Candidate's festive fracking furore

A council candidate's festive fracking message has received a frosty response.

Tuesday, 20th December 2016, 8:39 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:30 pm

Gail Hodson, who is bidding to become the Leyland South representative on Lancashire County Council next year, has been accused of Christmas time electioneering.

West Lancashire Labour councillor Hodson is a campaigner against fracking.

But South Ribble councillor Paul Wharton questioned in a tweet: “Why is the Labour candidate for Leyland South delivering anti-frack leaflets with her “non-festive” card.”

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Councillor Wharton said: “She’s been delivering Christmas cards with a picture of her on it. She’s been delivering them with anti-fracking leaflets and she’s got her address on as

“Christmas is a time of goodwill and for enjoyment of families and friends.

“I have no issue with any political party delivering Christmas cards and spreading festive cheer.

“However I feel delivering these with anti-fracking leaflets, and displaying a picture wearing an anti-fracking badge on the front of your card, is not in the spirit of what Christmas should be about.

“I certainly will not be using the Christmas period to force any political agenda.”

As regards fracking, Conservative councillor Wharton, who represents Farington East on South Ribble Council, said he was not against the controversial gas-drilling method.

“Personally I haven’t got an issue with it,” he said.

“We need to be looking at more resources.”

The Leyland South division on Lancashire County Council covers the Buckshaw, Worden, Seven Stars and St Ambrose districts.

Councillor Hodson, who represents Ashurt ward on West Lancashire Council and lives in Tarleton, said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the Labour Party candidate for the Leyland South division at next year’s county Ccouncil elections.

“I have lived in South Ribble for the last 45 years and have campaigned hard for the people of South Ribble over the last three General Elections, as well as in local elections.

“I’m really looking forward to talking to as many residents as I can between now and May.”

She added: “I believe it is my duty to inform the people of Leyland and Lancashire at every opportunity about the impending threat from the fracking industry, of which I have kept myself very well informed over the last five years.

“This industry, with plans for thousands of wells across Lancashire, will have an enormous impact on everyones lives with huge risks to the environment, water and health.

“I would suggest that people do their own research to find out for themselves.””