Protesters to form united fracking front

Vivienne Westwood in an earlier fracking protest in London
Vivienne Westwood in an earlier fracking protest in London

Anti-fracking campaigners on the Fylde have been urged to come together to provide a united front against energy company Cuadrilla’s planning appeal.

Lytham engineer Mike Hill has urged all the various groups to co-ordinate their actions and is staging a forum tonight in Squires Gate.

Mike Hill who is urging concerted action to defeat Cuadrilla's appel

Mike Hill who is urging concerted action to defeat Cuadrilla's appel

It will feature a speaker from a campaign in Sussex which successfully fought off a similar appeal.

Dr Jill Sutcliffe, who has a PhD in Environmental Science, will be there to offer her experience of planning appeals as Cuadrilla prepares to fight the rejection of its bids to frack at two Fylde locations by Lancashire County Council.

The meeting, from 4pm at Aviation House, 2 Skyways Business Campus, Amy Johnson Way, comes as another group, the Nanas of Lancashire, are joining fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and a pink tank to protest at Prime Minister David Cameron’s Witney constituency home about fracking.

Mr Hill said: “The idea of the forum is that it shares ideas, avoids any duplication of effort and maximises the use of the resources, both people and money.

“We have to give the Fylde the best possible chance of success. As I have been working with groups in the south for about three years now I thought it a good idea that we learn a bit from them.

“We have to successfully defend all the appeals – lose one and we lose them all.”

Tina Rothery, from Nanas of Lancashire, said the tank was part of an ‘attack on chemicals’ protest. She said: “Our government is seeking to use dangerous practices, chemicals and waste dumping that will put people at risk for generations to come.

“They are indicating that the government will seek to overturn a decision to reject fracking applications made in Lancashire, by councillors representing the people of Lancashire, because it took too long and they don’t like the outcome. Where is the democracy? In a true democracy we would have been heard the first time and not been dragged into legal wrangles that we cannot afford to win, with opponents so powerful they dwarf us and silence our voices.”

Geological study aims to be fracking tremor baseline

A new study has been published which aims to provide a baseline for future impacts of fracking.

The study published in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology looked at around 8,000 onshore seismic events recorded by the British Geological Survey between 1970 and 2012 including the two tremors linked to fracking at Preese Hall, Fylde.

Professor Richard Davies of Newcastle University, who led the research said it was vital to have a baseline to compare tremor activity. He said: “Earthquakes triggered or induced by humans are not a new concept in the UK, but earthquakes related to fracking are. Understanding what the current situation is and setting a national baseline is imperative, otherwise how can we say in the future what the impact of fracking has been nationwide?”

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “As recognised by this research, there are no documented cases of shale gas operations causing subsidence or earthquakes which have caused damage at the surface. We have extremely robust controls in place to mitigate seismic risks .”

A Cuadrilla spokesman said: “Any research which provides a baseline before operations is useful. We are fully behind such data collection and believe that this reinforces the importance of being able to establish monitoring boreholes as early as possible. We have carried out extensive analysis of the seismology of the area to ensure it is safe for fracking to take place.”