Readers' letters

Another '˜pie in the sky' idea

By The Newsroom
Friday, 7th October 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:10 pm
A reader explains why she is not impressed by the £60m vision for Prestons city centre. See letter
A reader explains why she is not impressed by the £60m vision for Prestons city centre. See letter

Will someone please rescue me from having to read about yet another ‘pie in the sky’ scheme that is going to turn Preston from a sow’s ear into a silk purse?

I have lost count of these plans, many of which have involved consultancy fees, but most of which have turned out to be non-events.

The latest is the new gateway to the city centre – a £60m vision.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Do me a favour!

If you are going to have such a grandiose project, one would expect something quite stunning at the ‘other side’ – I wait to be stunned.

May I also appeal to whoever has the overall plan (and it certainly isn’t a heavenly being), for goodness sake keep the ‘schemers’’ hands off the Harris Museum and Library.

It is one of the few buildings left that provides Preston with any gravitas.

It is an awesome building, exactly right for its purpose.

It is not a restaurant, or a business centre, it is a museum and library and left to the residents of Preston as such.

I know museums and libraries do not make a profit – why should they?

Perhaps the overabundance of councillors could be cut and the savings made go towards the upkeep of the Harris.

It is certainly more worthwhile. So please, hands off.

Valerie E Andrews, St Annes on Sea

Be clear what you’re backing

With reference to your article, Lancashire chiefs continue to back fracking plans, potential supporters of shale gas exploitation need to be very clear what they are actually backing (LEP September 29).

It was illuminating at the planning inquiry to see how many of the industry’s claims were shown up as unsubstantiated PR.

For instance, despite all the claims of 64,500 jobs, Cuadrilla admitted that the number of local jobs actually would only be in the hundreds.

What is more worrying though, is what it is not telling us.

If we are to have a proper debate about the risks versus the benefits of shale gas, it is the responsibility of Cuadrilla to tell the public the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

It was clear from the inquiry that there is insufficient capacity in the country to treat all the hazardous waste that will be produced by widespread fracking, but Cuadrilla has kept quiet about that immense problem.

The term ‘fracking’ covers more than one process of hydrocarbon extraction.

What we are dealing with in Lancashire is a process involving high volumes of water at pressures high enough to actually break the rock apart. It is totally different from the low volume, low pressure ‘fracking’ processes in which water is pumped into traditional wells to enhance recovery and has been done in the UK for over 60 years.

Only one well in the UK has been ‘fracked’ using the high pressure process. That was at Preese Hall.

It caused the widely-reported Blackpool earth tremors and damaged the well casing.

So Cuadrilla’s UK record is Fracked 1: Damaged 1.

So, if you’re thinking of backing fracking, look behind the hype to find out the real facts about the risks versus the benefits so that you can be absolutely clear on what is involved.

Dr Stephen Garsed, Fulwood

Strictly dancers, manners, please

On Strictly during the countdown to the dance-off, I noticed only two of the professional dancers and their partners actually said “thank you” to the viewers for their votes. I know it’s only a TV programme, but is it too much to ask they show some gratitude and manners?

R Kimble via email

Studies are well researched

I would like to take the opportunity to respond to the article, Fracking Leaflet Sparks New Row (LEP September 29).

I am writing as representative of our local Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth group. Our group has been involved in the shale gas debate for almost six years now.

During that time we have sought to educate ourselves about all aspects of the shale gas industry. Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth are volunteers who have devoted considerable time and energy to this matter.

We all have home and family and work commitments to juggle alongside our volunteering work.

Why do we do this? Because we care passionately about our environment and the well-being of the next and following generations.

How dare Mr Egan of Cuadrilla describe Friends of the Earth’s carefully researched and peer reviewed studies as outlandish and unsubstantiated scaremongering?

We fully support our well informed and dedicated team at National Friends of the Earth.

I would urge any LEP readers with access to a computer to research the facts themselves. Read the information from the United States and Australia and judge for yourself on their experiences.

Furthermore I would like to ask just how this draft report came to be ‘leaked’? Just who would leak it and with what aim in mind?

The Advertising Standards Agency should recognise the gravity of this breach of information and act accordingly to reveal its source.

Mrs D Kelk, Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth

Watchdog ruling on advertising

Tony Raynor criticises Friends of the Earth because of a draft ruling from the ASA (LEP October 4). Of course once the ASA has fully considered FoE’s response that ruling could well be reversed.

What can’t be reversed now is the only ruling that the ASA has ever made on fracking – the one where Cuadrilla were censured for ‘misleading the public’ in their ‘Community Newsletter’ in 2013. People in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones.

John Hobson, address supplied