In response to David Nicholls (Your Saym, December 26) regarding comments on shale gas exploration in Fylde, I wish to counteract some of the points he raises which seem to be entirely lacking in factual evidence.
The Fylde coast is home to nuclear fuel manufacturing, the manufacturing of chemicals and the production and test flying of military aircraft – all of which is done quite safely.
If fracking is to succeed, it too must be safe. The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineers report of 2012 and the more recent report of Public Health England into shale gas operations both conclude this industry can be undertaken safely.
The UK oil and gas industry has the most stringent regulatory regime in the world so to suggest as Mr Nicholls does that schools and Army barracks would put at risk is entirely without scientific foundation and amounts to no more than scaremongering of the worst kind.
Air and water quality will be monitored and the details made public before, during and after all operations. The outrageous suggestion that fracking induced earth tremors could be a risk to local nuclear facilities is also entirely lacking in scientific foundation.
All seismic activity will be closely monitored and regulated to prevent significant earth tremors, but in any case the foremost academic experts in the land have already confirmed fracking cannot induce earthquakes sufficient to endanger life or cause serious damage to property.
As far as the assertion our local MP will ‘almost certainly’ lose his seat, all the recent evidence would indicate otherwise. In March a Green Party Anti-Fracking candidate standing in local elections in Lytham finished last with just 53 votes. In July in Blackpool, a Green Party Stop Fracking Now candidate also finished last with just 25 votes.
Wilful scaremongering and misinformation threaten to stall an industry which has the potential to deliver a significant number of jobs and much needed investment for the local area.
If we had said ‘no’ to BAE, Westinghouse and other such established businesses, we’d have said no to thousands of valuable jobs and investment for Fylde which now contribute hugely to the local economy and the well-being of our community.
Bernard Whittle OBE
(Former Lancashire County Councillor )
North West Energy Task Force Member
Praise for medics
I was recently a patient on Ward C of the Women’s Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. I cannot praise highly enough the care that I received there.
The medical and nursing care was wonderful and everyone from the housekeeping staff, cleaners, porters and technicians were cheerful and efficient.
My thanks also to the catering unit for their tasty and varied menus.
Thanks also to my GP Dr Maharaj of Elizabeth Street surgery for his prompt action in getting me admitted to hospital and to the staff of the PACU unit where I spent my first few hours.
I will continue to need outpatient care for the next six months and am so grateful that we have such a good hospital in Blackpool and a country with such a wonderful free NHS.
The last thing you need when seriously ill is to be worrying if you can afford the necessary treatment.
Musicals would be a hit
While I was pleased to read in the Gazette that our theatrical treasure, the Opera House, is to have live shows in 2015, the ones announced would not hold much appeal to me.
Neither ‘Tommy’ nor ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ send me rushing to the box office, though anything ‘live’ is preferable to the films this venue has been plugging as the old year ended.
Having read there are musicals on long tours in 2015, I have so far been disappointed they don’t appear to include Blackpool on their travels.
Two in particular, ‘Mack & Mabel’ starring Michael Ball and ‘The Producers’ with Jason Manford, would set my theatre juices bubbling, and I live in hope the Opera House may be a bit slow in announcing them!
Mobile phone fixed by rice!
On Christmas Day, my mobile phone took a dive down the toilet.
I should imagine I am not alone with this experience.
I immediately retrieved it, placed it on a radiator and hoped for the best.
After some hours there was no sign of life. Luckily a friend had a similar experience, and she told me to take out the battery and sim card and bury the lot in a bag of uncooked rice.
She told me to place it somewhere warm for 24 hours.
To my delight this was a success.
I pass this knowledge on to other readers for future reference.