Anti-fracking groups plan opposition

Graham Bentley from Ribble Estuary Against Fracking and Muriel Lord from Chipping
Graham Bentley from Ribble Estuary Against Fracking and Muriel Lord from Chipping
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Anti-fracking groups from Longridge and Garstang joined 10 other organisations to plan opposition to the controversial industry in the county.

The 12 met in Preston last week to discuss forthcoming applications by Cuadrilla for multi-well frack sites in the Fylde, and a current application to extend their operations at the Banks site in West Lancashire.

The Banks site is on the edge the wildlife-rich Ribble Estuary and in an important farming area.

Cuadrilla claims shale gas could provide thousands of new jobs, but campaigners are worried about the impact on the local environment.

The groups – Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth, Defend Lytham, Frack Free Fylde, Garstang Against Fracking, Lancaster Against Fracking, Longridge Against Fracking, Preston Greenpeace, Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, Roseacre Awareness Group, Singleton Against a Fracked Environment and Southport Friends of the Earth – also launched the Lancashire Frack Free Alliance.

The alliance aims to unite farmers, chefs, restaurants and consumers to protect the local food economy from a large-scale fracking industry.

Graham Bentley from Ribble Estuary Against Fracking and a Banks resident, said: “Lancashire has a proud and vibrant food economy.

“To supply the amount of gas the industry brags about would mean thousands of wells in Lancashire, risking the water and healthy soils we need for a thriving food economy. We’re launching the Frack Free Food Alliance to protect our farmland.”

Lytham resident Pam Foster from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking said: “We don’t have the millions that Cuadrilla spend on public relations but by working together, and countering the myths and misinformation promoted by the industry, we won’t let fracking take a hold in our county.”

Dot Kelk, from Longton and Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth, added: “Instead of a polluting fracking industry, Lancashire could be at the heart of a renewables industry to power the country.”