Letters - December 16, 2014

MONEY QUESTION One reader raises concerns over how investment in fracking will be financed
MONEY QUESTION One reader raises concerns over how investment in fracking will be financed
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Charity work

‘Thank you’

Since going to the Bridge Project, at the Salvation Army, I feel like I have a family in Blackpool.

I have gained certificates through courses I have attended at the project and I have achieved some life skills.

I first found out about the Bridge Project when I had my bank card stolen, the bank advised me to present there for help while I had no money.

The day I went there was the start of opening the door to my happiness. I have built confidence and have more self esteem.

Before I went to the Bridge Project I was living on unhealthy, expensive meals and attending cafes as I couldn’t cook by myself.

I have learned how to cook and achieved certificates in computing, art, budgeting, maths and English.

The volunteers and the staff there are my family, I cannot express a better word to explain them.

I sometimes go home and cry with happiness.

Philip Wilson

Address supplied

Fracking debate

No subsidies for gas

The letter from Gareth Jones headlined ‘Shale gas could be worth a fortune’ and suggesting that a quick start to fracking is desirable, misses some really relevant points.

Most people do, I am sure, agree that achieving energy security for the United Kingdom is an imperative for a government of any colour or many colours.

Variety of provision is therefore a necessity and, subject to adequate environmental safeguards, perhaps shale gas must play a part.

Where I disagree with The Gazette headline and with Gareth Jones in his last paragraph is the question of how this investment is to be financed and where is the fortune to be made going to.

The Government is already hinting at tax breaks to facilitate this investment which will inevitably mean cuts in subsidies towards the development of renewable energy such as wind, tide and solar.

If fracking for shale gas is ‘worth a fortune’ then let the hedge funds backing the investment find all the money for it without any contribution from tax payers.

Energy security – yes. Subsidies for renewable energy development – yes.

Subsidies to Cuadrilla and the like – no!

Colin Shrive

Sandhurst Avenue

Fracking debate

Protect residents

Lord Howell, the father-in-law of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reported, after a visit to fracking sites in the United States, that the thump of compressors and the whiff of diesel could be sensed two miles away from a fracked well.

His recommendation was that fracking would not go down well in Conservative constituencies in the South, but that it would be good for the industrially ravaged North. Actually, the sites that Cuadrilla wants to exploit in Lancashire are in Conservative constituencies, but the response of local MPs has been limp and ineffectual.

Surely the first duty of politicians should be to protect the quality of life and well-being of the people they serve.

Even in the United States, where the economic benefits have been considerable, the population is turning against the industry and increasing numbers of towns and cities are voting to ban fracking.

In England the economic benefits will be paltry in comparison to those in the USA.

However, the impact of noise, increased traffic, light and air pollution, the threat of earthquakes and subsidence, the storage and transport of toxic substances and the risk to the health of the population will be far greater as Lancashire is densely populated and intensively farmed in comparison to the wide open spaces in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Lancashire County Council must put the quality of life of its electors first.

Mike Ellwood

via e mail

Tram service

Smiles cost nothing

As an old conductor on the trams, I feel that yet again I have to reiterate that the conductors need to smile and have a bit of banter with the customers.

I travelled on a tram today from Cleveleys and this young lad looked like it was a chore.

Unshaven, hands in pockets and what a face. If I had been eating custard it would have curdled.

I think Inspectors need to shake them up. If you don’t like the job, and that is what it seemed to portray, then leave. People want a happy chappy not a sour puss.

Nigel Morris

Old School Tram Conductor

Train services

Link is good news

Great to see the direct rail service restored to London.

It’s an early start but that means you beat the crowds.

T McCann