‘Industrial’ fear over fracking issue

Frack Free Fylde's public meeting at Lytham Cricket Club.
Frack Free Fylde's public meeting at Lytham Cricket Club.

CAMPAIGNERS met to discuss their next steps in confronting shale gas exploration.

Members of protest group Frack Free Fylde met at Lytham Cricket Club on Church Road as they looked to the future on plans to tackle the growing issue in the borough.

The group outlined proposals to bring the cause to a wider audience, with continued efforts to meet residents, demonstrate concerns they have on the process and the hope of delivering another open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, a follow-up to December’s statement to the PM, which raised wide ranging questions into shale gas exploration.

Frack Free Fylde committee member Hilda Parkinson, 77, of Trafalgar Place, Lytham, said: “We have got to stop them at all costs. The dangers are there for all to see.

“We’ve seen problems in America and I expect the same here.

“I live in Lytham, I don’t want it to become an industrial area with wagons driving around with dangerous chemicals on board, used to break up the rock.”

The fracking process itself involves firing a mixture of chemicals underground to break up or fracture shale rock, from where gas is gathered. Last year, an earth tremor was directly linked to fracking, and it was banned until recently.

Despite the group’s efforts, Energy Secretary Ed Davey last month gave the process the go-ahead with Cuadrilla Resources looking to extract shale gas from sites at Weeton, Singleton and Westby on the Fylde coast.

Group member Allan Hall, 43, of Woodlands Road, Ansdell, added: “I was disappointed about the decision Mr Davey gave. I believe the fracking process caused the earthquake 18 months ago and I just have a very bad feeling about it.

“I’m concerned about water supplies too and it becoming contaminated.”

Cuadrilla Resources has always maintained the techniques it will use to extract shale gas are safe and meet all safety requirements.

In a recent statement, Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan pledged Fylde would benefit financially from the process.

He said: “Cuadrilla strongly believes local communities should benefit directly from future production of natural gas from shale.”