Anti-fracking protesters gathered outside Liverpool Town Hall on Wednesday in a demonstration against new fuel extraction plans for the region.
Licences have been issued for drilling into local land in search of oil and other non-renewable gases in Wirral, Dee Estuary and Liverpool Bay – to the fury of those who insist the risks are too great.
Campaigners in the city stressed that there were “serious dangers” to the environment if the controversial fracking and underground coal gasification proposals went ahead.
Co-founder of the ‘Wirral-Against-Fracking’ group, Zoe Blackwell, told JMU Journalism: “I think this demonstration has been very effective. I worked with Paul Malloy [anti-fracking protest leader] on this statement and the outcome that we wanted was for it to be referred to the [council] scrutiny committee, which the mayor did.”
A petition with more than 4,000 signatures was handed into the meeting and Blackwell, 43, said: “This has given us leverage and we have given this to the council to show this is how many people are actually bothered about this issue, and in order for us to gain some protection for our landscape, before the safety concerns have actually been looked into.”
However, Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson stated that he has no power when it comes to banning fracking locally. He told the Liverpool Echo: “We are willing to listen and take advice and discuss it at the regeneration select committee in an open and transparent way.”
Protester Helen Campbell, 35, told JMU Journalism: “I think fracking is symptomatic of a very deep-rooted problem we have of reliance on the short term. At the end of the day, there is only so much renewable resources in the planet. That is the point of them – they are unrenewable and when they run out, we shall be left with nothing.”
Additional reporting by Melissa McFarlane