Letters: Tremors are just one more reason to stop fracking

Cuadrilla's fracking site at Preston New Road
Cuadrilla's fracking site at Preston New Road

This week, Weekly News readers have their say on issues including fracking and policing

Another reason to stop fracking

As a child I lived in Fleetwood and remember how, when the red Ribble double-decker would rumble past our house every 20 minutes, the house would vibrate and stacked crockery would rattle. It was disturbing, but my parents told me not to worry, and sure enough the house stands nearly 70 years later.
Why, then, am I so concerned about the earth tremors caused on a daily basis by fracking? After all, according to the minister responsible, Claire Perry, the level at which Cuadrilla is forced to suspend operations is “equivalent to the vibrations felt if you were standing 20 feet from a bus going by”.
My parents knew that such vibrations were superficial. The source of the fracking-induced tremors, however, is by contrast, profound and potentially very damaging. They emanate in all directions from a point two kilometres below the surface and below the water-table. The rock strata above and below are cracked and volumes of methane gas are released, some of which will be harvested, while some will inevitably migrate upwards.
Many of us will recall the disaster at Abbeystead, where 16 people were tragically killed as small amounts of methane emitted over time from the shale below and trapped in the concrete building exploded.
It is this movement of rogue methane through our water and into the atmosphere that makes fracked gas such a damaging fossil fuel, for methane is a much more potent heat-trapping gas than carbon dioxide.
Furthermore, the constant earth tremors may damage the well-casing designed to avoid methane leakage at the extraction point.
Fears of serious consequences from constant “minor” tremors are profoundly justified, and add to the many other reasons why fracking in the Fylde area is an objectionable pursuit
and should be stopped immediately.
Michael Ellwood
via email

You can’t keep us safe on the cheap

The recent Budget shows the utter contempt the Government has shown for the safety and security of the public.
The Budget did not provide a single penny for police forces, who are facing huge demand, record reported crime and 21,000 fewer officers.
They just offered another ‘review’. It’s not rocket science, crime goes up when we have fewer police on our streets.
Our town is a hotspot for many types of crime and it is a bleak reflection of the Government’s police cuts that hearing about car break-ins every week has become the norm.
Every time I raise the issue of police cuts, the Tories say Lancashire Police has enough funding.
But the facts speak for themselves. MP Paul Maynard’s support for Tory cuts is a disgrace and an insult to the people of our community.
A future Labour Government will put 10,000 more police officers on our streets paid for by reversing Conservative cuts to capital gains tax.
As your local candidate I understand what our MP and the Tories refuse to acknowledge: you can’t keep people safe on the cheap.
Chris Webb
Labour’s Parliamentary
Candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys

Is NHS test an ageist policy?

I was recently admitted to hospital for routine surgery. The care was excellent, but there was one thing that upset me. The admission process contained a cognition test.
When I queried this with the nurse she stated it was because I was over 65 and they had to do it on all people who reach 65.
Is this a new part of the NHS?
Are they presuming over 65s are on the rocky road to dementia and diseases? Did Prince Philip have to do this when he went in for his surgery?
Is the NHS ageist?
Marion Gourlay
via email