The big news is that there will now be a planning meeting dedicated to the Dudleston CBM application on Friday 24th October at 2.30pm in Shirehall, Shrewsbury. At this stage we don’t know for sure which of the rooms it will be in. The meeting is open to the public and the press and it would be excellent to see as many people there as possible.
The format of the meeting will be very controlled and formal, with two public speaking slots, one of which will be for Chris Hesketh to speak on behalf of the people of Dudleston. The rest of the meeting will be a discussion between the councillors. The reason for encouraging a good turnout is that it shows the extent to which this is an important issue for the area. It is very important that our presence is a calm and peaceful one.
Prior to the Friday 24th October planning meeting, there will be an opportunity to debate the whys and wherefores of CBM/fracking this coming Friday 17th October at Big Red’s House, High Street, Whitchurch at 7.30pm. This meeting is being organised by the Green Party and Chris will be a guest speaker. As well as the hot subject of the local planning application, the question of energy policy is back in the public focus thanks to very controversial proposals from Owen Paterson MP. According to the Sunday Telegraph preview of his forthcoming speech, he is arguing that we should abandon all efforts to look after the climate so that we can go all out for fracking and CBM. Lots of eminent scientists and politicians have spoken out about the insanity of the suggestion and it is sure to add to the debate on Friday.
We are very clear that unconventional gas is a crazy answer for the UK in every way. It will be more expensive than renewable energy, it will take many years to reach meaningful production scale and it will ruin the lives of so many people that it will be an election losing issue long before it reaches production scale. The financial outlook for drilling companies in the US over the past month is looking pretty poor, despite the fact that theirs is a market that is at production scale. Here in the UK the IGas share price has fallen steadily over the last 3 months, losing 40% of its value. It was IGas who bought out Dart Energy.
Add to all of that the fact that we have a strong and united community in an area that is deemed by the government to be geologically unsuitable for extraction and you can see why we remain optimistic that Dudleston will not become a gas field.
Planning meeting now confirmed for 24th October