Reader’s letters - Thursday June 04, 2015

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans awaits the election result last month but what next for this constituency asks one reader

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans awaits the election result last month but what next for this constituency asks one reader

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Action needed not words

The people of the Ribble Valley have made their choice in the General Election, returning Mr Evans as their MP. Well good for them!

He undertakes, nay pledges, “to guarantee that the Ribble Valley is protected as the rural and semi-rural area it presently is” (letters May 26).

Well pardon me, but is that the clang of a stable door and the sound of a horse bolting down Whalley High Street? After all, this is something he has singularly failed to do during the past five years. Therefore I would like to ask two questions:

1. What is going to change? Answers on a postcard please.

2. Why bother?

After all, the electorate are clearly disinterested in the issue or how else could he have been elected with the “second highest majority of my time”.

I had expected a protest vote; I suspected that even the True Blues must be pretty disillusioned with the rampant development of the past few years, but no! The traditional opposition parties were at best lacklustre it was left to the Green Party candidate to at least make a decent stab at things but his beard went against him.

Sean Gallagher, Brockhall Village

Why fracking has my support

Further to my original letter on fracking (letters May 15) and the response by G Daniels (letters, May 21). G Daniels implies the writer had made a discovery that I am a member of the North West Energy Task Force. This information has been public knowledge for well over a year.

Perhaps I should explain why I became a member. My home is within viewing distance of one of the exploratory wells and, like G Daniels, I had concerns about the process. So I attended one of Cuadrilla’s public events and, still having concerns, I asked if I could visit a rig. Cuadrilla invited me to a site and I spoke with geologists, chemists, engineers and health and safety staff and came away from the visit satisfied the concept was as safe as any other industrial process (but let us not forget that all industrial processes have inherent risks). The need for a reliable domestic source of environmentally acceptable energy is obvious, so I decided I should join the Task Force. I should make it clear I have no financial, or business, interest in the project.

G Daniels asserts the idea Mr Putin could turn off the gas supply is “blatant nonsense”. A check on recent history will show Russia has cut off gas supplies to neighbouring countries several times over the past decade. Should this gas supply be turned off again there will be a free-for-all to secure other supplies which will create shortages and drive the price of gas up dramatically. Perhaps there should be a facility for those who contest this premise to be able to commit themselves to be the first people to have their gas supply cut off should such a situation come to pass?

The comment that “..implemented only one of 10 recommendations …”is factually inaccurate. As of March 25 2015 six of the recommendations are recorded as complete and the other four are ongoing, some of which are “pending operational data”.

And, yes, the exploratory drilling will require hydraulic fracturing, but in every developmental situation you need to perform a degree of the task to ensure the process operates as planned. This will be carried out under strict supervision of the regulators, ensuring physical and environmental safety are the foremost considerations. How else do we prove the process is safe and works as planned?

We have to be sure every element of shale gas operations are safe, and the North West Energy Task Force is as keen as anyone to see there is a strong regulatory structure overseeing the operations, whilst also looking at security of gas supply and the potential for employment opportunities in the North West.

Frank McLaughlin, address supplied

In praise of a wonderful NHS

On May 11, I had my first overnight stay in hospital in all of my 70 years.

Towards the end of January this year, I noticed blood in my urine. Within days I had an appointment with Dr Raffi, my GP, but a urine sample showed no sign of blood.

On March 7, the condition returned and a sample this time showed the presence of blood.

Within two weeks, an endoscopy was carried out at Chorley Hospital and a small growth in my bladder wasdetected.

The consultant explained, in detail, what needed to be done and shortly thereafter, I had a CT scan at the same hospital as a precaution to see if there were any other problems which, fortunately, there were not.

I could have had the operation to remove the growth on April 20 but, for family reasons, requested postponement until May 11.

As it required a general anaesthetic, I was informed that it would require a stay of up to three nights. This, once again, was carried at Chorley Hospital and as it happened, my stay was only one night.

I cannot praise too highly, the standard of care which I have received, throughout my treatment and even the hospital food was good.

We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful service in our town from my GP to all the hospital staff.

The NHS is the butt of much criticism these days, some of which is probably justified, but we should be extremely thankful for its existence.

People should remember and be told of the lack of affordable medical care for all but the relatively wealthy which was the case before its introduction.

We, as a nation, should not lose sight of its founding principals, those of quality health care for all, free of charge at the point of contact and ensure that this ethic is maintained for future generations.

Ian Hunter, Chorley

Treat to see old photographs

Regarding the old Whitsuntide pictures (Retro May 20). Thank you for the picture of the swing-boats on the fairground.

My sister and I are sitting on the right hand side, it was a joy to see. Notice the bows in our hair, mum did those. “Happy Days.”

Thank you.

Mrs P Harrison, Leyland