HAVING read the letter from Andrew Pratt, Your Say, October 3, regarding the Green Alternative, I thought I would respond to some of his comments.
He starts by saying the global environmental crisis means world governments will have to restrict air travel. A noble sentiment, but they won't. Tax revenues from the travel industry are huge and the Government seems hell bent on increasing airport capacity so that's a non starter.
Plymouth's future does depend, in part, to having good transport links to the rest of the country/world by air and I for one do not agree that we have become "increasingly hysterical" to discuss these matters at length. To a great many people they do matter, greatly.
He then goes on to say that any business who won't come here because there is no airport is a short sighted business. Tell that to the workers and owners of your short sighted businesses already here, Kawasaki, Wrigley or Princess Yachts for example and see how that goes down on the doorstep.
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Also with all the activities planned for the future, possibly the Turner Prize for example, air connectivity will become vital if it's not to be a 'one off'. If you want to revitalise small business or, as you say, encourage them to revitalise the city centre, then please say how, as they are closing down fast.
Small businesses need encouragement, yes they do, but only by cutting business rates can they thrive and take on new staff. Rates in the city centre are far too high for small businesses when compared against the multi-nationals to be found in Drake Circus for example. It's a question of scale surely. The council should be doing much more in this area. What is the point of redeveloping city centre areas if small shops cannot afford the rates charged?
As to plans to have an environmentally sustainable future for our region, may I offer a titbit from Germany, with its extremely green credentials, the most so in Europe. There, but hopefully never here, there is fluctuating wind and solar power generation on a scale that the grid cannot handle, coupled with large scale closure of nuclear plants, Germany is seeing an upsurge in coal fired power stations once again plus electricity imports from coal generated plants which has led to an overall increase in CO2 emissions of four per cent year on year.
Chairman, UKIP Plymouth & SW Devon Branch