Readers’ letters - April 1

Fylde rugby legend Bill Beaumont, right, and Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan open the company's new HQ. See letters
Fylde rugby legend Bill Beaumont, right, and Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan open the company's new HQ. See letters
Have your say

Bad timing for HQ opening

I was very concerned to read of the announcement by fracking company Cuadrilla, of its new head office opening in Bamber Bridge, near Preston (LEP March 24).

Following an inquiry lasting six weeks, which dealt with Cuadrilla’s appeal (from which they are to claim costs), for it to announce the opening of a new national base in Lancashire within a few days of that inquiry concluding, smacks of arrogance and a lack of respect for the feelings of the communities which it claims to care about.

Many responsible residents and the county councillors who, last year, took the decision to reject both Cuadrilla’s applications for shale gas exploration at Little Plumpton and Roseacre, have conducted themselves with restraint and in a most considerate and democratic manner. How sad that Cuadrilla itself chooses not to echo this.

The Planning Inspector who chaired the inquiry is collating the information from the inquiry in order to prepare her report for Secretary of State Greg Clark.

He alone, a representative of a pro-fracking Government, will then make the final decision as to whether fracking exploration will take place here.

The timing of this office opening is therefore most insensitive and surely serves to possibly predetermine the final decision.

How can we believe that Cuadrilla will conduct fracking safely and responsibly when it acts in such an inconsiderate and uncaring manner by announcing the opening of a new head office before it has been given any mandate to proceed with operations?

John Bailie via email

What is actual rock type?

Regarding your photo of Mr Egan at the opening of his new HQ, holding a light coloured piece of rock with an ammonite at its centre (LEP March 24).

The article describes it as a ‘shale rock plaque’, but it doesn’t look like shale, and if it is Bowland Shale, I will eat my hat!

I wonder if Mr Egan would care to disclose the actual rock type and its origin?

T Froud, Lytham

Vote Leave and save the NHS

I love the NHS. My daughter was born thanks to the NHS and its dedicated personnel have always been there in my time of need. So it infuriated me when I saw Jeremy Hunt had falsely claimed that the NHS would suffer if we leave the EU.

On the contrary, the evidence suggests that leaving is the only way to save the NHS.

The money we spend on the EU would easily sort out the financial difficulties faced by the NHS. The health service currently costs about £100bn a year to run and it faces a projected £30bn shortfall by 2020.

If we do not leave, our NHS will be exposed to privatisation by American corporations through the dangerous deal between the EU and America called TTIP which passed through the European Parliament despite opposition from me and my fellow UKIP MEPs. What Mr Hunt should have said is: It’s time to vote Leave and save our NHS.

Steven Woolfe MEP

Crazy world is back to front

Paris. Brussels. London? Yes, we are at serious risk of attack by terrorists who are willing to blow themselves to bits in order to kill us. So what does this Government do about it?

It cuts money to fund our border controls, it cuts police numbers, it fails to fund our overwhelmed NHS and, at the same time, doles out billions in so-called foreign aid. What a crazy world we live in and what a crazy Government we elected.

Peter Hyde, address supplied

Let’s have a clearer voice

I’m pleased that Liberal Democrats have voted for a ban on fracking, but what a confusing ban! Their recent party conference motion, that called on the Government to ban fracking in England, noted the Government’s “extensive support” for extracting shale gas.

So, what will happen with a different Government?

With Jeremy Corbyn’s objections in Parliament, little more than calling for equality with wind turbines, and Labour’s Energy spokesman Lisa Nandy’s key approach to fracking being to “take communities with us”, perhaps the Lib Dems are thinking of negotiating a coalition, and their policy will revert to their previous position of support for “limited shale gas extraction” (and what does that mean?)

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has a good idea to ensure a future Government would ‘lock the gate’ on fracking – Greens would join a Labour-led coalition Government only if she had authority over fracking, and would demand a ban.

Philip Mitchell,

North Lancashire Green Party