Reader’s letters - Friday November 28, 2014

Fracking meeting: The Roseacre Awarerness Group earlier this year (see letter)
Fracking meeting: The Roseacre Awarerness Group earlier this year (see letter)
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Put fracking plan on hold

As chair of the Roseacre Awareness Group, I represent more than 100 residents from Roseacre and the surrounding villages.

We live close to Roseacre Wood, one of the two sites for which Cuadrilla has submitted planning applications to drill and hydraulically fracture for shale gas, and as such would be directly impacted by the plans to ‘frack’ in Lancashire.

We welcome the results of the Greenpeace survey (LEP November 25) as it clearly shows the strength of feeling opposing fracking here in Lancashire. So far more than 20,000 planning objections have been submitted for the two sites.

We know, from personal experience, that the number of people who oppose fracking is growing daily as more and more people become aware of what fracking really entails and of the environmental damage it can cause. We have spent many months researching the potential impacts of this industry on our rural community, and also the wider implications, and we are extremely concerned.

We hope this survey demonstrates the real feeling of opposition and that our elected representatives take note and call for a moratorium or public debate. The majority of residents in Lancashire do not want this industry here, or indeed anywhere, whilst there are so many uncertainties. The risks to the environment, people’s health and climate change are just too great. We do not want to become guinea pigs for this industry!

We believe there are far better, and much cleaner, ways to solve the UK energy needs and that we should be divesting away from dirty fossil fuels; not rushing headlong into a reckless ‘dash for gas’.

You only need to look at the emerging scientific evidence from the US to see the harm that can be done by this industry with the growing number of reports of significant health problems, water pollution, earthquakes, leaky wells and damage the environment.

We must take time to consider the impacts and, despite the industry PR and hype that we will do it differently here, we have not seen any evidence of this. In fact many of the government’s own Chief Scientific Advisor’, Public Health England and our own Lancashire County Council director of public health’s safety recommendations are still outstanding.

We just hope our local officials will apply due diligence when considering these planning applications and urge caution. It would seem sensible to impose a moratorium until the British public is fully reassured there will be no significant detrimental impacts on people’s health, the environment or climate change. After all we are still a democracy aren’t we?

Barbara Richardson, via e-mail

Level of protest is not enough

Your correspondent J W Browne (letters November 25) talks of miscarriages of justice and draws a parallel between the case of Robert Hayes-Danson and those of the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six.

There is a big difference between the two. In the case of the bombings the police were under intense pressure from all quarters to find the culprits and so perpetuated a huge miscarriage of justice against those individuals convicted and the victims and their loved ones.

In Hayes-Danson’s case there was no such pressure “to get a result” born of intense political, public and media scrutiny.

Those campaigning for Hayes-Danson are shouting as loudly as possible, as is their right (although their tactics leave a lot to be desired), but it would appear that it is simply the volume of this noise which is causing J W Browne to be swayed by into thinking “there is more to this than immediately meets the eye” rather than anything as critical as an evaluation of the evidence on which he was convicted.

Name and address supplied

Facilities fit for animal house

My wife and I are both 68-year-old grandparents who like to take our two grandchildren, aged one and four, on little trips out. After walking round Blackpool Zoo for a few hours we stopped for lunch in the cafe.

After eating a very ordinary and expensive meal I was appointed for nappy duty. I took my granddaughter first past the gents then the ladies to a door that says unisex baby changing room.

So in we went, on entering there was a mum to the left changing a baby on the only changing bed, in the middle there were two pushchairs and two toddlers standing next to them. The mum was talking to another mum through a cubicle door and in between there were two urinals. Now I am not a planner but from the start I could see this was a bad idea.

The mums both stopped talking and the looks I got made me feel like I definitely should not be there. I dread to think what would have happened if I had

decide to use the urinal.

So I waited our turn, changed the nappy and headed for the hills. I know we are meant to be more liberated these days but surely this is taking things a bit far.

Terry Casey, via e-mail

Health carve-up well under way

In response to the anonymous letter (letters November 24), which accuses Labour of “scaremongering” about “privatisation” of the NHS, perhaps your correspondent will take cognisance of a spokesman (not a politician), of the British Medical Association.

He said ( Financial Times November 20 ) that deepening “privatisation” of the NHS shows that the government had been untruthful when they denied that the shake-up would produce more privatisation; in fact their actions are damaging the NHS and wasting money.

Fragmented services compromised high quality care and diverted funding from the frontline services to complicated tendering processes.

Recently, profit-driven firms are to win over £9bn of NHS contracts to look after patients; 131 contracts worth £2.6bn to provide NHS service have been awarded since the Health and Social Care Act came into force in 2013 .

Ron Atkins, Preston