New bid to ‘get country talking about fracking’

The panel at the Talk Fracking event in Manchester
The panel at the Talk Fracking event in Manchester
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“We need to get the country talking about fracking.”

That was the call from a leading Fylde coast activist to around 150 people at a public debate on the issue.

Tina Rothery addressed the Talk Fracking event held at the Free Trade Hall, in Manchester, as part of a national tour designed to raise public awareness of the controversial shale gas extraction process.

Speaking about her own

involvement in the anti-fracking campaign, Ms Rothery, from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, told the meeting: “This is not something jolly, this not something we choose.

“This is an obligation, particularly for those of use who have birthed a couple of generations, because what we have to leave behind is clean water.

“I can’t walk away, every

exit door – my granddaughter’s face is there for me.”

She added: “What this (event) is doing is trying to reach out to the very many people in this country who do not understand what is coming and yet are expecting to have it done to them


“So this is about fracking. We need to get the country talking about it.”

When the debate was opened up to the floor, one

attendee questioned whether a national anti-fracking organisation existed.

Another, Clara Paillard, a national executive member of the Public and Commercial Services Union, called for a “massive alliance of local communities, environmental campaigners and the trade union movement” to combat the fracking industry.

The process involves the extraction of gas from shale rock deep underground by injecting liquid at high pressure to crack the rocks.

Cuadrilla Resources has submitted a bid for permission to drill up to four test wells at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, and is awaiting Lancashire County Council’s decision, expected by October. A second application for a site at Roseacre is expected soon.

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood was among those to speak, and advocated

investing in renewable energy as an alternative to shale gas drilling.

Addressing the audience at the end of Wednesday evening’s conference, she said: “This idea of shale gas doesn’t belong to us.

“We shouldn’t stand up for it patriotically at all.

“It belongs to the companies, they can do whatever they like with it.”

She added: “It is complete madness and unnecessary.”