IN response to Mr Hoggard’s letter “We are where we are with fracking”.

We are where we are with fracking because the government is determined to push forward with the unconventional gas industry (fracking), whether we want it or not.

Angela Leadsom stated in MP’s questions discussing fracking on May 12, 2016, that “we absolutely support the idea of local consultation and local people having their say”.

On May 20, 2016, there was an anti-fracking demonstration of more than 1,000 people in the grounds of County Hall at Northallerton. On May 23, 2016, despite 4,375 letters against and 36 letters for permission being granted, North Yorkshire County Council ignored the strength of local opinion and voted in favour of government policy.

The application was also opposed by the Ryedale District Council, every Ryedale town council, 15 parish councils (including all those near the well), Flamingo Land, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the Castle Howard Estate, and dozens of other groups and local businesses.

This was the strength of opinion of “local people” who have had their views disregarded by North Yorkshire County Council and this is why I and many others will continue to fight fracking in Ryedale whether or not test fracks are successful.

It is not a “feature of modern life,” of being on the “losing side” that we continue our campaign; it is about democracy and the fact that local wishes have not been represented. It is about the love of our countryside and the genuine concerns we have about the introduction of fracking into this country despite the mounting worldwide peer reviewed evidence of the risks involved.

Anne Nightingale, Helmsley

We are listening

WITH respect to your correspondent, Mr Hoggard, it is not that we who are opposed to fracking are not listening; on the contrary, we listen attentively in the hope that the increasing quantity of evidence pointing to the dangers of fracking is ill-founded.

Unfortunately we hear nothing other than the voice of vested interest, of climate change denial, of refusal to accept the documented effects of fracking where practised, of impossible assurances that our “gold standard” regulatory regime will protect us, and of ignorance of the alternatives. Of the benefits which can trump these considerations, nothing.

A “test” procedure, Mr Hoggard, will prove nothing. The inevitable proliferation of wells which will follow the “Look, nothing happened”, and the next decade or so will prove everything, and by then, it may be too late.

This is not sour grapes, Mr Hoggard; we are not fighting a bowling green application. Nor are we entrenched; show us we are wrong.

David Cragg-James, Stonegrave

Show your support

MY partner and I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening recently watching Eskdale Players’ production of John Godber’s “September in the Rain” at the Milton Rooms in Malton.

What a shame that events such as this are not supported better by locals in Malton, Norton and surrounding areas. The production was worthy of a bigger professional company and deserved a much wider audience.

The volunteers at the Milton Rooms are trying very hard to revive this place and they need help to make it work. People of Ryedale - if you want an excellent arts venue - check out the events at the Milton Rooms, and go along to support them.

Linden Quinlan, Norton

Egg mystery

ON Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny hid 24 mini foil wrapped Easter eggs and 24 foil wrapped chocolate coins around our patio in Castle Howard Road, Malton.

We all went to church. When we returned the grandchildren rushed to search for eggs. They found all the coins but all the mini eggs (except for one) had already disappeared.

Can anyone shed any light on our Easter mystery?

Mary Brandon, Malton

Hard look needed

FOR nine years I had the privilege to serve on Ryedale District Council prior to local government reorganisation in 1996. My recollection is of a council which was invariably highly-praised by external assessors for the quality of its services to residents and for the way councillors of all parties co-operated to achieve this.

I was therefore somewhat horrified to read a report by the Local Government Association which described recent council meetings as a “circus” and some councillors’ behaviour as “extremely disruptive”.

One Liberal (not Liberal Democrat) and one Conservative councillor appear to have been playing petty party political games; while the Conservative can perhaps point to his young age as a minor excuse, the Liberal councillor should know better. Another councillor has also been suspended from committees for six months for trying to vote on behalf of an absent colleague, an act that I find quite incredible.

The councillors involved need to take a long hard look at themselves before they turn the council I was so proud to serve on into a laughing stock.

Tony Fisher, Strensall, York