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FFC Chair Report AGM 2016

Posted by on February 5th, 2016 with 0 Comments

FRACK FREE COTSWOLDS.

AGM 3RD FEB. 2016

Chairperson’s Report

2015 has been our first year of formation as a bona fide group and has proved to be an eventful one.

Following the adoption of the constitution at our meeting of December 2014, we set up the bank account and had our leaflet printed. A lot of hard work and discussion went into the leaflet and thanks go out to Roger Barham, Margaret Cleverley, Bob Irving, Anthea Palmer & Jonathan Whittaker.

The website www.frackfreecotswolds.co.uk was officially taken up by the group. Facebook and Twitter sites were initiated, but are awaiting full usage. This AGM will designate official roles to elected members to manage the sites.

We held public events in the Bingham Gallery (12th Feb.) and also at the Royal Agricultural University (22nd Sept.) where over 80 people attended the talks entitled ‘Cotswold Fracking and the Climate’.

This was presented by FFC Chair, Jonathan Whittaker and guest speaker from The Derby Climate Coalition, Peter Robinson. Peter speaking with regard to the Time to Act on Climate Change initiative and subsequent climate march in London prior to the UK General Election.

We have had various amounts of publicity in the media throughout the year as reporters and editors have sought out a voice and information about fracking. The fracking issue is contentious due to the clear Government intention to go all out for gas as our major energy source. We therefore serve a vital and counter position to the Government, to allow people to decide after hearing another source other than Government propaganda and the multi million pound Public Relations consultants for the Gas and Oil Industry. Our remit is to inform and make people aware of what the industrialised process of fracking is and its likely consequences.

In the summer, various members of the group attended the Phoenix Festival in the Abbey Grounds, Cirencester and handed out leaflets and chatted to interested festival goers.

Members of the group Roger Barham and Mark Plummer attended the demonstration outside Lancashire County Council Offices calling for Lancashire to reject fracking exploration and drilling there. This was successful, however, a determined Government is intending to overrule local democratic decisions. This should be seen as a warning and challenge to us all, here in the Cotswolds. For, if the juggernaut of fracking gets rolling in Lancashire it will only be a matter of time before it reaches our doorsteps.

Members of the group also attended national and regional Climate Marches in London and Bristol.

We were also represented at the recent Climate Rising conference in London which was to co-ordinate response to Government actions following the UN Climate Change Talks in Paris.

With a Government showing intention to force fracking upon us all, despite local opposition, this is going to be a momentous year. Let us be in no doubt, 2016 will be when the battle lines are drawn. Against us we have power, wealth and massive PR machines. We must be steadfast in our resolve to protect our environmental heritage. To preserve the countryside of our region and other regions throughout the country, we must fight for a properly sustainable future and not jeopardise such a future for our generations to come.

2015 has been a good formative year for Frack Free Cotswolds, but the work has only just begun. I call on everyone to please lend your support for making 2016 a year we can look back on and see we made a difference for the people and countryside we love.

Jonathan Whittaker,

Chair FFC 3rd Feb. 2016.

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