Campaigners’ meeting call with frackers

Defend Lytham's Mike Hill addresses a public meeting on fracking
Defend Lytham's Mike Hill addresses a public meeting on fracking
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A campaign group is calling for a fresh debate to be held between Fylde coast residents and fracking firm Cuadrilla.

The call from Defend Lytham follows a packed public meeting on Tuesday evening, attended by more than 110 residents.

Speakers from the group talked about concerns over what impact the technique could have – surrounding traffic issues, house prices and seismic activity.

John Hobson, from Defend Lytham, said: “The meeting was very positive.

“We’re trying to highlight this issue, we think people need to find out about it.

“We’ve always got to keep asking questions and keep informing people.”

The group said it hopes meetings and rallies it holds will prompt people to take a stance on fracking, but says it is not for them to make people’s minds up.

Now they are hoping to host a public meeting, inviting Cuadrilla and Fylde MP Mark Menzies to join them for an informed debate, in September.

Edward Cook, from the action group, said: “We’re hoping in September to have a public meeting, to which we will invite all interested parties – such as the Environment Agency, the local council, the local MP, and Cuadrilla – for an open debate.

“Hopefully this will stimulate people to get to know more about fracking.”

Mr Hobson was joined by fellow Defend Lytham members Janet Lees and Mike Hill to each speak about fracking.

The meeting was attended by residents and members of local interest groups.

Philip Mitchell, Blackpool and Fylde Green Party chairman, said: “I have been campaigning about this for two -and-a-half years so it is heartwarming people are beginning to respond to fracking.”

Shale gas is extracted by fracking – pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressure into rock to
release gas.

Mr Menzies said: “I am happy to provide anyone who contacts me with an update around shale gas.”

Cuadrilla Resources Ltd currently has sites for gas exploration on the Fylde in 
Weeton, Westby and Singleton.

Cuadrilla says natural gas from shale has the potential to boost the UK’s gas production and reduce dependency on foreign energy sources.

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said: “Cuadrilla’s record demonstrates that we are completely committed to listening to residents.

“This has been demonstrated through hundreds of site tours, public exhibitions and meetings with various interest groups in Fylde.

“We will carefully consider any opportunity for a constructive dialogue.”