Letters - April 23, 2018

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Follow Yorkshire’s lead on fracking

When any industry moves into a rural area, there will be changes to air quality which can have consequences for the health of nearby residents, and shale gas is no exception.

All stages of constructing and operating a site can release air borne contaminants, including volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, as well as methane.

Although the US shale gas industry is relatively new, a growing body of studies is already finding a range of adverse effects on health, especially for vulnerable residents. For example, a quick search shows a recent study of infant health in Pennsylvania; this found evidence of the negative health effects of in utero exposure for mothers living up to 3km away from a fracking site.

Despite this, the UK government is pressing ahead with fracking, and has not even defined a minimum setback distance between homes and pads.

So where does that leave Lancashire and Yorkshire?

North Yorkshire has produced a draft Minerals plan that includes policies on high volume hydraulic fracturing. Residents and councils have called for a 500m buffer zone as a minimum. It was noticeable that Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, called for minimum separation distances of 1.5km for any settlement of three or more homes. This is in sharp contrast to the situation at Preston New Road, where residents are only 350m away from the pad.

The Yorkshire plan will be the model for all other county councils and what is evident is that Lancashire residents will be put at greater risk than those in Yorkshire, clearly this is not acceptable.

T Froud

Lytham

SYRIA

We cannot turn the other cheek in Syria

I assume that Royston Jones (Your Say, Gazette, April 18) has sent a copy of his letter to Putin and Assad, for it is they who are responsible for the murderous war in Syria. It is Assad who has used gas attacks on his own people. It is Putin and the Iranian regime who have supplied him with weapons and other military equipment.It is Russian planes that are bombing and strafing targets in Syria.

The West’s involvement has been to carry out limited and precision missile strikes, not against children but against Assad’s chemical sites. To describe this as a ‘gung ho’ foreign policy is not only absurd, it reveals once more Royston Jones ideological bent. Note he does not describe Russia’s actions as ‘gung ho.

He, like the hapless Corbyn, who is currently enmeshed in his failure to address antisemitic views in the Labour Party, and we know why, omits to mention that a political solution to this ghastly seven-year war has been thwarted again and again by Russia’s use of the veto in the Security Council. Russia does not want to see this war end until the dictator Assad has destroyed opponents to his evil regime.

Royston Jones, like all who are ignorant of the real international system, is unable to understand that it is a jungle, not a Garden of Eden. In the jungle are some very, very nasty people.

Asking them to sit round a table and have a cup of tea is akin to baying at the moon. You don’t stop tyrants by turning the other cheek.

Colonel (retd) Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys

CHARITY

Toddle along to help good cause

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the toddlers from nurseries across the North West who raised more than £26,000 for Barnardo’s by holding a Big Toddle fundraising event last summer.

They did a fantastic job and every penny raised helps us to help other children.

We are now calling for nurseries, schools and families across the region to put their best foot forward again and take part in this year’s Big Toddle week from June 18 to 24. For the second consecutive year, the Big Toddle is being run in partnership with CBeebies TV show, the Teletubbies.

We are asking Blackpool parents, carers and playgroups to get involved by organising their own Toddle events, which could include holding a community Big Toddle, one for close families and friends or one organised by a local nursery or primary school.

This year’s theme is ‘nature’, with lots of opportunities for creative dressing up as animals, insects, flowers or even jungle creatures.

By signing up to the Big Toddle, you can access exclusive nature-themed early years learning resources and will receive a Toddle pack containing information and fundraising ideas.

We hope even more nurseries and families will get involved with our 2018 events, to help us continue funding our vital work with vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers in the region.

Go to www.bigtoddle.co.uk or call 0800 008 7005 to register or find out more details.

Lynn Perry

Director, Barnardo’s North West