MP highlights frack fears
So that is official then – the UK system of regulating shale gas falls quite a way short of what is actually required.
Mr Menzies, the Fylde MP, said in a debate last week “I am disappointed with where we are, several years on “ and “That provides the Minister with an opportunity to look at the current work of the Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil, to turn a skeleton organisation into something that is far better resourced, far more robust and able to fulfil its six founding criteria, one of which was to enable development, protect the environment and safeguard the public“.
In choosing to say this, he may have been aware of the sharp contrast in experience and ‘teeth’ between onshore and offshore regulatory bodies.
Or, he may have been aware that the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor was about to warn that the government must consider the risks of innovation, and used fracking as a case study. The report cited the industrial use of mercury, thalidomide, lead in petrol and asbestos, all of which have had severe health or environmental consequences, after being rushed into use.
A few days before this debate he had asked one of his constituents, Mr Mike Hill, to go through all his papers with him regarding the regulation and inspection regime applying to shale gas. (Mr Hill works in the oil and gas industry and has investigated the UK regulatory system for several years, working with both the UK and EU governments on this topic). The concerns Mr Menzies voiced last week in Westminster Hall, are those I heard Mr Hill voice almost three years ago. So I am pleased that Mr Menzies has raised these issues to Mr Hancock, the Energy Minister, however what can one back bench MP do at this late stage?
MP Eric Ollerenshaw said in the debate that Mr Menzies has been working hard towards creating a sovereign wealth fund for Lancashire. It seems to me that if Mr Menzies had spent the last few years actively pursuing Mr Hill’s concerns, regarding the need for a completely independent office to inspect the industry - instead of ‘following the money’ - we might have been in a very different situation, as we face the proposal for eight horizontal wells to be drilled and fractured in our immediate vicinity.
T Froud, Lytham
Plea for answer from town hall
Peter Rankin was not shy to use the Evening Post to publicise his selfless refusal of a projected increase in his allowance (LEP December 3).
Contrast that with his failure, given the opportunity three times in this same newspaper, to defend his council tax policy that has financially impacted on me and my family over the past 18 months, simply because of a failure to sell my previous home.
Recent e-mails to 10 of his Labour colleagues posed the same point.
Only four councillors replied, three of whom did not even know their own policy.
The honourable exception was Coun Elizabeth Atkins, who accepted the point I was raising and is pursuing the matter further.
Similar e-mails and a recorded delivery letter have been sent to Ed Miliband’s office, I await a response from him also. Has a Mafia policy of omerta been adopted by the Labour Movement?
Denis Lee, via e-mail
Shameful sight on shop floor
Watching television the other night, my heart went out to the innocent people of Ferguson who had to endure the savagery and looting which was blighting their town.
That is until the newscaster informed me I was watching Black Friday in London! What a disgrace.
Allan Fazackerley, via e-mail
Litter not lights should be first
In response to the letter regarding lighting up the canal at Lancaster (letters December 1), British Waterways no longer runs the canal network, this is done by the Canal and River Trust. I personally think there are more important things than lighting up the towpath,what is wrong with a torch or bike lights?
As a boater on the canal I have found Lancaster is the dirtiest place on the canal for rubbish mostly thrown in by the people who live there. I rang the council about the rubbish thrown down the side of the bridges and there answer was ‘not their problem’.
I filled two black bin bags full of plastic bottles carrier bags beer cans etc. as I sailed through. Let’s get our priorities right first.
Boater Dave, via e-mail
Time to tackle immigration
The latest figure of 260,000 in the year ending June 2014 proves David Cameron has failed to deliver on his promise to control migration to the UK.
A total of 583,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending June 2014, the number of national insurance number registrations to adult overseas nationals increased to 668,000 in the year ending September 2014, Romanian citizens had the highest number 104,000 followed by Polish citizens 98,000.
This allows them access to full NHS health care and access to benefits before they have paid any UK taxes etc. A recent Department for Health report estimated the NHS spent £2bn per year treating temporary migrants in the UK.
A recent study by the Centre for Research and Analysis on migration found between 1995 and 2011 all migrants in the UK received £95bn more in benefits and services than they contributed. The UK is seen as the land of milk and honey and a soft touch, let’s not kid ourselves migrants don’t come to the UK to benefit the country, they come here to make money and benefit there wallets and there is nothing Cameron and the rest of the party leaders can do about it while the UK remains a member of the EU.
If all of this was not bad enough the UK is the biggest net contributor to the EU gravy train, the UK pays the most in and get’s the least out of all the 15 original member states.
It’s about time our UK party leaders got some backbone and called time on the EU cartel.
Mr I S Houghton, Much Hoole