SIR – I would like to commend Cllr Gareth Jones for his wise words in respect of the proposed Worcester Woods development.
The land adjoins our county hospital; a hospital that is already struggling for space. So it seems only logical that if the land must be built on, that it be earmarked for NHS use rather than more out-of-town development.
Given that a commercial development of this scale would have catastrophic repercussions for our wonderful city centre, it seems like a real “no-brainer” that this land instead be used to enlarge our hospital buildings and parking areas. 
I am all in favour of creating jobs by attracting national retailers who require larger units than our city centre currently has, but can we not look at redeveloping areas nearer the city centre to create the required space and attract large retailers further in?
This would have the added benefit of anchoring some of the smaller independent businesses that work so hard to make Worcester special. To my mind, that is a win-win. More space for the hospital to grow and improved city centre shopping.

Fracking is not answer
to our energy needs

SIR – It was with great concern that I read in the Independent newspaper recently that fracking has been deemed the cause of an earthquake that occurred in Canada this summer. The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, an independent regulator for the oil and gas industries, stated that the earthquake (measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale) was caused by fracking operations in the area.
 Just four days after the end of the Paris Climate Change Conference 159 fracking licences were granted. Science is clear that in order to prevent catastrophic climate change the vast majority of fossil fuels must remain in the ground. Furthermore, according to one gas shale company’s own website, the average lifespan of a fracking well is just eight years – hardly a long-term solution to our energy requirements and certainly not a cheap one. Yet here we are, our government pushing ahead with fracking whilst throwing up barriers to renewable energy. It can therefore only be concluded that this government is quite content to leave the consequences of climate change to future generations to deal with.
 What is it going to take for this complacent government to put the wellbeing of its people ahead of short-term profits for its friends in the energy industry?
Worcester Green Party

Noisy neighbours
must think of others

SIR – News that almost 450 complaints were made to the council about noisy neighbours in Worcester over 18 months makes depressing reading.
The statistics – equalling 25 complaints a month – is a demonstration of how selfish and irresponsible people can be. And of course these are the number of complaints actually made to Worcestershire Regulatory Services so heaven knows how many more incidents went unrecorded.
We are a tolerant nation by nature and most people don’t want to fall out with their neighbours.They hesitate to go to the authorities and instead suffer, not in silence, but silently.
So I urge all noisy residents to turn over a new leaf this year and show consideration for their neighbours. Council resources are over-stretched already and the time and money spent dealing with this totally avoidable problem could be better utilised.
Ukip West Midlands

Stop the hounding
of our armed forces

SIR – Is Britain the only country in the world that hounds its armed forces with witch hunts?
Almost 13 years have now passed since Tony Blair launched his almost certainly illegal war against Iraq, yet the authorities still remain obsessed with trying to find “victims”of mistreatment by our soldiers.
It may take until 2020 to go through the 1,500 registered cases, at a cost to the taxpayer of £57 million plus.
These soldiers didn’t ask to go and fight in this war. What they saw and experienced is beyond most people’s worst dreams.
Yet they are hounded, as are some from the Bloody Sunday saga in the early 70s.
But what can said of Tony Blair’s crimes? A mild slap on the wrist!

Fine the litter culprits
not innocent publicans

SIR –So the Mayor of Worcester wants to tax pubs for clean-ups. Can’t see how the pubs are responsible for litter.
My advice to Mr Mayor is instead of fining innocent publicans who have absolutely nothing to do with the mess, why not fine the culprits who make the mess? After all, it is illegal. This means you and the police doing your jobs like the publicans are doing theirs. Let’s do it the easy way and eradicate the problem. We expect better from you Mr Mayor.

One in two on High
Street are foreigners

SIR, I agree with David Cameron when he referred to “swarms of migrants” (Mr Phillpott, December 6). Every second person in our High Street nowadays is jabbering away in “foreign lingo”.