Anti-fracking group will meet Robert Jenrick after protesting outside his offices
12:08pm Mon Jan 05, 2015
 
From left, Martin Gallimore of Nottingham, Greg Hewitt of Nottingham, Nigel Lee of Nottingham, Jonah Himlin-Harris, 5, Robin Himlin-Harris, 6, and their mother Miss Lis Harris of Tuxford, and Mrs Maggie Gallimore of Nottingham
From left, Martin Gallimore of Nottingham, Greg Hewitt of Nottingham, Nigel Lee of Nottingham, Jonah Himlin-Harris, 5, Robin Himlin-Harris, 6, and their mother Miss Lis Harris of Tuxford, and Mrs Maggie Gallimore of Nottingham
An anti-fracking group staged a photo stunt outside the offices of an MP on Sunday.
Six members of Frack Free Notts took the opportunity to voice their concern at the Infrastructure Bill that is being considered by Parliament.

The bill is aimed at making it easier for companies to carry out fracking (hydraulic fracturing) — drilling for shale gas by directing a high-pressure water mixer at rock to fracture it and release the gas.

Frack Free Notts believes the bill could pose a threat to publicly-owned green spaces and private land in Nottinghamshire.

Mr Jenrick is on the committee looking at the bill and supports fracking exploration because it involves a natural resource and could create jobs.

"I wish the group had just asked to meet and discuss rather than posing for a photo opportunity," said Mr Jenrick after he found out about the protest.



"I’ve offered to meet and we are doing so on Friday.

"There are no applications to even explore fracking in the Newark constituency or Advertiser area, so we need a sense of proportion.

"I want decisions to be made on scientific evidence, not scare-mongering.

"It would be irresponsible not to explore a home-grown source of energy, to bring down energy bills, allow our manufacturing businesses to be many competitive, and to give us greater energy security from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

"Every time you fill up at the pump you see the direct benefits of fracking in the USA which has created an unprecedented fall in energy prices.

"I want to see the most robust regulatory regime in the world, strongly enforced by the Environment Agency, who I have met and questioned.

"The risk to water is very low from a well that is designed and built properly. Fracking takes place deep underground, well below drinking water aquifers, normally separated by impermeable rock.

"Companies will need planning permission to ensure it fits in locally. A shale gas site is generally the size of a football pitch.

"Communities will share in the benefits. Companies will provide £100,000 per site where there is fracking, then a minimum of 1% of the revenues if it goes into production. This could be worth up to £5-10m over its lifetime plus the local jobs and skills created."

Greg Hewitt, a member of Frack Free Notts, said: "It was a photo stunt more than a protest and it worked because I called out Robert Jenrick and he has agreed to meet us.

"We now have the opportunity to meet with him and show him the evidence and the science that says fracking is bad for the country.

"He is a new MP and wants to be a good boy so is just going along party lines at the moment. We hope we can change his mind."

Mr Hewitt said Frack Free Notts has 30 members and a mailing list of another 300. He acknowledged there were no fracking applications for the Newark constituency but said they wanted to guard against future applications.

They were fighting an application they believe is to be submitted in Bassetlaw.

He said the group had tried to be in contact with Mr Jenrick through a constituent who is a member of the group.

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