Councilor apologizes after claiming Blackpool looks like wasteland in ‘Chernobyl’

Cllr Paul Hayhurst, of Lancashire, compared the seaside town of Blackpool to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Pripyat which exposed thousands of people to radiation poisoning.

Cllr Paul Hayhurst likened Blackpool to a nuclear disaster that caused radioactive poisoning in what is now Ukraine
Cllr Paul Hayhurst likened Blackpool to a nuclear disaster that caused radioactive poisoning in what is now Ukraine

One councilor sparked outrage by calling Blackpool a “Chernobyl” wasteland.

Cllr Paul Hayhurst blew up the seaside resort that he said “looks like Chernobyl no matter how much money you put into it”.

Independent councilor of neighboring Fylde Borough Council, apologized after making the comment at a meeting last week.

A controversy broke out at the Fylde Council meeting centered on the destruction of Lancashire.

The Chernobyl disaster was an infamous 1986 Soviet nuclear accident, in what is now Ukraine, which caused pollution and radioactive poisoning.

The comments have sparked fury, as Blackpool regularly hosts children from Belarus for the holidays whose families are still suffering from the aftermath of Chernobyl.

Now, Cllr Hayhurst has apologized, insisting that his remarks were “not an attack on Blackpool”, but rather a fear that Flyde might eventually be taken over by his neighbours. gulp.

Chernobyl nuclear power plant three days after the explosion in April 1986


Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Flyde, to the south of Blackpool, boasts the seaside resorts of rival Lancashire such as Lytham and St Annes.

Ultimately, both Blackpool and Fylde Council voted in favor of the draft dissolution agreement for Lancashire, involving all jurisdictions in the county.

Explaining his choice of words, Mr Hayhurst said this week: “My speech was not intended to attack Blackpool.

Blackpool Tower in Lancashire


Julian Hamilton / Daily Mirror)

“But (it) was a warning to Fylde that destruction would almost certainly mean that Fylde would be engulfed by Blackpool and become part of Greater Blackpool.

“Acquainting Blackpool would send the wrong message to the government and would certainly facilitate the Fylde’s eventual consumption by its larger neighbour.

“I’m sure this will not please council taxpayers in Fylde, who will ultimately pay the price for Blackpool’s expropriation and the failed tourism industry.”

The wall and roof of the old structure in Chernobyl are still visible to this day


Nice pictures)

In his statement, Cllr Hayhurst warned while Blackpool had “enjoyed the best season in years”, the lifting of Covid restrictions would mean it would “return to its normal role as a last resort”. together.”

But his initial remarks were deemed “sour grapes” and disrespectful by Blackpool Council leader Lynn Williams.

She invited him to visit Blackpool and witness first-hand the town’s reinvention, including its new £28million convention centre.

Cllr Lynn Williams described the comments as “very disappointing and uninformative”.

Blackpool Tower and Coral Island amusement park


Getty Images / Perspective)

She added: “It’s also extremely disrespectful to a neighboring council at a time – to give so much to all residents of Lancashire – we need to work together.

“So if this councilor wants to go to Blackpool, as he obviously hasn’t been in a while, we can show and explain all the things we’re doing to reinvent the town. “

Highlighting how Blackpool often hosts Belarusian families, who are feeling the aftermath of Chernobyl, she added his comment about the nuclear explosion was “most reprehensible”.

Cllr Lynn Williams says comments are ‘very disappointing’


AFP via Getty Images)

She added: “The fact that we have that connection through the generosity of local charities and the residents of Blackpool who are organizing children is really upsetting and unnecessary.”

While Cllr Tony Williams, leader of Blackpool Council’s Conservatives, complained to Fylde Council that the comments were “defamatory”.

“This is offensive to all who live and work in the town and its many interesting attractions and cultural treasures,” he said.

Cllr Tony Williams complains that comments are ‘defamatory’


Julian Hamilton / Daily Mirror)

“Blackpool has provided free holidays to Chernobyl children for many years.

“The use of one of the worst nuclear disaster zones as a cheap political dig at a neighboring authority is absolutely disgraceful.

“I believe Coun Hayhurst’s comments violate the Code of Democratic Conduct and I have made a formal complaint under those rules.”

Blackpool currently has a £1 billion growth and prosperity program with hundreds of millions of pounds of investment including new hotels, conference centres, offices and a £300 million entertainment complex.

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