Readers' letters

Energy needs to be priority

Tuesday, 27th September 2016, 5:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:03 pm
An artists impression of plans for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. See letter

Just last week, the Government finally gave the go-ahead for the first new nuclear power station in a generation, which will be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Initial estimates from Somerset County Council claim the regional economy is set to benefit by around £4bn.

But the effects could also be felt here in Lancashire, where the Springfields plant near Preston makes nuclear fuel.

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Lancaster University and UCLan offer courses in nuclear engineering and could help skill the workforce, and there are companies like Fort Vale in Burnley that supply high-end engineering components to the nuclear industry.

According to a league table produced by the think-tank Green Alliance, Lancashire has over 336 MW of installed renewable energy capacity, ahead of its North West neighbours Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside (just 74 MW).

Lancashire does particularly well with onshore wind and biomass for heat generation, and companies like Kirk UK from Nelson are very active in the anaerobic digestion and biogas markets.

Soon, Lancashire may also have a shale gas industry, contributing even more jobs and creating additional markets for Lancashire businesses.

Without doubt, energy is important to the county’s future economic prospects – it already employs over 37,000 people and has enormous scope to grow.

It’s also helping to reduce our reliance on dirty coal-fired power by providing cleaner and more sustainable alternatives for the benefit of UK residents everywhere – something all Lancastrians should be proud of.

But there’s a danger these strengths will be overlooked in discussions about the future of the Northern Powerhouse initiative if we’re not careful.

It’s crucial that energy remains on the agenda, alongside aerospace and advanced manufacturing, in order to safeguard existing jobs and create more.

Lee Petts MCIWM, MIoD, managing director

Gas risk factor shouldn’t exist

Recently a meeting was held to inform local residents that an alarm would sound in the event of a potentially hazardous escape of a gas, such as chlorine, from a unit on Walton Summit, adjacent to the railway line past Lady Acre, Further Field and Bluebell Way in Bamber Bridge.

The intention appeared to be to erect warning signs around the Withy Grove Recreation Park, directing people to evacuate the area and take shelter in the Leisure Centre, should the incident ever occur.

Concerns were expressed about the elderly and infirm, anyone hard of hearing and those too young to know what to do in such an emergency.

Some years ago, a huge fire destroyed this chemicals company and, rather than leave the area, large numbers of ‘disaster chasers’ gathered to watch!

Of course the likelihood was played down of any such emergency, with tighter control and better security, but one fails to see why any risk factor should come on the horizon in the first place.

Gareth Richards, Bamber Bridge

MP utters lost word: Socialism

Oh dear, John McDonnell, at the Labour Party Conference, has just uttered a word that was thought lost from the Labour Movement’s vocabulary – SOCALISM.

This will entail vocal surgery on those Blairite MPs who have never uttered the word, as they rush to the nearest lexicon for its meaning.

Denis Lee,


Find out about First World War

I am writing to ask if any of your readers would be interested in our forthcoming event at Kirkham Grammar School?

Our First World War Lecture series continues on Wednesday, October 5, when Professor Gary Sheffield will be visiting the school.

Professor Sheffield has established himself as one of the foremost authorities on the British Army of the First World War and this promises to be another captivating event in the school calendar not to be missed.

This event, which will be held in the school’s Recital Room at 7.30pm, follows the successful series of lectures the school held in 2015.

Tickets for the lecture, which will focus on General Haig and the Battle of the Somme, are now on sale from the School Shop or by phoning the school on 01772 684264.

Tickets also include complimentary drinks from the Picardy region of Northern France, along with regional nibbles. There will also be a book signing in conjunction with Plackitt and Booth Booksellers of Lytham and a chance to speak to the guest speaker.

All profits will be given to the Royal British Legion and we would be delighted to welcome everyone to the school.

Simon Duncan

(Teacher of History at

Kirkham Grammar School)

Honesty is still alive and well

I would like to thank the person who handed my purse into Leyland’s Poundstretcher, which I had dropped outside the shop on Friday morning, September 16. I would also like to thank the member of their staff who was so helpful.

It is comforting to know that there are still many honest people around.

A grateful Pensioner

Labour needs a suitable leader

It is a crying shame that Labour can’t find more suitable leaders to take the party forward, not backwards!

It’s a good job there’s no General Election on the horizon or Labour would suffer a complete rout at the hands of the electorate.

Joe McHugh via email