United voice to halt drills

Anne Fielding, Ian Roberts and Sue Parkin
Anne Fielding, Ian Roberts and Sue Parkin
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ANTI-fracking activists have hailed a national gathering “a huge success” after dozens of campaigners called for a halt to controversial shale gas drilling.

Members of the newly-formed Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) were among those attending the national anti-fracking gathering in Manchester.

Activists are concerned about the potential impact of the practice – shooting water and chemicals underground at high speed to fracture rock and release gas –and it has already been highlighted as responsible for a series of Fylde coast earth tremors.

As it stands, shale gas company Cuadrilla Resources – which has sites in Singleton, Weeton and Westby – has suspended fracking pending the outcome of a government investigation.

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But many campaigners – including RAFF – want a moratorium while safety issues are fully examined.

St Annes resident and RAFF member Ian Roberts, who attended the Campaign Against Climate Change-organised conference, said: “Groups from across the country were there – Friends of the Earth, Frack Off, groups from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Kent.

“We shared information and got an insight into how to mount a successful challenge to shale gas exploration.

“It was a very useful day and out of it has come a national anti-fracking network that will enable us to co-ordinate our action while supporting groups of concerned residents such as ours.”

RAFF is set to hold a public meeting.

Mr Roberts added: “We want to be balanced, but we want an in-depth, proper evaluation of all the risks. We have a petition calling for a moratorium.”

The group’s public meeting will take place at the United Reformed Church, St George’s Road, St Annes at 7.30pm on Thursday.

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