Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 26, 2016

Halsall Against Fracking

Halsall Labour Cllr Maureen Mills attended a meeting at the North Yorkshire County Council offices last Friday for the planning committee meeting that is to decide Third Energy’s KM8 fracking application. She was with John Ashton momills who was Special Representative for Climate for William Hague when he was Foreign Secretary.

Mr Ashton said “I speak often about fracking because the choice it puts before us as a nation is a strategic one. It goes to the heart of our security and prosperity, of our place in the world, and of how we govern ourselves. But if you give a green light to Third Energy that would be a shot in the arm for an industry that has been trying unsuccessfully for years to break down the opposition of communities and local authorities to the prospect of intensive shale gas production up and down our country.

“A green light for Third Energy here would bring that prospect closer. If that were not the case, nobody would be urging you, as The Times did yesterday, to say “yes” to Third Energy as a matter of national interest. A single installation cannot be a national interest unless it opens the way to something much bigger.

“To deal with climate change we need to move, very quickly, from a wasteful energy system based on fossil fuels to an efficient one that does not rely on coal, or oil, or gas. We know how to do that, we can afford it, it is becoming clear that it will cost us less and reward us more than any alternative, and we have made some progress towards it. But we have slowed down in recent years and we are falling behind our competitors from Germany to China and now the US.

“We could try to open up a whole new onshore gas industry based on so-called unconventional extraction methods including fracking, with its infrastructure, supply chains, skills base, and its inevitable reflex to lobby the government of the day to facilitate its further growth.

“But that would take us backwards not forwards on climate. Here in the UK it would not displace much coal, if any. It would divert investment and political effort away from renewable energy, community energy, digital energy systems and energy efficiency. That’s where the real focus needs to be.

“You can be in favour of fracking for shale gas in Britain. Or you can be in favour of dealing effectively with climate change. But you cannot be in favour of both at the same time. It really is that simple. I’m tempted, as a former climate envoy, to say “read my lips”.

“There is a growing consensus among medical professionals that we cannot yet be confident that the risks to public health from fracking can be kept to acceptable levels. And it is on these grounds that the State of New York, one of the best run States in the USA, has imposed a moratorium on fracking”.


And today, in Halsall, a group of Councillors including Maureen, Patricia O’Hanlon Independent Cllr for Maghull Lydiate, and Cllr Matt Gannon for Sudell Ward Maghull, joined other local residents to prepare for the launch of a Fracking Awareness campaign in the next week. As I was returning I saw this chap leaning on a lamp post in the village and thinking it might be Cllr Westley I stopped to say hullo. Whoops, must go back to Specsavers!  007 


  1. The people of Halsall must thank Cllr Maureen Mills for the hard work put in during her first 4 weeks as our Borough Councillor which is a lot more than what our last councillor did in 4 years

    • Wasn’t your late unlamented councillor in post since 2002, and did she do anything for Halsall? No, thought not, but reckon up the allowances she received for 14 years at around £4,000 a year, £56,000 for what?

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