This week's mailbag includes letters on homelessness, the splits in the Labour Party and an appeal to help a children's charity
Homelessness is an emergency
Rough sleeping in Blackpool has increased 200 per cent since 2010. And across the North West rough sleeping has increased 328 per cent.
These new figures are deeply disturbing, and reveal the damage caused by years of austerity to families and communities in Blackpool and across the North West.
When speaking to the homeless community in Blackpool, they told me their awful stories. Many forced to the streets because of debt, addition, mental illness or abuse.
This is a national emergency and the Government needs to take immediate action.
I will fight to guarantee emergency accommodation for every rough sleeper in this cold weather and work to ensure 8,000 homes are available to keep those who have slept rough off the streets for good.
Labour parliamentary candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys
The independent spirit is growing
It’s very interesting that seven Labour MPs have left their party and become Independents.
Whilst I would probably have major policy differences with all of them, were I would agree is with their claim that the two-party system is broken and change is needed.
Totally agree with this. As we have seen in Wyre, members can come together for the benefit of their residents . No whipped votes, no toeing a party line just Councillors making their own judgement and voting with their conscience.
It has to be the way forward and it is time for change.
Disaffected Tories and disaffected Labour members are welcome to join us.
While we are required by Wyre to have a party structure, in effect we are a loose arrangement that allows everyone to have differing views and voting intentions.
I won’t name those of either party that have the same view but will be delighted to have a conversation with them some time soon.
Leader, Wyre Independents and Breck Ward councillor
Pupils need to hit some high notes
I am an ambassador for WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children, and I would like to invite primary school choirs in Fleetwood to enter an exciting singing competition.
The WellChild School Choir of the Year competition is open to pupils from one primary school in the UK to display their singing talents in the company of a host of celebrities and perhaps even royalty at the WellChild Awards this autumn.
WellChild is launching its third annual singing competition for primary schools across the UK to see who can perform the best version of the classic song Lean on Me, by Bill Withers. The winners will perform their version at this year’s WellChild Awards.
All each school needs to do is find 20 of their best musical stars and send WellChild a video of them singing their rendition of Lean on Me. Schools can be as creative or as classical as they want, it’s up to them.
The competition will culminate in a live public vote from June 12 to July 12. The five schools with the most votes and five schools with the highest fund-raising total will then qualify for the final judging by a panel of musical experts.
The lucky winner will not only be crowned WellChild School Choir of the Year, but will win the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at our prestigious WellChild Awards.
This is a fantastic opportunity for schools across the UK to get involved in a fun musical competition with a great prize while at the same time helping WellChild with their work supporting seriously ill children and their families. We would love to see as many schools as possible singing their version of Lean on Me so get recording your entry now!
To get involved, visit the WellChild website here at www.wellchild.org.uk/schoolchoir