Reader’s letters - May 05, 2015

Westmill Solar farm, in Oxfordshire, the first community owned solar farm in the UK (see letter)

Westmill Solar farm, in Oxfordshire, the first community owned solar farm in the UK (see letter)

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Green energy off agenda

The economy has been a big theme of the general election campaign but one aspect which has been overlooked is the green economy.

A new report out this week shows that onshore wind power benefits the North West economy to the tune of £400m and that Lancashire businesses are playing a leading role in the supply chain and creating green jobs.

Not only that but our local wind sector is already powering 150,000 homes every year and protecting people from climate change by cutting carbon emissions. Such benefits help explain the popularity of renewables over fracking.

The Government’s latest survey of attitudes towards energy shows that while four-fifths of the public support renewables such as wind and solar, less than one in four support shale gas. Despite the millions spent on public relations by the fracking lobby and the Government’s gung ho support, people are not falling for the hype.

Lancashire’s politicians must listen to the overwhelming majority of people who want a clean energy future, back our burgeoning renewable economy and say no to dirty fracking.

Helen Rimmer, Leyland

Fracking is not being debated

It is interesting to note the Conservative Party manifesto carries main headline themes relating to protecting and enhancing the environment, backing green and low-carbon energy, and guaranteeing clean, affordable, secure energy supplies.

So why does drilling for shale gas, a major issue and one which the Prime Minister himself said was a battle he was determined to win, only receive almost passing reference in the text?

Is it because the fracking process is at odds with all these attention grabbing headlines? Or are they sensitive to the subject as it is proving to be such a controversial issue for the electorate? Fracking is very much a local issue and should be a concern to all residents of the Fylde coast. If it goes ahead, with dozens of drill sites across our countryside and some close to our homes (and possibly drilling horizontally underneath them) it could have an extremely negative impact on the very image and reputation of our region.

It is responsible local people, including members of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) and Defend Lytham who have committed an enormous amount of time and effort to raise awareness of the fracking process. They should be applauded for demonstrating their concern and pride in the area in which they live, as should several concerned residents who have the local community and its wellbeing very much at heart.

J Bailie, email

Pension deal is unfair on OAPs

The Treasury has claimed the triple lock has given pensioners higher increases over the past five years than was previously the case, but figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show the basic state pension would actually be £1.15 a week higher this year if the government had not changed the rules on annual increases. Up to 2010, the basic state pension had risen in line with the higher of the Retail Price Index or by 2.5 per cent. In June of that year, the Chancellor announced the RPI would be replaced by the lower Consumer Price Index.

The result meant the basic state pension would have been higher for four years of the Parliament under the old rules, rather than using the triple lock.

By April 2015 it would have been £117.10 a week rather than £115.95 - £58.90 a year more. In addition, the total loss to someone receiving the full basic state pension over the five years of the triple lock has been £163.80.

Derek Barton, North West Regional Pensioners Association, Preston

Unsung gem of the city centre

It was 1964 , very hot , and my wife and I were happily slumped by a swimming pool just outside Dornbirn in Austria.

We were chatting to an old Belgian man called Henri , he recognised our accent as he had spent some time in Preston during the war years.

He told us, that in his opinion, we had two magnificent buildings These were the Town Hall, and Miller Arcade. He was saddened when he heard from us the fate of the Town Hall. Not half as sad as we would all have been if we knew what the town vandals were planning.

I will admit, ‘til then I had never really looked at the arcade, but what a fabulous building it is. I am pleased to bits that they are finally planning a good use for her, and we are not going the good old Preston way and demolishing her.

Allan Fazackelery, Penwortham

Selling off bank the wrong way

Several years ago Lloyds Bank was one of several profligate institutions rescued by Government using billions of pounds of tax payers’ money. Currently the Government own 43.4 per cent of the shares in Lloyds

Now George Osborne says that, if re-elected, the Tories will sell the remainder of the shares on the open market allowing financial institutions and rich individuals to buy them. Is it right that the bank’s shares bought by taxpayers’ money should be off-loaded in such a way?

Gerard Parke-Hatton, Broughton

Time to end the play-off curse

After seeing North End escape two open goals from Colchester. The lob from the left wing over our keeper’s head and the penalty miss, I was sure that North End would go on to win, but it was not to be.

It was the Bolton Wanderers play-off final all over again with three-quarters of the team not turning up. The team selection was right with players you would expect to provide the win.

I feel that the players should make a public apology for such an inept display.

All records come to an end as we found out on Sunday, and I see no reason why our play-off final ‘record’ should not come to an end at Wembley. Come on you players, you owe us.

Newdays, via e-mail