It has been a while since any blog posts have appeared, apologies for that.
To those that do not use social media sites it must seem like we have vanished into thin air, nothing can be further from the truth. We have remained busy locally on a number of fact finding and other initiatives.
It is a promise that from this day forward (until a better website is in place) that important local information that would get posted on social media will also be reproduced here on this blog. We are fully aware that many do not use Facebook etc and that this blog is perhaps the best vehicle to keep people informed.
Facebook is quick and helpful in building social contacts but will never reach all the people that we hope too in this particular scenario.
So.... what has been happening locally?
Firstly, as a result of the first Warwickshire meeting held in Rugby in September- two new groups have been founded. Significantly the historic Spa town Leamington which is just a stone throw to the West of the proposed license zone has formed 'Gas Field Free Leamington' and held its first public meeting last week. Additionally a group 'GasFieldFree Rugby' has also been founded. Both groups can be found on social media.
Between us we are supporting people who have expressed an interest in forming their own groups within their own communities.
We will, in future, have an Umbrella parent group that represents all the local groups as they emerge.
To compliment this we will be launching a website as a resource for all. Stand by for further news on this.
The Leamington meeting was a good useful launching night for the new Leamington group, attracting plenty of media interest. Many thanks to the organisers for all the hard work and time in putting an event like that on and finding time to speak with the media, its harder than it looks!
Gas Field Free Leamington have produced some postcards which can be smply filled out and mailed to your Councillor expressing your concerns about the potential for UCG here. I know they have many so please contact them directly if you can help distribute any.
The most significant thing to report in regard to the Cluff license bid is that Councillors in Warwickshire have begun organising 'educational' seminars on UCG. Recently one was held at Shire Hall in Warwick where a representative of The Coal Authority explained the UCG process, it was also indicated that it was LIKELY THAT THE LICENSE WOULD BE ISSUED, PERHAPS AS EARLY AS CHRISTMAS, it was also indicated that any future commercial UCG operation MAY be for the purpose of producing gas as a chemical feedstock for industry and not as a fuel for any power station.
The council were also given a presentation on the entire licensing / permit process right up to planning application and beyond.
The minerals policy currently being written by the Council and which will be published and become effective next year is clearly critical. Many people will be hoping and expecting that an appropiate policy will be constructed that makes life difficult for the gas developers in future. Not just this UCG plan but ANY potential threat in future.
To that end please support our petition by signing and sharing as widely as possible so that we may deliver it to the council in good time. The petition can be found on the following link:
It is unclear at this time if the Council intend to hold more of these seminars, we would certainly hope so to give them the best grounding in this insidious technology.
We would like to reiterate our offer of assisting with local meetings, so if you think your community deserves one and you want some help setting it up, please DO CONTACT US. We are only to happy to help, we can help arrange speakers if needed and/or do it ourselves. We would like to focus now on UCG specifically and where we are with it locally and most importantly what we might do about it, rather than just discussing the bigger picture nationally which includes the 'frack' word and CBM (coal bed methane). Do not wait for somebody else to do it, where nobody does. If you want one, tell us and we will help. This thing is creeping up and although we were fortunate to have been alerted early it does not mean we can afford to waste time waiting to see if the license is granted or not. It is far better to take the precautionary approach and assume this threat is real.
Thats all for now, keep an eye out for future updates as this blog will now be used much more regularly.