Readers’ letters - January 4

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Robin Hood in anti-shale fight

There is no end to the relentless onslaught of shale gas companies destroying our natural habitats and beauty spots in the UK.

The democratic wishes of the people in Lancashire were defied, aided and abetted by the Government, even after Lancashire County Council voted against Cuadrilla having permits to frack.

Now through a freedom of information request, we hear that INEOS, via its land surveyors, has been in correspondence with the Forestry Commission regarding access to carry out ‘seismic surveys’ on forestry commission land, which is the first stage to prospecting for shale gas.

National Trust land at Clumber Park, a large country estate north of Sherwood Forest, is designated as an exploratory site.

If the plans progress, INEOS’s surveys could pass within a few hundred metres of the Great 800-year Sherwood Oak where Robin Hood’s Merry Men are said to have slept.

We see therefore that, in the quest for shale gas by these global companies, nothing is sacred, even though the National Trust has a policy that prevents fracking on their properties.

England’s green and pleasant land is soon to be industrialised by these companies, who are effectively sticking two fingers up to us in their pursuit of profit!

Other sites in the Midlands are also earmarked for planning permission to be granted.

We cannot expect the Government to intervene, given their blind faith in shale gas. Again we rely on community opposition groups to protest.

Maybe a new Robin Hood and his men will defeat the Government as the majority of people want renewable clean energy for the future to bring jobs and keep our heritage safe!

After all, so many countries have recognised the benefits of renewable energy, but we remain in the thrall of old, damaging, and dirty technology.

Why?!

Marjorie Nye

Address supplied

council tax

Priorities

are wrong

Once again council tax raises its ugly head, only this time with frightening consequences for those on fixed incomes such as pensioners and others who have no entitlements under the benefit systems.

These are people who may live in a valuable property but have no means of increasing their incomes to compensate for the increases.

They may have lived in the same property all their lives and have seen its value rise over the years but their incomes have not increased in proportion.

These council tax increases are being forecast to be anything from five

per cent to a mind-boggling 16 per cent in some areas and are being imposed to pay to cover councils’ social care expenditure.

There are approximately 22 million taxable properties in England generating about £24bn pounds in revenues.

According to Government publications, the increases to cover

social care will generate between £208 and £356m, which is a piddling sum compared to the many billions of pounds paid in overseas aid to corrupt regimes known to misappropriate aid monies.

This is downright scandalous, especially when the Government knows all about the corruption, yet sting our own tax payers into paying for our own social care.

Someone has got their priorities wrong!

Derek J Bunting

via email

council tax

A national disgrace

Why is our Government wanting to encourage our local authorities to raise taxes to pay for woefully lacking social NHS care in our country whilst still giving obscenely large amounts of tax payers’ money to dubious and frequently corrupt politicians and Governments in third world countries?

Little is declared as to how the sum of 0.79 per cent of our GDP should be allotted to this very purpose came about, but when it becomes apparent that a comparative small percentage of this total amount could pay for this declared social NHS shortfall in the care of our own citizens, it becomes a national disgrace and this unfairness in raising this capital by imposing taxes should be opposed most vehemently.

No one is suggesting that overseas aid should not be continued.

Giving it to overseas charities might be more transparent than

furthering international corruption.

However, saddling our own population with extra taxes to pay for this glaring NHS shortfall is not the sensible way any democratic country should be expected to behave.

E J Tilley

Chorley

gratitude

Big thank you to taxi hero

I would like to say a big thank you to the taxi driver who came to the assistance of our daughter in the small hours of New Year’s Day.

She was returning home from a party in the Black Bull area of Fulwood when a complete stranger approached her and made offensive sexual remarks to her.

She was upset and distressed and ran away as quickly as she could.

By an amazing coincidence, a taxi driver happened to see what had happened and offered to take her home.

He brought her safely home and refused payment.

We are so grateful to him for this, and because we have no way of knowing who he was, we will make a donation to charity in the amount of the fare. Once again, a big thank you to this unknown hero.

Name supplied

via email

nostalgia

Waking up the pigeons

The delightful picture of the two cyclists in Looking Back (LEP December 15) brought back memories prompting me to send this early 1960s photo of myself and pal John on my tandem.

A workmate, knowing that I was a keen cyclist, had given me an old ‘New Hudson’ tandem frame. After renovating and building it up with spare parts from my solo bicycle, I was keen to try it out.

I asked John to accompany me on a trip around the streets of the town. After a wobbly start, we found ourselves riding under the arch of a railway bridge which prompted us to sing with gusto, the song Come away with William Tell. The echo was tremendous!

Suddenly a policeman stepped out in front of us and shouted “Stop, you two.”

He then proceeded to ask why we were making “that racket” and, pointing to the rear handlebars, said to John, “Where are your brakes?” I told the bobby that, “as I am the Captain, I control the tandem” and pointed to my brake levers . “Hmm,” he muttered. “Hmm!” Then with a half smile, he said, “Okay, be along with you – and stop that singing malarkey, you’ll wake up the pigeons.” Happy memories!

Tony Wignall

Preston