I WRITE regarding the fracking industry’s riposte to the letter from landowners (Gazette, March 28). They say fracking will create jobs.

What they don’t say is that this conclusion comes from a report commissioned by their own trade body, UKOOG.

According to this, 64,500 jobs will be created from 4,000 fracking wells from 2024 to 2026 (requiring a total spend of £33 billion).

This should be compared with a DECC report compiled by AMEC Foster Wheeler, who estimate only 15,900 to 24,300 full-time jobs (direct and indirect) would be created at peak construction, on the assumption that the UK would need three times its current gas demand during the 2020s.

Fortunately there will be no such demand, as another government report (Gas Security of Supply published by DBE&I Strategy in October last year) anticipates that by 2035 demand for gas will fall by one third, as a result of increased use of renewables.

In contrast 27,000 jobs have been lost or are under threat because of the government’s cuts in support of the solar energy industry, and tens of thousands of jobs will be lost to the visitor economy as a result of the industrialisation of our beautiful countryside.

The context is the acceptance in the County Minerals Plan of 10 drilling pads twice the size of KM8 at distances of between one and a half and two miles in every direction – potentially as many as 50 such drilling pads in the Vale of Pickering alone.

Readers should not be deceived by the propaganda of the petrochemicals industry. Fracking has little to do with jobs – it’s all about money.

Cllr Paul Andrews, Ryedale District Council Malton Ward and chairman of Habton Parish Council

Attention to detail

AS a regular dog walker through Lady Mary’s Springwood at Old Malton, I fully support the Malton and Norton Partnership’s decision to remove the unsafe boardwalk adjacent to the water course, known locally as the Cut.

By doing so this, it has enabled the drainage board to carry out essential work recently and for future maintenance work, a gang of men armed with shovels are no competition to a modern hydraulic excavator.

However, I do believe the natural earth path is more comfortable and easier to negotiate than the board walk. Had more attention to detail been given to the landscape area, between the River Derwent, the Cut and the disused railway embankment, a more satisfactory and long-term result could have been achieved.

It was proposed in 2017 by the partnership to have a riverside footpath from the wood to the church. This is clearly not the case as the path is at the side of the Cut, seeing as the field known as the ings is on a flood plain. The area between the wood and the bridge between the ings and the rugby club floods frequently, the route at the riverside of the field only becomes impassable when the River Derwent overtops its banks which only very rarely occurs.

I aren’t an educated person, but fully understand the true values of basic common sense, something that appears to have been used rather sparingly on this £90,000 project.

Mike Kitching, Old Malton

Heavy price to pay

I CAN’T recollect any time when all the employers’ organisations (CBI, IoD, BCC) have been in full agreement with the TUC, three former prime ministers, senior civil servants, the Bank of England, the government’s own economic advisory body (OBR) and a majority of MPs, on such a matter of national importance.

Opposing them is the Prime Minister and a few members of the Cabinet. Yes, this is on the issue of Brexit. By the government’s own estimates, while London will get away relatively unscathed, most of the North will be particularly disadvantaged by (any form of) Brexit, with agriculture and rural areas hit the most. Yet Theresa May persists with her vague and dangerous plans for which Ryedale will pay a heavy price.

Meanwhile, our local MP Kevin Hollinrake, who was elected to stand up for our constituency and to act in our best interests, has proved disappointingly ineffective. He has rightly argued for better funded transport infrastructure in our region but seems completely relaxed that the PM’s policy will cause so much damage to employment and prosperity. We deserve better. I call upon Mr Hollinrake to step up to the responsibilities of his office. He should make forceful and persistent demands that the interests of the North be given priority in order to mitigate the long-term damage to our region that employers, unions, senior figures and the government’s own economic advisers agree will be the inevitable result of Brexit.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton