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Chairman of East Kent Against Fracking sent open letter to the leader of KCC

By Emily Stott

The chairman of East Kent Against Fracking has sent an open letter to the leader of KCC to raise concerns over shale extraction.

The letter addressed to Cllr Paul Carter expresses some of the main concerns over drilling for shale gas in the area, as well as calling for KCC to clarify its position on the controversial technique.

Chairman of EKAF, Rosemary Rechter writes: “It increasingly seems to us that KCC unthinkingly endorses the government’s ill-considered dash for gas, and seeks to stifle all dissenting views when it should be encouraging an open and informed debate on what all the independent evidence suggests is a decidedly complex and inherently dangerous technology.

Deal With It's Rosemary Rechter and Stuart Cox protesting at Balcombe
Deal With It's Rosemary Rechter and Stuart Cox protesting at Balcombe

“Should this industry be developed within the county, Kent will be changed out of all recognition by the thousands of wells which we understand will be necessary to ensure viability.”

Currently, there is one licence to frack in Woodnesborough and the three applications for Tilmanstone, Shepherdswell and Guston were withdrawn by Coastal Oil and Gas last year.

It is thought east Kent could have large amounts of shale reserves but many believe this could result in water pollution through toxic spills.

Mrs Rechter is calling for complete transparency within the council and sensitivity in its role to protect residents’ welfare.

She said the technique should be studied carefully to see how it could impact on the livelihoods of residents, and believes this has not happened so far.

She goes on to say: “Consultation has been minimal. Decision-makers have not been prepared for the vital role they will play.”

East Kent Against Fracking planned to hold a conference to keep people up to date, the group applied for a grant which was supported by Cllr Mike Eddy but it was later refused.

According to the letter, Cllr Mike Hill refused the grant because it represented a particular viewpoint.

Mrs Rechter concludes: “We would therefore be grateful if you would clarify the policy of KCC on this issue and meet with a delegation of Kent residents to discuss this matter.”

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