Protestors lobby Ineos in anti-fracking campaign

Anti-fracking demonstration
Anti-fracking demonstration

More than 60 protestors demonstrated in Bishopbriggs last week to coincide with a presentation on fracking by chemical giants Ineos.

The campaign was organised by anti-fracking group Don’t Frack the Briggs.

Placard-waving protestors put their message across outside Bishopbriggs Academy where Ineos gave a public presentation on their plans to extract shale gas in the area.

Donald Macdonald of Don’t Frack the Briggs told the Herald: “There was a really good turnout despite the miserable weather which demonstrates the level of concern of local people.

“Most of the protestors were the over 50s and pensioners, ordinary people who are concerned at what fracking will do to their area.”

He said fracking would be a hot topic in the run-up to next year’s Scottish elections.

He added: “This campaign is about trying to influence the government, it’s about the Scottish elections next year.

“It’s the Scottish government who will decide on the future of fracking.

“We want them to take the moratorium on fracking and make it a permanent ban.”

After the protest, many of the campaigners attended the presentation in the school.

Donald said: “There was the chance for questions after the presentation.

“One of the campaigners got up and addressed the audience – I believe there were about 130 people there.

“She asked the people there to put up their hands 
if they were in support of fracking and only three did so. The bottom line is Bishopbriggs doesn’t want fracking.”

Tom Pickering, operations director of Ineos Upstream, spoke at the presentation.

He had earlier described the firm’s decision to consult the public in this way as “starting a conversation”, with the key aim to spread their side of the argument. Afterwards, a spokesman for Ineos said: “The Bishopbriggs meeting allowed a constructive exchange of views and gave us a better insight into the way the community is thinking about shale gas.

“This first phase of six ‘town hall’ meetings is just the beginning of a long-term community engagement process and the next phase of local drop-in sessions will roll-out over a number of months.”