Let’s hope all those in Yorkshire see sense today and don’t cave in to pressure
Why I’m Backing Fracking
As a rural tourism operator in the North York Moors National Park, I’d like to see the North Yorkshire County Council vote to allow the Shale Gas Industry to continue to grow in Yorkshire. The Conventional Gas Industry has already been here for the past 21 years. Here’s why I’m backing the future growth of the Shale Gas Industry in North Yorkshire.
Our Heritage at Stake
I’m nearly 52 years old; and I was born and raised in North Yorkshire; spending my childhood in the moorland village of Castleton with my parents and family.
My parents are now resting in the local Churchyard in Danbydale; so my ties to the area where I was raised remain strong.
My Parents Are Buried in St Hilda’s Churchyard in Danbydale.
But just like earlier generations of youngsters on the North York Moors; I moved away from my family and the homeland I love.
Two of my brothers also joined the Navy and moved away. A third brother joined the Army and moved away.
At the age of 22 I migrated to Australia.
And at least 50 per cent of my school age friends and relatives also drifted away from their homes and family on the Moors.
Today, my Facebook account reads like a list from the United Nations!
I have old school friends located in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia; in Auckland, NZ; in Singapore; on Vancouver Island in Canada; Seattle, LA and San Francisco in the USA; and many other parts of the UK and Europe.
Rural De-population is Our Problem
The reason for this outward migration of young people is simple: there are too few opportunities and a lack of employment prospects for young people in rural North Yorkshire.
If you weren’t lucky enough that your parents owned a farm or other business, or to get an Apprenticeship at Boulby Mine; prospects were – and still are – bleak for young people.
There are only so many jobs for Farmers in North Yorkshire.
The Sociologists call the process of outward mobility “Rural de-population”.
And it is a blight on the North Yorkshire community with families that live here being torn apart and scattered to the four winds.
A Vicious Cycle
The lack of wealth in the local community on the Moors due to the lack of employment prospects creates a vicious cycle of negative conditions.
No jobs for youngsters causes young people to move away from the area. Then services provided by shops, pubs, post offices and banks are disrupted when these businesses close due to a lack of customers in the community.
So even more jobs are lost.
A Run Down Boarded up Historic Pub on the North York Moors. A Sad Sight.
The lack of young people in the community means the population also falls as babies don’t get born locally – so local schools then close and yet more jobs are lost.
The whole social and economic capital of the community is slowly destroyed and we’re left with an aging population, declining services and boarded up shops and pubs.
I’ll use Castleton – the village where I grew up – as an example of the disastrous rural de-population process.
In my adult lifetime, the village has lost the Moorlands Hotel, the Robin Hood Pub, the Butcher, Scarth’s Grocery Shop, the Studio Gallery, the Police Station; and the bank is now only open for very restricted hours.
That is dozens of local jobs evaporated away due to rural de-population in just 20-30 years.
Tourism to the Rescue?
Because the area loses its local jobs, local people have turned to Tourism for work.
But just as Tourism becomes the major industry, visitors can be turned off when they holiday in villages with no shops, cafes, pubs or other local amenity.
And local towns like Whitby and Pickering are fabulous places to visit but the high streets are now packed with “charity shops” just scraping by. It is a modern day tragedy.
Visitors want things to do and places to visit.
And our beautiful natural environment attracts far fewer visitors than it should be doing.
Far Too few People Get to Enjoy the Beauty of the North York Moors.
Plus, tourism jobs are insecure, part-time, and low paying for local people in any case.
The whole process of rural de-population is a disaster for rural North Yorkshire.
Lets Enjoy a Bright New Future
A new vibrant UK shale gas industry in Yorkshire has the potential to create hundreds – and perhaps thousands – of good, interesting, and high paying jobs across multiple careers for North Yorkshire’s youngsters.
And contrary to the outrageous scare mongering of the eco-extremist doomsday cults; Shale Gas in the UK will be a well-regulated and low risk industry; with minimal environmental impact in the area we all know and love.
The gas industry has already been here working away quietely and incident-free in Ryedale for more than twenty years.
In the future, Geologists, Seismologists, Engineers, Safety Advisors, Environmental Scientists, Administrators, Accountants, Security and dozens of other trades and skilled jobs will all be created by a growing Shale Gas Industry; that will provide new opportunities that will allow today’s Youngsters to remain at home in North Yorkshire.
And the money those Youngsters earn in their new careers will flow back into the North Yorkshire community to provide further impetus to local builders, plumbers, electricians, artisans, cafes, pubs, service stations, mechanics, and shops of all sizes.
That will create even more opportunities to allow our youngsters to remain in their homeland.
Youngsters Deserve the Brighter Job Prospects of the Shale Gas Industry.
Reasons to be Cheerful
So I’m in favour of Frac in North Yorkshire for two simple reasons:
Firstly, both groups of Professional Planners in Ryedale Council and at the North Yorkshire Country Council have reviewed the evidence and indicated that there are NO REASONS why the application to Frac near Pickering should not go ahead. They’re convinced that a Frac at the location can go ahead and be completed safely and without undue risk. I believe the experts and the science rather than the eco-extremist propaganda;
Secondly, I want any North Yorkshire youngster to have the opportunity to remain in their homeland and build a life near to their home and loved ones. A career in the new Shale Gas industry in Yorkshire is the only realistic opportunity to allow Yorkshire children to stay in the area with decent prospects.
No future young North Yorkshire resident should be forced by lack of prospects to have to migrate to Australia!