Letter - Fracking - The world is our backyard

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In response to the letter by Tony Clayton on Friday, October 23, who attended a meeting in our village.

I also, as a local resident, attended the meeting called by Bassetlaw Against Fracking at Shireoaks Village Hall which was attended by about 80 people.

It was not a political meeting and the audience held various views. In fact we heard from pro-frackers and the ‘don’t knows’ as well as experts.

The meeting was to present facts and information and the film made in Canada drew on the experiences of communities who have to live with the impact on their families and the environment.

The chairman, Mr David Larder did not plug wind power, his point was that the Government is currently withdrawing support for solar power and wind power, which do not create carbon emissions, and the concern is to prevent further climate change as well as to protect jobs in the renewables industry as well as in conservation.

Mr Clayton says that fracking will not take place in Shireoaks or anywhere near Worksop because you cannot drill through strata that have been fractured by previous mining. Mr Ivor Jones, also made that point. As was pointed out by several people this has in fact been done in other old coal mining areas in other parts of the world. Also, wells can be sunk and the horizontal drilling and explosions from that point can penetrate strata well away from the vertical borehole. A well in open fields could drill under anybody’s house. Vast amounts of water and chemicals are used in extraction and the strata are of course near our major drinking water aquifers.

Mr Clayton says that the meeting was to get protesters to go to Misson near Gainsborough.Many people are not just NIMBYs and believe that prevention of climate change means we should think and act as TWIMBYs (The World is my backyard).

There is now a further licence to explore and drill at Barnby Moor which is nearer to Worksop and who knows how many more are planned in this gas and shale rich area. A follow up meeting at Shireoaks saw over 20 people keen to join a concern group and report on any further plans and activities.

There has already been a case where house sales have fallen through just on the issue of licences and prospective purchasers’ searches will throw this up.

Burying our heads in the sand will not serve local people well. Exploration licenses cover 250 square kilometres of Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire.

We need to be ready to let planners in councils and the environment agency know of our concerns and any objections. Lancashire County Council has already banned fracking in the county after a series of earthquakes. The precautionary principle is best followed.

Mike Wild