Today see the official launch of the Les Dawson Statue Fundraising Committee, which I’ll be a member of. Les was a very funny comedian who chose to live in the Borough for many many years and brought joy nationally and internationally. Building a statue by public subscription and other fund raising activities will be good for the borough brining in additional tourist and brightening up a piece of Lytham and St. Annes with memories of his comic brilliance. It will also show the esteem that Les was held in by the public for future generations.

Some people in the rural area my say, ‘so what’ it’s in Lytham and St Annes, again! However I’d respond that St. Annes is the tourist draw to the borough and the visitor economy is the boroughs third largest employer. These are local jobs that create local money that recycles itself around locally. How many people own their living or part of their living to the tourist pound? How many shops take money from outside visitors, how many of those shops, hotels and tourist facilities procure services and goods from local businesses and how many pay none domestic rates which Fylde Council and the Country benefit from.

It’s all too easy to say Tourism and the Visitor Economy does not affect the Rural Areas, and you’ll here that in the coming weeks from malcontents and small minded people chasing easy votes, but the whole borough benefits when the whole borough is looked after. Support the visitor economy and the amounts of cash it generates locally for the whole borough in something to be grateful for.

With tourism though and if we get it right there is also another benefit. How many people have a first rate beach on their door step? How many people have all the facilities that St Annes has to offer no more than a 15 minute drive away? All the hotels that offer first rate accommodation and venues? All the bars, pubs and restaurants that are all so great? Would any of this be here with out the market drive for tourists? And on top of that we’ve the best natural coast line and dune systems in a long way.

So I believe it is right to support the Les Dawson Statue and it is also right to support tourism, as without it we’ll all be the poorer.