A Freedom of Information request reveals that Barnsley Council met with fracking firm Cuadrilla on 15th December 2015. The information was passed to us just days after BMBC stated in the Barnsley Chronicle that they had received no preliminary enquiries from companies regarding shale gas production in the area.
BARNSLEY CHRONICLE JULY 29 “We have no plans for further meetings regarding the local plan, nor do we anticipate the need for public meetings on fracking. We haven’t received any planning applications, or prelimary enquiries regarding an application, in relation to fracking or any aspect of shale gas exploration.”
A further meeting in June this year took place between Service Director of Economic Regeneration at BMBC and Lexington Communications (Cuadrilla’s agents), with a view to arranging a meeting between Cuadrilla and the Council Leader.
Given that Barnsley Council have repeatedly stated their impartiality on the prospect of fracking in Barnsley and in the light of their meetings with Cuardrilla and their agents, we feel it only fair for the council now to listen to the arguments against fracking.
Without information and engagement, there can be no meaningful consultation.
Residents left the local plan consultations feeling frustrated and unheard after finding no-one available to answer their questions about fracking.
It’s our families who will be forced to live with the risks & fallout of this controversial industry for generations. We urge Barnsley Council to hold a public meeting on this important subject and to take on board the serious concerns of local people.
The threat of fracking is real
INEOS, the company that owns the license that covers Barnsley, plan to lodge as many as 30 planning applications in the next six months and hope to start drilling in the North early next year. With this in mind, we appeal to BMBC to look again at their Minerals Policy. We have found other councils have far more robust safeguards to protect their communities and Barnsley residents deserve the same protections.
We also ask BMBC to take a stand and forbid fracking on Council land as Bury Council has done. BMBC have control of what happens on their own land and this will send a strong message to residents- that BMBC understand the risks.