Fracking packs them in and then triggers a lively debate

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A PACKED audience heard experts discuss the contentious subject of fracking last night at the first live Yorkshire Post Big Debate.

The contribution fracking could make to meeting the country’s energy needs, the economic benefits to local communities, the environmental risks and the impact on existing industries were just some of the issues explored.

The audience of Yorkshire Post readers who braved the weather to attend the debate at the Cedar Court Grand Hotel in York heard contributions from John Blaymires, chief operating officer for oil and gas exploration firm IGas, and Simon Bowens, Yorkshire campaigner for environmental group Friends of the Earth.

They were joined on the panel by Christopher Bovis, professor of business law at Hull University, Ryedale Council leader Linda Cowling and Mark Hill, head of development management for the North York Moors National Park.

The live debate followed the Big Debate discussion online, on social media and in the pages of the Yorkshire Post newspaper on fracking.

The issue has come to the fore in recent weeks with the Government signalling its firm support for using the controversial mining technique to target reserves of gas 
trapped in shale deep below the ground.

Several companies are carrying out exploratory work in the region but none has yet to submit plans for fracking operations.

For a full report on last night’s live Yorkshire Post Big Debate read tomorrow’s edition of the Yorkshire Post.