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Latest Digest Week Ending 21st September 2014

Special report - FBC recommended to object to applications

UK news highlights

The main stories

Car Crash Week for Cuadrilla's Publicity Machine

Fylde Borough Council agreed the recommendations by their officers to say both the main Cuadrilla planning applications at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood should be REFUSED. The Development Control Committee met on Wednesday to decide what their response to Lancashire County Council would be. The recommendation of resusal could be a significant step forward in encouraging LCC - who have the yes or no decision - to turn down the applications. Local people, a number of whom spoke at the meeting, are justified in seeing this as a very welcome move by the Council, and one step closer to a Frack Free Lancashire.

With local parish councils voting no, the Fylde Borough Council voting no, and with over 20,000 objections lodged to the planning applications, Cuadrilla have lost any right to claim they have any social licence to frack. Their public consultation, as Friends of the earth pointed out in their superb objection to the Preston New Road application was a sham. It had a very low consultation response rate and consisted of highly managed public exhibition events which separated 'stakeholders' and elected representatives from residents.

Other news

UKOOG's attempt to run a pro-fracking publicity campaign, under the guise of answering public questions, has been seen for the charade it is. Its website contains questions which are clearly not from the public but from UKOOG itself. Public questions that have been asked via the website have not been even acknowledged, far less answered. UKOOG's "hi-tech" van expected in Blackpool and Preston turned out to be a couple of work-experience kids on minimum wage handing out postcards, with Cuadrilla security guards forbidden to answer any questions. After Frack Free Lancashire supporters attended the "event" in Blackpool's Hounds Hill mall on Monday, police were called, and objectors left peacefully. The scheduled appearance in Hounds Hill the next day was cancelled.

Elsewhere The news that there were porblems at West Newton broke when the Guardian preinted an article under the heading "East Yorkshire gas-drilling site making locals ‘sick from noxious smells’".
A nauseating smell "drifts easily a mile away", apparently. And this is not even fracking! By their denials Rathlin are making the case for fracking even worse. By admitting they are causing smells by conventional drilling they are putting the LIE to the claim that onshore drilling in this country is safe and unobjectionable.

Following Lee Petts's admission that the Fylde people would be unwilling guinea pigs in an experiment this just one more industry own goal.

Media reporting varied widely over a new study which found a worsening situation of water contamination from shale activities in Texas. The report could not pin down the contamination as being due to fracking itself, which provided main headlines from the pro-fracking press.

Any opinions here not quotes from the week's news reports are my own.
Alan Tootill

News As It Came In with links to original stories

Fylde poised to object to fracking

Homes Near Gas Wells in Texas Face Worsening Water Issues

Fracking 'does not pose risk to water supplies'

Council says no to fracking on the Fylde

Countryside ‘not right place for fracking bid’

Press release Lancashire: Fylde council votes to oppose fracking

Press release East Yorkshire gas-drilling site making locals ‘sick from noxious smells’

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