July 16: Astonishing claims from fracking firm

From: Chris Redston, Frack Free Ryedale.

WHAT an extraordinary response to your front page article about the catalogue of failures in Third Energy’s fracking application from John Dewar, the company’s increasingly anxious spokesperson.

To claim (The Yorkshire Post, July 14) that the article’s tone was partly “due to the weakness of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) procedures” is simply astonishing.

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The FOI application for the North Yorkshire County Council letter was perfectly legal and requested through the usual channels. However, it would not have been necessary if Third Energy had responded to repeated requests from local residents, councillors and campaigners to reveal the reasons why the company’s application was not validated.

So when Mr Dewar claims that there are “weaknesses in FOI procedures”, what he’s really saying is: “We would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those pesky residents”.

Mr Dewar, the problem isn’t FOI procedures – it’s your company’s refusal to be honest and open with the people of Ryedale. The key question is – if Third Energy cannot even manage to fill in the paperwork correctly, why should they be let loose on the North Yorkshire countryside, which supports the key local economies of tourism and agriculture?

Comparing conventional gas production to fracking is like comparing a corner shop to a Tesco’s superstore. Conventional gas production requires one well, a few weeks of drilling, and can produce gas for up to 20 years. Fracking involves drilling multiple wells – up to 50 per site, by Mr Dewar’s own admission – and constant drilling 24/7 for three months per well (effectively meaning constant drilling for years on a multi-well site).

Each well requires millions of gallons of fresh water, which is mixed with sand and chemicals and injected into the well at high pressure. Millions of gallons of waste water then needs to be trucked off site and disposed of. This will create thousands of HGV movements per well through the Yorkshire countryside, as well as increased air, noise and light pollution and some very serious health issues.

The more people wake up to the reality of commercial fracking, the more who oppose it.

Wider impact of bus cuts

From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

RE the article “Bus cuts have severe implications for Dales communities” (The Yorkshire Post, July 11).

It isn’t only Dales communities that will suffer from the extreme bus cuts proposed by North Yorkshire County Council (Letters, July 11). I don’t live in their authority, but I like to use buses to explore the area, a generally pleasant experience that beats driving. And judging from York’s traffic congestion, it doesn’t need another driver.

On a recent trip from York I travelled on a bus almost full of tourists, some from overseas, on their way to Castle Howard.

A good boost for the local economy, I’d have thought. Yet proposed changes have buses starting and finishing at Monks Cross.

How many visitors will want to find their way to Monks Cross to catch a bus to Castle Howard? Not many I’d say.

Not in quite the same league, the pleasant village of Coxwold has Shandy Hall, a place for literary and other tourists. Proposed changes make it near impossible to visit Coxwold and Shandy Hall from York.

The same story can be repeated for many places across North Yorkshire.

Proposed bus service cuts are a disaster in the making. They are bad for passengers, bad for communities and bad for the local economy. These cuts must not go ahead.

Labour needs to go on attack

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

SOUTH Yorkshire MP Michael Dugher says Andy Burnham is the man that will beat the “wretched Tories at the next election”. They said that about Ed Miliband, didn’t they?

No mention of the people, as usual, yet they will decide as ever who gets the keys to No.10.

The future leader of the Labour Party needs to get 
some fire in their belly and start and tell a few home truths along with a few insults across the despatch box instead of treating David Cameron and his privileged “nasty party” with “gentlemanly” debate.

Singular or plural?

From: Simon Tingle, Hastings Avenue, Durham.

DID your recent front page headline “Cancer patients afraid to waste their GP’s time” contain an apostrophe error?

The placing of the apostrophe prior to the “s” in “GP’s” denotes the singular, i.e. a single GP.

Does this mean that the sentence effectively reads: “Cancer patients afraid to waste the time of their sole GP.”

I’m sure the cancer patients of Yorkshire have more than one GP between them.

Should the sentence read “Cancer patients afraid 
to waste their GPs’ time”, 
the placing of the apostrophe after the s denoting the 

Or could it be argued that the sentence refers to the individual GP of each patient, and so be grammatically correct?