Anti-fracking campaigners have warned residents in a Fylde village earmarked as a potential site for shale gas extraction that “people power” is the only way to prevent it.
More than 80 Freckleton residents gathered at the village’s Sports and Social Club to hear claims about the risks of fracking from several of Lancashire’s anti-fracking campaign groups.
Representatives from the Friends of the Earth, Ribble Estuary against Fracking, Frack Free Fylde, Defend Lytham and Residents Action on Fylde Fracking hosted an hour long talk about shale gascompany Cuadrilla’s proposals to drill a well on Clifton Marsh.
Gayzer Frackman, of Frack Free Fylde, said: “The time to act is now. The only way we can stop them fracking in Freckleton is with people power.
“We need to lock our arms, lock our gates and stand together like they did in Australia.
“You need to tell everyone you come across about what is planned and place anti fracking cards in your windows and cars. The more people that know the stronger we will be.”
Concerned residents travelled from as far as Great Harwood to attend the talk.
Helen Rimmer, the North West campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “The Government is determined to go down the dead-end of fracking, offering huge tax breaks to shale gas companies and easing planning rules that are supposed to protect the environment, without any consultation of the communities who will be affected.
“The meeting was all about informing the residents who will be affected by his fracking and showing them our support if they want it, to fight the proposals for their village.”
Residents were told that the potential risks associated with shale gas extraction include earthquakes, water pollution, house damage, water, air, noise and traffic pollution and a reduction in house prices.
Anne Fielding, of Residents Against Fylde Fracking, said: “We are bringing information to people who will be affected by fracking if nothing is done. I think once people get the basic facts they can then go away and do their own research and make their own decision about the proposals.
“I am hoping as a result of this meeting we will get more supporters to help us fight Cuadrilla, the company who wants to drill in Lancashire,”
At the end of the meeting residents were asked to sign a petition and lobby their MP.
PM says ‘I love Blackpool’
Britain would be “making a big mistake” if it did not seriously consider fracking and the prospect of cheaper gas prices, the Prime Minister has said.
David Cameron said the country is “missing out big time at the moment” as he compared the number of shale gas wells dug in the European Union compared with the United States.
But he cautioned that safety needs to be assured and that “very clear” environmental procedures would have to be met before companies are given the go-ahead to start fracking.
He said: “I think we would be making a big mistake as a nation if we did not think hard about how to encourage fracking and cheaper prices right here in the UK,” he said.
Asked if fracking could ‘destroy’ the Fylde coast during a visit to Darwen yesterday, he said: “I love Blackpool - I could never let that happen.”