Anti fracking group in town centre

Eastbourne and District Friends of the Earth met at Bankers Corner to bring local peoples attention to the issue of fracking on 'Global Frackdown Day'. (L to R): Janet Rakow, Andrew Durling Co-ordinator EDFoE, Sarah Ellingham and Fiona Durling. October 19th 2013 E3040P,

Eastbourne and District Friends of the Earth met at Bankers Corner to bring local peoples attention to the issue of fracking on 'Global Frackdown Day'. (L to R): Janet Rakow, Andrew Durling Co-ordinator EDFoE, Sarah Ellingham and Fiona Durling. October 19th 2013 E3040P,

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Eastbourne and District Friends of the Earth were in the town centre on Saturday (October 19) to highlight their concerns over fracking.

The group is calling on East Sussex County Council to promise it would not allow fracking operations in Eastbourne and the surrounding areas.

Before a company can see whether oil or gas reserves are available, they must obtain a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

This licence gives them the power to ‘search and bore for and get’ the Crown’s resources, such as oil and gas.

But they would need permission from the planning authority East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to carry out any work within East Sussex.

Fracking is where the earth is drilled into before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected onto the rock which allows for the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

Janel Rakow of Eastbourne and District Friends of The Earth said, “Almost everybody we spoke to on Saturday said that they don’t want to see fracking – the dirty f-word – in Eastbourne or the surrounding areas of outstanding natural beauty that we are proudly famous for.

“We want the East Sussex County Council to oppose fracking and we want the Government to get behind renewables and energy saving instead.”

On Saturday the Friends of the Earth group set up a swear box in Terminus Road to show their defiance to fracking and spoke to many concerned residents and passers-by throughout the course of the day.

People were invited to sign postcards addressed to the leader of the council to say ‘no’ to fracking and send a message to the Government that ‘fracking is a dirty word’.

ESCC has not received any applications for exploratory drilling or fracking to date.