KIRKBYMOORSIDE Town Council would like to extend its whole-hearted thanks to everyone involved with the Christmas decorations.

Every year there is a collective effort by volunteers to bring Christmas to Kirkbymoorside. The team responsible for arranging the small Christmas trees that are mounted on brackets is led by Pam Towler, who set up the scheme 35 years ago.

The brackets were originally made at the forge by Mike Hammond and Richard Harrison, latterly by Gerry McMahon and Bob Ibbotson and now they are available from Richard Milestone.

Special thanks go to Pam Towler and Julie Watson who liaise with residents and businesses and make all the necessary arrangements each year; Rita Gibson and Stephen Helm for storing the trees and ensuring they get allocated; Mark Robinson and Darren Collier who put up the trees and, of course, everyone who takes part in the scheme.

Thanks very much to James Holt who very generously donates the two large Christmas trees for the Market Place and the churchyard every year and to Phil Todd and his colleagues who install the trees.

The Christmas motifs and lights on the trees are put up by another team of volunteers and special thanks go to Mark Robinson, Darren Collier, Paul Featherston, Tony Barnet, Shane Johnson, Andy Prout, Doug Taylor, Phil Ward, Sid Brackley, Paul Todd and Phil Gospel.

Thanks also to Chris Clarke and Brian Collins for ensuring all the lights are safe.

There will not be any Christmas lights on the A170 roundabout this year as it is under construction.

However, fairy lights will adorn the two silver birch trees in Piercy End and High Market Place and thanks go to Mick and Ann Potter, the Saxon Family and Donald Horsfield who have permitted these lights to be plugged in to their premises.

Lisa Bolland, town clerk on behalf of Kirkbymoorside Town Council

Call for UK ban

THIS week London Mayor Sadiq Khan will move to ban fracking in London on the basis that extracting shale gas represents a “toxic health risk”.

Khan said there was “absolutely no place for fracking in London” and applications must be refused.

“The harmful, negative impact of the use of fossil fuels on the environment and on the air we breathe is well known,” he added.

“We must instead focus our resources on developing technologies for the efficient extraction of clean, renewable forms of energy”.

Furthermore this week Conservative MP James Heappy, who was recently appointed chairman of an internal policy committee on energy, said: “If we can fill the gap in revenues through the North Sea, and renewables and clean tech are developing so quickly that gas as a bridge fuel is less important, you just start to wonder what the need is [for shale].” It would appear even the Conservative party are now questioning the need for fracking in England. So with London now joining Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in turning there back on this risky industry and members of the Conservative party increasingly speaking out against fracking surely now is the time for a UK wide ban.

Russell Scott, Cropton

Weak government

RE: Jerry Swift’s letter. With reference to Jerry Swift’s letter, we do not rely on Russia for our gas supply, and do not need fracked gas. According to the 2014 Dukes Report, 97 per cent of our imported gas comes from Norway (57.4 per cent), Qatar (24.4 per cent), Holland (15.1 per cent) and Belgium (0.8 per cent). With the exception of gas from Qatar, this is all conveyed to the UK through pipelines.

Any risk of Qatar falling to extremists can be accommodated through increasing the generation of power through renewables, and further gas exploitation of the North Sea – there are plenty of untapped resources there.

In the unlikely event that this were ever to be insufficient, the UK can never be short of energy while it has vast reserves of coal, which could still be utilised in the worst possible scenario.

The difference between deep coal mining and fracking is that one coal mine shaft can service mine workings going for many miles, whereas fracking requires a grid of borehole pads at one and a half mile intervals in every direction.

The only reason the petrochemical industry wants to come ashore is that fracking on land is cheaper than drilling in the North Sea.

It has little to do with our interest and everything to do with their profits. They will ruin our country if they get half a chance, and unfortunately our government seems too weak and feeble to say “No” to them.

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

Pickering or not?

OVER the past few weeks one of the many discussions we pensioners have had in the library at Pickering has been the Mickle Hill advert in the Gazette regarding “retiring to your perfect setting, with unrivalled amenities in Pickering”.

Unfortunately, this beautiful landscape picture Mickle Hill refers to as your “perfect setting to retire to” is not in Pickering.

We pensioners have discussed the location, and one pensioner is convinced he knows where it is. Perhaps one of your readers can confirm if he is right or not?

The other question we would ask is are Mickle Hill right to imply the “perfect retirement setting landscape picture is in Pickering”, where all the bungalows, and apartments are?

Colin Pickering, Pickering