MOST of us regret the cutbacks that have affected the county library services because ultimately this is an attack upon a long standing source of information and education.

Certainly the rise of IT will partially compensate for the loss, but then not everyone has access to it and many still prefer to read books and magazines.

Recent evidence shows a revival of book reading among the young, but books are beyond the pocket of many.

The library service now relies heavily upon unpaid volunteers for its survival and among the many cutbacks are the ending of the provision of a wide variety of magazines and journals, which I and many others once looked forward to being able to read in our local libraries.

The absence of this provision prompts me to suggest that it would be a splendid example of community voluntary support for people who take out subscriptions for magazines to donate them, once they have read them, to their local branch.

I am aware that some libraries have a magazine exchange, but I do feel that this is often low key with copies half hidden in boxes not prominently displayed.

What I would suggest is that donated magazines be more prominently located on dedicated racks and that they be retained for all visitors to read until replaced by more recent publications.

Among all types of journals and papers I would suggest be donated and displayed are, to name but a few, The Economist, The New Scientist, History Today, Garden News, Nature and Wildlife, This Week, Money Week, New Statesman, The Spectator, Yorkshire Life, The Dalesman, and so on. I would like to set the ball rolling by passing on National Geographic and Private Eye.

I strongly believe that any response to these suggestions would not only increase the footfall in our libraries and convince the authorities of their importance as an essential part of ratepayer services, but would also greatly enrich the lives of our library users.

Hugh Spencer, Norton Town Councillor

Utilise opportunity

IN the UK gas plays a major role in all our lives, to heat our homes, cook our food and in the manufacture of a wide range of household items. Gas accounted for more than 42 per cent of electricity generated in Britain last year and the proportion has been growing as coal-fired power stations are phased out.

However, we are importing more and more gas and Government estimates are that we will be importing 80 per cent of our requirement by 2025 with the consequent impact on the environment, our balance of payments and security of supply.

By using the natural gas we have just a mile under our feet, we can ensure that the British public has a secure source of gas to heat the 84 per cent of homes dependent on gas for the coming decades.

For over two decades, Third Energy has been producing gas and electricity and providing work for people and businesses in North Yorkshire. We are an industry that is highly regulated, publicly on-show and have always embraced open and transparent communication with our regulators and the community.

Our plans to hydraulically fracture were subject to intense inspection by councillors and officials from North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and the industry’s regulatory bodies including the Environment Agency (EA).

At each stage of the regulatory process the concerns and queries raised by members of the public were examined in detail and addressed. The regulatory system is very detailed and every part of Third Energy’s operations is, quite rightly, subject to close scrutiny.

Whatever those who oppose our industry tell you, we need to utilise the opportunity of domestic onshore gas in a safe way. We work closely with local residents, local businesses, local councils and the regulators.

We look forward to being able to continue responsibly developing our operations in the future in the same safe, discreet and environmentally sensitive way.

John Dewar, Third Energy

Move deplored

IN reply to Mr Conlan’s letter (August 2, Questions raised over consultation), I wish to point out that the proposed no waiting restrictions in Amotherby at school drop-off and pick-up times are nothing to do with fracking.

They are a result of requests from residents and the parish council for a solution to long standing problems, including total grid-lock of the village on occasions, caused by inconsiderate parking by a small minority of parents.

The consultation being carried out is for residents, the parish council, school, nursery and local businesses and should not concern parents as the school will (and already has) responded on their behalf.

The hijacking of this purely village issue by anti-frackers for political motives is to be deplored.

Mrs N Ballard, Amotherby Parish Council Chairman