Newmarket Journal readers' letters
Town council, Sunnica and the environment are on your agenda in this week's letters.
SORRY FOR ANY UPSET CAUSED
Through your letters page I would like to apologise most sincerely to anybody (so that’s town councillors, council employees and members of the public) that I have upset over the police community support officer (PCSO) matter and comments that I have made which have clearly inflamed some quarters.
A couple of days after the front-page article about the PCSO’s contract not being renewed I bumped into both PCSOs who confirmed that the first time that they had learnt about the matter was on the front page of this newspaper, and I think that’s what incensed me.
Having since discussed this with the town clerk it’s a clear case of where this agenda item should have been discussed under confidential and not in public. Had that happened the situation might not have become so heated.
Let’s not lose sight of the most important outcome being that the town council will continue to fund the PCSO for the next two years, and hopefully for now, that is the end of the matter.
Cllr Andy Drummond, Newmarket Town Council
SOLAR FARM PLAN WILL BE USED POLITICALLY
The future of Sunnica solar farm is going to be used as a political tool for control. Away from the dogged and admired efforts of the village communities opposing this monstrous development there is a political agenda being played out.
Detach yourself for one moment from the campaign Say No To Sunnica and consider this situation.
Solar will be a contributor to the government’s proposed going green target.
The government needs a majority control of its councils to implement its policies. We have county elections in May.
A Conservative Sir Lancelot will appear wanting the villagers’ votes offering his full support.
A delay of any decision from the Secretary of State until after the May elections would unfold. Village votes secured, crusade complete and off rides Sir Lancelot. June comes and the solar farm is given the go ahead.
The fact that so many of these solar farm developments have already been given government approval suggests the current mindset of the Secretary of State.
As a district councillor I see the political wheels in action on many subjects working in this manner. This is why I stood as an independent because it should always be about the people not about a party politics or policy.
Please don’t think for one minute that the fight does not have my full and active support because it does. There is every reason to keep increasing the pressure and fighting to protect your village life. Just be aware that this Sunnica Solar project will also be used for individual political gain.
Cllr Andy Neal, Mildenhall
BOILER DELAY IS JUST INCREASING THE COST
Regarding this government’s environmental policy, it is clear that it has dropped very important proposals to prohibit gas boilers in new homes from 2023.
Such a proposal would have reduced Britain’s greenhouse gases by 14 per cent. As a result of the delay, the government is loading a great deal of additional cost on to purchasers of a new home by delaying implementation. The additional cost of a new-build fitted with a very effective heat pump is approx £4,800, to retrofit an equally efficient heat pump can cost up to £26,000.
The last Labour government’s new building regulations requiring zero carbon housing by 2016 were cancelled by this government after the election in 2015. So anyone living in a house built after 2016, with a gas boiler will, before 2050, be faced with a costly retrofit when domestic mains natural gas for heating is prohibited. It is unclear what will happen to supplies for gas hobs. The total additional cost to new build home owners from 2016 is something like £6 billion until 2025. (Using the numbers of new homes promised by the government). We shall all have to fit them or something similar before 2050.
There are some new home owners who bought property from reputable developers who already benefit from heat pumps, why can’t we all? The cost of the pump is only 10 per cent of the profit that some developers make from each new house they sell.
It is possible that green hydrogen will be flowing through our gas mains by 2050 but whether it will be sufficient for domestic heating seems unlikely at this stage as many other consumers are likely to have a higher priority including goods and passenger transport. Green hydrogen is produced by using electricity to break down water, the only by-product is oxygen.
Non-green hydrogen being promoted by the oil companies uses natural gas and the by-product is carbon dioxide, they claim this will be disposed of through a carbon capture and storage (CCS) system. These systems have been on the verge of commercial success since the Norwegian’s created their first such system offshore more than 20 years ago. With our government withdrawing funding in recent years for development of CCS we shall be waiting as long as ‘Electricity too cheap to charge for’ an early promise of nuclear power which is surprisingly not yet with us. The anticipated cost of nuclear power from the proposed Sizewell reactor is already 50 per cent more than from wind turbines and in addition the consumer would pay for all the costs of delays.
In the past fortnight, the official government Committee on Climate Change has indicated that, if handled properly by government, the costs of changes to create an environmentally sound economy will be broadly matched by the savings to us all from cheaper alternative energy supplies and efficiencies.
There are vested interests opposed to change whose sole purpose is even more money in their pockets whatever the extra costs to the rest of us, they must not be allowed to prosper at our expense.
As with Covid, delaying action can generate huge costs not just for the community but for individuals as well.
Roger Spiller, via email
COLLECT STAMPS TO HELP RAISE MONEY
Rather than gifting money, this Christmas you can help support the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) by collecting and donating used stamps from cards and parcels you may receive.
Your stamps will be recycled and turned into vital funds.
To get involved and receive a pre-paid envelope for your stamps, visit www.rnib.org.uk/stamps or call 0303 123 9999. After this all you need to do is send your stamps using RNIB’s freepost envelopes
Vanessa Feltz, On behalf of the RNIB