economic future of the UK.

The Labour Party is sitting on the fence and seem to be happy to allow the Conservatives to make a mess of Brexit in the hope of future electoral success. Is it any wonder that public confidence in politicians is so low when both major Parties treat this - the most important negotiations our Parliament has undertaken in decades - in such a cavalier manner?

The TUC at their recent conference broke ranks with Labour on Brexit and adopted the Liberal Democrat position in calling for a ‘Peoples Vote’ on the final deal (or no deal) on Brexit negotiations.

Our future trade relationship with the EU is of vital importance to many of our industries - especially agriculture, manufacturing and financial services - so please do a deal.

Kevan Benfold

Blackpool Lib Dems


Thank you to all who helped night

We would like to thank all the businesses who donated prizes towards our ‘Through the Decades Charity Night’, in aid of Little Heartbeats, the charity which supports pregnant women who suffer preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM).

We would like to thank Ashton Printers for the posters, tickets and leaflets to promote the evening, Gee Tees for the help with the decorations and the Conservative Club for the hire of the room.

We would also like to thank everyone who donated towards the tombola.

It was a huge success, we raised awareness for PPROM and £2,813.25 for the charity.

A huge thank you to everyone who came and made our night perfect.

We can’t forget our entertainment for the evening. Thank you to the fabulous dance crew House of Wingz, Jessica Ann McNicholas, James from Aviation and Robert Fletcher. You were all amazing.

Thank you to our models and all our helpers on the evening. www.little-heartbeats.org.uk.

Nicola Mercer and Tammy Stanbridge

The Hair Lounge

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