Posted: 29 October, 2015 at 9:55 am

MPs to meet fracking company boss

TWO Dearne MPs are to meet the boss of a fracking company.

John Healey, MP for Wentworth & Dearne, and Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, have set up the meeting with Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, to find out more about the company’s plans.

Cuadrilla is set to be offered a licence to explore for shale gas in the ‘Gainsborough Trough’ covering Grimethorpe, Great Houghton, Thurnscoe, Goldthorpe, Darfield, Wath-upon-Dearne, Bolton-upon-Dearne and Mexborough.

Mr Healey said: “Local people are understandably concerned after the government announced out of the blue in August that it was issuing these fracking licences.

“They are rushing ahead, not taking warnings seriously and have watered down environmental and safety standards that Labour pushed for in the Commons.

“People have got tough questions about any prospect of fracking in our area, and I will be raising these with Cuadrilla.”

Mr Dugher said: “There is a growing body of scientific evidence which suggests that fracking can damage the environment, pollute local water supplies and even cause earth tremors.

“I am concerned that the Government is rushing ahead with plans to frack large parts of Barnsley when the case for the safety of fracking is far from convincing. That’s why I’ve called for a moratorium nationally so that we can gather further evidence before irreversible damage is caused.

“We also need a full and proper consultation that involves local residents in the planning process. I have written to the Secretary of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change to call for this and I will be raising this further with Cuadrilla.”

In a recent newsletter, Mr Healey asked people to respond with questions they would like him to put to Mr Egan. Residents raised concerns about the environment and water contamination, financial compensation for communities and the safety of fracking in former coalfields.

The meeting will take place in London on Wednesday November 4.