Published: 00:00, 18 June 2014 |
Updated: 09:53, 18 June 2014
A row has broken out after Kent County Council rejected a grant to cover the cost of a fracking conference.
The campaign group, East Kent Against Fracking (EKAF) applied for the grant to help fund a conference which is being held in October to raise awareness of what fracking could mean for Kent.
The application was supported by county councillor Mike Eddy but was turned down by KCC and now EKAF is demanding to know why.
Chairman, Rosemary Rechter said: “Following the application’s refusal I wrote an open letter to KCC leader Paul Carter in which I suggested that the authority is serving to stifle important discussion on fracking when instead it should be encouraging an open and informed debate.
“I understand that cabinet member, Cllr Mike Hill refused to sign off on the application because it represented ‘a particular viewpoint’ but in fact our application clearly stated that “our day long conference aims to permit the airing of both sides of this controversial debate.”
Mrs Rechter claims that she was informed by two county councillors that it is highly unusual for members’ grants to be refused.
She added: “I have received only a response from Cllr David Brazier which studiously ignored all mention of the grant. This is wholly unsatisfactory.”
Cllr Ian Driver, an EKAF committee member and Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for South Thanet, said: “In September last year I accused KCC of failing to properly consult with the residents of Guston, Shepherdswell and Tilmanstone about applications for exploratory drilling by Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd.
“At the time Cllr Brazier responded by describing my claims as “utter nonsense” but it would appear he is showing the same contempt for Rosemary Rechter’s request for information as to why KCC has refused this grant.”
Last November, Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd withdrew its applications following requests from the Environment Agency for information as to how the company would protect the water supply but the company still has an live application for exploration in Woodnesborough.
Cllr Mike Hill said: “The members’ grant application was refused because it did not meet the relevant criteria.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.