Rules keep being changed
So, the Government has unsurprisingly reneged on its previous promise and has decided that fracking can take place beneath Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a decision taken without the opportunity for MPs even to debate it first.
Has it occurred to them that fracking sites themselves, each one bigger than Wembley football pitch, will be placed just outside these areas, also in beautiful areas, with all the consequent disruption, congestion and pollution that this will create. The countryside does not simply cease to exist just because it is outside a designated protected area.
Following the decision, the Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has attempted to reassure us by stating that applications to frack in those locations would have to be approved by the local planning process.
A few months ago, our elected councillors at County Hall, Preston, took the brave decision to refuse Cuadrilla’s applications to frack at Preston New Road and near Roseacre village.
This was a shining example of the Government’s commitment to encourage localism, to encourage local communities to actively engage in decision making through the democratic process at local level. What happened?
This didn’t suit the Government, so it has now decided to overrule the local process by placing the final decision in the hands of one man, Greg Clark, Secretary of State for a pro-fracking Government.
There is an increasing feeling of despair. Our elected representatives at Whitehall continue their headlong dash for shale gas whilst the views of the residents of this country, together with the democratic systems put in place to protect them, are blatantly disregarded.
Whether a supporter of fracking or a campaigner against it, what an example this is to set to decent law-abiding citizens and, in particular, to the impressionable younger generation who are encouraged to abide by the laws of the land.
We have a Government which continues to simply change the rules to suit its own agenda, making promises that it then breaks, over-riding policies that it has put in place, and riding rough-shod over the very people who put the MPs in office. How can we be expected to believe anything that these politicians say any more?
J Bailie, via email
How can £6.6m cost be justified?
What the hell is Lancashire County Council playing at? If there was a prize for consistently wasting ratepayers’ money, it would win hands down. I am sure I am not alone when I say that I was incensed to read that it intends to spend £6.6m on consultancy fees to help it save money (LEP December 17).
When I think how that money could be spend in the community it makes so angry. Who are these people making these decisions? How do they justify this expense? If they can’t manage the budget themselves (after all, that is what they are appointed to do) let them resign and appoint someone else with the skills to do the job.
After the last debacle where outside agencies were used, there were ‘searching’ questions as to the tendering process, ‘questionable practices’ and loss of council funds. Is this episode so readily forgotten?
I have no confidence in this council’s ability to manage the county’s finances. In fact I’d go so far to say that it is incompetent and should be looking within its own ranks to make some savings. It’s funny how the cuts always occur bottom up instead of top down. We need a more open and transparent council.
Come on LCC, give ratepayers access to the decision-making process. You are cutting services to the bone and affecting the lives of the most vulnerable. You are cut off from reality in your ivory towers, with your comfortable lives, high salaries and substantial pensions. I question whether you actually care for the people you are appointed to serve.
Name and address supplied
I wanted to sit down to watch
As a PNE supporter since 1946, and a stand season ticket holder since 1964, I would like to endorse Mr A Sumner’s criticism of the so-called “loud and proud support” (LEP Letters December 17).
I prefer to sit at matches but was unable to do so at Burnley due to the refusal of all the people around me to sit down.
On this occasion I was able to contact a steward who arranged for myself and two friends to move to the front of the stand where we were able to sit and watch the match in comfort. This is not the first time this has happened to me at PNE away matches and I feel strongly that the authorities should make some effort to ensure the rules regarding all-seater stadiums are applied.
Like Mr Sumner, I also don’t hate Blackpool and those --------- in Claret and Blue! Furthermore, I deplore the words in the “Joe Garner anthem” and I would urge the PNE authorities to take steps to eradicate this forthwith.
On a happier note, I enjoyed the performance at Burnley and share Mr Sumner’s pleasure at getting one over on our respected local rivals!
Frank Miller, Ashton
‘Grassing’ can be right thing
EastEnders is a popular soap, which has been running for many years. It has been influential in changing social attitudes, it included the first male gay kiss in a soap, which helped to enlighten views towards gay people, with the result that gay people now have full equality under the law.
However, it continues to promote the view that to “grass” is the worst thing anybody can do.
The Mitchell family continue to commit vile crimes and are never brought to justice.
Surely, if you are a responsible citizen and are aware of a crime being committed, then you report it. I may be old fashioned, but I am sure that is the right thing to do.
CB, address supplied
We should use tidal power
Can anyone explain whether the Government is now in favour of wind power or not? I heard Energy Secretary Amber Rudd in Parliament and she did not seem to know. I can’t understand why more has not been done to harness tidal power.
Kate Murphy via email