CONGRATULATIONS to our young people who received their exam results recently. The “good” results are a testimony to our teachers’ ability to react quickly to change and the students ability to cope with new changes to the curriculum.

The sweeping educational changes introduced by Mr Gove were unfair and caused stress and worry. It is a shame our politicians do not think through educational reforms with our teachers prior to imposing them and it is a shame discussions never take place beforehand.

Over the last 10 years there have been many discussions regarding the relocation of the livestock market from the middle of Malton to the outskirts. I’m pleased an agreement has been reached and outline planning permission has been granted for this on land near to Eden Camp.

Now we need to work hard on the details of this permission and ensure any worries are elevated. I personally want to see these developments secure money to help with flooding issues in Old Malton and Castlegate, so residents can see some tangible benefits from the development in other areas of Malton and Norton. I am also keen to see more than £1m go towards improving our schools, especially dealing with intake capacity. This is a new beginning for the livestock centre and let us hope the future is bright for our community.

We always must be looking to the future and have to grapple with issues like wind turbines and fracking. I think you know my views on wind turbines, I honestly believe the most natural place for these are out in the North Sea. I have been deliberately quiet regarding fracking as I felt not enough information was available, however things are moving very quickly and I feel that I am now in a position to say that at this moment in time I am against fracking, especially in Ryedale.

I understand that our national park is protected, thank goodness. I know that our PM supports fracking and new Business and Energy Minister Mathew Hancock is keen and has invited more bids from large energy companies to apply for more fracking rights. Politicians are keen to focus on the economic benefits which they say we will all benefit from, but I am worried about the roofs over our heads and the ground beneath our feet.

Hydraulic fracturing – breaking up rock or shale using water and chemicals pumped at a high pressure underground – can yield massive new sources of gas, but could also create problems for local people. Whether you think the risk of earthquakes or water pollution is real depends on your personal perception or reserch done in the US.

But loss of open space, increases of lorry transport in areas of drilling are certainties. We now see some American authorities are banning fracking. Our Government has not got to grips yet with our flooding issues, so why move on to another unknown before sorting out flooding problems.

As we all know if you have been flooded it is difficult to get insurance, so what about fracking as a result, tens of thousands of homes could face big hikes in premiums or must hope for the best without insurance? It is too early to say what are the likely outcomes and who will pick up the bill for damages to homes. So, with all this in mind and no sound agreements for residents in place, ministers need to stop encouraging the large energy companies to apply for licences and ensure residents are put before profits.

Fracking looks like a accident waiting to happen. I don’t want Ryedale to be caught up in an accident or even worse turning in to a mini Texas.