From: Simon Bowens, Yorkshire campaigner, Friends of the Earth.
THERESA May’s insistence that fracking will bring financial benefit to communities conveniently ignores the significant economic risks from the widescale industrialisation of the Yorkshire countryside.
With over 110,000 people working in Yorkshire’s thriving tourism industry, over 30,000 people in agriculture and many more people in a food and drink industry reliant on a strong Yorkshire brand, the potential costs far outweigh any benefits. Evidence from Queensland, Australia, showing that 18 agricultural jobs were lost for every 10 jobs created by fracking, should be a stark warning to Mrs May.
The Prime Minister also claims that fracking will help reduce our reliance on energy imports, but doesn’t tell us that Ineos, the biggest shale gas operator in Yorkshire, plans to use fracked gas to feed its production of plastics.
In 10 years’ time, will people across Yorkshire wonder why we have ruined our beautiful countryside with hundreds of fracking sites?
Mrs May also seems to have completely ignored the longer term economic costs of climate change. We need to keep over 80 per cent of known fossil fuels in the ground if we are to keep within safe limits of climate change – and yet we have a Prime Minister apparently hell-bent on developing a whole new fossil fuel industry.
Instead of acting as the mouthpiece of a failing fracking industry, we call on the Prime Minister to show global leadership and steer the UK economy towards a clean energy future.
Pain to park at hospitals
From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.
READING Fiona Lemmon’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, February 28) reminded me of my experiences at South Yorkshire hospitals.
I, too, had reason to visit the Royal Hallamshire, the Northern General and the Rotherham hospitals just before Christmas. At all three I had to park illegally, quite simply because I could not find anywhere to park legally.
Consequently, and to my eternal shame, I paid no fee, there being no machine to put my money in. Not being optimistic, I placed a note on the dashboard stating “Can’t find anywhere to park”.
Fortunately my illegal parking wasn’t spotted otherwise I would have no doubt received a hefty fine, not having deserved it.
I agree with Fiona Lemmon regarding the medical service I received. I had day surgery at the Royal Hallamshire and Rotherham hospitals, and a nine- day stay at the Northern General. At all three the treatment and general care I received was nothing short of excellent.
I can appreciate all the arguments that are put forward for concentrating specialist care at such hospitals as the three named, but why isn’t parking given higher priority than it appears to be at such places? Having said that, I also attend Barnsley Hospital quite regularly, but never have problems parking there.
Weather was hardly beastly
From: Paul Sherwood, South Kilvington, Thirsk.
ON the Today programme, there was a British teacher, working in central Russia, saying it was fairly mild at -25C, and when asked when the schools would close due to winter conditions, replied: “Junior schools are OK till it’s -30, older kids just keep going.”
The entire “news” of the ongoing winter conditions is ridiculous, a photo of areas with grass showing through ten millimetres of snow, and hardly covering the welt of your shoes, or indeed TV coverage of a car with 25mm of snow on the tyres is pointless coverage.
The idea of a TV news reporter on Blakey Ridge saying the Lion Inn is totally cut-off is somewhat disingenuous when you can see cars driving past! This is not the Arctic nor is it Siberia, it’s England on a cold day.
PR only hope for democracy
From: John Simpson, Church Road, York.
MICHAEL Heseltine fears “tribal” politics, and Bob Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, is now involved with the One Yorkshire devolution proposals (The Yorkshire Post, February 28).
Surprise surprise! Two establishment Lords are putting their twopennyworth of ideas into the pot of Yorkshire devolution.
Why didn’t they do this when they were in power?
These two superannuated, professional Peers are perfect examples of bigwigs, notwithstanding Heseltine’s good work in Liverpool, who have never done a thing about furthering local democratic rule, and therefore power, by giving non Lab-Con control in the form of proportional representation for all voters.
Having elected mayors will do nothing to further Yorkshire local power as long as those elections are controlled by the first-past-the-post system, and will, in the words of Lord Heseltine, result in the usual “tribal” politics.
These were designed specifically to lock out working majorities of other opinions, e.g. Greens, the NHS Party, English Nationalists, Ukip, Liberals (most of the time), Independents and others.
Only some form of PR will give true local control, as local MPs are little more than lobby fodder.
Pre-wedded bliss at hotel
From: Elisabeth Baker, Leeds.
I WAS interested to see the advertisement for the Crown Hotel in Harrogate (The Yorkshire Post, March 1). The hotel’s wedding package offers the “Bridal Suite the night prior to your wedding”. How times have changed.