Talking points in Morecambe

Stone Jetty , Morecambe.
Stone Jetty , Morecambe.
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The issues that have got you talking are: regeneration plans, asthma deaths, fracking, Labour Party, artwork

Don’t spoil great quality art

It was really encouraging to read The Visitor’s support for the arts in its Town Crier editorial (Our ‘art resort’ could be one in a million).

As members of Morecambe Artist Colony – a group of local arts professionals, designers, makers, musicians, producers and photographers – we have become increasingly concerned about the proposals for ‘Morecambe gets Wise’.

There are quite a few questions to ask about the proposals – which have not been through any formal public consultation.

These are:

1. We already have a lot of artworks on the prom, and as your editorial suggested shouldn’t we be using art to draw people into other parts of the town?

As this may then help to change what is now our national reputation for the high number of empty retail premises in our town centre, and provide a catalyst for the regeneration of neglected parts of the town?

2. Shouldn’t any new art project be in the same league of quality as the Tern Project which the original Eric Morecambe sculpture is a part of?

3. The Eric Morecambe sculpture is already a major visitor draw – we all see dozens of people every day having their photos taken alongside it. Why on earth would we contemplate erecting an inferior structure a few hundred yards away?

We hope this letter will encourage more people to tell us all, through your columns and website, what they

think and what they would want.

Art can be a great way to bring a rejuvenating spirit to our town with its amazing beauty and heritage – but let’s do it right, let’s make other places stand up and take notice.

Kate Drummond and Johnny Bean, Morecambe Artist Colony


Recently, it was good to see a young man write to your paper suggesting bringing back the illuminations (Bring back out lights, August 11), but hardly surprising was the lack of response in following issues of your paper.

Even with the possibility of the use of low energy LED lighting units, the labour and equipment costs to erect the rigging would be found by our council to be prohibitive.

Also, would we really wish to try to compete with the long-established lighting displays which are an annual highlight at Blackpool?

However, we are not poo-pooing his idea completely, as there could well be an opportunity here to do something up-markedly different, but it would need the co-operation and input of the hotel and leisure industries along our promenade.

We suggest the young man, and your readers, go into their computers to where they will see the most amazing symphony of lights, which is a display for 13 minutes to music every evening.

Okay, okay, we know that is massive, but it would be possible on a lesser scale, and still be impressive.

While we are on our boxes, we should add that our town does not make enough of our lovely sunsets.

So we suggest that, while in your computers, take a look at where every evening in Mallory Square, Key West Florida, hordes assemble to celebrate their sunset, which we can assure everyone is not a patch on ours.

There is no backdrop of mountains, just an horizon.

They allow licensed performers, food carts, etc, and the Stone Jetty would suit well to introduce this, and it would tie in admirably with the idea of a laser light symphony. Of course the weather would not always be in favour.

Being on the upper end of the age spectrum we cannot see ourselves being able to offer much more than the ideas, but we are hopeful those with visions for Morecambe may look at taking these ideas forward. The young man with the original idea may well get excited with this alternative.

Lovers of Old Heysham

Names and address supplied

ASTHMA DEATH: Have action plan ready

Your readers may have been shocked to hear of the death of Stuart Baggs, former star of The Apprentice, to an asthma attack at the age of 27. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at such a heart-breaking time.

Many people don’t realise how serious asthma is yet every 10 seconds someone in the UK is having a potentially life threatening asthma attack and three people die from asthma every day.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that the one in 11 people with asthma in the UK recognise the early warning signs of an asthma attack and know what to do when symptoms get worse.

Every person with asthma should have a written asthma action plan which helps them deal with worsening symptoms and reminds them what to do in an emergency. Without one, people are four times more likely to be admitted to hospital for their asthma.

Anyone concerned about their asthma can call the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800 to speak to a specialist asthma nurse or visit for more information or for a written asthma action plan.

Dr Samantha Walker, Deputy chief executive of Asthma UK.

FRACKING: Too many ifs and buts

We could play ‘ping-pong’ about fracking all day Mr Waters (What is the alternative? August 4).

The caveat at the beginning of the government document was added purely because they were forced to publish, despite fighting against, as they knew how bad it looked.

If they pay enough they will get the report they want. This wasn’t it. How else can they write a report about fracking if they don’t use material from other places where they have actually had experience of it?

Even the people in Texas, the home of drilling, tried to ban it, and it really speaks volumes when hundreds of councillors from another country write to our county council urging them to say no to fracking from their own studies and experience.

Twenty years of blotting the landscape and people’s lives for 10 years worth of dirty gas, way less jobs than they make out, tens of thousands of wagon journeys, air pollution, water pollution (potentially catastrophic), crop, livestock and wildfowl contamination – how on earth is this environmentally friendly?

You would be able to write off the ‘Produced in Lancashire’ label.

What stands out like a sore thumb is the word ‘if’. Rarely have I seen it used quite so much – ‘if’ regulations are adhered to; ‘if’ best practices are followed. So here’s another ‘if’, what ‘if’ they are not, what then when it is too late?

I can see you are clearly one of ‘those’ who sees wind turbines yet you are blind to the thousands of pylons that march across the countryside, like our MP who can spot a bandwagon to leap on from 100 miles.

You ask what I stand for, well, for every £1 of subsidy given to renewable energy, £6 is given to fossil fuel producers. The clue is in the word ‘renewable’, the wind won’t run out in 10 years.

Make no mistake, though, this government does not do democracy. If the Eton Boys want it and someone gets their palm greased, we’ll get it regardless because Cameron, in his own words wants to “get rid of the green crap”, and how well they are doing it.

Ian Hughes, Morecambe Full address supplied

LABOUR: Long tough path ahead

Having read an article by Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, (Abstinence might not make Labour hearts grow fonder), she asks why we are not having a debate about community obligations to one another?

Also that we must ensure individuals and corporations with the broadest shoulders contribute enough to support those of need in our society.

It all sounds wonderful, a Utopian society, however I don’t think the penny has dropped yet, it’s not Utopia, unfortunately we are now living in a virtual ‘One Party State’.

In reality, the Labour Party is now of no consequence and the Tories can now legislate as they please and still go on to win elections.

Unfortunately the Labour Party crossed the rubicon when it elected Ed Miliband as leader instead of his brother, and I’m afraid there is no way back for at least a generation and most probably longer.

Labour stood on the edge of a precipice during the Scottish referendum. If Scotland had broken away then, Labour would have been confined to the wilderness.

Analysis of the figures now tell us without Scotland and including the electoral boundary commission changes that the Tories are going to introduce, Labour would have to gain 106 seats for a majority of one.

To make matters worse, most of the extra seats would have to come from English marginals and from people who voted Tory in the election. This isn’t going to happen.

I shed no tears for the Labour Party. They have made a complete mess of it, they have failed the vulnerable, the poor, and yes the working people

P. Hill, Lancaster

Full address supplied.