New Balcombe poll – majority against oil and gas exploration – fracking or no fracking

24th February 2014

Balcombe Parish Council today received the results of the latest poll on residents’ attitudes to drilling for oil and gas in the village and potential fracking. The poll, which asked three questions, was conducted by Electoral Reform Services and sent to every Balcombe resident on the full electoral roll.

59.8% of the potential 1507 voters returned the polling card – a total of 901 votes cast.

Of these, 536 (60%) were against Cuadrilla returning to Balcombe to flow test the well drilled last summer. 309 (34%) were in favour and 16 (2%) said Balcombe Parish Council should not comment on the application. This is currently with West Sussex County Council and open for public comment.

Of the villagers that voted, 548 (61%) opposed any future application to frack the well.  133 (15%) said Balcombe Parish Council should always support a fracking application and 201 (22%) said a fracking application should be treated on its merits.

When asked for views on a future application that did not involve fracking, 463 (52%) wanted the parish council to oppose it. 198 (22%) thought it should always be supported and 221 (25%) thought it should be considered on its merits.

For each question, around between 2% and 4% said they didn’t know. Please click to see the results: ERS Results Feb 2014

Balcombe Parish Council’s Oil Working Group is to meet on Wednesday to make a recommendation on future policy on hydrocarbon issues. This will be discussed by the Parish Council at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on Saturday 8th March. Balcombe Parish Council said it would not issue any statements on the results until they have been discussed by the full Council.

Louisa Delpy, Balcombe mother and committee member of Frack Free Balcombe Residents’ Associationc, said: “If planning permission for flow testing is given against the community’s wishes and Cuadrilla return to Balcombe, they will be doing so without the social license from Balcombe residents. On their conscience be it when they drive their toxic, radioactive, hazardous waste past my children’s primary school, meters away from their classrooms. We are David against Goliath and despite fighting a massive propaganda machine and the government’s intent on driving this industry into our countryside, we will win.”

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