Unite the union is calling for an immediate halt to fracking in Lancashire after it was revealed that there had been at least 19 tremors at the Quadrilla site since fracking restarted at the site a fortnight ago.

The latest and most severe tremor occurred on Monday (29 October) measuring 1.0 on the Richter scale. It was so severe it was classified as a ‘red event’ resulting in fracking being temporarily suspended.

The fresh concerns about fracking safety come at a time when the government is considering its response to a consultation on fracking, which could result in local councillors being excluded from deciding whether fracking can go ahead in their local area.

The energy minister Clare Perry MP has also suggested that as the industry ‘matures’ the requirement to stop drilling when significant tremors occur, could be relaxed.

There is growing concern about the government’s fracking policy and there will be a Westminster Hall debate tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday 31 October) about the government’s proposals.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The continued tremors being caused by fracking in Lancashire must be terrifying for people living locally.

“The government has put Quadrilla’s financial interests above the safety concerns of local residents.

“The fact that there are continual tremors underlines that fracking is not safe and it needs to be halted immediately.

“Proposals that councillors will be barred from deciding if fracking can occur in their area are a direct attack on local democracy.

“Suggestions by a Conservative minister that mini earthquakes can be ignored in future, demonstrates that the government is pandering to developers and ignoring legitimate fears and concerns.”

“Recent history demonstrates that ignoring community concerns can have tragic consequences. Elected councillors are accountable and must be allowed to do their job alongside community groups.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.