Letters - November 21, 2019

Camp of HopeCamp of Hope
Camp of Hope
Removal of ‘homes’ felt like malicious act

I have today seen pictures and watched film of the eviction of people from the New Hope settlement on Preston New Road.

This settlement has provided homes for almost three years for those who have been helping local residents to oppose the harmful and climate destroying fracking industry.

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There were, in spite of press reports to the contrary, no requests made to residents to vacate the site in advance of this action. There was no notice given and no eviction notice served. When bailiffs and police were asked on whose authority this was taking place this information was not given. The question was met with silence.

The contractor whose heavy equipment was then brought in to destroy the homes I suspect has antipathy towards those who have been trying to protect the community from fracking.

The timing of this action, coming as it does, on the heels of the recently announced ban on fracking seems more than just coincidental. The demeanour of some of the many police officers present was almost gleeful at times and the whole event felt like a malicious act.

Whether or not this was the case I would like to know who was paying for a large company of bailiffs with several vehicles and many staff?

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I myself now live a good 70 miles north of Blackpool and have only been able to add my support to those tenacious and brave souls opposing fracking on an occasional basis. However, I have been there enough to know that these people deserve our gratitude – not being left homeless on one of the coldest days of the year so far on the orders of someone nameless and faceless. The whole operation has a rotten smell and I am appalled that this act of brute force, legitimised by police collusion, can happen here in this country.

Gillian Kelly



Flooding facts thrown out

It used to be a simple fact in geography at school that ‘rivers will flood in winter’ and ‘all rivers have natural floodplains down stream’.

Today, history is thrown out of the window, and so we have speculative house building on a grand scale on river floodplains. To hell with the consequences - flood defences or not.

Another major factor is that the dredging of waterways has been abandoned by the Environment Agency, thus raising a river bed, reducing the effect of current flood defences.

Brian Johnston

via email


Mayoral funding called into question

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I am writing to open the debate regarding the mayoral role in modern times.

Is it right that, when we have families struggling, taxpayers are funding an inaugural mayoral dinner thrown for various groups? This is paid for by the mayor - so really it is paid by the taxpayer.

It is said the mayoral role raises money for charities - but mayors are given a budget for this.

This really does seem mad doesn’t it?! How much does it cost, per annum, to run the mayoral car or the upkeep of the mayoral robes?

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It’s not exactly sensitive to those in our community. The role should cease as it comes across as a self-serving perk.

It’s time to review this as they have in other areas. It’s time to cut back.

Mrs J Snow

address supplied


Punishment was inept

The problem of racism in football has again been making the headlines, both at domestic and international level, notably in the matches featuring Haringey v Yeovil and Bulgaria v England.

In the television studio after the England game, Ian Wright refuted claims made by the chairman of the English FA, in his post-match interview, that UEFA was taking the problem seriously, and if any evidence was needed of its ineptitude, it came in the form of the ‘punishment’ imposed. This took the form of one game behind closed doors and a fine of 75,000 euros. In my opinion, this renders the task of eradicating the problem ever more difficult, if not near impossible.

H Genders

via email


Why ask poor pensioners?

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When I turned on my TV news this morning, I heard that many of Britain’s 150 or so billionaires are actively funding the Conservative Party and that this group will benefit from up to £100bn in tax breaks and giveaways.

This comes on top of the allegations reported last week that the Conservative Party are also being funded by a number of Russian bigwigs.

If this is the case, I want to know why the Conservative party leaflet delivered to my house is asking me if I want to make a donation to their campaign?

Haven’t they got enough already without asking for support from poor pensioners?

We oldies are doing this all wrong.

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Perhaps we should try the same trick as the billionaires and threaten to leave the country if they don’t give us a decent pension and better services.

They’ll be really sorry when we move our piggy banks to a tax haven.

Dennis Wilson

(A poor pensioner!)