Letters - June 22, 2015

Parents and children from Weeton St Michaels Primary School protest against fracking in the area.  Parent Dawn Ansell holds a petition.
Parents and children from Weeton St Michaels Primary School protest against fracking in the area. Parent Dawn Ansell holds a petition.
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We are treated as a social underclass

The planning officers’ undemocratic recommendation on fracking, ironically made on the anniversary of Magna Carta, was a snub to Fylde Borough Council, who voted against it in September 2014.

Fracking in the US has caused serious health problems, such as low birth weight babies, birth defects and miscarriages caused by toxins in the flare off, which include radioactive radon and arsenic, which also causes cancer, heart problems and breathing difficulties.

A number of countries and US states have banned fracking.

Among them is France, who say fracking is incompatible with the French environment, and care for future generations is intimately linked.

Cuadrilla do not have a good safety record. Charles Hendry, former energy secretary, said in March 2013 that Cuadrilla have weaknesses in performance and have been warned by ministers as a licence.

To let Cuadrilla operate within one mile of Weeton School, in line with the prevailing wind and the contingent risk of a blow-out, (when the methane catches fire in the well-head, causing widespread pollution) would be reckless. To impose fracking on the people of Fylde and Lancashire, would be to treat us as a social underclass.

Richard Swinnerton

Goe Lane



MEPs are funded by EU too, Mr Nuttall

UKIP’s Paul Nuttall uses the amount of money paid by the European Commission to UK universities as proof positive that academics from such seats of learning should not be considered impartial experts to be called upon by the media to discuss the in/out EU referendum (Your Say, June 20).

Following his logic, as an MEP who draws a salary from said body, then he too has the potential to express a pro-Europe bias and should not be invited to any media debates either.

M Roberts,

via email


Euro cash is vital to help our students

Paul Nuttall seems to think the European Commission giving ‘taxpayers’ money’ to Britain’s universities is a bad thing (Your Say, June 20).

Given the unwillingness of the British government to fund our higher education properly, I would have thought this was a reason to retain membership of the EU.

Or does Mr Nuttall not want a properly funded education system for our students, who already face graduating with five-figure debts?

Name and address supplied


We can ensure no pensioner is in need

Congratulations on your extensive report on the opening of the Pensioners’ Parliament (“This isn’t just about the pensioners of today”, Gazette, June 17).

As the report highlighted, the gathering was not asking that pensioners benefit at the expense of others.

As I said in my address in the opening session, everyone is suffering under a regime of austerity that’s seeing essential services, from children’s centres to libraries, bus services to social care, slashed back or disappear altogether, while young people face low-wage insecure employment and massive student debt.

But too many pensioner households are also continuing to individually suffer, despite the government’s much-trumpeted “triple-lock”.

Sixteen per cent are still living in poverty, putting Britain a disgraceful 16th on a European league table of pensioner poverty, with the level of the basic pension at only 32 per cent of the average wage, much lower again than most of our neighbours.

That’s why I am calling for a “Citizens’ Pension” set in current circumstances at £180 a week for singles and £310 a week for couples. That would ensure no pensioner was living in poverty – something that in the world’s sixth-richest country we could achieve, if multinational companies and rich individuals paid their way with taxes and decent wages.

Natalie Bennett

Green Party leader


Readers help trace airman’s grave

Many thanks to readers of the Gazette for their response to my recent email on the subject of a Second World War Polish airman’s grave. The replies I have received were not massive in numbers, but were impressive in their quality.

As a result, I have discovered that Grzegorz Piotr Gramiak was buried in Layton Cemetery, not Carleton Cemetery (they both have a plot no BB437!).

In late 1949 his family in America paid for his body to be exhumed and returned to New Jersey, where he was reburied. In March 1950, the body of his brother Viktor was exhumed from a war grave in the Netherlands and was subsequently re-interred in the same grave. Sad for the family to have both of their sons killed in the conflict.

As a result of the information received, I have been able to establish that the American equivalent of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has provided a headstone and the grave is well tended.

An American photographer has agreed to photograph the grave for me, which I am sure will be a comfort to the Polish side of the family who have lost contact with the American side because of the difficulty of communication during the Communist years.

Once again, many thanks to this paper and its readers.

Neville Bougourd

via email