There has been deep concern and anger expressed as Blackpool was likened to Chernobyl (featured photograph) the scene of a nuclear meltdown by a Councillor. Independent Councillor Paul Hayhurst (pictured below) warned that Fylde faced being swallowed up by its Lancashire neighbour which “looks like Chernobyl no matter how much money you put in there”. Mr Hayhurst was speaking out against recommendations for Fylde to support plans for a Lancashire-wide deal when he made the comment.
Councillor Hayhurst said, ‘I am convinced on that basis that the more co-operation we have with our neighbours down the road, the more this area is going to suffer.’ He added that while Fylde was ‘a prosperous borough’, Blackpool ‘looks like Chernobyl no matter how much money you put in there’.
His comments were made during a debate about devolution at Fylde Council. The remarks have been branded ‘sour grapes’ and ‘disrespectful’ by Blackpool Council leader Lynn Williams who described the comments as ‘very disappointing and ill-informed’.
She said, ‘It’s also incredibly disrespectful to a neighbouring council at a time when, to deliver a great deal for all of the residents of Lancashire, we need to work together. So if this councillor wants to come to Blackpool, as he’s clearly not been for a while, we can show and explain all the many things we are doing to regenerate the town.’
Blackpool regularly hosts children for holidays from Belarus, where families are still suffering from the after-effects of Chernobyl. With that in mind, Blackpool Council Leader Councillor Williams said it was ‘most deplorable’ for Paul Hayhurst to make the connection. She added, ‘Our having that connection through the generosity of local charities and residents of Blackpool hosting children is just really deeply unpleasant and unnecessary.’