Letters, Monday, December 22, 2014

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Will mine water damage sea life?

SO South Tyneside Council has decided that millions of gallons of old mine water can be pumped directly into the sea, without an environmental impact assessment (Echo, December 11).

 This is being done to protect drinking water from potential contamination. Well, maybe it will protect the drinking water, but what about the marine life around the outfall pipe, and how far will tide and current take that filth?

 What about all the anglers and fishermen who invested heavily in rods, reels, bait, boats and nets? All the fish, crabs and lobsters wiped out, even the ones that appear healthy, will they be safe to eat?

 Not so long ago an article appeared in this very newspaper about how clean the local beaches have become since some councils stopped dog owners taking their pets on certain beaches at certain times of the year. It would appear that they have wasted their time doing this, if this mine water is going to be pumped into the sea untreated.

 If South Tyneside Council is so hell-bent on creating an environmental catastrophe then why not go the whole hog?

 The existing borehole that they intend to use to pump the mine water out of, could be used again to insert a fracking drill – if you are determined to create an environmental disaster, it might as well be a big one.

 What is it that they say in Germany? Vorsprung Durch Technik(We have the technology)? Where, oh where, is ours? Other countries have desalination plants, but what would be the point of those in this country, if you allow the sea to be poisoned?

R Tomlinson,

Seaham

Business to blame

ON December 12, I opened the Echo hoping for something interesting, original, even enlightening on the Letters Page.

 With a loud groan and a sinking heart what I saw was another letter from Denis Gillon about immigration, and underneath another letter from Majorie Matthews about the EU. Mind you, that was a change.

 Of course my hackles rose when I read the phrase “over- zealous liberal lefties”. Mr Gillon, it’s not the lefties who are to blame for immigration, it’s big business. It’s company bosses who hire foreigners in order to depress the wages of British workers. It’s employment agencies who advertise and recruit abroad rather than the local JobCentre. Maybe they should have considered the impact on the NHS, schools, social services.

 During the Industrial Revolution, factory owners hired Irish labourers to keep wages low and break the emerging trade unions. In 2006, I have five young Polish men living near me, who worked at Nissan, who I thought employed local people, but they were taken on by an agency.

 Mr Gillon, Mrs Matthews, don’t you want to live in a growing economy? A free-market economy where there is free movement of labour?

 As for liberal lefties like me, it’s our job to police the offensive remarks made by the likes of Conservative donor Dave Whelan about Jews and Chinese people.

Henry Whipple,

Washington