Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Memoranda


Supplementary memorandum submitted by Blackpool Coalition Against Gambling Expansion (BCAGE)

  It is reported in today's local newspaper that a delegation of Blackpool Councillors are to offer verbal evidence to the Committee regarding the casino proposals for Blackpool.

  From the guide we understand we may suggest questions that the Committee may wish to ask those giving verbal evidence. Could the Blackpool Coalition Against Gambling Expansion please suggest these questions are put to the Blackpool delegation?

  Why did you agree to so many people with vested interests in gambling expansion, or being supporters of it, being made directors of the Blackpool Challenge Partnership?

  Why did you agree to the unelected Blackpool Challenge Partnership spending £140,000 of public money to lobby the Government for special casino status?

  What else was spent in officers time, promotional materials on the casino agenda etc?

  Why did the Council not openly debate the implications of the casino proposals BEFORE authorising the BCP to promote the casino agenda?

  Why has the Council not organised a single public meeting where both sides of the casino implications could be put, and both those in favour and against could answer questions from the public?

  Why have the leaders of all three groups on the Council refused to answer any questions asked by the Blackpool Coalition Against Gambling Expansion.

  The Council has sent survey forms to every house in Blackpool on various issues, why have you not included any questions about the casino proposals?

  As a newspaper survey indicated that 45.9 per cent of Blackpool residents are against the casino proposals ON PRINCIPLE, do you agree that it would be democratic and wise to undertake a full survey or referendum on the views of Blackpool residents?

  As the Select Committee can tell from our questions we are very dissatisfied with the conduct of our local politicians. At least half the people of Blackpool would be interested in the replies to those questions. Thank you for allowing us to include this extra memorandum.

2 May 2002

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