Letters from this week’s Visitor.
Doing our best in testing times
I don’t usually reply to party political letters, but Coun Mace’s charges in The Visitor recently deserve a response.
He accuses me of blaming the Government for the reductions in services we expect to introduce.
The Cabinet is at the early stages of examining the budget and we have not made any decisions yet, but we are looking at options. Services are the last thing that we want to cut. We must find other options before we are forced to do that.
Who does he think is lowering our funding by £3.5 million in the next two years? He tries the usual Tory trick of blaming the last Labour Government. I have tried to avoid party politics in the last two years and the council has worked together well.
All parties wanted to support The Storey, but there was no cost-free way to keep it open at the time and then to manage this fantastic building which houses about 40 people working in small businesses.
Efficiency savings, income generation as well as invest to save are priorities in our Medium Term Financial Strategy.
However, after years of cutbacks, a 27 per cent cut in Government funding already, and a 15.3 per cent over the next two years, efficiency savings and higher charges won’t cover it.
A one-year effort to avoid cutting council tax relief has yet to be examined. We await information about how other authorities have fared in taking residents to court to collect small sums that may cost them more than they recover.
This and bedroom tax and the ever-rising costs of fuel are causing real hardship and we decided to try not to add to their burdens.
Our last two budgets have been difficult but manageable, but now we face some choices that none of us want to make. Services come first however, and it is not helpful to start blaming anyone when we will have lost 42 per cent of our funding to 2015 and have to balance a dwindling budget.
Coun Eileen Blamire
Leader of Lancaster City Council
Stay off the personal
In reply to the letter from David Taylor regarding HML6 and his undeserved attack on David Gates, Mr Taylor needs to recognise that David Gates is chairman and spokesperson for TSLM, he is not acting as an individual but represents the thousands of local people who for so many years have argued against the road.
It is unfair and wrong to launch personal attacks on a person of high principal who has been prepared to stand up and say what the majority of people believe.
This is the wrong road, in the wrong place and will not bring the perceived benefits that Mr Taylor alludes to.
Lancashire County Council has long since given up claiming that it will improve Lancaster’s real traffic issues.
Lancaster City Council cannot fill the small industrial estate at Junction 34 so why would others want to invest at the far end of Heysham?
By all means have your own opinions Mr Taylor but direct them to everyone you disagree with and not make it personal.
29 Russell Drive
Vision lacks ambition
There are three strong reasons why the Morecambe Area Action Plan (MAAP) must not be passed. It was galactically weak and is now flawed and redundant. It will be the death knell for investment in Morecambe for the next 10 years.
Reason 1. There are now no plans to do anything in the big hole in the prom where the Dome, etc, used to be. This is the most pivotal part of what should be a strong visitor economy.
Reason 2. After spending a year and wasting thousands of pounds on consultants to come to the earth shattering conclusion that Morecambe has great potential for nature loving visitors, the city council has decided that the entire marketing plan for visitors should be changed.
Reason 3. The MAAP is dreadful; fixing pavements, putting new signs up – where is the ambition for Morecambe? Where is the commitment, the drive, the vision?
Yet again, Morecambe is being sold out by a redundant plan produced by the council.
Tories leave us all cold
I looked on in total disbelief at two articles in this week’s Visitor.
Side by side were the headings: Ed’s energy prices fix policy leaves me cold written by David Morris MP, and Foodbank user too poor to be able to heat up food written by Michelle Blade.
David Morris is incredibly blaming the massive rise in energy prices on Ed Miliband.
All the energy companies put up their prices to ensure they make excessive profits for their shareholders and outrageous sums of money to those in charge. Nothing to do with Ed Miliband, who is at least trying to stop this disgusting attack on ordinary people.
The mantra of the Tory Party is that privatisation leads to competition leading to low prices. Tell that to the Marines Mr Morris, or those who use the rail network or the energy companies to name a few.
Everywhere you look or turn you witness price rises across the board, immense and increasing wealth for the rich and declining wages and acute food and fuel poverty for the rest of us.
C L Cheetham
Thanks for your help
I recently had a nasty fall in Morecambe and I wanted to write to hopefully thank the kind people who helped me get up and the lady from the cafe who invited me in and gave me a coffee and rang for a taxi.
Also the lovely lady and her friend who helped me in and went out for plasters, etc, and mopped up the blood and plastered me up; how kind people are. Many thanks to you all.
Hest Bank Road
*On a recent visit to Morecambe I lost my wallet in the King’s Arms Hotel on the seafront, containing bank cards and cash. I didn’t expect to see it again.
Much to my surprise one of the staff found my wallet and it was returned to me intact with cards and cash. I think they deserve a mention, don’t you?
B&B don’t want us
I am writing to let you know that some of your B&Bs are not too keen on taking in people over the Christmas period. There was nothing in the council’s Visitor Guide 2013 to suggest this.
I wrote to six. One sent me a reply, one phoned me. The other four, to me it seems, they can’t write or use a phone. With one of them I enclosed a SAE as it was asked for.
My wife and I are OAPs and I was taking out a loan to pay for this short break. It now looks like we will be going somewhere else.
May I also say, if you print this letter, please give the Visitor Information Centre a mention, stating that they have been very helpful to me.
I did write a letter to them regarding the matter, but I thought that a local newspaper article might just shake these four and any others who seem not to care. I’m still hoping to make this holiday but time is running out.
Barry and Susan Flynn (71 and 65)