Public Meeting on Fracking in Halsall
A public meeting on the issue of Fracking will be held on 26th February, at 7.30pm at the Memorial Hall in Halsall.
With the issue of Fracking now a major issue for Halsall and West Lancashire, a meeting has been organised in partnership between Halsall Parish Council (HPC) and Halsall Working Group on Fracking (HWGF) to inform local about the consequences of Fracking and, if given the green light, how it will directly affect people living in Halsall, Aughton and Haskayne/Downholland and surrounding areas, as well as Lancashire and the North West in general.
HWGF was set up last year by the Parish Council to undertake research on the potential consequences of shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing (Fracking), in and around Halsall following the announcement that Aurora Energy Resources (who hold PEDL 164) were intending to undertake seismic survey testing in the area.
Maureen Mills from HWGF said: “With the present government clearly not listening to public opinion or the findings of the Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee, who recommended a moratorium on the extraction of unconventional gas through Fracking, it’s now down to everyone to put pressure on their elected councillors not to be bullied by party whips into passing planning applications. This is an issue above party politics and we expect our councillors to show backbone by standing up to Westminster and fighting for those who voted for them in Lancashire and not turn it into the Fracking centre of the UK. Otherwise all incumbents will face the consequences at election time.”
The group has invited two guest speakers to the event, both knowledgeable and with first-hand experience of the issues; Tony Young from the Ribble Estuary Against Fracking group (REAF), who will talk about their campaign and how they are working together with other groups and businesses to raise awareness, provide access to information and lobby local councillors and MP’s and Laurence Rankin who was formerly with the Environment Agency.
There will also be an update on the current position regarding the impending seismic survey in and around Halsall together with feedback from the ongoing residents’ survey, with the results so far showing 88% of residents are against Fracking. There will also be discussions on what is happening in Lancashire regarding Cuadrilla’s planning applications to Frack on the Fylde and the response so far by Lancashire County Council, plus a Q&A and open forum session.
Also on the agenda will be the withdrawal of government funding to continue to manage the 11 satellite pumping stations in the area, and the refusal so far by WLBC to fund an Independent Drainage Board (in itself a major issue regarding potential future flooding for the area).
Brian Young, Chairman of Halsall Parish Council said: “There is huge and mounting opposition to Fracking in Lancashire. At a recent meeting of the Lancashire Association of Local Councils (LALC) which is made up of Parish Councils across the county, including Halsall, the consensus of opinion was unanimous – Fracking will not be tolerated in Lancashire and this message is something that we at HPC and the other Parish councils at LALC have been communicating back to all elected Borough and County Councillors, on behalf of the communities we represent. Whether they are listening is another matter and we must make them listen and act accordingly.”
HWFG has also invited Conservative Borough and County Councillor David O’Toole, together with Halsall’s Conservative local ward Councillor and current Mayor, Doreen Stephenson, as residents are keen to hear the views of their elected local representatives on such an important issue.
Organisers are expecting a large turnout for the meeting, and are keen to hear from people who can confirm their attendance. Interest can be registered by emailing the working group:
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