Reader’s letters - Thursday May 21, 2015

A hen harrier spotted in a reader's garden in Lytham last week eating a pigeon
A hen harrier spotted in a reader's garden in Lytham last week eating a pigeon
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Steps not nearly enough

I refer to the letter from Frank McLaughlin, who I understand is a member of the North West Energy Task Force, which hardly makes him neutral on the issue of shale gas (letters May 15).

I am more than willing to add a modicum of common sense into the discussions around fracking. However, I’m not quite sure how attacking a Greenpeace advert helps.

Firstly he says the Greenpeace claims were unsubstantiated. The reality is that the Greenpeace claims were supported by 22 experts including the then Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, Lord Browne, the former chair of Cuadrilla, and another Cuadrilla spokesperson who is on record as saying “we don’t think it will bring down prices”, so there you have it.

However, Lord Lipsey, (a pro-fracking peer) complained to the ASA that the Prime Minister didn’t agree. How the views of an all-out fracking supporter, like David Cameron, could be regarded as evidence of a split among energy pundits beggars belief.

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact the chair of the ASA also happens to be the head of the Task Force on Shale Gas (a group funded by the fracking industry). The ruling therefore raises questions about whether the ASA was truly unbiased in this case. I think this brings into question Mr McLaughlin’s understanding of the case.

With regard to the other issues he raises I would make the following comments. The idea that Mr Putin can turn off our gas is blatant nonsense. We get a minimal amount of our gas from Russia, via European pipelines. Talk about hysterical conjecture, really.

It might be helpful to talk to the government, but they have no intention of creating a strong regulatory body as witnessed by the fact they have implemented only one of 10 recommendations made in the report by the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering.

Until the government starts to listen, the idea that it will be easy is ridiculous.

Now the issue of exploratory drilling (not fracking). The following is detail from the planning application made by Cuadrilla; “Application for Construction and Operation of a site for Drilling up to four exploration wells, hydraulic fracturing of the wells ...”. I think this sums up Mr McLaughlin’s knowledge of the industry and I think it would help if he got his facts right. Then he can put them on the table.

I think he will also find the plethora of unsubstantiated claims have come from Cuadrilla, whose record will not stand scrutiny.

Mr G Daniels, Westby-with-Plumptons

Switch off the traffic lights

There have been traffic lights which control (or for 90 per cent of the time more correctly impede ) traffic flow at the roundabout at the intersection at Junction 8 of the M61 for a number of years now.

Does anybody out there have the slightest clue as to why they must operate 24 hours a day? Every day? Having to stop on a red light unnecessarily in the wee small hours of the morning is ludicrous. It wastes our time, our fuel, our electricity.

Please, Lancashire County Council, see sense and switch them off during off peak hours, as is done at other similar roundabouts in the area.

Name and e-mail address supplied

Blackout for rare harriers

Regarding your article on the missing hen harriers (letters May 14), if these birds have been killed, the people who are indirectly responsible are yourselves, and any media, relating to any wild life, especially rare species. No media at all should be shown, a total blackout is needed.

Mr Simpson, Preston

Terry is a great representative

I was very shocked to read about the ex-mayor of Preston Mr Terry Cartwright and the back stabbing he is having to put up with by the Town Hall councillors/officers (LEP May 15).

This man has been dedicated to the people in Holme Slack and Deepdale for many years. The area where he is elected is a very busy and progressive district.

It’s only right that a person who resides in this area should be allowed on the planning committee, thus making sure all the right proposals are put into place.

Please do not put Mr Cartwright out to grass just yet, could it be that Terry is not a yes man and airs his views that rock the boat. As for the other people who represent Deepdale, these must be on permanent hibernation as they are never seen, not like Terry who does regular walkabouts.

Name and address supplied

Lay off a good councillor

I have to say how sorry I was to read of councillor Terry Cartwright being hounded out of his position on the planning committee.

My husband and I have always thought Terry Cartwright standing up for the Deepdale Ward did a lot for the residents of this Deepdale Ward.

We are very sad indeed about how he has been treated. Not only has Terry been dropped from the planning committee but it also meant no room for two Tory members, one Labour member and the sole Independent Coun Cartwright. They have been trying to get councillor Terry Cartwright out since 1998. I read that Labour deputy leader councillor John Swindells denied there had been any political motive.

Rubbish, they were just trying to get rid any opposition to those left on the planning committee.

Terry Cartwright did a lot for this Deepdale Ward, indeed it was Coun Cartwright that first brought to light the rat problems in the Moor Park duck pond.

I also believe it has been a vendetta against Coun Terry Cartwright. This is not democracy in action, it has been a witch hunt against him since when Coun Terry Cartwright served as a Labour member from 1990-1998. I wish we had him as our councillor for the university ward.

Never mind Terry, what goes around comes around.

Mrs Fazakerley, Preston