Better to use local gas, Eden Project, right to question MP, RAF 100 celebration

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Readers letters, April 26

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Business and Energy Secretary, put in an appearance outside the Cuadrilla site recently, where she told anti-fracking protestors that a future Labour government would ban shale gas and deliver 60 per cent of “energy” from renewables by 2030.

Total “energy” in the UK includes electricity, heat for homes and businesses, and transport – incorporating passenger cars, buses, planes and trains. Like it or not, most of that energy is supplied by fossil fuels.

The earliest we could see a Labour government would be 2020. It’s not feasible to suggest that in just 10 years, it could totally transform the UK’s energy systems to run on 60 per cent renewables.

In fact, it’s not even all that likely that we’ll be able to get 60 per cent of just our electricity from renewables, 100 per cent of the time, by 2030.

It would require not only enormous additional onshore and offshore wind capacity and much more solar, but also vast arrays of giant batteries to give us some way of storing power when it’s generated for use later (like on a freezing winter night, when the wind isn’t blowing and it’s dark).

I’m a big advocate of renewables, but I’m also a realist. Ambition is great, however, if it can’t be achieved, it risks turning people off. The basic fact is that while we continue to build renewables and start to think about grid-scale battery storage, we’re going to carry on using a lot of gas. It’s better if that’s British gas, including from under my home in the North West, instead of imported gas.

Phil McVan

Independent energy consultant

NW resident

Email address supplied

Fly-tipping

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the commitment to review the current punishments for the illegal disposal of waste, but is concerned that if stronger action is not taken then we will continue to see fly-tipping increasing every year.

We must all work harder to fight this blight.

Farmers and landowners must report any suspicious activity and put in place prevention measures to make it more difficult for people to fly-tip on their land.

But this must be backed up by local authorities using the full force of the law against those who fly-tip and strengthening the law where appropriate.

Sarah Lee

Head of policy

Countryside Alliance

Anti-semitism

I would like to respond to your correspondent’s letter last week (Baseless attack, April 19). Firstly I am not anonymous; the Lancaster Guardian has my personal details. I choose not to have them published but it doesn’t make my views any less valid.

Secondly, as a constituent it is my democratic right to question my MP and to receive from her personally and publicly her stance on anti-Semitism, but I have not seen her do this in the local press.

I do not expect to be attacked for daring to ask why she has remained silent on what is a very serious issue, nor have I suggested she holds anti-Semitic views.

Indeed, I would be very happy to learn from her personally that she wholeheartedly supports those MPs who have suffered abuse and that she also condemns the failure of Corbyn to tackle the issue. I wait to hear from her.

Thirdly, I watched the debate on anti-Semitism in Parliament last week, as I’m sure did many people.

MPs from the Labour Party stood and told of their experiences of terrible anti-Semitic abuse from members or supporters of the Labour Party and most particularly Momentum, and many Labour MPs expressed their concern that it was becoming acceptable and the norm to hold such views within the party; they also publicly and passionately condemned Corbyn for his failure to effectively deal with it.

Was that ‘baseless’ and ‘offensive political point scoring’ and ‘exploiting the issue’ from members of his own party?

There was cross party support for these brave MPs, and I was moved to tears by much of what was said by those who have been loyal, long standing party members, but still subjected to such treatment.

I am ashamed that in this day and age we are even having a debate on the issue.

I certainly was not political point scoring, but it seems that anyone daring to criticise what is happening and Corbyn’s lack of action is accused of it.

Name and address supplied

RAF 100 celebration

As the Veterans Champion for Lancaster City Council, I just want thank and congratulate the Royal Air Forces Association, Morecambe Branch, for organising an excellent evening to celebrate 100 years of the RAF.

A massive thank you to Jane and Bob Latin who worked tirelessly to organise the event.

There were 115 people which included Lord and Lady Shuttleworth, the Mayor and Mayoress of Lancaster City Council, the Mayoress of Carnforth, Air Vice Marshall John Cliffe who is the chairman of RAFA Central Council, the Rev Group Captain Richard Lee who is the Northern Region Chaplain of the Air Cadets. ex-RAF personnel and both MPs, Cat Smith and David Morris attended the event.

There were members of the local RAFA and several Lancaster City councillors. It was good to see several cadets who will be the future of the RAF and their growth needs to be encouraged.

My thanks to David Hodgson and Brian Jefferson who collated an extensive collection of photographs and information for the board which was interesting and informative.

The Centenary Dinner at the Headway Hotel was excellent and the service that they provided was appreciated by all.

The RAF played an important part when they formed in 1918 and its importance remains.

Given that I was born and brought up in RAF Changi, Singapore, I still have fond memories of the sound and noise of the fighter planes taking off and landing. It was incredible.

Coun Liz Scott

Veterans Champion

JOG Ward

Lancaster

Eden Project

I am delighted to hear from The Lancaster Guardian website that David Morris MP says: “I have been working for many months behind the scenes with Eden on this exciting project.”

He’ll be able to add this success to his single handedly creating the Bay Gateway, building a tunnel under the Bay, arranging for a third Heysham nuclear power station, for the tide to come in twice a day and for the sun to rise every morning. OK, teasing over.

His trying to claim credit for something that isn’t there seems a little premature. Rather, we should all be working together to make this happen – Mr Morris, the Government, councillors (of all political parties), council officers and, crucially, the Eden Project North development team.

I rarely agree with Mr Morris, but one thing he’s quoted as saying to the local press is that it is a “game changer” for the whole district. Absolutely true, and we need to put aside political differences to make sure it happens.

Excited – you bet.

Coun Colin Hartley (Heysham South)

Kingfisher Drive

Heysham

Smart meters

The latest price rises by British Gas bring up once again the theme of smart meters being imposed on us.

We will all be more informed and more able to make savings, apparently.

Some years ago my energy company installed a smart meter at my home, and we have a little device in our kitchen which supplies us with useless information.

I haven’t the slightest idea what benefit it is to me.

First thing in the morning, the little screen is telling me that my electricity is costing me a rate of 3p per hour. I assume this is because my fridge is working.

I put just enough water into my kettle and switch it on and the hourly rate goes up to 49p.

I have similar exciting revelations when I move to the gas items.

The only thing I have learned from this rather pointless exercise is that if I am thirsty, I shouldn’t put the kettle on because it’s costing a fortune.

Or while wearing a T-shirt, a shirt, a thin jumper and a thick cardigan in the winter, and having the central heating set at only 18C, turn the heating off and shiver.

S Collins

Address supplied

nuclear weapons

On April 11 the sound of the nuclear alert siren was again heard for many miles around Barrow-in-Furness (see http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/barrow/Nuclear-alert-siren-goes-off-across-Barrow-WITH-VIDEO-c28b21d1-ccea-4997-a904-d772c36d1870-ds).

Thankfully, on this particular occasion, this was again only an exercise, but it serves as a timely reminder of the dangers posed to our local communities by their proximity to a shipyard building submarines for the Trident nuclear weapons system.

In Cumbria and North Lancashire we are always only a relatively short distance from Barrow, while the risks are clearly greatest for those living closest to the shipyard.

Perhaps, the safest thing to do would be to decommission the Trident system.

We have no need for nuclear weapons of mass destruction and, without them, would have no need to keep iodine tablets in our schools.

Philip Gilligan

Cumbria and Lancashire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Rose Hill Grove

Sandside

Milnthorpe