Fracking ‘could have impact’ on Fylde birds
Fracking’s fate now rests with the new Secretary of State for local communities Sajid Javid.
More than 40,000 local people have signed a petition saying they don’t want it.
Traditionally Fylde’s main industries have been tourism and farming. It is difficult to equate the affect on tourism fracking would bring, but it is conceivable that it could result in thousands of job losses.
After all taking a holiday in the biggest gas field in Europe isn’t for everyone.
Fylde’s farmers are also recoiling under recent government legislation that will allow fracking under their land and indeed under homes without permission.
These wells would use a cocktail of toxic chemicals and huge amounts of water under pressure to help fracture the shale deposits underground, up to three miles from the well heads. Farmers are rightly concerned about their land being contaminated by broken wells.
The effects of fracking on wildlife disturbs me . The Ribble Estuary, which is only four miles away from the proposed sites, is internationally acclaimed as being the most important estuary for migratory birds in the UK.
More than 220,000 birds visit from November to March, including 25 per cent of the world population of pink footed geese.
The proposed sites would operate day and night sending hundreds of thousands of tons of waste gases including methane and particulates into the atmosphere.
To date there have been no in depth studies done as to what affect these air pollutant discharges would have on these migratory birds and their respective flight paths.
Who owns Cuadrilla? The company that wants to frack for gas on the Fylde leads to a trail that ends up with a joint parent company based in Australia and the Caymen Islands. Not much tax there Mrs May!
Let us hope the new Secretary of State for Communities listens to the thousands of people in the Fylde and says no to fracking and puts the focus squarely on renewable sources of energy.
Community plan for ward
There are two empty hospital wards at the former EMI unit at Lytham, off Preston Road.
These wards have not been used for nearly three years.
The ground floor is used for offices.
The nursing staff and patients were largely transferred to The Harbour mental health hospital on Preston New Road, Marton, on the outskirts of Blackpool.
Last year Coun Mark Bamforth, Coun Tim Ashton and myself approached Lancashire Care with a proposal to turn the empty premises into a one-stop health centre, and a place where carers could get respite.
We proposed a joint ‘community and NHS’ project that would see the local community actively involved in caring for its most vulnerable residents.
We met with Lancashire Care on a couple of occasions on site to discuss our proposals and the feedback from them was positive.
A collaboration between the health service and the community, although not a new phenomena, has been shown to work in other areas of the country.
The two surgeries and the PCT next to the site gave favourable support to our proposal.
The centre might include the reopening of the kitchen, creation of a meeting place, an information centre, educational programmes, a laundry service, meals on wheels, citizens advice, and a food bank.
Some of the issues that could be addressed include loneliness, fuel poverty,drug and alcohol dependency, bereavement, dementia, physical and mental issues, complex needs, homelessness etc.
A year later the unit still remains empty, and despite a number of requests from us Lancashire Care’s intentions are still unclear.
Could festival save library?
The hugely popular Lytham Festival is over for another year.
I thought Bryan Adams was magnificent, two hours of non-stop rock.
The tens of thousands of visitors who poured into the community over the festival period can only have been a good thing for Lytham’s tourism, and no doubt the pubs and eating houses did OK as well.
Having said that, not all Lytham’s residents are in favour of the festival and the disruption it can cause.
At the other end of the scale Lytham’s library is on the verge of closing, I believe in early September although a final decision may be still to be made by Lancashire County Council about its future.
The building itself is owned by Fylde Council.
Perhaps the festival organisers might look favourably on this historic community building and its future when they donate to charity at future events,thereby finding a way to give something back to the good people of Lytham.