Leaflet claims were unsubstantiated
Local business owners and residents will have read the front page of The Times earlier this week with dismay.
It reported how the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued a draft ruling against an anti-fracking leaflet produced by Friends of the Earth saying its claims were “unsubstantiated”.
Friends of the Earth and local campaigners opposed to fracking have been making these claims about water pollution and adverse health effects for years. I heard them myself in June last year at County Hall, when I appeared before the Development Control Committee to speak up in favour of Cuadrilla’s shale gas exploration plans, and I recall how the council’s planning officer said a sizeable number of the written objections it received were based on template letters provided by Friends of the Earth.
To think that our local elected representatives may have been swayed to vote against fracking on the grounds of unsubstantiated claims is very concerning, as is the likelihood that many local residents will have been frightened by them unnecessarily. The potential impacts have all been studied by experts such as the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, and Public Health England to name a few, all of which conclude the risks are low and capable of being properly managed.
I was always minded to believe them, not campaigners at Friends of the Earth, and would suggest others do likewise in light of this ASA draft ruling.
We will never accept fracking in Fylde
As further reports are published proving the dangers of fracking, and warnings are given by veteran US geologist Dan Steward concerning the severe dangers engendered by fracking in heavily faulted geological formations such as the Bowland Shale, our government is still determined to inflict this dangerous and unnecessary industry on our communities.
Whilst we await Sajid Javid’s decision, due to be given by October 6, I am struck by the duplicity of government ministers. Late last month, Brandon Lewis MP said on on Radio 4 that the decision to allow fracking in Kirby Misperton in Yorkshire was proof of the government’s pledge to deliver Democratic Localism, in that locally elected councilors had made the decision to grant planning permission in their local area without any interference from central government.
If their pledge is really true, why is central government calling in Cuadrilla’s appeal to frack the Fylde? Why did they not simply accept the democratic decision of local councilors to refuse planning permission?
The answer from politicians seems to be that fracking is ‘good for the country’. They appear unable to understand that it is people who make a country – any land without people is simply a lump of rock. How can it be ‘good for the country’ to turn the Fylde into what Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, has described as “the largest gas field in Europe”?
To suggest that despoiling the Lancashire countryside, imposing an industrial complex which will cost the jobs of those currently employed in the Fylde’s core businesses and in an instant strip people of the right to live the lives they’ve chosen may just be ‘collateral damage’ to the smart set in London, but to label it ‘good for the country’ demonstrates a callous disregard of those they purport to represent.
It is for these reasons that we will never accept fracking in our landscapes, but will continue to battle until the practice is banned from the UK’s shores.
Mums on their
Is it only me who worries about the development of young children when they are in forward-facing pushchairs seeing only legs – and their mothers are constantly talking on their phones? Surely they need the stimulus of seeing and talking to their carers?
Complainers got what they voted for
I don’t know why readers write in and say such-and-such should be done to save the ailing NHS.
The country voted in a Government that does not believe in the NHS. A Government that farms out services to people like Richard Branson and Virgin, even if those services have been criticised by the CQC.
Hunt and Burt do not want the NHS as a means of providing health care: they want us to have to pay for it by private contracts.
You are getting what you voted for and, if you believed the Tories when they said the NHS is safe with them, then you deserve what you’re getting for being so gullible.
Big Sam has no one to blame but himself
Sam Allardyce. It shows how greedy some people are.
He blames everyone else. He only has himself to blame for not being satisfied.