Fracking: quality of life must come first

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

Lord Howell, father-in-law of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reported, after a recent visit to fracking sites in the United States, the thump of compressors and whiff of diesel could be sensed two miles away from a fracked well.

His recommendation was that fracking would not go down well in Conservative constituencies in the South, but would be good for the industrially-ravaged North. Actually, the sites Cuadrilla wants to exploit in Lancashire are in Conservative constituencies, but the response of local MPs has been limp and ineffectual.

Surely the first duty of politicians should be to protect the quality of life and well-being of the people they serve. Even in the United States, where the economic benefits have been considerable, the population is turning against the industry and increasing numbers of towns and cities are voting to ban fracking.

In England the economic benefits will be paltry in comparison to those in the USA but the impact of noise, increased traffic, light and air pollution, the threat of earthquakes and subsidence, the storage and transport of toxic substances and the risk to the health of the population will be far greater as Lancashire is densely populated and intensively farmed in comparison to the wide open spaces in the USA, Canada and Australia where fracking takes place.

Lancashire County Council must put the quality of life of its electors first and refuse to accept the hydraulic shattering of our beloved county.

Mike Ellwood,

Janice Drive, Fulwood