LETTERS such as the ones printed recently cannot go unanswered.

Much was made of the election win by Kevin Hollinrake.

However, many of his constituents could be forgiven for thinking that he had no opinion at all on fracking.

The election leaflet that I received never mentioned the word. In any event, his success does not negate the dangers to the area of fracking.

Churchill was a lone voice in the 1930s when warning against German intentions. By 1940 few would have disagreed with him.

The letters urged us to get behind our local councillors. As far as I am aware, Ryedale District Council has voted against fracking as have the majority of parish and town councils in the area.

What other councillors are there, as the North Yorkshire Planning Committee, hearing the application by Third Energy, did not contain a Ryedale councillor?

I do object to the constant harping on about the undue influence from people from outside the area. Recently we were once again told of “the legion of people from afar who enjoy a cause” and “eco-extremists from London”.

I was born in Yorkshire nearly 70 years ago and, apart from a period of four years, have lived and worked in the county my entire life. I welcome the support received from all over the country to oppose a chemical engineer from Lancashire and an oil man from Scotland whose plans threaten to blight the lives of my children and grandchildren.

Finally, the tragic events of the last few weeks should be a very salutary lesson to all those who hide behind the delusion that regulation will keep us safe.

Even where existing regulations appear to have been adhered to, catastrophe can be just around the corner.

Peter Allen, Cawton


HOW disheartening to read scurrilous words against the anti-frackers of Ryedale.

Malton and Thirsk returned a Conservative member because many voters are either senior citizens who have traditionally been cosseted by the Tories to gain their vote or landowners and farmers who may hope to gain from fracking.

I am surprised that the proprietors of our favoured local paper should allot space to the viewpoint of someone who so obviously doesn’t wish to retain the naturally beneficial surroundings of Ryedale for either our generation of the next.

H Boston, Thornton-le-Dale

Fracking agenda

WHILE those of our community who are opposed to fracking are of course disappointed that we have failed to unseat our Conservative MP, it is, to say the least, facile to attribute this to a surge in support for fracking (Letters, June 14).

One could as well argue that the local Conservative vote is a mandate for the reintroduction of fox hunting, or the strengthening of austerity.

Is it not just as likely that Mr Hollinrake has been gifted (?) with the collapsed UKIP support? In short, other factors are as relevant in explaining this result.

However, there is a grain of truth in these letters.

We have not yet reached and therefore not persuaded enough voters that concern for the fate of our grandchildren, our country and the planet should trump the traditional loyalty of some constituencies to Conservatism.

The more one has studied fracking, the less likely one is to support it. Please interest yourselves in fracking, Thirsk and Malton, it’s still on the agenda.

David Cragg-James, Stonegrave

Question your MP

I NOTE with interest that all four members of the group backing facking are now trying to claim that a vote for Kevin Hollinrake was a vote for fracking (Letters, June 15).

Their letters are all so similar one must wonder if they are all working from the same PR company draft?

Sadly, fracking (which is still very strongly opposed by the vast majority of people in Ryedale and the country as a whole, as every independent survey attests), barely registered in the election at all.

It was actually dominated by more immediate concerns about the collapse of the NHS, Brexit, austerity, and Theresa May being unwilling to debate with Jeremy Corbyn in public.

The question the people of Yorkshire must now ask of all elected representatives who worked so hard to win our votes, is: after the recent appalling tragedy at Grenfell Tower highlighted the inadequacy of public safety measures - what actual evidence do they have that: 1. The UK’s fracking regulations are fit for purpose in keeping our families safe, and that they will be independently monitored?

2. In the event of an accident, explosion or chemical spill, that sufficient provisions have been allocated in the emergency services’ budgets for them to be able to cope.

Adela Pickles-Redston, Gilling East and London

Feeble reasoning

ALONG with Kevin Hollinrake and the other candidates, I witnessed the opening of the ballot boxes on election night.

Not once did I see a ballot paper with a note attached to it explaining why the elector had voted as they did. Maybe we were not paying attention.

I must congratulate last week’s pro-fracking correspondents for their superior information. Many people assumed that Brexit had something to do with the election, but clearly they were mistaken. After all, the constituency was heavily “leave” in last year’s referendum.

But no, we are asked to believe that Thirsk and Malton constituency was operating in its own micro-climate and that the only matter for consideration was fracking.

It is precisely this sort of feeble reasoning that characterises the correspondence from those who see no downside at all to an intensive programme of fracking.

Unlike, say, the Conservative voters of North East Derbyshire who returned Lee Rowley to Parliament, fully aware of his opposition to fracking. And this seat was a Tory gain.

Philip Tate, Butterwick

Continue debate

THE orchestrated cascade of similarly phrased letters in last week’s press which tried to draw a simple relationship between voting for the Conservative candidate in the Thirsk and Malton constituency and being in favour of fracking will not stand up to any analysis.

If fracking was the only issue then it would be clear that if you voted for the Conservative candidate, Kevin Hollinrake, then you approved of fracking and that if you voted for one of the other six candidates, then you were against it.

Clearly, fracking was not the only issue, nor was it the most important one.

How we fund the NHS, social care, education, Brexit and housing, whether we preferred May or Corbyn were all taken into account when the electorate decided how to cast their votes and, after all, only 31 per cent of those eligible to vote, actually voted Tory.

I am sure there were many Conservative voters who were against fracking and some Labour supporters who were for it. So the issue of fracking was not decided at the last election.

The arguments and debate must continue until those who are convinced that fracking is bad for our environment and our local economy have convinced those who approve of it, to change their minds.

Alan Avery, Thirsk and Malton Constituency Labour Party

Split vote

SEVERAL writers have asked what happened to the anti-fracking votes. The answer is they were still there split among the other candidates.

We never expected anyone to get close to Kevin Hollinrake. In a staunchly Conservative area like this, a Tory candidate will always get in by a large majority come what may.

Listening to local people talking during the campaign, I heard many references to “that man Corbyn”. I suspect the fear Corbyn factor was more likely to be the reason for the increase in Tory votes than a ringing endorsement for fracking.

There are several references to people from outside the area being behind the anti-fracking movement, including one from Dr Graham Marshall about eco-extremists from London. This is from the man who apparently worked in the oil and gas industry in Australia. The vast majority of people at our meetings are local and not bussed in from London or elsewhere.

Like it or not the anti-fracking movement is growing locally and nationally, especially among people doing their own research and not listening solely to the spin coming from the fracking industry and its political supporters.

Phil and Chris Rowland, Pickering

A little perturbed

I WOULD like to offer my congratulations to Kevin Hollinrake on his re-election as our MP with an increased share of the vote.

This certainly represents a poke in the eye for the vociferous but clearly unrepresentative anti-fracking activists.

However, I am a little perturbed by his objection to a deal with the DUP. The Ulster Unionists seek to preserve real Conservative values with their stance on gay marriage and abortion; values that the conservatives in the mainland have largely discarded in this PC driven liberal diaspora.

Would Mr Hollinrake prefer a hung Parliament or a minority Labour government causing chaos and economic ruin instead of a lifeline deal with the DUP instead? I rest my case.

Dick Hayball, Pickering