£100,000 was spent in September by North Yorkshire Police on their presence at the fracking site at Kirby Misperton, yet we have seen that many of the protesters are local pensioners and farmers.

Policing elsewhere in the county is suffering, and further cost increases will have to be borne by the taxpayer.

As international energy costs are falling, why do we need expensive shale gas? Leading experts on sedimentary geology say that fracking in Britain will be economically unviable – even more so if policing costs are included.

So why allow fracking here when it is banned in Scotland, France, Germany and the Netherlands? Why have the fracking companies been given tax breaks while government investment in solar energy has been cut? Who will pick up the tab for environmental damage when the fracking companies are already millions in debt?

For answers to these questions please contact the person who is supposed to be representing our interests, kevin.hollinrake.mp@parliament.uk.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Is this sustainable?

ON the Gazette front page (October 25) PCC Julia Mulligan says policing the KM8 fracking site is “a significant resourcing challenge...likely to have an impact on policing across the rest of the county”.

She should know. All public services budgets, including the police, have been significantly slashed over the last 10 years, so it’s unlikely they have any substantial contingency fund.

Therefore, where can the resources to police KM8 have come from, other than frontline policing budgets, current or future, including both money and manpower? I assume serious crime against the person will be prioritised, but presumably policing of fraud, theft, car crime and many other offences must inevitably take the hit in favour of daily shipping huge numbers of officers to facilitate the fracking industry against non-violent, peaceful protest.

Perhaps the PCC could enlighten us whose decision deemed peaceful protest worthy of such huge expenditure at the cost of policing other serious crime? From regular first-hand observation, the police greatly outnumber protectors and numbers appear to be rising on both sides. Is this proportionate, affordable or sustainable?

Local taxpayers with all-but-static incomes for the last 10 years may wonder what rise in council tax they can expect next April to fund this questionable political decision.

Cllr Mike Potter, RDC Derwent Ward

Stop this now

TWO years ago, at a meeting about the development of fracking in Ryedale, I suggested to MP Kevin Hollinrake that I would not buy a puppy without knowing what sort of dog it would grow into, he agreed.

A visualisation by UKOOG showed three pads in a PEDL area with no indication of how many wells were on each pad or the infrastructure that would be needed. Recently, Third Energy released figures that envisaged 14 well pads with 400 wells in total in their licence areas.

It seems that the pup we were sold two years ago is going to grow into a very large and dangerous dog. Simple maths tells us that if the frack at KM8 is successful there will be 28 gas wells on the pad. Residents were not told of this.

Disruption caused by the test frack at KM8 is already causing differences of opinion within the village. One can imagine the effects on the community of the scale of development envisaged. The government’s own figures show fracked gas is not necessary to secure future energy needs. For the social and physical well-being of our communities this needs to be stopped now.

Peter Allen, Cawton

Putting it right

AS a county councillor I get more correspondence about potholes on roads, than on any other subject.

Often the damage can be attributed to poor quality reinstatement work by utilities, after they have dug up a road. I am therefore pleased that our county council has decided to tighten the inspection regime for reinstatement works.

In future, as well as a visual inspection of the work, NYCC highway officers will be taking core samples of some repaired roads.

These will be analysed to ensure that the specification and materials used meet the required standard for a stable and long lasting repair.

Where a repair is judged not to be up to scratch, the utility company will be required to put it right.

Cllr Greg White, NYCC member for the Pickering Division

Information plea

RESIDENTS and visitors to Hawnby in 1965 were surprised find a “Happening” one weekend on the premises of the then Hawnby Primary School, at the invitation of Sue and John Fox.

It involved poets from Liverpool to Langholm in Scotland, playwrights John Arden and Arnold Wesker, a Yorkshire Dialect specialist, all entertained by the Osmotherley Band.

Later in the weekend, events moved to the village hall and then to Duncombe Park Queen Mary’s School.

Information is now sought from some of those people who took part or walkers who were involved by chance or design in one of the early events which became widespread by the later 1960s.

A display, including a newspaper report of the time with a photograph of the occasion, is part of a local villages folder and wall display in Helmsley Library.

If you can help us to record more on this and other spontaneous events in Ryedale in the same spirit, please leave us your details in the library.

John Dean, Beadlam