Reader’s letters - Wednesday, August 12

Protesters opposing fracking. A correspondent replies to a previous letter about the subject. See letter

Protesters opposing fracking. A correspondent replies to a previous letter about the subject. See letter

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Liking fracking less and less

In his letter, Michael Roberts claims that there are several reasons why we don’t see much evidence of support for fracking (LEP August 5). Firstly he claims the subject is too technical, but there is an abundance of introductory material published by those on both sides. Surely he is not suggesting that people who might support fracking are too lazy to do any research?

Secondly, he claims that opponents of fracking “set themselves up as experts and avoid listening to real experts”. It is sad that he seems to believe that only the experts he agrees with are “real”, but this does clearly illustrate the dogmatic and condescending approach that is putting so many people off the process. He goes on to bewail the fact that he has been criticised on social media and suggests that this discourages people from openly supporting fracking. Surely he is not suggesting that people who might support fracking lack the courage of their own convictions?

He suggests that the “don’t knows” are being swayed by hyped information on risks.

Whilst some exaggerated claims do get made on both sides, there is a abundance of well-argued material out there. To pick up on the earthquake risk he refers to, it is clear the risk is not so much to buildings but to well-integrity. That is not a hyped up risk as events at Preese Hall in 2011 made clear. Surely he is not suggesting that people who might support fracking don’t have the intelligence to decide what is credible and what is not?

I agree that “Lancastrians need answers” but to get those answers we have to ask questions about the risks about which he is so dismissive. His suggestion that “It is difficult for Cuadrilla or any other firm to give answers due to the propaganda against them” is amusing, given the sums of money that have been spent by this industry on ... propaganda. Does he not know who PPS or Bell Pottinger are and what they do?

He suggests that “Few have actually studied reports by organisations like the EA, BGS, DECC etc “ but I would like to know how he can support that assertion. I know many people who have ploughed through these in their own time and most of them decide against fracking as a result.

As the DECC’s 14th wave public attitudes survey reveals, the more people learn about fracking the less they like it. His optimism that fracking will be safe as long as “all safety procedures are followed” is touching but is not supported by what has happened so far. For those of us who live in the real world, there are still questions to be asked and answered.

Name & Address supplied

Refusal makes no sense at all

Never can there have been more ludicrous reasons given by councillors as there have been relating to refusal to change the empty shop near the corner of Victoria Road/Garstang Road in Fulwood from a sandwich shop into a café/restaurant.

Against the recommendation of the planning officers, the plan has been refused. Coun Harry Seddon says there are fears over cars reversing onto the extremely busy Garstang Road, with similar views expressed by Coun David Hammond.

Whilst their comments might otherwise have some validity, it is staggering when, only 50 yards away, on the same side of the road, there is daily mayhem each evening, with drivers dropping off/collecting children from the Muslim school.

If these councillors think a café might be dangerous, they need to take a very close look at this establishment to see what“dangerous” really is.

I can honestly say that I know many people who avoid this area at rush hour because it is so bad.

This has been going on for years and the safety of other motorists is disregarded, not to mention the safety of those attending the school.

I would think residents would only object to the proposed café because they don’t want the situation to come any worse than it already is!

J Smithson, address supplied

Waiting for a proper debate

As a Wyre Council taxpayer who does not live in the borough but regularly visits Garstang, I have recently become aware of Wyre’s public consultation over its proposed 15-year development plan.

I have managed a quick response but believe that Wyre has some serious questions to answer.

1. Why has a public consultation on matters of such vital interest been staged almost entirely in the holiday season?

2. How is the ordinary citizen expected to respond meaningfully to a document written in planner’s jargon, such as “Do you agree that the Spatial Portrait set out above is factually correct?” (question one of the response form)?

3. Why is Wyre Borough Council asking its citizens to choose between “options” as to where future development should be “focused”, rather than producing a coherent plan that takes into account the very different needs of different parts of the borough?

How can people in Garstang offer an informed opinion on the future development needs of Fleetwood?

Offering options in this way can only encourage “nimbyism”.

4. Where is the evidence of Wyre working together with neighbouring authorities in order to address the problem of the hopelessly inadequate transport infrastructure, without which no development plan has any chance of succeeding?

5. When will there be a proper public debate?

Michael Pyke, Shenstone, Staffs

Music isn’t to

all our ears

I remember when the weather was hot the BBC asking people to consider their neighbours by turning down the volume on their radio if they had their windows open. We now have an advertisement for Radio One encouraging people to open their windows, whether in the house or car, turn up the volume high and blast the music to everyone.

To me the difference in these two messages says a lot about the changing face in society and I am surprised that the BBC would stoop to encouraging such lack of care and consideration for neighbours and people in general.

How has a network that used to pride itself in being a stalwart of good taste taken on being the arbiter of public nuisance?

J Hutchinson via email