Readers’ letters - May 30

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Is fracking ‘revolution’ really worth the risks?

The Conservative party manifesto says that the “discovery and extraction of shale gas in the United States has been a revolution” and so pledges to continue the UK dash for gas, stating “we will legislate to change planning law for shale applications”.

However, they fail to acknowledge that there is a rapidly growing body of evidence on the risks and adverse effects of shale gas activities in the US.

These peer reviewed papers (1,200 plus and counting) are available in the PSE Healthy Energy Study Database.

Only last month, there was a new health report from Pennsylvania, which links fracking with increased infant mortality.

Another conflict apparent in the manifesto is between the claim that they want to “uphold our rigorous environmental protections,” and the promise that they will “set up a new shale environmental regulator, which will become a source of expertise”.

Prof Davies of ReFINE has spoken of the need for 50,000 wells across the north of England.

Everyone in areas licensed for petroleum development need to consider if this ‘revolution’ will be worth all the risks.

If we decide not, then apparently it’s too bad, because “when necessary, major shale planning decisions will be made the responsibility of the National Planning Regime”!

T Froud

Address supplied

Think of the pedestrians

May I, through the columns of your paper, point out the following to all local motorists.

Pavements are provided for pedestrians, not as an extended parking provision for inconsiderate motorists.

The latest arrogant fashion to abandon cars with two wheels well over the pavement appears to show consideration for other drivers but a total lack of consideration for pedestrians. I have seen so many occasions where cars have totally blocked the pavement and one vehicle I saw recently was parked at 90 degrees across the pavement.

Such inconsiderate parking forces parents with children, young mothers with pushchairs, or anyone with a wheelchair on to the road in order to circumvent the obstruction.

Call me old fashioned but I consider that to be dangerous. I ask all motorists, where you can keep four wheels on the road, please do so.

If the road is narrow and you feel the urge, then make sure you leave enough space for pushchairs or wheelchairs to pass. It’s simple common decency.

Ray Price

Address supplied

Socialist dream or nightmare?

The Labour Party proposes to raise corporation tax from 19 per cent to 26 per cent to fund their spending plans.

That sounds wonderful to the Labour left.

Hammer companies that make profits and distribute the spoils to the poor.

All very socialist, which it should be since the shadow chancellor, a self-confessed Marxist, proposed the policy.

Unfortunately, there are large problems with that policy. If you increase tax on companies, profits will fall.

Increased profits are necessary to ensure there is sufficient capital to expand the business, ensuring existing employee jobs and vacancies for the unemployed.

Healthy profits are also required to provide dividends to shareholders, who, in the main, are company pension schemes.

So there you have it.

The socialist dream of hammering companies results in three outcomes – job insecurity, more unemployment and dwindling pension pots for the working population. Long live the revolution.

Bernard Darbyshire

via email