Readers’ letters - March 7

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Have your say

Would you choose shale gas or coal?

or the UK, energy supply is a national and strategic requirement, regardless of local considerations.

The country needs reliable and accessible power in order to prevent lights going out or to have to depend upon uncertain suppliers and we actually have abundant supply sitting underneath us and floating past our coast – tidal.

For those opposed to fracking, watch out because there are groups now looking, quite surprisingly, to explore the use of coal.

Should the government of any political persuasion decide that we need energy, no matter what, then in the absence of other forms such as fracked gas, exploration in our area for coal might happen.

We have plenty of it sat underneath us.

I’d take the gas, wouldn’t you?

If you were to ask any care home what their energy bills are they’d say: “Too much!”.

Same with large, vital companies such as BAE Systems.

And when you see words like ‘heinous’ on signs on the A583 Blackpool Road you wonder if the authorities are trying to set up something truly bad.

They are not, they are just exploring – but far better that than someone who comes along and says: “You have coal underneath – we want to sample it”.

And Corbyn has already said he would like to see coal mines again.

So, stopping one form of energy could land you with something worse.

Possibly. It could happen in west Cumbria (Whitehaven).

We still have plenty of coal, so I say to the fracking protesters, be careful what you wish for.

Mr P Webberley


Pictured: The National Coal Mining Museum. A reader believes if fracking is stopped, Lancashire could be landed with something worse – coal


This disaster can be averted

I am deeply concerned about the attempt by the energy firm Cuadrilla to begin fracking alongside Preston New Road on prime agricultural land with the attendant risks of water contamination etc.

I am so concerned, in fact, that I have started making the one-and-a-half-hour journey down from Ambleside in the Lake District to the site to see for myself the devastation going on there.

While there, standing at the roadside I see and hear many, many of you, as you drive by, giving the thumbs up (just occasionally a very different sign!), waving and honking encouragement.

To know that you too realise the dangers inherent in this industry is really heartening – BUT amazing ordinary people have been there every day since January 5 – the Nanas, local councillors and people at every age and stage and from every walk of life. They need your support.

I am almost 73. I still work and I live a long way away. Almost all of you who are reading this live nearer. I urge you to go down to the site any weekday morning to swell the numbers there – or any Saturday morning for a solidarity meeting from 10am.

Gillian Kelly



The true cost of Conservatives?

It seems clear that M Fletcher, in his/her letter headlined ‘Country’s still the envy of the world’ (LP, March 3), has never been a victim of policies promoted by the Conservatives who have dominated the Government since 2010. Lucky person. Never had an operation cancelled or been left on a trolley for hours, and always gets to quickly see a GP.

Clearly, M Fletcher has never been exposed to the savaging of social care, especially of the elderly.

Nor the punitive treatment by the DWP of the disabled and otherwise vulnerable in order to force them into work. Nor the deportation of people who have lived here, and contributed positively to our society for decades.

Daily we read of crises in policing, prisons, care home provision, NHS staffing levels, teacher shortages and so on. Foolish and crude austerity is undermining local authorities. Meanwhile, taxpayers’ money is squandered on vanity projects; inoperable IT systems and much else.

Nobody knows what Brexit will cost us. It will be a lot. It was a tiny majority that “had had enough”. Think for a minute. If you want all the privileges of, say membership of a golf club, why should members who pay give you those privileges for nothing?

Mike Turner

via email


Gentry Day such a fantastic day out

I am featured in the Gentry Day supplement, bottom picture with my son, sister and cousins (LP PNE Face in the Crowd, March


Gentry Day has become one of our annual away games each season and we travel with family and friends.

This year there was 13 of us in our party.

Despite the result, we had a fantastic day and, as always, we get stopped by members of the public and fellow fans from clubs across the country to ask the reason behind us all wearing the bowler hats.

When we explain, they all agree that it is an excellent idea and they are always full of compliments towards the fans and our club.

Amy Cornwell



Captain Walker and HMS Starling

Your readers may be interested to learn that the warship featured in the photograph at the bottom of page 23 is the ‘Black Swan’ class escort sloop HMS Starling (LP Retro, March


Starling achieved more victories than any other Allied escort vessel which took part in the Battle of the Atlantic, being involved in the sinking of no fewer than 14 U-Boats.

For much of the time, she was commanded by the legendary Captain Frederic John (Johnny) Walker, and was the leader of his famous 2nd Support Group.

Walker was the most successful Allied Anti-Submarine warfare commander of the Second World War, devising many of the methods and tactics which brought about

the eventual Allied


He died of a cerebral thrombosis, brought about by exhaustion and overwork, on July 7, 1944, aged only 48.

Geoff Hewitt



Paying tax for unused services

If my brown bin costs £30 a year, then I am already paying £30 every year as part of my council tax.

If the council separate this out and make it optional, they should do the same for everything, then I won’t have to pay council tax for any of the services I do not use!

Stephen Palmer