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31 October 2018

A community council call to arms

A week after the IPCC tried to focus the world’s attention on the perils of gobbling up the world’s resources like there’s no tomorrow (which of course, is the point) fracking operations restarted in the north of England. Scotland currently has a moratorium on fracking – but that’s not a ‘forever ban’. Scotland’s central belt is considered a prime site and the frackers are lining up to make their case.  A final consultation is now underway. A small group of community councils around Falkirk are taking up the cudgel and are calling on community councils across Scotland to join them.


 

By Maria Montinaro, Shieldhill & California CC

Maria Montinaro, Shieldhill & California CC, Falkirk is leading a group of community councils from the Falkirk area to mount a campaign of opposition to the extraction of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland. Below is a notification from the Scottish Government concerning the consultation that runs from now until 18th December 2018. A QC and lawyers have been approached to represent the communities’ interests during the consultation (the same legal team that represented community interests during an earlier Public Enquiry). They have agreed and have set a fixed fee at a fraction of true cost - £2000.


Any community council or group that feels able to support this initiative are asked to consider two actions:


1)      Contact marmonti@blueyonder.co.uk with the name of your organisation so that it can be added to the list of objectors. The more names the better.


2)      If you are able to donate anything towards the cost of the legal support – no amount too small – please do. Simply pledge an amount in your email to marmonti@blueyonder.co.uk and Maria will be in touch to arrange payment.


 


 


Scottish Government notification:


 


On 03 October 2017, the Scottish Government set out its preferred policy position of not supporting onshore unconventional oil and gas development in Scotland. This announcement followed a period of extensive evidence-gathering and public engagement, with our consultation, Talking “Fracking”, receiving more than 60,000 responses from the people of Scotland, and worldwide. We are grateful to all those who responded to the consultation on this important issue.


During his statement to Parliament in October 2017, Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, confirmed that the Scottish Government would undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the preferred policy position, in line with statutory requirements.  This process includes a consultation on the SEA Environmental Report, which has been produced for the Scottish Government by independent environmental consultants. The Scottish Government is also consulting on a partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA), and the preferred policy position on unconventional oil and gas.


I can confirm today that the public consultation on the SEA Environmental Report, the partial BRIA, and preferred policy position is now underway and will run for eight weeks, with responses accepted until 18 December 2018.


Responses are invited via the Scottish Government’s online consultation site, Citizen Space https://consult.gov.scot/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/preferred-policy-position-on-uog/; alternative formats can be made available on request by emailing UOGSEAConsultation@gov.scot, or calling 0131 2449380. When providing views to this consultation, please be assured that there is no need to restate views already covered in the 2017 Talking “Fracking” public consultation analysis report, as these have been, and will continue to be, taken into account as the Scottish Government finalises a policy position on the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland.


Following the consultation closure, the responses will be analysed and published. It is anticipated that Ministers will inform Parliament of the finalised policy on the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland in the first quarter of 2019.


 

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