Anti-fracking campaigners call for a united front

FLASHBACK:  An anti-fracking demo was held at the Scottish Parliament last year.
FLASHBACK: An anti-fracking demo was held at the Scottish Parliament last year.

An anti-fracking group in Bishopbriggs is appealing to fellow pressure groups in East Dunbartonshire to lend their weight to its campaign.

Don’t Frack The Briggs wants all anti-fracking groups to come together at a meeting on Wednesday, February 11 to step up the fight against the controversial 
drilling technique for shale oil and gas.

The meeting takes place in Bishopbriggs Library from 6pm-7pm.

Donald Macdonald, of the Bishopbriggs group, said: “We want to bring as many people together as possible.

“Fracking is a huge environmental threat to the greenbelt in East Dunbartonshire and we must do everything we can to prevent it from happening.”

Thomas Glen, East Dunbartonshire Council’s director of development and regeneration, said in November that the council planned to take residents’ concerns into account if any planning applications were submitted by fracking firms.

Donald added: “The community council in Bishopbriggs has written several letters to the council to get them to clarify their position.

“Some applications are just rubber-stamped automatically and we want to make sure they know how concerned people are about this happening in the area.”

He said members of Don’t Frack the Briggs group also remain guarded over the news last week that the UK government has agreed to exclude Scotland from laws which would have meant householders could not object to fracking under their homes.

Donald said: “Normally, people would be jumping for joy at this kind of news, but everyone is very guarded about this. It is a positive step but it appears to be part of the Smith Commission regarding new powers for a devolved Scotland. The commission powers are not coming any day soon. What happens in the meantime?

“The devil is in the detail. It may be that people will have to take firms to court to stop them.

“Politics are also playing a part - I think Westminster is trying to put pressure on the Scottish Government.”

Don’t Frack the Briggs also want to invite people to a social night at the end of the month. Educational videos on fracking will be screened in Bishopbriggs Academy on Wednesday, January 28 at 7pm.

Donald said: “We will be serving refreshments. As well as learning more about fracking, it’s also a great opportunity to network.”