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West Sussex plans more information days on gas and oil drilling

13th July 2014

West Sussex County Council says it is planning more information days on oil and gas drilling after describing last month’s event in Pulborough a success.

A total of 203 residents attended the event on June 21st. Information was provided by about 28 exhibitors, who included representatives from the Health and Safety Executive, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Environment Agency, Balcombe Parish Council, Friends of the Earth and anti-fracking groups from Balcombe, Wisborough Green and Fernhurst.

Sam Mowbray, the council’s head of policy and communications, said the majority of people who filled in evaluation forms rated the event as good to excellent. One resident told the council: “It was very interesting especially to hear from both sides and also what the facts are. One only hears what a biased press and vocal minorities talk about. It was nice to meet people who actually knew about the topics at the meeting.”

Ms Mowbray said: “We’re looking to hold a further event in the autumn in another part of the county and perhaps another in the spring. We are reliant on colleagues from other agencies, although given the success of the event, most have indicated that they’d be keen to do further events.”

She said the information day was designed to give people as much information as possible about fracking, what it involves and how it is regulated. “We also wanted to give residents an insight into how much they could make their views known and the ways in which they were able to influence the planning process.”

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