HC Deb 10 July 2002 vol 388 c882
Q6. Mr. Gordon Marsden (Blackpool, South)

When he next plans to visit Blackpool.

The Prime Minister

I will visit Blackpool in the autumn.

Mr. Marsden

May I assure my right hon. Friend that he will be warmly welcomed back to a Blackpool that has had three sure start schemes, one of the best-used NHS walk-in centres in the country, and major sea defences all completed in the last 12 months? May I also remind him, however, that Blackpool has 11 million visits a year, and that those visits are not fully funded by the money that is given for policing, health and social services? Given that we are having a fundamental review of local government finance, will he at least talk to his colleagues about this factor, which disadvantages Blackpool and other seaside towns?

The Prime Minister

Let me congratulate my hon. Friend's constituents on the significant advances that they have made on the facilities in Blackpool and on the changes in schools and health, which are important for them. On visitors' costs, he will know that there is a consultation at the moment; some options include provision for this, and some do not. This is obviously a matter that we will consider very carefully, but, at this time, I cannot give him a determined view.

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