Readers' letters

Will right decision be made?

Friday, 23rd September 2016, 4:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:56 pm
Residents and neighbours of Roseacre village gather to protest against fracking in the area. See letter

October will see the decision on the proposed fracking site at Roseacre Wood, in the very heart of rural Fylde.

If the Secretary of State allows Cuadrilla’s appeal against Lancashire’s decision, the proposal could go ahead.

Hedges will go, double HGV width site access will be provided onto the narrow lane, and a 9m wide access road laid across the pasture land.

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All this will be followed by convoys of six axle OGV2s, a well pad, containers, drilling rigs, gas flares, security lights, guards and patrols, and much, much more, visible and stark on a farm producing our milk.

Cuadrilla has already advertised for new personnel and it appears to many that the Government is working with the industry to try to balance growing opposition.

Communities complain they are witnessing a campaign to persuade the nation that imposing the industry on England is for our own good. They point to the Consultation Paper on the Shale Wealth Fund, which refers to communities where fracking will be inflicted as “hosts”.

They say that to use this term is to pervert its meaning and could then be equally applied to prisons hosting inmates.

They also believe that payment from the alleged benefits of the Shale Wealth Fund – a speculative assessment sketched in the paper – are surrounded by so many caveats and loopholes, coffee house giants and IT superpowers would be content!

The much publicised £10k payout headline was judged a crude PR attempt to make up ground when all polls showed opposition outstrips support.

Hardly surprising, they say, given that Parliament’s own Climate Change Committee (March 2016) refused to endorse shale gas exploitation at present and warned of its conflict with carbon budgets and, potentially, the Climate Change Act.

And remember, these “hosts” note, it is only England which is under threat, the rest of the UK has taken steps to protect its citizens.

Germany has also ruled out fracking – in a much larger country than ours.

Lancashire, the only place in the UK ever to have experienced deep level, high intensity fracking, also rejected it at Roseacre Wood, using the policies which are designed to scrutinise proposals and protect the people, the land and its economy.

The robustness of the planning regime has been used by ministers to assure the nation that there would be no steamrollering through where site specifics proved demonstrable harm would be caused.

The Government has repeatedly committed to “empowering” local people and their elected representatives.

The overwhelming feeling at the costly public inquiry was that Cuadrilla’s case for fracking at Roseacre had been crushed: that Lancashire County Council, and its planning officials, had been right to refuse permission. The case advanced by Roseacre Awareness Group, representing a swathe of Fylde communities, was equally conclusive.

But Cuadrilla’s barrister repeatedly played her ‘get out of jail’ card: the Secretary of State.

It is to be hoped there will be honour and consistency in his decision.

Roseacre Awareness Group

Motorists are blocking access

I would like to thank the Preston authorities for providing such a magnificent car park around the recently refurbished pavement around Millers Arcade in Fishergate.

Yesterday, there were nine cars parked on the pavement.

One fortunate driver, who owns an upmarket BMW, has the good fortune to park there every day all day, blocking access for disabled people. Why is he permitted to do this?

Name supplied, via email

Beeb – it’s not

left wing at all

The BBC has often been criticised for being too sympathetic to the Left. I think there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

All that the right-wing media has wanted to do is downgrade and besmirch Jeremy Corbyn, who is more popular than ever. Now former Labour leader Neil Kinnock has stuck the knife in.

I contend Mr Corbyn will win the leadership contest by a massive majority vote. Why? He is addressing the real concerns of millions of British people. The 99 per cent of people who are not the wealthiest; workers on low wages; the unemployed; the homeless, the dispossessed and the young.

The BBC does tend to support, and give credence to, the one per cent of wealthy entrepreneurs and the wealthy products that it has created itself, only now looking at their huge salaries.

Andrew Marr was patronising to Jeremy Corbyn in a recent TV interview, however he (Corbyn) calmly deflected everything Marr could throw at him with the demeanour of a gentleman.

Peter Asquith-Cowen via email

Better books – not bombs

One of the greatest abilities of the human race is to communicate through writing and reading.

Today, in the name of austerity, libraries are being closed or staffed by volunteers.

However willing they are, they are not qualified librarians.

For several decades now, I have argued for more and extended, libraries, incorporating modern technology.

Libraries with children’s corners.

Reading is a first step on the road to life and culture, education and work.

Let us have more libraries and, yes, adult education centres.

The money is there.

Better books, not bombs.

Brian Ormondroyd, address supplied

Is thinking only being done now?

It has been announced that George Osborne is to set up a “think-tank” for the Northern Powerhouse.

Does that mean that there has been no thinking going on for the last two years?

Alan Disberry via email