September 3, 2008

There’s No Sense in Closing Airport

A letter headed "White elephant" (August 20) raises the point about the amount Cornwall County Council has spent on Newquay Airport. Yes, it has spent money on Newquay Airport, but what was the alternative? Let it close?

B johnson (letter, August 14) accused me of advancing "irrational, non-quantifiable statements" in my article on Lyme Bay when I said one in four mammals, one in eight birds and one in three amphibians on this planet are threatened with extinction. I wish it were so.

The Government has picked up most of the costs for years through it being an RAF station, but it is leaving, so alternative funding had to be found.

As the airport should benefit Cornwall as a whole, it is reasonable for the council to be involved. Was this an expensive mistake? Well, it's a question of speculate to accumulate, so only time will tell - but I think closing it would have been folly.

As for BA axing the London service, there is a credit crunch; when things pick up again it will probably reintroduce the service, but to fly around with empty aircraft is a waste of money and not good for the environment.

Your writer seems to suggest it would have been better for the environment if Newquay Airport had been closed. I'm not sure how he works that out - does he mean he is happy to drive all the way from Penzance to Exeter to fly somewhere?

What about the pollution driving there would make, instead of popping up the road to Newquay? Or that if the airport was closed people and freight would have to drive to Cornwall or perhaps not come at all, and that would benefit Cornwall and the environment in some way?

I think not; make it too difficult for people to come to Cornwall and they may stop altogether, and with two summers in a row like we have had the tourist industry will need all the help it can get next summer to get people down here.

O W Rogers


Figures no figment

In fact, the figures I quoted (losses to extinction in mammals 25 per cent, birds 12.5 per cent and amphibians 33 per cent) were not plucked from the air but taken from research by the World Conservation Union, the world's largest and most important conservation network which brings together 82 States, 111 government agencies, more than 800 non-governmental organisations and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries.

Its Red List of Threatened Species 2004 clearly highlights these worrying statistics derived through its Species Survival Commission, which has for more than four decades been assessing the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties and even selected sub- populations on a global scale in order to highlight those threatened with extinction and promote their conservation.

At Devon Wildlife Trust we can only aim to protect, as we have done with the Lyme Bay Reefs, what we see as the most vulnerable wildlife on our doorstep - but we do fully engage with national and international trends and concerns to make sure that what we are doing is to best effect.

Paul Gompertz

Director, Devon Wildlife Trust

Not so silly

This has brought two sarcastic replies to date, both of which state that Parliament "closes" during the summer recess in August.

May I please be allowed to point out that the army of civil servants carries on with government, even in the absence of the two Houses?

It horrifies me that some people are so short-sighted that they don't understand that the debates which go on in both Houses of Parliament seriously affect 60 million British citizens, and that many people, who have not had the opportunity to do so before, want to exercise their right to have the opportunity to see and hear them on the Parliament Channel during the summer recess of Parliament.

In view of that, perhaps my letter was not quite so silly after all.

Tess Nash


Stop this steamroller

Not only do these proposals intend you NOT having a say over large-scale projects, or your inability to seek a reduction in council tax if you live near to a large wind farm, incinerator or similar project, they are now proposing to end the legal requirement for councils to publish planning applications in local newspapers.

Thus, unknown to you, a large-scale development could be given planning permission next to you overlooking your garden.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England is against this, so please make your views known to [email protected] as soon as possible, as this must be stopped.

So much for a Government that promised us more consultation.

Tony Hilton

Chairman Cornwall Branch, CPRE

Sign is no insult

I have been a pensioner for 17 years and my pension buys less every year.

The sign indicates that there may be infirm people in the vicinity.

Most pensioners appear to me to be perfectly firm - but we are concerned for those who do need more care.

When I get to be infirm, I shall be glad of those signs.

Catherine Cracknell

St Austell

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