People who want to find out more about fracking in the Fylde area of Lancashire are being urged to attend the first town hall-style public meeting on the subject for more than two years.
The event, organised by Fylde resident and oil and gas engineer Mike Hill, comes as Cuadrilla prepares to begin drilling at its Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool.
The meeting is described as an information event – not a pro or anti fracking meeting. It is expected to address issues including drilling and fracking techniques, regulations, monitoring of air and water, and consequences for local people.
Mike Hill said he would talk about the fracking process and its history in the Fylde so far. A retired medical consultant will talk about environmental and health issues. The event will also include an extended question and answer session, he said.
Mr Hill said
“With Cuadrilla about to start drilling at the first major test site in the Fylde, there is an urgent need for information.
“There are many questions being asked, about the process, how will the wells be drilled and fracked, what protection do we have, what regulations are in force, how will they be enforced and fracking monitored, and what are the consequences for those who live here, and our air and water.”
Mr Hill added:
“The meeting is intended largely for those coming to the subject for the first time, and the focus will be on providing facts, not presenting opinion.
“This is a vital issue for our area, and I hope all those who want to take a fact-based and balanced view on this new potential industry in the Fylde will come along.”
He said he particularly hoped people who had moved to the area in the past two years would attend the meeting. He urged people:
“Please come, bring your questions, find out what’s going on and what is likely to happen next”.
Representatives of police, farmers, tourist facilities, supermarkets, churches and schools had been invited, Mr Hill said, along with supporters of fracking from the business community. A number have already confirmed attendance.
The event is on Tuesday 27 June, at the 450-seat Lowther Pavilion Theatre, West Beach, Lytham St Annes FY8 5QQ. Admission is free, doors open at 7pm and the meeting begins at 7.30pm.