Letters and emails on April 16, 2012

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The Lancashire Evening Post’s letters’ pages online

Your correspondent last week is correct when he states that the US economy is rebounding because of cheap shale gas.The UK has plentiful deposits that can be exploited and it is expected that a 50-year supply from the site at Preston will come on-stream this year.Worldwide shale gas deposits are offering mankind its greatest energy revolution since nuclear power and at a fraction of the cost of renewables. Shale gas now accounts for 30 per cent of American natural gas supplies and there is a 100-year supply. In the US, natural gas prices are half of what they were three years ago, lowering electricity prices, stabilising manufacturing costs and attracting new foreign investment. US gas prices are half of European prices. Unlike wind turbines, shale developers would not need eye-watering subsidies. Plentiful and cheap shale gas would render the wind turbine industry obsolete. Be prepared for the subsidy-addicted renewables industry to put its propaganda machine into overdrive and falsely claim that earthquakes and ground water contamination are caused by fracking. Clark Cross, via email

You’ll be old one day...maybe

The first thing to establish with regard to “JH”, who contends that the elderly moan about everything, is which age scale he belongs to. Using his generalisation technique I would guess he is possibly in his 20s or early 30s. Some of the elderly he complains about had to go to war so he could have his freedom to express his jaundiced view. Most of the same elderly have done their stint at working, also kept their children and subscribed to the care of the elderly through National Insurance contributions and taxes. I would agree with one of his comments: The elderly are growing in number thanks to the efforts of medical science and our much maligned NHS. JH will get his turn to join the happy moaning band should he be lucky or unlucky enough to reach three score and ten years. Then again, he may still be trying to earn enough to avoid becoming a drain on the next generation of working people. CV, Lostock Hall

Night levy would be final straw

The introduction of a ‘late night levy’ on businesses catering for the UK’s evening economy will hit the already struggling pub sector and further harm the profitability of high streets. That is our view and the one we have expressed in a letter to Lord Henley, who has been appointed by the Government to conduct a consultation exercise into the proposal. Any such levy would be little more than a stealth tax against business. It is a huge irony that last week Communities Minister Grant Shapps wholeheartedly embraced the contents of the Portas Review, and remarked on the need to make high streets central to communities across the country. Yet on the other hand we have a Government plan taking shape to introduce a new stealth tax which directly targets high street businesses. It’s hardly joined-up thinking. A levy would also create more misery for small pubs just as the industry is shrinking at its fastest rate ever. Phil Orford, Chief Executive, Forum of Private Business

Great leadership for Passion

On behalf of the small team of dramatists and people of faith who collaborated with the development of the Preston Passion, I can express nothing but grateful thanks to Stella Hall for master minding this major Guild event. This was an outstanding achievement in scope, outreach and power, and one which, for Preston, is a beacon for the future. Gerri Moriarty also worked tirelessly building a community of participants. With leaders like this, the wholehearted response to direction by those involved showed Preston people at their best. All ages, working with such focus, and each person essential to the overall experience which has been overwhelming. A truly passionate endeavour and one of which Preston can be truly proud. Brenda Dell, Greenacres, Fulwood, via email

Piece (of cake) and goodwill

This year is the Centenary of Fulwood Methodist Church and Crossroads Centre. On Sunday May 6, there will be a special service to remember everyone who has been married at the Church. If you were married at Fulwood  (or who know anyone who has) we would like to welcome you at our church on the corner of Watling St Road/Garstang Road on that Sunday at 10.30am. There’ll be coffee and a piece of wedding cake afterwards. Barbara Hothersall, Centenary Planning Group

The day we cursed old Adolf

During the war, a group of us kids used to assemble in the school summer holidays and go down to Avenham Park to play. The Belvedere by the old flag pole would be our battleship. The bottom half would hold the rifles and in the middle of the top half would be the captain and his officers’ bridge. We would spend all day from 8:30am to about 5pm there, having taken sandwiches and bottles of Dandelion and Burdock and Tizer with us. It didn’t matter if we had drunk all our pop, as we knew we could replenish the bottles from the springs in one of the many caves that were in both Avenham and Miller parks. “Our” cave was situated to the side of the valley. It had an iron fascia with an iron cap and chain. You simply held the cap and banged it against an iron button which released a cup full of ice cold water. Everyone drank from it. Health and safety? Pah! It must have been about 1940, because all the gates and railings were disappearing from churches, schools and homes. The country needed iron, steel and aluminium for the war effort. Mums had to take all their saucepans, kettles etc. into the town hall for distribution to smelting factories to make tanks, guns and aeroplanes. Yes, you’ve guessed it, our drinking facilities went the same way. That day, we traipsed home with raging thirsts, cursing old Adolf. Ged Mason, Whitstable, Kent

Hume an inspiration

Great news that Iain Hume wants to stay at North End for the forseeable future. He’s a class act this level. If he’d been at full fitness for more of the season, I think we fans would have had a few more goals to shout about and a little less reason to be so despondent about the way things have panned out under Graham Westley. I think we are safe this season. Let’s keep the faith and give all concerned the chance to sort things out over the summer. Name and address supplied