Seismic surveys in West Lancs and Sefton signals first steps towards Fracking
Following the announcement that Aurora plan to conduct seismic surveys across parts of Sefton and West Lancs as early as the 28th May local councillors from across different parties, together with local anti-fracking groups have launched a fracking awareness campaign. It will include public meetings and events to inform local communities directly affected, as well as people living in the surrounding areas, what these seismic surveys could mean, and the negative impact on local communities now and in the long-term should fracking be unleashed in this area.
The first public meeting will be held at 7.30 on 31st May at Haskayne Village Hall, followed by a meeting at Halsall Memorial Hall on Friday 3rd June at 7.30, and then Maghull Methodist Church at 8pm on Monday 6th June.
Halsall’s Labour Borough Councillor, Maureen Mills, who is also a member of HAF (Halsall against Fracking), is spearheading the campaign with the support of Halsall Parish Council and other local anti-fracking groups. She has now been joined by Independent Councillors Patricia O’Hanlon, for Maghull, Lydiate, Sefton Village and Lunt (Park Ward), and Matt Gannon Councillor for Sudell Ward (Maghull), also members of Maghull and Lydiate Action Group, to oppose fracking in their area.
Cllr Maureen Mills said: “We are very concerned these seismic surveys are going ahead. Landowners have basically been bullied into allowing these test to take place on their land, as refusing access would result in high court action, sanctioned by the Secretary of State. There is nothing democratic about the way this government is trying to force fracking upon us by any means they can, including changing laws to allow them to do so. A better description would be “tyranny”.
As information about the risks of contamination to water supplies, risk to public health, noise, industrialisation of the countryside and harm to the environment generally, is getting through backed up by hard evidence from countries that have embraced fracking at any cost. Councillor Pat O’Hanlon added “Public opinion against fracking is increasing as evidenced by the DECC’s own Public Attitudes Tracker in April 2016. Just 19% of people back exploration for shale gas, down from a high of 29% two years ago. The percentage against has risen to a new high of 31%. Halsall’s residents’ survey showed 88% were against fracking anywhere”.
More and more people are questioning claims made by fracking companies such as Cuadrilla and backed up David Cameron that it’s safe. If it really is, then why have other countries banned it or imposed a moratorium until all aspects are proven to be safe? With all the money and spin they are throwing at this, it is clear the Government is still losing the argument on fracking, with public support at an all-time low.
Past experience from other communities such as Becconsall and on the Fylde, who have already endured seismic surveys and exploration is that these companies do not always comply with planning stipulations imposed to protect communities. This is something that the Councillors have stated they are not prepared to tolerate in their communities. “Residents need to know they do not have to allow these people to gain access to their properties without consent”, said Cllr Mills. “There is action they can take if this happens and at the public meetings as part of the presentations we will ensure people are fully aware of their rights.
Communities across the new licences areas are determined to stop fracking taking a hold on UK and more and more new groups opposed to fracking are being set up throughout the UK every day.
Anyone requiring further information on the meetings can contact the Councillors direct, email firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information visit http://halsallagainstfracking.org.uk/ and http://frackfreelancashire.org.uk/cms/
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