The issues that have you talking - Letters July 2nd

Fracking drill
Fracking drill
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The week’s hot topics: fracking, Armed Forces Day, housing crisis, Bare Festival, GP receptionists, hospital infections, homelessness, Friends of Williamson Park

SHALE GAS: Fracking debate must take place

Gina Dowding in her letter and Cat Smith in her reported comments both expressed their opposition to permitting fracking in Lancashire.

Yet their arguments are completely one-sided, only representing the case against.

But the case for fracking can and does need to be made, and should be given at least equal consideration.

For example, what about the effect on job prospects for the local economy of a ban on fracking, especially in view of the problems of economic ‘austerity’ that the duo in question are so eager to constantly draw to our attention?

How about the need to secure our own energy supplies for the future, rather than depending on the likes of Russia or the Middle East?

And what are we do to provide a non-intermittent power supply in the future, something all the wind turbines and solar panels in the world can’t create?

It’s so easy to present a scare-mongering case for doing nothing, but the full picture has to be considered in any fair appraisal, especially what the alternatives to opposing fracking would be -

where are their solutions to the problems just mentioned?

One suspects that by presenting such one-sided arguments, instead of doing their democratic duty as true representatives of ordinary people’s interests, Ms Dowding and Ms Smith are in reality opportunistically burnishing their green and/or anti-capitalsit credentials in order to pander to an influential but unrepresentative political minority, while the common-sense interests of the

vast majority of us are ignored.

Alan Waters, 17 Jackson Close, Lancaster

ARMED FORCES DAY: Welcome salute

As Armed Forces Champion for Lancaster City Council, I want to say thank you to all the local people and visitors from as far as Liverpool, Manchester and beyond who attended Armed Forces Day on the June 27 at the castle.

Many thanks to the Army Reserve Forces, Women of the 40s living history, military modelling, cadet displays and assault course, Lancashire ACF Cadet corps of drums, High Society Jazz Band, historic vehicles and equipment, display of WW1 casualties mapped out in the city by Lancaster University and guided walks.

A massive thanks to local businesses Atkinsons, Gorrills, Boots, Wilkinsons, Hodgson’s Chippy, Premier Shop, Billy’s Egg Stall and others who donated some excellent raffle prizes.

Armed Forces Day ended with a lecture on Waterloo 200 years on by Nigel Sale at Storey Institute. The raffle monies will be divided between British Legion and the Blind Veterans.

It was a sunny day which created a lovely atmosphere. We had 1,634 people who entered the castle. My thanks to Peter Dew, Brian Jefferson, Tony Martin, John Lean, Coun Susie Charles, Coun Margaret Pattinson and staff from the city council who pulled this together and made it happen.

Coun Liz Scott, John O’Gaunt Ward, Lancaster

HOUSING: Free up the land

Now the dust has settled after the general election, I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr David Morris MP on the recent election.

Affording a home is tough for many people in Morecambe and Lunesdale. At an average of £147,347, house prices are seven times the average take home pay of people who live in the area. For many, buying a home of their own is a distant


We have a housing crisis and at its heart is the reality that not nearly enough homes have been built for generations.

Housing associations are a key part of the solution to this crisis both across the country and in Morecambe and Lunesdale.

They build 45,000 homes a year – for rent, for sale and shared ownership – but want to do much more.

Their vision is to deliver 120,000 of the 245,000 homes this country desperately needs each year by 2033. The National Housing Federation represents over 1,000 housing associations that provide homes to more than five million people across the country.

Our new Government has committed to end the housing crisis within a generation, now it must free up land and provide proper investment.

We look forward to supporting and working with Mr David Morris MP in Parliament to solve the housing crisis.

David Orr, National Housing Federation

FESTIVALS: Spirit in abundance

It was a great day out at Princes Crescent for the new Mayor of Bare at the Bare Festival; plenty of stalls, music and entertainment for both young and old.

The festival was well supported despite the cloudy weather, no sun but plenty of festival spirit with all age groups.

The food stalls were great and plenty of souvenirs and freebies for everyone.

Once again, a happy and successful year of office to our new Mayor of Bare.

Mrs A Sandbach, Heysham

HOSPITAL RECEPTIONS: Carry on laughing

Please don’t get me wrong, I have only praise for all the staff at the Queen Vic Health Centre at Morecambe. The service is brilliant.

But recently I had to make an appointment to see my GP so I went to reception to make it.

The receptionist said: “Sorry love, you must go to the back of the queue, you are two minutes early”, (which I did).

My reply was if you talk a little slower I will be on time (10am). This has to be one for Ken Dodd.

Made my day, could not stop laughing.

Name and address supplied

HOSPITAL INFECTIONS: Staff need to stay alert

There have been articles stating what the management of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary is doing to combat the infections which are rife and in some instances have resulted in wards being closed in this hospital.

On April 13 my wife was admitted for urgent surgery for which she waited 15 hours.

The walls at the hospital are covered with posters of scowling nurses berating visitors about bugs and

the need to have clean


I visited the Acute Surgical Unit (ASU) at 3pm and the dispenser for anti-bacterial hand cleaner was empty. I mentioned this to a nurse and was told to use the other one.

When I returned to the ASU at 7pm this dispenser was still empty.

Surely the RLI with its plethora of managers should be able to keep these vital dispensers replenished? It is not the first time I have found them empty when visiting.

Tony Collinson, Lake House, Capernwray, Carnforth.

HOMELESS: Role of the Sally Army

Morecambe Homeless Action is holding its 21st annual meeting on Tuesday July 14 at West End Community Centre, Westminster Road, Morecambe.

Refreshments will be served at 7pm and the meeting will start at 7.30pm.

The speaker will be Captain Mark who will explain the role of the Salvation Army in helping vulnerable people in Morecambe.

The group has held five executive committee meetings this year which have been well attended and would welcome more members.

Further information can be obtained from 01524 423116.

Morecambe Homeless Action

PARK FRIENDS: Donation is welcome

The Friends of Williamson Park would like to thank Firths Jewellers Limited, Gage Street, Lancaster, for their very generous donation to the charity auction at the June Ashton Evening.

These evenings showcase local art and music in the iconic setting of the Ashton Memorial, Williamson

Park. Firths Jewellers are a family business which has been supporting the people of Lancaster for over 50 years. They design and make bespoke jewellery and for the charity auction in aid of the Friends of Williamson Park, David Lawson designed a bespoke piece in silver which was then created by in-house goldsmith Chris Firth.

The necklace had a modern twist and was entitled Lady Ashton’s Laughing Butterfly.

It was reversible with small diamonds on one side and rubies on the other.

The next Ashton evening will be on Friday October 9 and will feature Lancaster musicians Quay Change and artist Patricia Haskey. For more information email

Dr Liz Dean, Wyresdale Road