Fracking plan ‘is desperate attempt’

Helen Rimmer from Friends of the Earth at the public meeting about Fracking at Freckleton Sports and Social Club

Helen Rimmer from Friends of the Earth at the public meeting about Fracking at Freckleton Sports and Social Club

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Anti-fracking campaigners have dismissed Chancellor George Osborne’s suggestion that money from shale gas exploration should go into a “sovereign wealth fund” for the North.

Mr Osborne told the BBC that money generated by fracking could be “invested in the long term economic health of the North of England”.

Lancashire campaigner Helen Rimmer of Friends of the Earth said: “This is yet another desperate attempt by the Chancellor to try and win over communities who are saying no to dirty fracking.

“The economic benefits of shale gas have been vastly over-hyped by the Government and their friends in the fossil fuel industry, and communities will not be bought off with cheap bribes.”

Cuadrilla has applied to the county council to drill at two sites near the villages of Little Plumpton and Roseacre in the Fylde.

A Cuadrilla spokesman said Mr Osborne’s suggestion was a “potentially exciting idea.”