Ryedale anti-fracking campaigners urge communities to oppose government's '˜shale wealth fund'

FRACK Free Ryedale is appealing to communities in North Yorkshire to oppose the government's plans to give householders cash payments potentially running into thousands of pounds in recompense for fracking in their area.

Anti-fracking protesters at Northallerton.
Anti-fracking protesters at Northallerton.

A consultation has been launched on a proposal to give financial incentives - understood to be as high as £10,000 per property - to householders impacted by fracking near their homes.

Sue Gough, who lives near the controversial proposed Third Energy fracking site in Kirby Misperton, near Malton, said: “This is a cynical attempt by the Tories to bribe local people to accept fracking by offering them hard cash.

“People need to know that by accepting this money they are selling their communities down the river and condemning them to industrialisation and ruination by the frackers, who have no respect for our environment, our livelihoods or health.

“If Third Energy is allowed to frack in Ryedale it will open up the floodgates to all the other companies who are waiting in the wings to move into North Yorkshire and will bring about the widespread industrialisation of the county – we need to continue to oppose the industry and persuade people to see through this blatant bribe.”

Coun Di Keal, Liberal Democrat member of Ryedale District Council, who opposes the industry said: “This is such an obvious ploy by the Tory party, led by pro-fracker Theresa May, to try and buy support for this hugely damaging industry.

“This move smacks of desperation from a Tory government that is losing the democratic argument on fracking.

“In the current economic climate people, when many people are struggling financially, the offer of £10,000 might seem appealing, but it is little compensation for the risk to the environment, our health and well-being and the wrecking of the countryside that the industry will bring.

“While the money may sound attractive to some hard pressed families it will not even scrape the surface in terms of the compensating for the huge fall in house prices that would follow in the wake of fracking.

“All local people in the vicinity of exploited wells will also face the damage and disruption caused by lorry journeys associated with the process, the pollution risks and damage to agriculture and tourism.

“North Yorkshire is a beautiful county that relies heavily on tourism and agriculture, both of which face irreparable damage if fracking is allowed to go ahead.”

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