Letters - July 14, 2015

Anti-fracking protesters celebrate outside Lancashire County Hall after Cuadrilla's fracking application is refused.  Gayzer Frackman celebrates with other protesters.
Anti-fracking protesters celebrate outside Lancashire County Hall after Cuadrilla's fracking application is refused. Gayzer Frackman celebrates with other protesters.
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FRACKING

Tory grandees are rejecting democracy

So now the gauntlet is thrown down, by one of the House of Lords climate change deniers. Lord Nigel Lawson urges the Government to override Lancashire County Councils decision to refuse Cuadrilla’s fracking permits.

That is if the Government needed any persuading! He is, of course, a supporter of fossil fuel extraction. He says the north is missing out to develop the Bowland Shale deposits, emboldened by George Osborne’s statements about the Northern Powerhouse to boost economic growth in the area. Why, one asks, did we have to wait for the discovery of shale gas in the north to boost our economy? Peter Lilly also wants to frack in the Fylde, and is urging Cuadrilla to appeal. So does this open the debate on devolved power from Westminster? That in the end Westminster can still control policy that they do not like?

Then how do the Government get round their own report on shale extraction released by DEFRA recently? When they were forced to publish the complete document it reveals more of the dangers of shale extraction. Could the report be the final nail in the coffin for Cuadrilla, as it reveals that shale gas would lower property values, increase insurance costs and damage the environment? The DEFRA report has, in fact, reinforced the LCC decision to reject their application.

The report backs up their decision that drilling would be detrimental to Fylde communities. Claims from Cuadrilla that the industry is safe and not harmful to the environment, were rejected, but if the Government over rules the county council, what message does this mean for democracy? As important; what does it mean for the residents of Fylde, will the government simply ignore them despite the risks to their health? Will the Northern Powerhouse really give power to the people?

Marjorie Nye

Knowle Avenue, Blackpool

ENTERTAINMENT

A taste of the West End in Blackpool

I’m really pleased that The Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats has returned to Blackpool for a summer season run.

It’s a great achievement for Blackpool in this day and age to receive a full-scale musical production like this. Cats is a piece of musical theatre that pushed the boundaries when it first hit the West End in 1981. Its 1989 run in Blackpool is well-remembered.

I hope that the 2015 run at the Opera House is a success, and is supported by both visitors and local residents. Positive recognition will help attract further UK touring productions to visit Blackpool as a sought-after destination town outside of the West End.

I’m also excited that The Grand Theatre will be staging Putting On The Ritz, from July 27. Featuring the music of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin, and stars from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, I’m sure it will do well.

Both of the productions this season at The Opera House and The Grand Theatre are of West End standard and are a credit to Blackpool.

Stephen Pierre

Abingdon Street

BLACKPOOL IMMIGRATION

Labour to blame for the migrant crisis

In his recent letter, Rhoyston Jones (Your Say, July 11) fires off both barrels at those who blame immigrants for all our ills.

I am impressed he knows they “are not criminals but human beings who need protection and assistance and deserve respect”. The intelligence services in this country will be glad to hear this.

He argues this on the basis that they “are fleeing war and hunger”. Unfortunately, like so many of his arguments, it is shot through with errors.

This country has a history of giving sanctuary to those fleeing oppression, but the immigration problem we are facing, a problem that is causing mayhem in schools, hospitals, the social services and housing, is not the result of the arrival of genuine asylum seekers, it is the result of Labour’s incompetent immigration policy under Blair and Brown.

It is noticeable that since Labour were decisively trounced in the General Election, two of the contenders for the Labour leadership have openly admitted that those policies were ‘wrong and misguided’.

Of course, immigrants are not responsible for all our economic and social problems. The governments of Blair and Brown are far more responsible.

It was Ed Miliband’s failure to admit this that resulted in him being shown the door.

Dr Barry Clayton

Fieldfare Close

Cleveleys

POLITICS

Where is the humane option in hunting?

Tomorrow, MPs will be voting whether, rather than allowing two dogs to ‘flush out a fox’ as is now the case, the law should be changed to increase the number of dogs. Not surprisingly, many believe this is a way of repealing the 2004 fox hunting ban.

I can’t be the only one who can’t imagine much worse torture than being chased for miles by bloodthirsty people on horseback and a pack of dogs, all intent on killing. The torment continues as the unlucky animal is then ripped to pieces after being caught. If foxes are such ‘pests’, as is claimed, why not a humane alternative? Animal lovers can write to their MP via www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/hunting/takeaction.

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