James Walsh Speech, Lancashire County Council, Thursday 25th June 2015

My name is James Walsh, I’m a professional ecologist and Eco-Tourism expert

First of all, I would like to ask where Mr Perigo is getting the advice from to make such outlandish statements as the presence of the fracking industry will not affect tourism and agriculture!

I would also like to ask why Mr Perigo is narrowing the terms that the Committee can refuse the application on ? Surely that is up to the Committee to decide

I would like to state that North West MPs & MEPs, including Cat Smith, Kate Green, Lucy Powell & Michael Meacher have called for all fracking applications to be withdrawn or refused planning permission

I find it truly staggering that officials are saying that this application should only be rejected on traffic grounds! Have no Lancashire County Council officials done any research on the fracking industry ? Yes this application should be rejected on traffic grounds but there are about 50 other more important reasons that this application, and all fracking applications, should be rejected!

Fracking might create a few jobs, but how many jobs is it going to destroy? Have the Lancashire Chamber of Commerce looked at how much The Fylde is worth in the future without fracking ? Have they looked into how many jobs could be created through Sustainable Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Eco-Tourism ? The Fylde is worth far more, economically, without fracking, and you need to look at long-term economic projections before making a decision, long-term business models for The Fylde say that fracking does NOT make economic sense

I have heard many people speak in this room and say that Blackpool and Lancashire, has economic, and employment, problems, and I acknowledge that, so I suggest that we all work together and find the solutions to this that don’t involve fracking

With fracking we are talking about a finite resource, have you thought about what The Fylde would look like in 10 or 20 years time after the fracking industry has left after plundering our environment? Who is going to pay for the clean-up ? Are Cuadrilla ? Are the Members of the Committee ?

The fracking industries’ economic projections are way too narrow and are only concerned with self-interest, not the knock-on effects to other industries, so the figures that the fracking industry rolls out might sound ok on their own but when entered into The Fyldes’ business model, and the wider Lancashire business model, the figures make for paltry, and dangerous, reading

I would say to you, members of the Committee, that you need to make a decision on whether you want The Fylde to be a fracking area or a tourism and agriculture area, because you can’t have both

I would like to ask the Members of the Committee to think about how much you actually know about fracking ? Have you actually been to America or Australia and witnessed first-hand the destruction that the fracking industry has caused ? Have you done any research on the concept of Reckless Endangerment ? Are you really in a position to say yes ? Members of the Committee, I wish to warn you that history will not judge you kindly if you vote for fracking to happen in our beloved county of Lancashire

We are literally wasting our time on fracking, and we need to build not a Northern Powerhouse, but a NORTHERN GREENHOUSE

I would urge all members of the Committee to look at ALL the alternatives to fracking before committing their vote, read the Zero Carbon Britain Report, a publication from the Centre for Alternative Technology, who have mapped a way for us to completely de-carbonise the UK economy, read the information from the One Million Climate Jobs campaign on how we can create one Million green jobs nationally, solving employment issues AND climate issues

I would also like to re-iterate my invitation to Cuadrilla to withdraw these applications and join the global divestment movement

I would also like to re-iterate my invitation to Lancashire County Council to join the global divestment movement and transfer Council funds from dirty industry to the clean, green industry

All members of the Council I wish to remind you of your council motto “In Council Is Wisdom” I trust that this Council is going to show true wisdom and say NO to all fracking in Lancashire


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