Readers’ letters - February 5

Aldi has moved into Garstang ' but one reader appeals for residents to remember the town's independent shops too. See letter

Aldi has moved into Garstang ' but one reader appeals for residents to remember the town's independent shops too. See letter

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Energy: A national need

Regarding fracking, yes, local sentiments run high and it’s understandable, of course – the impact on house prices, and the view there may be pollution worries – but energy is a national need.

The price of oil has dropped tremendously, partly because of the US no longer having to be dictated to on energy price because of its shale oil supply.

National security, and this includes energy, overrides any local considerations, I’m afraid.

And the cost of energy here in the UK puts industry at a disadvantage – it’s a major factor. For every windmill built and stood there, often not doing anything, back-up energy is required. This includes times when the wind is too strong.

So if you are sitting on energy that’s readily available – loads of it – this should at least be given a chance. We tend to be more strict about pollution issues, but we should at least try it. I do not wish to be at the mercy of fickle wind, or Putin’s gas supplies which are costed on Russia’s whim (Gazprom) and which is more polluting. I’d hate to think what the cost is to our local major employer (BAe Systems) for energy. No doubt it is significant. It affects the cost of your products, something the US has been quick to exploit.

Mr P Webberley, Warton

Do something positive now

The austerity programme, forced upon us for the last six years, has floundered.

Things have got worse and millions of ordinary people have suffered from Tory dogma and incompetence.

The myth that we live in a democracy and only Conservative politicians are capable of running the economy is exposed.

The Chancellor is claiming that world events are causing the economic slump. How different his attitude was nearly nine years ago when mortgage defaults in America began to snowball around the world resulting in the great recession.

Back then the Tories and their wealthy media friends put all the blame on Labour and Gordon Brown in their usual hypocritical manner. Nine years on, financial markets are tumbling (some say we are on the brink of financial Armageddon) and, as usual, many ordinary people are getting poorer by the day.

Needless to say it is business as usual for those overpaid and overprotected bankers and chancers in the financial old boys network. Those who keep telling us what a great and righteous Chancellor George Osborne is ignore the idiotic tax arrangement (only 20 per cent of the amount due) subsidised by his relentless ‘raids’ on pension funds and giving small savers extra taxes and low interest rates.

It is time for the posing, posturing politicians to do something positive for the people who pay the piper.

Roy Pearson, address supplied

Use local shops or lose them

When first the enlarged Booths store, and now the Aldi superstore, applied to build and trade in Garstang, they claimed they had the interests of the town at heart because their presence would bring an increase in visitors.

Having seen how few shoppers there are on the High Street, even on a Friday afternoon, such claims are entirely unfounded.

Come on, Garstonians and friends of this important market town.

Of course the superstores are a temptation to do a big shop in one place with adjacent car park.

But they can’t replace the supreme quality, experience and friendliness which are the hallmarks of the independent shops.

If we do not support them, we shall lose them.

Margaret Mansfield

Forton

Better in the EU than out of it

As the EU In/Out campaign intensifies ahead of David Cameron’s lack-lustre renegotiations, there is a barrage of misinformation being circulated by the pro-EU side, designed to create a “climate of fear” among the voters.

In a flyer called Europe & You, they regurgitate the past myths, as well as making false accusations against UKIP in their desperate attempts to scare everyone to vote to remain “In”.

In particular, they say more than 3m jobs are linked to our trade with the EU and suggest they would be at risk if we were to leave. The UK is EU’s biggest export market and between 4m and 6m EU jobs rely on trade with us.

In fact many multi-nationals, including Toyota, Airbus, JCB and many more, have stated leaving the EU would make no difference to their continued investment in the UK, while Ford closed its Southampton plant and moved to Turkey –which is not in the EU.

The EU economy has been in decline for many years and will shrink even further in the foreseeable future. There are around 195 countries which make up the world and 51 in Europe (with only 28 in the European Union), they, including our Commonwealth partners, represent tremendous opportunities for our future prosperity and in creating jobs.

We are a strong nation and capable of successfully governing our country and our economy without the interference of a foreign power (EU) better that than remaining in a failing political empire whose goal is total integration, and that includes us.

Philip Griffiths, North West President, (UKIP)

I won’t give up free TV licence

As an avid watcher of the Great British Bake Off since it began, I was horrified when I heard that presenters Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry

were each to be paid an additional £100,000, bringing their fee for the programme up to £600,000.

This news came just after the poor old BBC were claiming to be hard up and asking elderly pensioners – such as ourselves – to give up our free licence to

help them in their financial plight.

If this is an example of how the BBC uses licence fee payers’ money, I will certainly not give up my free licence.

Pat Vivian,

Address supplied