New group backs fracking in Lancashire

Lancashire for shale launch

Picture: Lancashire For Shale

A new pro-shale group in Lancashire, part-funded by the onshore gas industry, launched yesterday in Blackpool.

Lancashire for Shale called on local and national decision-makers to get behind onshore natural gas development in the county.

The group said it was made up of local businesses and residents who “believe natural gas from Lancashire’s shale will create opportunities for our businesses, new jobs and much-needed investment for our county”.

In a letter to local media, signed by nearly 100 people, the group said:

“With the positive news that shale gas operations have been given the green light in Ryedale it is only a matter of time before the economic benefits start to trickle down to local communities and businesses in Yorkshire.

“As Lancashire-based businesses and local residents, we also believe shale gas will create opportunities for our businesses, new jobs, and much-needed investment for our County. But we are concerned that all these benefits to Lancashire risk being left behind.

“It’s high-time for all decision-makers, both national and local, to work together to ensure that Lancashire does not miss out on the jobs and investment offered by our County’s shale gas resources.”

The signatories included: Fylde businessman David Haythornthwaite; Claire Smith, president of Stay Blackpool; Tony Raynor, of Abbey Telecom; and Babs Murphy, of the North and Western Lancashire Chambers of Commerce.

Ms Smith, Ms Murphy and Mr Raynor supported Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood at the planning meeting in June 2015 and the public inquiry earlier this year.

Of the 95 signatories, seven described themselves as residents.

Ms Smith said:

“In coming together we can more effectively make the case for shale and demonstrate the strength of support in the county for shale gas ahead of the Secretary of State’s decision. We call on business, industry and policy-makers to get behind shale to ensure that Lancashire seizes this incredible opportunity for jobs and the local community.”

Mr Haythornthwaite said:

“Lancashire for Shale, will hopefully speak for the majority of Lancashire residents and businesses. I believe that most people recognise that the development of shale will be good for jobs and economic growth in the county but critically right here on the Fylde Coast. The exploration and potential development of natural gas from shale presents a once in a generation opportunity which we must not miss.”

In a press release, the group said it received funding from “a range of people, businesses and organisations including Cuadrilla and Centrica, WJF Technical Support, North West Energy Task Force, Abbey Telecom, Stay Blackpool and the Onshore Energy Services Group”.


Lancashire for Shale is just the latest group established to promote fracking in Lancashire. Two of its funders, the Onshore Energy Services Group and the North West Energy Task Force, have already been campaigning for shale gas developments in the region.

There is some overlap between the three organisations.

The 14-member steering group of Lancashire for Shale includes:
Ms Murphy and Ms Smith; Nick Campbell, of Inspired Energy; Rob Green, of Edge Hill University; Philip Hargreaves, of Lytham Green Investments; John Kersey, chair of the Lancashire branch of the Institute of Directors; Martin Long of Blackpool Leadership Group; retired commercial director Frank McLaughlin; Lee Petts, of managing director of Remsol; Steve Pye, of Lancashire TV; solicitor Peter Whitehead; and former county councillor Bernard Whittle.

All are also listed as members of the SME [small and medium sized enterprises] panel of the North West Energy Task Force. Mr Petts is also the chief executive and a founder of the Onshore Energy Services Group.

Signatories to the letter

Andrew Anderson-Shepherd, Energy Trader, B.I.U.
Ian Ashton, Director, QED construction Ltd
Alan Ashton, resident
Sue Ashton, resident
Chris Attwood, Field Operations Manager, Cee Cee TV
John Barton, Chairman, Safelok Components ltd
Nigel Beevers, Director, Assist Management Consultants
David Berryman, MD, Wilkin Oilfield Engineering Co
Gerry Biggs, CEO, Siltint Industries Ltd
Mike Broughton, COO, Ground Gas Solutions
Andrew Buffey, Works Manager, Brier Engineering Ltd
Nick Campbell, Risk Manager, Inspired Energy
Lindsey Campbell, Director, Campbell & Rowley
Richard Chatham, MD and Owner, Ricardo Enterprises
Dawn Cheetham, Director, North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Spencer Cheetham, Director, John Hunt Bolton ltd
Gary Clements, Regional Manager, Charles Willow Engineer
Kate Close, General Manager, Westwood Motor Group
Craig Donley, Plant Sales, Charles Willow Engineer
Lee Etchells, Director, Bon Chaunce Travel Ltd.
Chris Evans, Managing Director, Cee Cee TV
Champak Fakira, Contracts Director, ORSEAL LIMITED
Geoffrey Fawcett, owner, Fawcetts Liners
Emil Fernandes, MD, Greenhey Industrial & Marine Engineering
Tim Freshney, Managing Director, WJF Technical Support
Paul Friday, Managing Director, Future Focus Energy Ltd
Paul Gaunt, Proprietor, Blackpool Scaffolding Co
Alan George, MD, Molecular Control Systems Ltd
Robert Gibson , Managing Director, Gibson Solutions, Limited
Shaun Gray, Operations Director, Orseal Valves
Rob Green, resident
Paul Grimshaw, Director, Communication Services Ltd
Frank Guffogg, Gen Manager, elco
Carl Hague, Owner, Robert Thomas Investments Ltd
Jon Hardy, Director, Finances Explained
Philip Hargreaves, CEO, Lytham Green Ltd
Paul Harrison, Owner, Harrison decorations ltd
David Haythornthwaite, Managing Director, Tangerine Holdings
Phillip Hodson, Director, Kensington consulting
Beverley Holden, Finance Administrator, Ferguson Vehicle Contracts
Gary Holden, Owner, Carsnphones
Richard Houghton, Director, Hi5 Electronics Ltd.
Frank Howard, Managing Director Hockley International Ltd
Geoffrey Howard, Chairman, Continuity Shop
Javed Iqbal, Director, Voltek
Peter Jewell, resident
David Judge, Director, Cormar carpets
Adam Kaley, Commercial Director, Aegis Services Limited
Harry Karoo, Director, Crawshaw Hall Healthcare
John Kersey, MD, Kersey Hairdressing
Helen Killonan Wilson, Lakeland Ecological Services
Charles King, Managing Director, Nortest Ltd
Robert Klass, Project Estimation Manager, Mantank Environmental Services Ltd
Stephen Knott, Director, The Land Consultancy Limited
Paul Linderman, Owner, Twelve
Sybaris, Linderman, Owner, The Berkeley Apartments
Peter Liptrott, Director, Tannahill Reay Limited
Stuart Livesey, Resident
Martin Long, Chairman, Blackpool Business Leadership Group
Stewart Mackay, Owner, TRM Utilities
Peter Maguire, Managing Director, Petann Engineering Ltd
John Mallinson, Managing Director, J Mallinson [Ormskirk] Ltd
Dave Martin, Owner, Rossall Mobile Phone Shop
Paul McCherry, Managing Director, Cloud9 Computer Services Ltd
Anthony McGuinness, Owner, Mcguinness feeds
Joe Mckenna, Director, Dragonfly contracts ltd
David, McManamon, CEO, P.P.S.T.
Molly McManamon, Resident
Rob, Mitchell, Director, TMR SUPPLIES LTD
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive, North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Peter Onslow, M.D., Cortman Textiles
Derek Ormston, Managing Director, Cooper Rigg Ltd
Simon Park, Managing Director, Kidds Transport Ltd
Mike Phillips, Managing Director, Purepages Group Limited
Roger, Pilkington, Director, Fuel Proof
Steve Pye, Chairman, Lancashire TV
Tony Raynor, Managing Director, Abbey Telecom
Anthony Rickards Collinson, Proprietor, Lake House Farm
Paul Roberts, Director, HAROBY LTD
Rev. Michael Roberts, resident
Stephen Robinson, Director, Champion Business Advisers Ltd
Arthur Ruttle, Director, Readyplant ltd
Asif Sadiq, Managing Director, Solco Pyroelec UK Ltd
Rob Slattery, Manager Director, John Slattery & Sons ltd
Claire Smith, President, StayBlackpool (formerly the Blackpool & Hotel Guesthouse Ass)
Steve Smith, Director, Eldon St Garage
Martin Sykes, Chairman, J. Sykes and Sons (Manchester) Ltd
Norman Tenray, CEO, Obas UK Ltd
Ian Trow, UK Sales, Quad Plus
Barry Waddilove, Managing Director, Furious Wolf Design
Paul Walsh, Director, Wellamforge ltd
Tim Ward, Key Account Manager, Gunmebo UK Ltd
John Watson, Chairman, Surface Print co
John Whelan, Director, Cuncannon
Malcolm Whittle, Director, Boiler Control Services Ltd

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78 replies »

  1. I don’t suppose any of the signatories in their business capacity are supporting shale because they are in industries that stand to benefit from the supply chain by any chance?

    I would be much more impressed if these were people who lived near proposed sites with all the attendant health and environmental impacts and had done their research and decided the benefits outweighed the not inconsiderable risks.

    As it is, this is largely the NWETF rebranded – a case of the frackers in a new frock peddling the same old overhyped jobs claims and completely minimising the very real risks to our health and the environment – the true costs of fracking.

  2. If any of the signatories on this letter lived near a proposed site with the attendant environmental and health risks and had decided on balance that the benefits outweighed the considerable risks, I would take this more seriously.

    As it is, we have the same old names who are in industries/businesses where there is the promise of money to be made in the short term from fracking without them having to accept any of the consequences.

    The most recent study from John Hopkins University flags the increased asthma attack and respiratory conditions in those who have the misfortune to live near frack pads in the US. The uncomfortable truth is that there ARE health and environmental impacts from fracking and one can only assume that those who support fracking are only interested in its impact on their business/profit/bottom line and be damned with public health, the environment and climate change.

    Is Lancashire to become The Prostitute County?

      • But surely JB you would object to a Red Light County ! All those high heeled/short skirted ladies would make your temperature go up and cause Climate Change increasing!

        • The image of Lee Petts and Francis Egan in short skirts and high heels trying to sell something they don’t own is not one I wanted before I go to bed.

          Now who is JB and why can you not string a grammatically correct sentence together Malcolm?

            • Michael – that’s absolutely hilarious – I don’t think I’ve ever read a funnier piece of repartee. Have you ever thought of a career as a stand-up comedian?

  3. With Mother Earth heating up on a very worrying scale why on earth would we want to be making it worse? Suicide springs to mind.

    • But what happened 10,000 year’s ago to end The Ice Age? Was it Dinosaurs drilling for Oil/Gas ? Or was it all The Dinosaurs driving to work and polluting the atmosphere in their car’s! Oh Dear!

      • Ice core data from Greenland shows that around 9500 years BC temperatures rose seven degrees C in just 50 years. The world went from ice-house to greenhouse in a generation. Environmentalists worry about changes of 1/2 deg C in 100 years now. This was 7 degrees in 50 years! Neanderthal Man died out (our main competitor), cave art ceased and agriculture began in the Euphrates Valley. The Younger Dryas Ice Sheet which covered a large part of Scotland melted and has not returned (information from Huttons Arse by Malcolm Rider which is well worth a read if you want to understand Scotland’s geology).

        Climate change is happening, always has been happening and always will happen. Stopping using electricity and gas and driving cars in the UK overnight for ever will not make a bit of difference to global climate change.

        Do people on this BB really think that all the aspiring middle classes in India, China, Indonesia are suddenly going to drop their aspirations and go back to their bicycles and electricity free lives? Reverse their economies, give up their TVs, scrap their motor bikes, stop watching Premier League football?? If you do think this you are wrong. And if you believe the IPCC COP21 agreement (none binding and meaningless) will make any difference you are deluding yourselves.

        But using “climate change” to try and stop shale gas fracking near you is to be expected.

          • John – which part of my comment “Climate change is happening, always has been happening and always will happen.” makes me a climate change denials / do you not understand?

              • John, I agree that we are contributing to climate change, we have been since we discovered fire, industrial revolution etc. and will continue to do so for many decades to come. I have lived / worked / travelled in India / Africa / Far East etc. and have learnt that our contribution to climate change is going to continue to increase and we need to adapt to it. When I lived in Ho Chi Minh I saw people upgrade from bicycles to motor bikes and since I left in 2006, no doubt to cars.

  4. But you don’t need fossil fuels to create electricity, Paul. China, whom you have mentioned is well on with their clean energy programme, as is India.

    Poor old Neanderthal man. It’s a shame he died out…or did he?

    Whilst you are correct, of course, about climate change happening naturally, the concern is the escalation that is linked to industrialization. Where you mention the Earth sustained a rise in temperature for 50 years, we are talking irreversible for thousands of years and Homo Sapiens, many species of animals, plants etc. dying out. We are talking hotter to hotter, not colder to hotter. Makes a BIG difference.

    You clearly show you have no interest in the effects that escalated climate change will have on the planet. I think we have had this conversation before. If you haven’t already, probably best to sign up with the ‘hundred’, whilst we thousands get on with our job.

  5. You do need fossil fuels when it is dark, cold and high pressure. And the wind is not “always blowing somewhere”, there are many times when wind produces almost zero amounts of electricity across the UK. And the interconnectors cannot make up that shortfall. Hinkley will replace other nuclear, gas will replace coal, what will replace gas – this is the big question?

    This evening fossil fuels are generating 55% of our electricity, wind 5% – installed wind capacity UK end 2015 = 30GW, currently producing the equivalent of 1.5GW approximately – 5% load factor!

    Currently renewables in UK have a limit which we are reaching. BC in Canada, Norway and several other countries have the geography for large amounts of pump stored hydro. This is a great system for storing excess renewables when they are producing, windy times, lunch time on sunny days. However our topography is limited. We could dam up large sections of the Lake District where sufficient head can be achieved but this will probably not go down too well.

    I have plenty of interest in climate change, we need to learn to live with it. The world is overpopulated, nothing we can do about that.

    Eventually we will no longer need fossil fuels to generate electricity but we are a long way off.

  6. Fascinating fracas here, it seems its not just the climate which is heating up? Yes climate change has happened before, most of these events were caused by asteroid impact, recovering from the various ice ages, the increase of green house gasses due to the heating up of sub strata, such as the Deccan gulf period where the crust travelled over local hot spots causing hundreds of years of volcanoes, the remains of which are in norther India. The most famous meteor impact being the Chixulub event, this occurred roughly 67 million years ago and marked the end of the reign of the dinosaurs (no the dinosaurs did not drive around in cars 10,000 years ago, they had long since become fossilised, a fate we may share one day). This event is known geologically as the KT event (Cretaceous Tertiary extinction event, yes i know Cretaceous begins with a ‘C’ not ‘K’ but you know what these geologists are like!) This is evident by a layer of black carbon several inches thick, representing several hundred years. incidently the film Jurassic Park should have been Cretaceous Park, but that apparently did not trip so easily off the tongue.
    The point of this, is that climate change does indeed happen, but that it is invariably caused by a massive event, be it impact, ice age, sun variations, electromagnetic induction, volcanoes, changes in land mass positions, collisions of tectonic plates and so on. These are all catastrophic events for life on earth, some events caused more that 90% of life being destroyed on earth, causing sometimes millions of years for life and ecologies to recover.
    I am not saying that fracking will cause such drastic events (not yet anyway), but, it will cause climate degradation at a time where pollution is seen as a right by many emerging countries (after all, we did). My point, now and always, is that we should not be contributing to further climate change which is all ready rapidly increasing from other human caused industrial processes, let alone that all ready occurring from natural cycles.
    There are many developments in deriving renewable energy from the natural electromagnetic fields of the earth, solar and wind power, tidal and current power. The big obstacle on alternative systems is to reduced resistance of transmission and storage of power, there are many technologies being developed which will lead to greater advances, yet the government invests in doubtful fracking technology and not these new advances.
    it seems that the big white elephant of the Hinkley Point B reactor has ground to a halt overnight, hopefully for good, and rightly so, we cannot deal with the nuclear waste we have now, and nor can any other country, we actually IMPORT nuclear waste. (there are plans to put nuclear waste in fracking drill holes when they expire, dont take my word for it, look it up). Sellafield nuclear power station existed to produce weapons grade plutonium, not electricity.
    I say again, we cannot do anything without upsetting some apple carts, but, we must do it intelligently and have real laws real regulatory powers with real sharp teeth, we cannot, must not allow such process, fracking or any other process to go ahead self regulated and unfettered by effective and enforceable law and regulations, its sheer suicide..

  7. “There are many developments in deriving renewable energy…” yes but they are possibilities, a bit like the possibility that there might be abundant shale gas under the UK which, perhaps with carbon capture, might provide close to zero emission electricity. Why not explore both possibilities. In the meantime, just to repeat my mantra, can someone tell me how over the next 20-30 years we are going to be able to generate affordable electricity on a freezing cold, windless night in February? Like climate change, it’s a serious question. As far as I can see it’s imported wood chips, gas, coal, or nuclear. Am I wrong?

    • Good questions, yes we are going to suffer in the short term, but when these new energy systems are properly funded and explored we will have assured cheap energy for the foreseeable future, this can then be exported around the world and we can once again be a source of engineering and excellence that we were 50 years ago before we sold everything off and destroyed our manufacturing capacity. Suffering is necessary, we have been too complacent expecting to remain the same. Life does not tolerate a static complacent species unable to move forward, the climate is changing and we ourselves are becoming stratified and divided, we have cabin fever and we must find new frontiers or decline and fade away. We are all ready seeing the destructive process of complacency begin to eat away at the heart of our society. The Roman Empire ended the same way, it destroyed itself from the inside out. We cannot continue with processes that just produce more of the same, we must move on or die. Many many species have reached this point, successful but deeply flawed and complacent of their ability to find the same food in the same place. Nature soon changes and those old certainties evaporate, the result is massive die off and be replaced by a creature more flexible in its ability to handle change. The human race was once one of those opportunists, we have reached our zenith but we have feet of clay. Yes we will suffer before we surge ahead again, but the beauty of it is, we can do this intelligently, we are not fixed by our environment and our nature, if we choose to change. Previous species were not so lucky.
      I have no fears that fracking will fill a short term gap in power and heating, but that it must be done intelligently, it must be fully regulated and laws must address all the possible problems and have the teeth to enforce compliance. Compliance is not a terrible thing, it is simply a safeguard, all processes must have a safeguard, not to do so is suicide. Nuclear power clearly presents more problems than it solves and is ultimately far too high a price to pay, both financially and environmentally.
      if we can bend the rules for fracking, then we must do the same for the alternatives, not to do so is just insane and backward looking. Nature is knocking on our door to ask us to change, pretty soon it wont bother knocking, it will huff and it will puff and blow our house down.

  8. Gridwatch Templar doesn’t include important sources. Try this The UK has a massive opportunity for tidal stream, tidal lagoon, wave and wind as well as manufacturing, installing and maintaining our own equipment. But our governments have consistently failed to invest in this opportunity. Now other countries are not only over taking us but taking advantage of our lack of commitment. And we don’t seem to mind them coming over here, doing it for us and charging us a princely sum. Globally renewable are marching forward whilst we sit here like numptys arguing about climate change and clinging on to old technologies. Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

  9. The real answers are in Micro Generation Everywhere, Demand Side Reduction and Smart Grids. You can either wait for a greedy monolithic energy giant to do all this for you and pay whatever they demand or you can invest in your own future. An Airbus employee and staunch ‘Petrol Head’ recently researched the best financial investments that provide predictable returns. What did he spend his money on? Solar. Perhaps there is a message for all of us there?

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