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Cuadrilla offers cash to Lancashire but Cheshire East says no to fracking

The Lancashire Evening Posts reports that Cuadrilla Resources has pledged to be “a good neighbour” and pay a community benefit of £100,000 for each exploration wellhead where fracking takes place in the county.

The paper reports that the Community Foundation for Lancashire will run a pilot scheme managing community benefit funds at Cuadrilla shale gas exploration sites. The payment will be made into the community fund as drilling operations begin on each well. The foundation will run a consultation into how residents’ and community groups would like the money to be spent.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: “We are committed to being a good neighbour and it will be for local people to decide for themselves – with the help of the Community Foundation for Lancashire – how this money will be spent.”

The pilot is part of a scheme announced by the industry’s representative body, the United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) and the UK Community Foundation.

Cuadrilla has sites at Elswick, Banks, Singleton, Weeton, Westby. The company is abandoning its operations at Preese Hall, which experienced two earthquakes in 2011, and Anna’s Road.

Meanwhile, the Crewe Chronicle reports the leader of Cheshire East Council, Michael Jones, as saying that the main focus for his area is geothermal technology, rather than fracking. He told the paper the shale gas industry was not right for Chester East. “Fracking may well be a useful technology for other areas and good luck to them if it is, however the people of Cheshire East have our assurance that there won’t be any in our borough.”

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