Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Rathlin Refuses Entry to "Community" Liaison Meeting

Rathlin Energy holds Community Liaison Meetings for each well (Crawberry Hill and West Newton) to communicate it's plans to local people & parish councillors.

The minutes are published on Rathlin's website, but the meetings are held behind closed doors and only present what Rathlin wants people to hear, there is no one to provide balance by challenging what Rathlin say.  In fact it all seems to be part of their slick PR machine, and they even seem to have been using these meetings to lie to local people.
So a Hull resident turned up at yesterday's meeting, hoping to hear Rathlin's explanation for applying to the EA to Frack whilst claiming they are not, and to alert local people to this scandal.

But they were not even allowed through the door.  Polite discussions were held for a few minutes but ultimately the resident was:
  • refused entry to the meeting
  • refused a request to observe the meeting in silence to hear what was said
  • refused a request to observe the discussion on their request to join the committee
  • Rathlin representatives even declined the suggestion from a committee member to meet the resident after the meeting, so as not to further disrupt the meeting

The resident made the case that they should have been allowed to attend because:
  • to make their case for joining the committee in person, rather than via a Rathlin employee
  • there is only a short time remaining to make comments on the EA Permits, and that meeting may have been the only opportunity to discuss
  • Rathlin has already drilled through the aquifer that supplies all the tap water for the whole region
  • they have now applied to mini-frack this well, when they said they wouldn't
  • to provide representation for some of the increasing number of people in and around Hull with serious concerns

    People at the meeting said it was not appropriate to simply turn up unannounced.
    But most worrying seems to be the response of some attendees, believed to be local residents, who seem quite unaware of the lack of balance at the meetings and how they're being spun at.  Comments were along the lines of:

      "...the presence of people from environmental organisations not from the local area may effect the discussions in the meetings"
      "Rathlin have been quite open with us so far, and we've conducted these meetings in a professional manner, and we wouldn't want to change that"
      "this may not be be the appropriate forum for those concerns"

    The resident therefore pointed out that there is currently no other forum for those concerns and requested that Rathlin provide one, before the consultation period for the permits closes.

    We'll let you know.


    The Permits to Frack the wells, believed to be in contravention of the Planning Condition, are currently open for comment on the Environment Agency Website here- Have Your Say.


    4th March update: Rathlin's response:

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