FRACKING JOB DROUGHT
I read the pro-fracking demonstration article (Gazette, February 23) and felt I had to write in response.
As a resident of the Fylde, I share the genuine concerns raised by those taking part in the demo, of the economic decline and lack of quality jobs in the North West and Blackpool in particular.
Having looked in detail at the two current fracking applications, it doesn’t appear that fracking will be the answer that is being sought.
Cuadrilla themselves are only forecasting 11 jobs per site.
Imagine how many more industrial sites will be needed around the Fylde to provide the volume of work needed.
It will be in the thousands of wells across hundreds of wellpads turning the countryside surrounding Blackpool into a desolate industrial zone.
This in turn will have a huge impact on agriculture and tourism in the area and put real jobs at risk.
According to Lancashire County Council, in 2013 there were 57,400 jobs associated with tourism and tourist activities, which was valued at £927m.
In addition there are more than 550 farm holdings in the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre area alone, with more than 10,000 employed directly in farming activities in Lancashire.
In contrast, our near neighbours Germany and Netherlands are forging ahead with renewable energy industries, with targets for energy generation far exceeding those in the UK. In Germany in 2010, over 300,000 people were employed in the renewable sector in mainly small to medium sized firms.
It seems to me, that we have the ideal climate here in the North West for renewable energy, the industry has a successful track record in job creation in other countries and the capacity to generate the number of jobs badly needed here in the North West.
TAX THE FAT CATS
Catch real fraudsters
Why does the Government do nothing about tax avoidance by the very rich?
They are such hypocrites. This crime costs the country billions but they seem to do nothing about it, in fact they reward these people with more tax cuts and ever increasing wages and bonuses.
They get more in bonuses than the hardworking man and woman get in wages.
But the poor, they never leave alone, making them take these so-called jobs.
Sometimes it is one job, split into two or half a job on zero hours contracts so they can say there are less people unemployed.
They put all their efforts into making people take these jobs on poverty wages and with no rights.
Everybody wants the real fraudsters to be caught and given stiff penalties at both ends of the scale – but do it fairly.
For example, don’t stop benefits at a moment’s notice, take food out of children’s mouths or leave them to freeze with no heating.
If there were good jobs and people refused them, that would be fair enough but there isn’t. They should be investigated properly before stopping benefits.
Clean up this mess
I was delighted to see The Gazette highlight the disgraceful condition of the boarded up and dilapidated hotels at New South Promenade. As a regular visitor to Blackpool, and particularly South Shore, I feel so sorry for those hoteliers who have to try and make an honest living while these disgraceful eyesores are next door. I find it scandalous the council appears to be powerless to force the landlords of these properties to either get their houses in order or relinquish the freeholds. These properties are in such a prominent place in the resort and should be stunning – not an embarrassment. Something should surely be done before this area is allowed to simply die .
B.Kay Bentham, North Yorkshire
Listen to Laurence
It’s great to see Laurence Llewelyn Bowen still wholeheartedly supporting the Illuminations (Gazette, February 27).
I hope businesses do listen to his appeal for more sponsorship because we really need as much support as possible for our wonderful Lights.
And if you look at the experience of the Houndshill Centre, which already has a sponsorship deal, it seems there are huge benefits for those companies who do get involved.
The Houndshill manager Debbs Lancelot says they have invested £24,000 over three years but has got that back already, with free publicity worth £25,600 in the first year alone.
So what is there not to like about this?
Companies can get their name in lights, be part of something as wonderful as the Illuminations and get brilliant promotion for their brand as well.
Of course, we do not want our Illuminations to become too corporate, but we have to accept the council cannot go on funding them on its own forever.