Group to hold anti-fracking meetings

A general view of the fracking site at Barton Moss
A general view of the fracking site at Barton Moss

An anti-fracking group will host a public meeting this month aimed at “exposing” the truths behind the controversial process.

Wigan borough is covered by energy firm licences but any operations are subject to planning approval from the council and, to date, the town hall has not received any applications.

Environmental campaign Frack Free Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield will run two “public information” evenings in June.

The meetings come as a council in North Yorkshire has granted permission to an energy firm to set up a site, the first green light for fracking in the UK since 2011.

The Frack Free group, which is a branch of the wider Greater Manchester movement, will tell residents that hydraulic fracturing can cause health problems, affect house prices, contaminate land, pollute water and cause earth tremors, among other knock-on effects.

However, the government is understood to be in favour of the process as much of the UK sits atop vast untapped shale gas reserves, hoped to ease the country’s energy supply concerns.

Hydraulic fracturing - commonly known as fracking - involves vast amounts of water and chemicals being blasted into underground shale rock formations to release natural gas.

Borough MP and Greater Manchester mayoral hopeful Andy Burnham, in response to the decision in North Yorkshire, has called on the region to oppose fracking, stating “fossil fuels seem to me to belong to the last century.”

The two meetings will take place at Standish Community Centre on Moody Street on Friday June 10 at 7pm and Leigh Miners Welfare Institute, Kirby Road, Leigh on Tuesday June 28.