YP Letters: Public must carry on the fracking fight

Fracking demonstrators take to the streets.
Fracking demonstrators take to the streets.
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From: Wendy Cross, Beverley.

IS the Government expecting that those who are against shale gas exploration will roll over, accepting what the people fear cannot be changed – the creation of more sites, throughout the North especially, with hundreds of well-heads drilling 24/7?

A glance at last year’s document from the Department for Communities and Local Government ‘Invitation to Bid’, makes it seem as if the tankers are already on our lawns. How much closer are they a year on?

The document speaks of drilling for shale gas ‘in a way that safeguards public safety and protects the environment’. These are the very things that are seriously threatened.

In this ‘invitation to bid’ issued to local authorities, it was made clear that planning permission should only be granted ‘where there are no unacceptable adverse impacts on the natural and historic environment and on human health’. Something about speaking with a forked tongue seems to fit here. Recent events involving our local authorities and the granting of permissions have ignored the people’s wishes.

Greater outrage should ensue.

From: Brian Nugent, Peckett Well Mill, Hebden Bridge.

MIKE Corner and Tom Chadwick (The Yorkshire Post, December 5) are on the warpath again defending the rights of rich retirees and estate agents of Yorkshire’s two National Parks.

I wonder how long it will be until they ask for poor people or anyone who needs a real job, to be ‘socially cleansed’ from their chocolate box landscape, which has been funded over the years through the general taxation of all us. Quarrying and mining have been central to both National Parks for millennia. Along with agriculture and forestry, they offer an opportunity for local people to earn a wage and build a future for themselves and their families. Messrs Corner and Chadwick wish to condemn generations to low-paid unsecure work in their sanitised National Parks.

Perhaps it’s time we started a ‘Not the National Park Trust’?

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.

ALTHOUGH many of us are still working hard to save Ryedale, Yorkshire and the UK from any fracking, it would be a mistake for local bodies not to respond to the current draft of the Minerals and Waste Joint Plan in the belief that fracking was a fait accompli.

This plan, guidance for planning authorities, determines inter alia where, and in what density over the next 14 years, fracking wells should or should not be permitted in our area in the event that they are forced upon us by Government policy.

It is an opportunity for local bodies and individuals to exert some democratic influence on these questions, an opportunity which, if ignored, will see democracy further eroded and will give planners carte blanche to permit drilling wherever the plan, not the citizen, permits. We have until December 21.

Urgent need for bypass

From: Clive Broadhead (Retired Civil Engineer), Portland Crescent, Harrogate.

THE new Government has said it intends to invest in road improvements, so should immediately release funding to North Yorkshire County Council to construct a bypass of Harrogate from the A658 south of Pannal to the A61 north of Ripley. In addition, the A661 needs to by-pass Spoffoth and Wetherby to join the A1(M) at Junction 46.

Assuming the rail network is included in the plans, modern rolling stock on the Knaresborough to Leeds service is now urgently needed, to get more commuters off the roads.

Language and logic

From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.

I SHARE the concerns of Bob Watson (The Yorkshire Post, December 6) on the views and attitudes of British Muslims.

The latest statistics add to my concerns on the issue of Muslim integration into Great Britain.

These indicate that there are 15,000 Muslim women in Bradford who have little command of English. If I were to move into a foreign land with the intention of living there, I hope one of my first aims would be to learn the language and so, more easily, become part of the community. Simple logic.

Silt slowing down the Don

From: N Duckitt, Wormley Hill, Sykehouse, Goole.

THE article ‘Help the Don flow quietly’ attracted my attention. The lower end of the River Don catchment area needs maintenance.

The 1991 Drainage Act states “the Environment Agency can do as much or as little maintenance on rivers”. They chose the latter!

Willows and silt are gradually restricting the flow; some of these willows were planted by the Environment Agency about 25 years ago. They need removing and the silt needs dredging.

Pensioners still pay tax

From: David T Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.

I, AND no doubt many pensioners like me, are getting a bit fed up of the sniping we’ve to put up with regarding our ‘freebies’.

Many of us – teachers, miners, nurses, bus drivers and many other professions – not only paid our NI stamps all our working lives, but we also contributed to our works pension schemes.

Our retirement pensions, therefore, bring us well above the basic tax allowance. Quite simply, as a very large group, we pay millions of pounds in income tax which not only more than pays for our free TV licences, prescriptions, bus passes and winter fuel allowances, but also contributes towards those many state benefits that our younger brethren enjoy.