Letters - May 5, 2019

Fracking: It’s time to admit that the game’s up

Saturday, 4th May 2019, 9:00 am
Is the game up for fracking on the Fylde?

With the noise barrier removed from Preston New Road and kit being taken off site seemingly all the time lately, why doesn’t Cuadrilla just admit defeat and bow out gracefully? The physical removal of equipment seems to be happening in parallel with removal of all types of support for the industry from investors, to incredibly low public opinion, and the departure of the shale commissioner over the weekend.Even with the government’s support, Cuadrilla have still failed and this is in large part due to the huge, peaceful, local opposition that’s brought communities together. It’s really time now to admit that the game’s up for the industry here.Right now, there is a field in the Fylde where Cuadrilla’s attempt at a fracking operation used to be, let’s remember it for what it was: a colossal mistake, but that a sustainable future with green jobs is now in Lancashire’s grasp.

Estelle WorthingtonFriends of the Earth North West campaignerPoliticsDisrespectful actions of pair

So, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the dreadful Commons Speaker John Bercow have declined to attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace for US President Donald Trump.How totally disrespectful but entirely typical of these two individuals. No doubt they would be happy to attend banquets for the leaders of Russia, China and North Korea, together with various despots who have ruled in Africa and South America.These so-called UK leaders simply confirm that they are utterly unfit to lead.Name and address suppliedAppealGarden Gathering to help end diseaseWhatever the weather and wherever you are, why not gather with friends and family this summer and help raise vital funds that will help cure and support everyone affected by Parkinson’s.I’m proud to be supporting charity Parkinson’s UK’s Garden Gathering fundraiser, and we’re calling on people to celebrate the summer their way – whether it’s with tea and cake, or cocktails and a BBQ.By holding your own Garden Gathering, you’ll be raising money that could help end Parkinson’s forever. Parkinson’s is a serious neurological condition and I’ve seen first-hand the impact it has on people. My mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010 and it’s hugely debilitating. But Parkinson’s UK’s research provides hope that one day there will be a cure, and the charity believes that scientists could now be on the verge of a major breakthrough.Organising a Garden Gathering is easy, so please sign up for your free fundraising pack and you’ll be making a huge difference to the 15,200 people living with Parkinson’s in the North West.To start planning your fun-filled summer fundraiser please visit: parkinsons.org.uk/gardengathering.

Sian LloydTV Broadcaster and Parkinson’s UK supporter

SocietyTime to stand up for the rural north

A report published in the last few days makes damning reading for local and national government. The House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy identifies a continuing neglect of rural services and investment by policymakers focused on city initiatives. Rural England has a population comparable to Greater London but receives a tiny fraction of the taxpayers’ money spent on transport, digital communications and services. The high cost of housing is resulting in a continuing drain of talent as our young people leave for the cities. Rural businesses facing skills shortages and a creaking road network are further hampered by broadband speeds among the slowest in Europe. The last five years have seen a nosedive in service provision – particularly in public transport, banking, health provision and support for young people – as austerity has disproportionately hit the rural North.A series of reports by the independent organisation Rural England has been making this clear since 2016, but to our county council and local MPs this has been ‘an inconvenient truth’. In place of persistent and public complaints to Westminster, we have seen token gestures. The latter has been particularly evident in the rejection by councillors and our MP of widespread local opposition to fracking.We deserve better than this. It is high time we saw some loud and effective action at county and constituency levels to rock the boat and to demand our fair share.Dr Peter WilliamsAddress supplied