Reader’s letters - Wednesday 15 January 2014

Total has confirmed it is to invest in fracking for shale gas.
Total has confirmed it is to invest in fracking for shale gas.
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Bus cuts will hit vulnerable

As Conservative councillors who represent Lea Ward on Preston Council, we are extremely concerned at the proposed cut in subsidies by Lancashire County Council to certain bus routes.

We understand that the 68 and 75 bus routes through Lea will no longer run during the evening and at weekends after May this year.

We also believe that, when each bus service is up for renewal, there is a possibility it will be completely scrapped, and the 75 bus comes up for renewal shortly.

We have fought for bus services in this part of Preston to enable our elderly and vulnerable residents to get into Preston city centre.

We try to encourage residents to use public transport whenever possible.

In the evenings and on a Sunday, how will the elderly and vulnerable visit their loved ones in the hospital?

In Cottam, we have one service only which is the Orbital Route, and how safe is that?

We would assume not very in this economic climate.

Preston Council is approving planning applications for houses in the Cottam area and yet we are experiencing bus routes being axed, does this make sense?

We know the infrastructure is not in place and we will be swamped with hundreds of cars.

There is a period of consultation going on.

This is purely cosmetic as the decision has been made already.

At the council meeting of Lancashire County Council in February, this decision will be rubber-stamped.

The subsidies will be withdrawn and the bus routes axed and this will continue.

It is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Labour-run county council is being propped up by the Liberal Democrats and they are responsible for these cuts, no one else.

Coun Christine Abram, Coun Julie Buttle, Coun Trevor Hart, Lea Ward Preston Council

Why is French firm involved?

It is pleasing to learn that drilling and fracking is about to commence in the UK, to exploit the massive shale gas reserves which a recent geological report states we have, and so free us from dependence on purchasing future Russian gas supplies.

A further public health report has stated that fracking is completely safe, providing the extremely tight regulations which already exist here are fully observed.

This should settle the objections usually raised by the many environmental groups opposed to fracking in the UK.

However, why is this being sponsored by Total, a French oil firm?

We are aware that shale gas exploration has been banned in France, but why is a British oil firm like BP not involved in exploiting this UK opportunity?

Total will have to ‘buy’ American expertise to achieve this, so why cannot BP do something similar, as well as of being presently involved in offshore oil exploration off the coast of Greenland?

Reports that local authorities are to be allowed to grant licences to employ drilling companies, and possibly share in the profits, are to be welcomed.

The French (through EDF) are already heavily involved in the UK in providing new atomic energy reactors generating electricity, invited to do so by our present Government, costing us many millions.

Surely this should be considered enough foreign involvement?

When it is also realised that many of our utility companies are already in foreign ownership, with profits flowing out of our country.

E J Tilley, Chorley

Missing Mark, our good friend

Over the Christmas holiday, our community lost a good friend and neighbour to many. Mark Harwood was the landlord of the Army and Navy on Meadow Street, and was a familiar sight to all who saw him walking his beloved dog at all hours of the day and night. I put this verse together in memory of him. He is sadly missed.

Oh Mark, I saw your name today

In black and white I saw

That you had passed this Christmas tide

And the pub you’ll grace no more

Why did the Gods see fit to take

A man still in his prime?

Did Heaven need a landlord there

To mix a gin and lime?

Meadow Street is missing you

As is your dog so white...

And all of us are missing you

Morning, noon and night,

God Bless

Linda Zulaica, Preston

Don’t let them close ‘loophole’

The 1996 clause on the bedroom tax needs to be looked into. The clause would have exempted Stephanie Botrill from the tax, as I believe she had been in the same house since 1996.

People should contact their MPs and the Parliamentary Ombudsman, so we can shame the DWP into not trying to “close” this “loophole”.

How they can have the gall to try something like this after the “law” has been passed, I do not know. The bedroom tax has driven many to illness and despair.

Some like Stephanie paid the ultimate price for a government that has no care for the vulnerable and is seemingly going to go at this new clause like rabid dogs.

L Fahy, via email

Scooter riders can be a danger

In reference to the

mobility scooters riding up and down pavements – they do not have insurance or a licence.

On December 18, I was knocked down from behind and broke my wrist. He did not stop and had been drinking.

There was also another woman in the infirmary who had been knocked down by a scooter.

She had suffered a hip fracture.

Why can’t they ride on the road like everybody else?

Mrs M Copeland, Lancaster