FRACKINGProtesters targeting local small firmsAnti-fracking protests targeting small local companies cannot be tolerated In recent days, protesters opposed to shale gas exploration in Lancashire have deliberately targeted small local companies with direct action blockades just because they have chosen to supply goods and services to Cuadrilla at its Preston New Road site.
Activists know these small firms are unlikely to be able to withstand such disruption for any length of time because of the knock-on impacts it has to the remainder of their business.
Such actions, conducted largely by people with little or no connection to the area, are unjust and deeply unfair.
Small business owners that are simply trying to ply their trade should be allowed to get on with their lawful business without interruption and fear of intimidation.
Collectively, over 97 per cent of all Lancashire businesses are SMEs.
Between them, they are responsible for the majority of employment in the county - which means most of us will know someone that either owns, runs or works in a small company. Staff in these small businesses depend on them for their livelihoods, and rightly expect their employers to actively seek out new opportunities that support job and income security, including within the shale gas supply chain.
The acts of a small number of protesters cannot be allowed to jeopardise the trading prospects of Lancashire SMEs, or the wider economic opportunities, jobs and investment that shale gas could one day be responsible for.
The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, and the Institute of Directors represent the interests of over 3,000 businesses and business leaders, employing over 100,000 people in the county.
Together, we call on Lancashire police to take swift and proportionate action against activists that cross the line from peaceful protest to threats, intimidation and any direct action that prevents businesses in any sector from getting on with their lawful occupations.
North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Charity comments were ridiculous
The ridiculous comments from Mrs J Bilsby (The Gazette, February 4) shows absolute lack of knowledge on such matters and potentially was an attempt to mislead readers.
Mrs J Bilsby states that charity shops, ‘are very successful businesses with a small percentage going to the charity.’
She also states her own desire for charities to pay higher business rates (that would surely mean less going to good causes).
Mrs J Bilsby may be unaware that charities are monitored and are accountable to The Charity Commission.
The Charity Commission holds income and expenditure figures for all charities, clearly more accurate than the percentage guessing game Mrs J Bilsby was playing! This information can be obtained from the Commission, although most charities are very proud of the percentage of money going towards saving or improving lives and display it on their websites.
Most major charities have 10 per cent - 20 per cent running costs, leaving the sizable 80 per cent - 90 per cent to be used to better the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves (hardly the ‘small percentage’ stated by Mrs J Bilsby).
Charities carry out valuable and often life changing work, supported by amazing teams of volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make a real difference.
Love charities, don’t hate.
Get real... it’s time to control our borders
Good on Donald Trump for doing what he said he would, that is why he was voted in.
And good on Theresa May for doing her job and doing what the British people voted for once, out of the EU.
We should be able to vet the people wanting to come into this country, and not have an official EU quota to legally allow in. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were of course responsible for this whilst in office, these two have a lot to answer for.
The west has been too soft for far too long on immigration hopefully this will change in the near future.
I often wonder why Russia has not got a problem with immigration and terrorist bombings etc, is it because they know better than to try to enter Russia, no freebies there.
The people who are demonstrating against Brexit and Donald Trump need to get real, and to accept we live in a dangerous world, more so than ever.
Let the people in charge get on with the job of keeping us all safe and maybe one day terrorism will be defeated. We all need to work together to make this possible.
K E Coates
Lobby BBC for return of comedy
Readers can now support a petition to the BBC to commission another series of the television programme still Open All Hours.
Go to website www.petitions24.com enter section recent petitions view petition still open all hours.