Councillor’s concerns on fracking

Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America.
Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America.

A councillor has claimed some of the Bridlington area’s most precious spots of natural beauty and wildlife could be under threat from fracking.

Bridlington Town Cllr Liam Dealtry said “half of Flamborough and Bempton Cliffs could be at risk”, after an energy firm was granted a licence to explore for shale gas under Bridlington and swathes of the East Riding.

Cllr Liam Dealtry PA0913-31a

Cllr Liam Dealtry PA0913-31a

Cllr Dealtry added: “I’m against fracking because it’s untested.

“People are not aware at all. We need to raise awareness of fracking, because it’s going on in our back yard.”

Fracking involves drilling into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

It is controversial because environmentalists claim it could cause drinking water to become polluted, increase traffic in rural areas and increase air pollution.

The areas granted to Cuadrilla and other energy companies span from Scarborough and Malton to as far south as Goole.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Woldgate and Bridlington town are both some of the licencing blocks.

Cllr Dealtry added more people need to be aware of the practice because he believes it poses a danger to wildlife and residents.

“If you look at all the results from other areas, there has been contaminated water, sinkholes and earthquakes. It makes the earth unstable.

“People think it sounds extreme - we could put half of Flamborough and Bempton Cliffs at risk. People don’t realise how close it’s going to be for Bridlington.

“The companies need to prove that it’s 100 per cent safe. There needs to be a proper guarantee there will be no contamination or sink holes.”

However Driffield resident Richard Sands, who owns a business that constructs wells for oil and gas extraction, said the public is being misinformed on the supposed dangers of fracking.

He said: “As a pragmatist, I understand that the country needs energy security. Fracking operations have taken place in the UK since I began my career 36 years ago.

“All UK industries, including deep well and fracking, work to the same general principles which are underpinned by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.”

Mr Sands added he would allow fracking close to his home and that the industry is safe.

Cuadrilla failed to respond comment before the Free Press’ print deadline.