Letters - May 13, 2015

A call has been made to improve mental health funding
A call has been made to improve mental health funding
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ELECTION THANKS

Farewell to Eric

Many residents of Fleetwood have met Eric Ollerenshaw over the last five years.

As our Member of Parliament, he worked tirelessly to ensure that Fleetwood was not forgotten and all residents were supported.

Unfortunately, Eric was not returned to parliament. All who know him wish him well in whatever he chooses to do next.

A massive thank you to those who decided to vote for Eric and for us - your eleven Conservative local candidates. In addition, we wish to thank the many people who supported the party by delivering leaflets and manning the polling stations.

Margie Burkett, Margaret Bond, Peter Cartridge, Chloe Clarke, Stephen Clarke, David Meekins, David Shaw, Catherine Sperrin, Frances Thewlis, and Alex Tomlinson and William 
Whiteside.

CINDERELLA OF ILLNESS

Mental health week

This is Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual event which I support as it highlights an area of health which fails to receive the funding and publicity it deserves.

It is so often the Cinderella of the NHS because mental health issues may not as obvious as physical ailments, but they are as every bit as important and debilitating.

They cause anguish for the sufferer and their families and they deserve all the help they need from health professionals but funding issues mean they face long waiting lists. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue, we have all read of those who took their own lives while waiting for help. Mental health services must be properly funded for the sake of those afflicted as well as society generally.

Louise Bours,

North West UKIP MEP

FRACKING DEBATE

Embrace industry

As an engineer and business-owner living in Blackpool, I wish to add my voice to the call for shale gas exploration to go forwards at the two proposed sites in Fylde (Preston New Road. & Roseacre Wood).

I have first-hand knowledge of the path to employment in a rewarding career in engineering, having progressed through Highfield School, British Nuclear Fuels Apprenticeship Scheme, and Preston College Further Education. If we want Lancashire to seize the opportunity in the energy sector, we’ll need to promote a new range of skills; this is why it is important to train local people for the energy sector, including on-shore oil and gas.

I strongly believe that we can get people back into work through this route, either straight from school and into training on bespoke courses for shale, or re-train existing skills through our new Energy HQ, also based in Blackpool.

On the debate concerning shale gas operations, I support the local exploration plans as the Fylde coast desperately needs investment and job opportunities to boost the economy and attack the evils of unemployment and low paid, insecure work.

Liverpool and Peel Oil & Gas are eyeing the investment opportunities for themselves – we need our own decision-makers to be brave and seek to attract the energy companies base themselves at our new Enterprise Zone at Blackpool Airport.

The timing is right with the General Election concluded; the noisy anti-fracking campaign failed to win a mandate at the ballot box. The people have spoken and now our politicians should seize the opportunity available in Lancashire’s shale resources.

Let’s embrace this opportunity for shale gas in our region and put Blackpool and Lancashire on the map for the right reasons.

Tim Freshney

Managing Director

WJF Technical Support Ltd.

FRACKING DEBATE

Common sense call

Now that the election is over and we have settled down with a new government, perhaps we need to review the debate around fracking and try to inject a modicum of common sense into the discussions.

Last week we saw Greenpeace produce an advert against fracking only to find the Advertising Standards Agency instructed them to stop using the advert and to issue a correction because of the unsubstantiated claims.

Greenpeace asserted that “experts” agreed fracking would increase the cost of energy and not bring about the expected cost reductions. This was only one of the many claims and assertions that have been made over the past few years where no evidence exists to prove the case.

We could look at the subject in a somewhat different way and agree that it could dramatically reduce the cost of our energy requirements. If we leave things as they are, and the West continues to apply sanctions against Russia, then we may well find that Mr Putin will turn off the tap for our gas supplies and our energy bills will fall to zero (although it might be a bit chilly at nights).

With a supportive government now in place, it would make sense to stop the squabbling and look at ways of resolving the differences.

Both sides appear to believe that a strong regulatory body is required to oversee the industry. Pressure could now be put on the Government to create such a body.

It has all been done before in other industries, so it should be relatively easy to follow these other successful examples.

However, to achieve such an accord it will be necessary to undertake some exploratory drilling to establish whether, or not, there is a source of energy down there that could be economically retrieved.

It may be that this could prove to be the death knell for the industry if the energy cannot be economically recovered.

So, let us all just get on with the exploration drilling.

Frank 
McLaughlin

Address supplied