Councillor hits out at ‘pro-fracking agenda’

A councillor says she fears Scotland will be “hung out to dry” by government ministers eager to appease fracking firms and the gas industry.

North Lanarkshire Green Councillor Frances McGlinchey claims a “pro-fracking agenda being pushed at leading figures in the Scottish government by companies” is a real cause for concern.

She is calling on people throughout the area and beyond to demonstrate their opposition to the controversial underground drilling practice by joining their local anti-fracking group.

She said: “There is a clear mandate for an outright ban and the longer the Scottish government delay in giving us that ban the more acutely aware the public become that the opinion of the people of Scotland, including the government’s own grass root support is of no consequence.

She added: “I have attended two local anti-fracking meetings this week, one in Chryston and one in Plains.”

She said people at the meetings were horrified that shale gas exploration company Ineos had promoted fracking at the recent SNP party conference.

She added: “They are also extremely worried when they hear that the government is meeting on a regular basis with these companies who want to devastate our communities, rather than the public health experts it promised to consult.”

This comes, she said, after the announcement earlier this year that the UK Government will overrule the rejection of planning permission for fracking by the local authority in Lancashire.

She added: “There is clearly a pro-fracking agenda being pushed at leading figures in the government.

“We cannot afford to let up the pressure, the government has cleverly kicked the issue into the long grass until after the Scottish elections,

“I would urge everyone concerned by these latest developments to get in touch with their local anti-fracking group and get involved.”

Over recent months Councillor McGlinchey, along with her husband John Wilson MSP, the Scottish Green Party Candidate for Coatbridge and Chrytson, and members of North Lanarkshire Green Party, have been holding public meetings in villages where INEOS are holding information events.

According to Ms McGlinchey, recent surveys showed fracking is opposed by 54 per cent of the Scots.