Charity may be in demand due to proposed cuts

Cat Smith.
Cat Smith.
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I was honoured to be asked to open Peer Support’s new building, they are a local peer-led mental health charity on Queen Street in Lancaster.

I fear their services may be in increased demand with the Government’s proposed cuts reducing other services, and I was pleased to be able to support them.

I have also visited St John’s Hospice and seen the wonderful work staff and volunteers are doing to help make memories with local people and their families as they face life limiting illnesses. Both these local charities are an asset to our community and it’s always nice to see strong support for them.

On a different issue, Lancashire County Council will soon be deciding on two planning applications for fracking, which if they get the go-ahead, are likely to be the first of dozens.

I want to see the council reject these applications, which are not wanted by local people. The council only have the power to turn them down on a narrow range of planning grounds and cannot look at the broader picture about whether we want industrial sites all over our countryside or to remain wedded to dirty carbon fuels. Sadly, such decisions would have to come from Government. I remain appalled that the coalition Government slashed subsidies for renewable energy whilst, in the words of the Chancellor, George Osborne, giving fracking companies the “most generous tax breaks in the world”.

This is hardly surprising when the Tory’s Lord Howell dismissed concerns over fracking given it would take place in the “desolate” north of England.

I’m not convinced by its poor safety record, the catastrophic environmental impact or prolonging our reliance on dirty sources of energy when we have such abundant renewable resources.

I’ve asked for a debate on fracking in parliament, and I am running a letter-writing campaign to the county council to oppose Cuadrilla’s plans.

You can co-sign my letter of objection at http://act.catsmith.co.uk/petition/fracking-letter