I’m sure most of you will have seen the various budget cuts Lancaster City Council are proposing to save money. As expected, they are savage and will probably affect every single one of us in one way or another.
I’m disappointed that grants to small councils, towards the upkeep of village toilets, are being cut in half. This could mean the closure of toilets in some small communities, including those in Heysham Village, although I sincerely hope not.
There was a report commissioned a few years ago, which looked at the importance of toilet facilities in tourist areas, and it confirmed a lack of facilities had a direct effect on tourist numbers. I worry that by forcing closure of facilities in small villages (Heysham Village included), we will see a decline of visitor numbers and this will be the start of the downward spiral.
Also effecting Heysham, is a proposal to hand back to County Hall, the running of Heysham Swimming Pool. This concerns me because the county council has just announced its own cuts and I cannot envisage them saying ‘OK, we’ll take over Heysham Pool even though it’s losing money’. No, I think it’s likely we’ll lose Heysham pool forever. This decision effects Carnforth and Hornby pools, too, but I’m particularly concerned about Heysham as this is where I live and this is where I stood for council and (as people like to remind me every time they see me) this is where I was beaten by one vote, by Carla!
This is something I’ll never live down, especially when I’m asked to leave Labour Party meetings but Carla’s allowed to stay! There was a public consultation last Tuesday at Morecambe Town Hall where the various cuts were explained. This was an opportunity to express your views and ask questions. Even though I lost the election and, according to Carla, am an absolute loser, I have been attending Heysham Neighbourhood Council meetings and am really excited to be helping them organise the Viking Re-enactment which is taking place in July.
Because of my involvement in the Carnival, I have a number of helpful contacts in the ‘events’ world and have a little experience now in what issues can crop up unexpectedly. We had a meeting recently to discuss the re-enactment finances and I’m so pleased the council confirmed the event will definitely go ahead. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to tell anyone yet so please, if you know anyone on the council, don’t let on that I’ve mentioned anything. This event is going to be something special, a living village during the day and a Viking hog roast evening at The Royal on the Saturday Night. Carla will have to behave as she is the local city councillor, while I can misbehave because I’m a loser.