Grangemouth to host fracking debate

Poster advertising Wednesday's big debate.
Poster advertising Wednesday's big debate.

The controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, will be debated at a public meeting in Grangemouth Town Hall on Wednesday, January 28.

The event takes the debate right to the heart of fracking territory and the home of INEOS which recently acquired 729 sq miles of fracking exploration licences across Central Scotland.

The meeting has been organised by the Falkirk Green Party, one of the fastest growing sub-branches of the Scottish Green Party.

Speakers will include Alison Johnstone MSP, Scottish Green Party; Andrew Kinnell, Scottish Socialist Party; SNP representatives; Professor Andrew Watterson, director of the Centre for Public Health at Stirling University; Norman Philip of Friends of the Earth Scotland; and Maria Montinaro and Carol Anderson, representing Concerned Communities of Falkirk Campaign Group (CCOF).

The debate will start at 7pm with a panel discussion which will then be opened up to the audience providing the opportunity for questions to be addressed to any of the speakers, finishing around 9pm.

Lisa Coverdale, co-convenor of Falkirk Green Party, said: “Central Scotland offers some of the UK’s finest scenery and areas of historic and environmental interest.

“All of this is under threat by Westminster’s determination to press ahead with fracking across Scotland with some of the most advanced unconventional gas plans in the UK scheduled for Airth.

“Fracking threatens so many aspects of our community, including the health of residents, water supplies, house prices and agriculture with mass industrialisation and pollution; the environmental consequences are huge.

“We need to keep shale in the ground and pursue a renewable energy policy that will create jobs for the long term, through sustainable development and growth, whilst protecting not just Falkirk’s environment but that of the whole country.

“Fracking is banned in other countries and states with good reason.

“It’s banned in France and Germany and most recently New York due to health and environmental risks.

“Fracking is not wanted, it’s not needed and it’s not safe.

“We call on the people of Forth Valley to come to our Grangemouth event and say that we don’t want it here; we don’t want it anywhere.”