The Telegraph Tells It Like It Is : about Blackpool's condition
Its rare that the resort receives unexpurgated journalistic coverage of its actual economic and social condition in the national media. However the Telegraph manages to capture readers attention with a large closeup of the Western Train to headline an insightful independent feature in its December 26th edition. On the theme of 'levelling up' Blackpool gets an in your face treatment on its present woes, and future options in the second decade of the new century.
Shortened life spans, heavy drug dependency, high levels of obesity, tatty town centre with empty shop fronts being among the immediate impressions of the writer. However there is a balanced reporting on the new enterprise zone development at Squires Gate; within focus on South Shore as an exemplary target for Governmental support in its 'Levelling Up' strategy for the north of England. Particularly so given the switch in voting from Labour to Conservative in that Constituency seat - making Blackpool resolutely Tory held in Parliament; whilst remaining under a Labour controlled Council.
Reference to the impending office scheme adjoining Talbot Gateway development in which some 3000 civil service jobs will be concentrated in the town centre from outlying government offices around Blackpool is one of several positive caveats within the extended lead feature. Local businessmen are quoted as having confidence in the town's future and a new sense of direction away from its image (and reality) of cheap as chips holiday profile. Although much much more is needed to break away from the resorts traditional reliance on traditional hoiiday trade.
Whilst one of the illuminated trams headlines this keynote article in the national press - there is no further reference to the town's transport or tramway. Perhaps a follow up feature themed in that direction may yet appear. In any event it is notable that a national paper gives insightful coverage to Blackpool's condition, whilst local media offer only the barest daily feed of superficial headlines and bereft of any meaningful reporting; whether on economic, political or social issues affecting the town. A sampling of the town's main newspaper through the previous century is an eye opener on the level of detailed coverage and reporting Blackpool residents once enjoyed.