Letters - February 3, 2016

The Government has stepped into the debate over fracking in Lancashire
The Government has stepped into the debate over fracking in Lancashire
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National security must be a priority

I have read several letters about fracking in The Gazette recently.

Yes, local sentiments run high and it’s understandable, of course – the impact on house prices, and the view there may be pollution worries – but energy is a national need.

The price of oil has dropped tremendously, partly because of the US no longer having to be dictated to on energy price because of its shale oil supply.

National security, and this includes energy, overrides any local considerations, I’m afraid.

And the cost of energy here in the UK puts industry at a disadvantage – it’s a major factor. For every windmill built and stood there, often not doing anything, back-up energy is required. This includes times when the wind is too strong.

So if you are sitting on energy that’s readily available – loads of it – this should at least be given a chance. We tend to be more strict about pollution issues, but we should at least try it. I do not wish to be at the mercy of fickle wind, or Putin’s gas supplies which are costed on Russia’s whim (Gazprom) and which is more polluting.

I’d hate to think what the cost is to our local major employer (BAe Systems) for energy. No doubt it is significant. It affects the cost of your products, something the US has been quick to exploit.

Mr P Webberley

Cedar Avenue



Stop these plans for new elephant pen

For Kate the lone elephant at Blackpool Zoo to be treated as a tourist attraction is a travesty of justice. No zoo can provide the physical or emotional needs of any elephant (Gazette, January 12).

To bring in a new breeding herd would be a disaster, as no new enclosure could be big enough to provide their needs, merely elephants bred into restrictive unsuitable conditions, which is so miserable and unfair on them.

Modern, compassionate thinking zoos are all closing their elephant facilities and recognise this.

These new jumbo plans need consigning to history.

Knock the present enclosure down, thereby giving more room to the other species already in the zoo and transfer Kate to Longleat as a companion for dear Anne, rescued from the circus.

Stop treating Kate as a cash elephant and show some humanity Blackpool.

Elizabeth Elston



Let’s hope we see some exam progress

Blackpool’s GCSE results table for 2015 includes some depressing statistics. Four of the town’s seven secondary schools have results worse than every school in Bolton (15 schools), Lancashire (15), Leeds (10), Wigan (15) and many other locations.

In two Blackpool schools, not even a third of the candidates could attain five GCSE grades A-C.

There must be a number of causes for this, including disruptive pupils, uninspiring teachers, lack of parental encouragement and the resort’s happy-go-lucky ethos.

It is to be hoped that the town’s motto of ‘Progress’ will seem appropriate when the 2016 results are released.

Ian Jackson

Park Road



Thanks to all who help fight strokes

I am writing to say a huge thank you to everyone in the North West that has run, swam, walked, abseiled, hopped, held their breath or baked for the Stroke Association over the last year.

We have seen some fantastic support and recently saw the Royal Mail team in the region complete 5k runs, wash cars, play in cricket tournaments and Bubble Football matches to help raise an incredible £1 million. It is a fantastic achievement and we are so grateful.

Stroke kills twice as many women in the UK as breast cancer, more men than prostate and testicular cancer combined, and is the number one cause of long-term severe disability.

But thanks to the millions of pounds raised by our supporters and charity partners, like Royal Mail, the Stroke Association has been able to support stroke survivors in their life after stroke and invest in ground breaking research.

On behalf of stroke survivors and their loved ones, I would like to say thank you to Royal Mail for their time, commitment and support.

Jon Barrick

Chief Executive

Stroke Association


Art hotel purchase is ‘hypocritical’

How obscenely insensitive and hypocritical for this council to announce 50 job losses in The Gazette while in the same edition bragging that they are borrowing £203,000.00 to purchase a hotel that will return them five per cent interest rate when it is leased to an art project.

If they are borrowing the money, then there will be interest to pay, so the net interest will only be circa two per cent, and that’s providing the art project works and they can maintain their own funding.

I enjoy art as much as anyone especially if it’s community focused but this council has absolutely no business sense whatsoever.

Every project they have introduced has a massive failure rate.

I would much rather they borrowed the money to invest in community building projects to hep homeless individuals especially those from the armed forces.’

Tony Williams

Councillor for Anchorsholme

Leader of the Conservative Group Blackpool Council