We hope you had a great summer. Everyone at Keep Billingshurst Frack Free has taken a bit of a break, but still been busy with a few important meetings, past and future. Please put the next Craft & Chat afternoon and an important film screening in your diaries. We hope to see you there.
Meeting with our MP
On Friday 28th August, five of us met with Jeremy Quin MP at his Horsham surgery. With only 15 minutes to get all our concerns across to him, time was tight, but we made our points and felt he genuinely listened to our fears. Whilst not against fracking, he is concerned about the industrialisation of our countryside and increase of traffic in the area if the industry takes hold. He assured us he would speak with Nick Herbert MP more about this, so they can work closely together. We will keep you informed about this.
Also, after our calls to Celtique Energie continue to go unanswered or never returned, he made a point of saying he would contact them to ask what they would be doing by way of community relations, as very little has been done to make the public aware of what they are doing at the site. If any of you have two minutes to spare to also call Celtique to ask more about their plans and when drilling is likely to start, please do so.
Their number is: 020 7255 6100. We would be grateful if you could let us know if you have called and what the response was, as it is very important that we keep a log of this. Just drop us an email and let us know : firstname.lastname@example.org
The more we keep up the pressure on them, as Mr Quin is also doing, the more likely they are to hold a public meeting which we can all attend to express our concerns.
Parish Councillors’ fact-finding meeting
On Thursday 17th September, we held a small, private meeting with some Parish Councillors from Billinghurst and West Chiltington, and members of the Chamber of Commerce. Sue Jameson presented our work on the Broadford Bridge site, and John Ashton economic and environmental speaker, commentator and advisor to successive British Governments shared his expertise on the industry as a whole. We hope the event was informative for the Councillors who came.
Craft & Chat afternoon
We held another successful Craft & Chat afternoon, at the Women’s Hall on Sunday 11th October, 2pm-5pm, where some more new faces came along to find out more about fracking in our area.
Then on Saturday 7th November at Billingshurst Community Centre, we had a film screening of Voices From the Gasfields by ex-oil and gas industry man Ian R Crane. This is the most up-to-date documentary of a community affected by fracking and we hope those who came – around 30 people – found it as shocking and informative as us. Afterwards, we had a good debate about the reality of fracking and how we can form stronger connections to fight it. Thank you to all who came.