What happened to the anti-fracking vote?

HOW well did the anti-fracking candidates do in the General Election in our constituency? Good question. The answer is easy, very badly.

Taking the two most vocally opposed to shale gas, Philip Tate stood solely on an anti-fracking ticket polled 692 votes in the 2015 General Election. In the 2017 General Election his vote fell to 542. He polled only one per cent of the vote.

Di Keal, Lib Dem, who is a spokesperson for Frack Free Ryedale, polled 4,703 in 2015 and only polled 3,859 in 2017 that was only 6.7 per cent.

Hardly a mandate to ban fracking. Especially when you realise that our MP Kevin Hollinrake polled over 6,000 more votes than in 2015 with a very substantial 33,572.

This is even more remarkable if anyone stops to think about what a long time these protesters have been utilising the media to try to frighten us all. 

What a waste of time and energy.

This begs the question, just how much support do they have locally? They may summon a legion of people from afar who enjoy a cause, but it has not convinced the locals that there is anything to get too alarmed about. Common sense won the day.

Andy Smith, Malton


Protest bid failed

NEVER mind what went wrong with the General Election, what went wrong for the anti-fracking movement in Yorkshire and Lancashire?

Over the last few years they have continually bombarded our community using every media channel possible with propaganda claiming that the shale gas industry would destroy the North.

Even after all their negative campaigning since the last election in 2015, it is very notable that the two-incumbent shale gas supporting Conservative MPs in Fylde and Thirsk and Malton were returned to office with substantially more votes than two years ago.

Kevin Hollinrake for Thirsk and Malton, which includes Third Energy’s KM8 well, polled 33,572, up 7.4 per cent, and Fylde Conservative MP Mark Menzie, where Cuadrilla are busy developing a shale gas well
pad at Preston New Road, polled 27,334, a rise of 9.7 per cent.

Quite rightly, the anti-fracking movement has failed miserably to convince the electorate that shale gas operations would destroy our communities, environment and health. Most other candidates that stood for election wrongly assumed an anti-fracking stance would be a vote winner, obviously it was a vote loser.

Just because a few people have expressed their objections very loudly it does not mean they represent the majority. Indeed, the majority vote in both constituencies went to shale gas supporting candidates.

Now is the time for us to unite with our local councillors, politicians and gas companies and let’s embrace the shale gas industry to ensure we receive the greatest benefits for our local communities, local work force and local businesses going forward.

Lorraine Allanson, Allerston


Stand with our MP

I AM writing in my capacity as a small operator of a tourism business interest in Ryedale.

I note with a sense of excitement the re-election of our pro-fracking Conservative candidate Kevin Hollinrake for Thirsk and Malton. Mr Hollinrake is to be congratulated for his steadfast and principled support for the UK’s natural gas industry against the propaganda of the eco-extremists from London that falsely claim that a new gas industry would destroy Ryedale and damage our tourism sector.

Regardless of the national mood, Kevin Hollinrake for Thirsk and Malton polled an increased number of votes; 33,572, up over seven per cent on 2015.

The anti-shale gas eco-extremists from London and their local mouthpieces that stood for election in Ryedale have all failed miserably to convince Ryedale voters that shale gas operations will harm our

Now is the time for Ryedale to stand alongside our local MP and embrace a new bright shale gas sector; and the benefits it will bring to our our local community and the local businesses and people that live here.

Dr Graham Marshall, Rosedale Abbey


Message is clear

HOW satisfying for the fracking industry and its supporters that Kevin Hollinrake has been re-elected as MP for Thirsk and Malton (and Ryedale).

Votes for Kevin were up by over 6,000 when compared with 2015. This clearly shows that people in North Yorkshire see the good sense in supporting the fracking industry and producing shale gas in North Yorkshire. A glance of the votes cast shows that five other candidates (all anti-fracking) saw their percentage of votes drop, in one case by 12 per cent.

The Independent candidate who put himself forward on an anti-fracking ticket received only one per cent of the total vote, which means that 99 per cent of the electorate were against him. All credit to Kevin, who over the past years has suffered the most vile insults from anti-frackers and other extremists that form their ranks. Kevin has acted with great dignity in the face of these attacks and never wavered in his support of the industry.

The message is perfectly clear, anti-frackers you are not wanted in this community.

David Pasley, Pickering


System must change

THE Tory party makes many claims for “good governance” and being for the “nation’s good” but yet again these are proved to be false.

David Cameron took a gamble for political gain and lost, and now Theresa May has done exactly the same thing and lost.

How can we trust them to run the country when their sole aim is to gain political power?

It is claimed many times that we live in a representative democracy. This is just not true. What we have in fact is a democratically elected two-party dictatorship.

The two main parties with all the power and financial strength (just look at what the Tory party spent on the campaign compared to other parties) vie with each other to gain control. Once in power they then claim they have a “democratic” mandate to do whatever they want and just push forward their ideological plans. This does not represent the views of a huge chunk of the electorate.

Look at the situation following this election. We now have an unstable government in a poor position to carry out the hugely important Brexit negotiations.

The DUP got 0.9 per cent of the overall vote, 10 MPs and a big say in government. The Green Party and Ukip got 1.6 per cent and 1.8 per cent of the overall vote, one MP and no say at all.

How representative is that? Any wonder that so many people are put off politics and voting?

If both the Tories and Labour were really serious about having a government that was both stable and representative then they must push for serious changes to our broken system.

Glyn Wild, Swinton


Do the election sums

THE megalomania in the mind of Jeremy Corbyn shines through. To claim that he has a mandate to be Prime Minister is a nonsense. You must do the sums for yourselves, if you can and know how.

Hint: of the ballots cast on June 8: Con = 42.4%; Lab = 40%; SNP = 3.0%; Others = 14.6%. Of the electorate, some 14,682,000 chose not to vote.

The Labour party polled 12,874,985. Even using a proportional representation ballot a Labour/SNP coalition would have only a four-seat majority. On top of that, if you do the sums, this country cannot afford the spending policies which he proposes. I wrote, in March 2016, that if this country continued at the then current rates of GDP and national debt rates, the UK would be technically bankrupt by 2019/20. Our current situation makes this even more likely. As then, I ask again: “Is anyone concerned?”

David Loxley, Hartoft, Pickering