Fracking sign of contempt 
for North

From: Sue Cuthbert, Church Row, Newton on Rawcliffe.

NATIONAL parks in Britain were created to preserve our beautiful countryside and coast lines (The Yorkshire Post, December 9). The very hazardous drilling process of hydraulic fracturing of shale, ie fracking, should never ever be allowed in, or near, a national park.

Here in Ryedale, Third Energy is applying for permission to drill to depths of up to 10,000 feet to extract shale gas. The geology of this area is full of faults, so no drilling company can tell us that this process is safe.

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The i newsletter cut through the noise

In order to make fracking viable in England, nearly 3,000 wells would have to be drilled so people who think that this won’t affect them are very much mistaken.

Fracking is a noisy, dirty process which uses immense amounts of water and many dangerous chemicals. The risk of water contamination is high.

The fracking companies tell us that we will get cheaper gas. This will not happen as gas prices are controlled by regulators and rural dwellers who are not on the grid will never have any benefits, only noise and disruption

This Government is trying to rush all this through before the election. It demonstrates the contempt that London continues to show for the North, which to some of them is remote and largely uninhabited.

We live in a crowded country and must always preserve all of our beautiful countryside and national parks for future generations. If we don’t, they will rightly think that we were insane.

United front
call over milk

From: Roger Crossley, Fall View, Silkstone, Barnsley.

EVERY time the plight of our dairy farmers is raised again, it prompts a thought from yours truly which I am certain will be ridiculed by the commercial intelligentsia as being too simplistic, and unmanageable etc. They are probably right, but I’ll share my thinking with you anyway (The Yorkshire Post, December 10).

Has anyone considered having their morning cereals without milk? Probably some. There are many associated industries that rely almost totally on milk to function, but get away Scot free from the difficulties the farmers endure. Isn’t it rather galling that huge companies like Nestlé and Kelloggs etc are unaffected by the problems of a product which they cannot function without?

The solution? Could it be possible for all ‘related’ industries whose businesses are closely tied, to create some sort of collaborative agreement/union so that when one part of the business is struggling, the others can make themselves available to help out?

I don’t think this is an original idea. Inter-related industries must have some sort of support system for all their disparate cogs, but I’m struggling to see anything like that in place which could help the farmers. Perhaps the idea is too simple.

But don’t you find it galling that big related businesses carry on unaffected, when farmers make a loss on every pint they produce in order to supply the fuel for the profits that big industries make.

Ofsted’s endless

From: Robert Bottamley, Thorn Road, Hedon, 
East Yorkshire.

I REFER to the latest denunciation of schools by Ofsted (The Yorkshire Post, December 11). It is, I think, high time that the general public recognised Sir Michael Wilshaw; which is to say, as the most recently appointed head of a self-interested, self-perpetuating organisation, whose continued existence relies on an endless process of fault-finding which is frequently contradictory and driven by political rather than educational imperatives.

Wilshaw now calls for ‘inadequate’ secondary schools to ‘concentrate on the basics’, but I can guarantee that before long, Ofsted will be condemning secondary schools for having too narrow a curriculum.

For the past 20 years, the curriculum, along with teaching methods and priorities, have been prescribed (and constantly altered) by the Government – and sanctioned by Ofsted. It is, therefore, they who bear responsibility for the framework that facilitates whatever failures they perceive, and it is time they both were compelled to accept that responsibility.

Parents (and certainly, teachers) will recall how Ofsted, under Sir Michael Wilshaw, famously declared that ‘satisfactory meant unsatisfactory’. Conclusive evidence, I submit, that HM Inspectorate is an organisation that doesn’t know what it’s talking about.

Suits changing
way we speak

From: ME Wright, Grove Road, Harrogate.

AS one of the original “rail station” objectors, I reluctantly accept everything which Colin Foster and Wilfrid Ford say (The Yorkshire Post, February 10).

The UK has a sub-standard, complex and grossly over-priced rail network. Despite this, the suits in charge see it as part of their job to change the way we speak – CrossCountry refer to stations as “calling points” – rather than sorting this mess out.

If newsreaders can’t get their tongues round “railway” does it bode well for the future of English?

As to everyone now being referred to as “guys” – not by me, nor thousands of others. “Fuddy-duddy” I gladly accept; but a staunchly British one, not ersatz American.