YP Letters: Why shale gas could transform rural life for the better

Will fracknig be good for Ryedale - or not?
Will fracknig be good for Ryedale - or not?
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From: Lorraine Allanson, Rains Farm Holidays, Allerston, Pickering.

SO far the opponents to shale gas have ensured that the benefits of a developing shale gas industry are never allowed to be discussed. Their aim is to hold back our communities, our county and our country.

Shale gas will bring many benefits, the community payments could be used for a variety of services to help residents. Around £100,000 will be paid to the village for this test well, the village, at present is pretty broke. The village will then receive one per cent of the gross revenue from the well site for all shale gas production. That can amount to many millions of pounds over the well’s lifetime, plus the direct payments eventually too.

Much has been said lately on the deprivation, ill-health and isolation of rural dwellers (Andrew Vine, The Yorkshire Post, March 21). Imagine being able to start running a local bus service or a team of drivers to take people for medical appointments or a team of carers for the elderly and vulnerable? How about helping pay the community’s energy bills? What about being able to help pay for youngsters to go to university and train for highly-paid, skilled jobs? Imagine if those jobs were in the gas industry and associated supply chain companies? It may help stop the exodus of young blood from Ryedale. Imagine if they had a choice and not just the prospect of part time seasonal employment

The gas under our feet is an asset, not a liability. Non-residents come, protest, claim to be saving the planet, but fail to recognise the real needs of our region and people. Many have good lives in urban areas with all amenities close by. Public transport, entertainment and a social scene are within an easy grasp for them.

They have opportunities that our locals do not. Wages are much higher, they have options. They are not struggling to find full time, year-round employment. They don’t have to try and afford to run a car on part-time seasonal wages because there is no public transport. They can take a bus or a train. They don’t live isolated from society because there is no public transport and all the village amenities have disappeared. A few living in a protest camp at Kirby Misperton while not working have no right to decide about our futures and local economy. Ryedale needs another industry, and a well pad every few miles will not destroy the area’s tourism nor farming livelihoods. It is poverty, isolation and having no prospects that destroy rural lives.