Councillor criticises Prince Andrew's decision to cancel East Lancs visit (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Councillor criticises Prince Andrew's decision to cancel East Lancs visit
6:00pm Saturday 13th October 2012 in News
A PENDLE councillor has criticised Prince Andrew’s decision to cancel a visit to East Lancashire.
The Duke of York was expected to attend a ceremony at Nelson and Colne College to award staff and students with a special science status and a visit to Training 2000 in Blackburn.
But hours before Thursday's visit, the college was told 'adverse weather conditions’ had prevented the Prince's private helicopter from taking off.
Coun Mohammed Iqbal said he had spoken to students who felt ‘let down’ by the Royal no-show.
He said: “I was disappointed with his reasons. The students I spoke to were let down because they had been very much looking forward to meeting him.
“I would have expected a bit more effort on his part. What was to stop him jumping on a train to Preston and then heading over to Nelson?
“There were no cancellation on the railways as far as I’m aware. Is a first-class Virgin train not good enough for royalty?”
It is believed the Prince was supposed to fly from the RAF Northolt in Middlesex.
A spokesman for Heathrow Airport, eight miles away, said no flights had been cancelled on Thursday morning.
He said: “While conditions were unpleasant, they certainly weren’t severe enough to cause cancellations.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the Prince was now arranging a new visit to the college for October 29, but said he could not comment any further for 'security reasons'.
Nelson and Colne College said they not yet been told of a new date for the visit.
A spokesperson said: “We know he is keen to return to the area but nothing has been specifically arranged with the college.
“As far as we’re concerned, while it was disappointing, it was also unavoidable due to fog down south.
“The college is fine with the decision and we were happy to welcome our MP Andrew Stephenson and we all had a really good day.”