Subsidised and pollution fears
I was pleased to note, in the Gazette, Royston Jones’s positive letter in favour of renewable energy and the opposing view in support of shale gas and the industrialisation of our countryside, from Chris Welsh.
Mr Welsh lacks knowledge of the industry that exploits unconventional shale gas as an alternative to renewable energy.
This industry is heavily subsidised by government, but if the tax incentives were put into renewables then we would be able to generate low carbon energy, without the polluting fossil fuels that shale gas dispenses.
And, as every well to be fracked will use at least 8.4m litres of water, which equates to 54.4m litres for six wells, the North West alone will have hundreds of wells.
Then there is the problem of flow back fluid ranging from 15 to 80 per cent classed as radioactive waste.
It will need off site water treatment facilities and disposal that will place an unprecedented burden on waste water treatment facilities.
The transportation of waste water alone during the process of production could range from 14 to 50 vehicle movements per well for up to three years. Then we have to contend with airborne pollution in the vicinity of the wells and the health concerns that brings.
There is widespread concern that the current regulatory system is inadequate and industry specific regulations are necessary to protect us.
These are not in place now. So our only sensible way forward is with renewable energy that will create more jobs and benefit the planet.
Too much alcohol
Blackpool public’s and the police outrage at the increasing number of massive booze sale licences is of concern in deprived wards – Bloomfield and Claremont in particular.
The licensing committee appear to have been automatically issuing licences without proper consideration and questioning by ward councillors. Such licences have been issued to shops on almost every street corner like confetti. It’s no wonder Blackpool has become Boozepool.
Street clean up
Get Clint and Co
After reading The Gazette’s report headlined “No More” off licences I nodded off and had a vision.
In it I imagined that Blackpool Council had contacted the Spaghetti Western gunslingers Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef when in their prime.
The council offered them a bounty of $50,000. Their mission was to round up all the town’s drunks, druggies, thieves, thugs, vandals and foul-mouthed dudes.
This they did and marched them in their hundreds down Preston New Road to Lancashire Police Headquarters at Hutton.
Here they were handed over to Sheriff Clive Grunshaw (aka the Police and Crime Commisioner) and menacingly warned not to return to Blackpool.
I then roused myself and read the latest dismal news of Blackpool Football Club.
On November 2 we shall be marking the closure of Central Station some 50 years ago.
In 1911 it was the busiest station in the world, with 14 platforms equalling Paddington in London. British Rail wanted to close North station but the council wanted central closing as this would be a more lucrative development for the Town.
Since then it has been a wasteland, and still no plans for it. Shame on you councils past and present.
I was astonished by recent research showing that almost two-thirds of our country’s top 100 visitor attractions are not fully accessible to wheelchair users.
As the CEO of The British Polio Fellowship, I would like to call on these venues to make themselves completely accessible for all.
Many of our members are consigned to a wheelchair or suffer from reduced mobility due to the effects of polio and it is our duty to encourage initiatives to make this country more accessible.
The UK is amongst the leaders in equal opportunities and diversity, but clearly the attractions involved in this survey do not get the message.
There are more than 11 million people in the UK with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability, that’s potentially a sixth of the population that can’t access all of the facilities at these venues. It’s time for the tourism industry to make itself more inclusive and accessible for all.
Ted Hill MBE
The British Polio Fellowship