Stand together to stop fracking risk

First published in Letters

I AM most surprised that you had no coverage of the large public meeting that took place at Stockbridge Town Hall early last week regarding the terrible threat of fracking over a large area north of that town.

Just short of 200 people attended the meeting with three very good speakers setting out the environmental, practical and health risks related to this awful industrial practice.

One speaker is already threatened near his home at Fernhurst on the South Downs (a designated area of outstanding natural beauty).

The Government wants to frack without hindrance to that designation.

His personal report and the awful plight he now faces was both moving and a warning to everyone who has any concern for the countryside.

A fourth speaker was representing the solar panel and wind farm brigade and green side of the argument, so was rather at odds with the general “just save our countryside” side of the equation.

However, his presence and fair hearing shows how the anti-fracking movement can be so easily divided by Government – and therefore defeated – unless the general fight is somewhat sharpened with a single and clear message of NO FRACKING.

When one reflects on the level of danger that these plans represent to so many homes and businesses locally, in truth it was a poorly attended meeting and I hope this does not reflect either local complacency or, worse still, a lack of real appreciation of the nature and scale of the threat being planned.

The report of the number of additional cancers in an area fracked and polluted with underground chemicals in America certainly brought the whole meeting to shocked understanding as to the serious associated health risks.

One would think that risk alone would make government stand back and think about its unqualified support for the fracking companies again – but apparently not.

This fracking is certainly the biggest threat to the Andover area since the designation of the new town overspill status years ago.

And yet so few seem to know, and so few seem to care.

Stuart Challoner, Nomansland, Landford, near Salisbury

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