SURVEY: 53% of locals back fracking

Natalie Bennet, leader of the Green Party, spoke at  the anti fracking demo outsideCounty Hall,  Preston. Guzelian/Paul Macnamara
Natalie Bennet, leader of the Green Party, spoke at the anti fracking demo outsideCounty Hall, Preston. Guzelian/Paul Macnamara
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A pro fracking group has hailed a new survey which highlights the benefits of a shale gas industry in Lancashire – but opponents say they are just cherry-picking.

The EU polled 6,000 people in various regions where fracking is planned to test attitudes to the controversial industry.

It is still our experience, in the areas where fracking is being proposed, where people and businesses are fully informed about the potential impacts, that the majority of people are actually opposed

Barbara Richardson, Roseacre Awareness Group

Supporters say fracking will provide energy, jobs and boost the economy, opponents say it is a threat to the environment, health and homes.

Two bids to frack at Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood were rejected by Lancashire County Council this year but energy company Cuadrilla have appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

The North West Energy Task Force which is supported by Cuadrilla and Centrica said the survey showed a majority (53 per cent) of Lancastrians believes that shale gas “brings new opportunities for me or my region”, the second highest of the regions polled after Poland.

But opponents said the NWETF ignored less favourable findings of the survey.

Barbara Richardson from the Roseacre Awareness Group said: “It is still our experience, in the areas where fracking is being proposed, where people and businesses are fully informed about the potential impacts, that the majority of people are actually opposed. This is borne also borne out by DECC’s own recent surveys into public opinion and which prove the numbers who oppose fracking are growing.”

Bob Dennett from Frack Free Lancashire said: “This report has been contradicted by the DECC Taracker report which was done after it.

“But both reports show that the more people are informed about fracking the more they are opposed to it.”

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