Readers’ letters - January 6

Pro-frackers want local communities to prosper, says a reader. See letter
Pro-frackers want local communities to prosper, says a reader. See letter
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We’re backing fracking

Fylde residents opposed to fracking are wrong to claim that shale gas supporters are motivated by a desire to profit at the expense of local communities because the exact opposite is true.

At Backing Fracking, a residents’ collective dedicated to supporting shale gas, we want local communities to prosper.

We believe that fracking, if exploration is successful and it goes ahead at scale, could lead to the creation of better jobs, with better pay and better prospects in parts of the country that really need them, like Blackpool and Preston.

The constant effort to portray all shale gas supporters as being in the pay of the industry, or seeking to gain from it personally, is divisive and speaks more of the character of the people opposing it than it does those of us that hope it will one day go ahead.

It’s clear that fracking opponents want to suppress our voices so that media reporting continues to give the false impression that nobody wants it.

We want it, and we’re not alone. We believe that most rational Lancashire residents accept that gas is essential to our way of life, that it’s better to produce our own rather than increasingly rely on expensive foreign imports, and that by doing so, it’s possible to create thousands of jobs and new taxes for government to spend on frontline public services and subsidies for renewable energy.

We just see things differently. We’re entitled to our views and we’re entitled to share them too – which we will continue to do in 2016 and beyond, because we believe in fracking.

Ellie Rylands, Backing Fracking

Climate change is the reason

Paul Nuttall’s recent letter exploring the causes of the recent floods that have devastated the region contained only one surprise: that he didn’t try to find a way of blaming them on immigration as well as the EU (LEP January 5).

It’s absolutely true that poor land management decisions taken at all levels of government – from the EU all the way down to the local council – have made flooding more likely, but why won’t he accept the root cause behind it all?

Let’s look at the evidence: 2015 breaking the average temperature record with 2016 set to beat it, and the most extreme impact of the El Niño phenomenon ever observed.

While Mr Nuttall bleats about leaving the EU, he’s doing nothing to face up to the very real climate change that’s now blighting local lives.

And leaving the EU would be a disaster in our attempts to respond: we’d lose the capacity to work with our neighbours against a crisis that simply doesn’t recognise national borders, and we’d be handing power back to the carbon-obsessed cheerleaders for fracking in the Tory Government at Westminster.

Meanwhile, more and more houses would still be built without decent energy efficiency standards, and the council would press on with its plans for more new roads, encouraging more traffic and more emissions, whether we are in the EU or not.

It’s time UKIP woke up to the fact that they need a better environmental policy than just “Leave the EU”, and if they’re not willing to provide real solutions to the climate crisis that’s affecting everyone, they should stand aside for those of us who will.

Will Patterson, Green Party

New Year List is a shambles

What a shambles is the New Year’s Honours List. It makes Harold Wilson’s Lavender List look positively fragrant!

Congratulations however to those who really deserved their awards such as those who helped fight the deadly Ebola crisis – more of these types please!

Derek Hollingsworth via email

Qualities of the ideal candidate

I am in total agreement with Mick Gradwell’s that the next Police and Crime Commissioner should be someone with overall personal abilities and experience of operating within the public, private and voluntary sectors (LEP December 31). I would add that these abilities must be proven and not just the promise of them.

This why I consider myself to be the ideal candidate. As well as a detailed knowledge of the workings of the police at a local and national level, I served for 28 years in the Lancashire Constabulary and for a year with the Association of Chief Police Officers, based in London. I have a proven track record in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

A good example of this would be when I headed up the Lancashire Drug Action Team. I worked on secondment from the police alongside colleagues from the public sector organisations as we commissioned services to deal with substance misuse.

I was responsible for a budget of £14m per annum and working with the private (drug treatment clinics) and the voluntary sector (Lifeline, Drugline, and others) to ensure individuals received the appropriate advice and treatment to deal with their substance misuse.

The results of this work contributed to the reduction in crime across the county, reduction in drug-related deaths and increase in people receiving treatment.

This work is complex and requires considerable negotiating skills, knowledge of the capabilities of the major partners (police, NHS, voluntary sector) and contract management. All of which will be required in the new Police and Crime Commissioner.

Andy Pratt, Preston

Open letter to red light cyclist

Dear cyclist, I am the lady to whom you shouted “Shut up” as I remonstrated with you as you crashed through the red lights on January 4, about 6.45am, at High Gate Lane, Warton/Freckleton boundary, as I was about to cross.

I am inviting you to email me via this newspaper to tell me why you think the Highway Code does not apply to you. Alternatively you are welcome to attend any Bryning with Warton Parish Council meeting to explain. This meeting is at 7.15pm on the first Tuesday of every month at our Village Hall. There is an allotted time for members of the public to speak.

Warton lady pedestrian