Letters - November 4, 2015

Fracking is due to begin at the Cuadrilla gas site, Preese Hall in Weeton.
Fracking is due to begin at the Cuadrilla gas site, Preese Hall in Weeton.
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Friends of the Earth ad is ‘irresponsible’

Friends of the Earth, in a full page advertisement on October 29, is wrong to talk about shale gas risks without explaining the level of risk or the protections that already exist in this country.

As SMEs in the supply chain that supports onshore oil and gas in the UK, and that already perform much of the work, we take our legal and moral duties very seriously when it comes to protecting our people and the public. For instance, we comply with laws like the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations by identifying risks and developing appropriate safeguards - which includes designing and operating processes in a way that means the risks they pose are as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

Friends of the Earth has rightly pointed out that the grains of sand used in fracking contain silica, which can cause silicosis and lung cancer if breathed in. But it’s only possible to breathe in silica dust, not grains of sand. That’s why it’s safe for mums and dads to let their children play with sand at the beach. Provided that the right handling processes continue to be used and monitored, which ensure the sand and any fine dusts are contained so that workers cannot be exposed to them, then the risks are actually very low. Silica is used extensively in glass making, but there’s no evidence of a silicosis epidemic and that’s because, like in fracking operations, the hazards are well known and necessary safety precautions are taken.

If our people – working on site and closest to the activities of drilling and fracking – can be suitably protected, there is no reason to suspect that members of the public living and working nearby are likely to be at any greater risk.

Any discussion of fracking risks, such as found in the Friends of the Earth advert, is irresponsible and will only serve to cause unnecessary distress if it doesn’t mention the level of risk, or the safeguards we already have in place to protect our workers and the public.

Lee Petts, Remsol

Jonathan Foster, Petroleum Safety Services

Richard Sands, Moorhouse Petroleum

James Mansell, Clear Solutions

Simon Talbot, Ground-Gas Solutions

Paul Hennessey, ATG UV

Paul Matich, PR Marriott Drilling

Tony Johnson, FBG

Founder members on behalf of the Onshore Energy Services Group:


Teaching children 
is a No.1 priority

Three articles in The Gazette on October 28 gave me cause for concern.

The first, and on the front page, concerns removing a pupil from education for a holiday, and his parents threatening to go to court for the right to remove their son from education for a break.

The second reported almost nine out of 10 pupils in Blackpool left school without achieving government educational bench mark.

The third was an article about Blackpool being named as one of the five least prosperous parts of Britain in a new survey.

I ask readers to “Join up The Dots”

Gordon McCann

via email


Machines take the soul out of things

Like Jayne Dawson (Gazette, October 31), we like old stuff. In our wee terraced house we could not part with stained glass windows and had them double glazed.

Much of our furniture is old. Our G-Plan bedroom furniture was bought in the 70s. A second-hand black, Chinese lacquered sideboard and tall display cabinet with painted birds (inlaid) fills the back room. A lot of our bits of furniture are repaired, stripped, sanded and finished off with different paint finishes in an array of colours. Picture frames are made out of skirting boards, using paint techniques like marbling –cheap, but it looks quite grand.

We have embroidery, tapestry pictures, and we even made our own Blackpool Tower stencil picture to hang on the wall.

My husband says in the old days wood for furniture was left to season and dry out before it was cut.

Today, a lot of the wood is treated with chemicals. Some of the furniture made today is made by machines and is more about shape and size. In the old days, a lot was made by hand and you could get more shape and design in the furniture like the intricate designs. You could tell where some of the furniture originated – England, Scotland, France etc.

There was meaning behind the old furniture when it was being made.

P O’Connor

Portland Road



DJ Allen is just as bad as Clarkson

I totally agree with Jean Stainsby on Jeremy Clarkson’s comments, (Your Say, October 29), but has she ever listened to Steve Allen on LBC radio?

He is on weekdays, from 4am to 6.30 am. If the subject of Blackpool is ever mentioned, he launches into a tirade of abuse you’ve never heard the like of. He calls it everything from the place where people come to visit their hub caps, to the waiting room for the Jeremy Kyle show.

Malcolm Boyce

Deepdale Road