Protesters pack Preston Minster for anti-fracking meeting

Message: The gathering at Preston Minster to discuss fracking
Message: The gathering at Preston Minster to discuss fracking
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More than 150 people flocked to a public meeting at Preston Minster organised by anti-fracking activists.

The meeting heard from speakers from the Unite union, Blackburn Anglican Diocese Environment Group, Morecambe Bay Community Renewables, Frack Free Lancashire, Friends of the Earth and local engineer Mike Hill about their concerns about the controversial industry.

The gathering – arranged by the Frack Free Lancashire alliance and Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace – came just weeks before Lancashire County Council is due to consider applications to drill for shale gas at Rosecare and Little Plumpton.

Gas exploration company Cuadrilla is behind the controversial plans, which have sparked protests about the possible hazards to public health and the environment.

Stephen Garsed, representing the Anglican and Catholic churches’ environment groups in Lancashire, told the gathering: “We believe that the carbon emissions of the rich countries are causing immense harm to our brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world and that action is needed to reduce emissions as soon as possible.”

Mike Hill, an oil and gas engineer from the Fylde, warned the meeting that the industry was not properly regulated and that current regulations were “nowhere near sufficient to mitigate the very severe risks from fracking.”

Dot Kelk from Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth said: “It was fantastic to see so many people from Preston come along to find out more about the impacts of fracking.

“The meeting sent a strong message to Lancashire County Council that we don’t want fracking in our county.”

Caudrilla declined to comment.