Hundreds join anti-fracking protest

Protest at the Spa
Protest at the Spa
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Several hundred people gathered to oppose a onshore oil and gas conference being held at Scarborough Spa this morning.

The lively protest drew locals and campaigners From as far north as Durham and as far West as Blackpool.

Protest at the Spa

Protest at the Spa

Protesters drew a symbolic line in the sand and assembled a bamboo fracking rig emblazoned with a 'The size of the prize' banner in an ironic reference to the 1:15pm conference session of the same name.

A symbolic 'die-in' was enacted on the steps on the building.

A spokesman for Frack Free Scarborough said the protest was vital: "Australia's Condamine river is on fire thanks to fracking and a report just out shows Pennsylvania's water contamination is far worse than expected.

"It's the community's health versus the oil companies' profits. We won't stop until the community wins.'

Protest at the Spa

Protest at the Spa

Local Green Party councillor Mark Vesey added,: "We don’t want anyone coming to Scarborough promoting an industry that threatens our beautiful countryside and so callously puts profit before people and the planet.’

Supporting the event, Sue Gough from Frack Free Ryedale added: "It is appalling that this event is being held in Scarborough, inviting councillors and businesses from the town and from Hambleton, but completely ignoring Ryedale, where Third Energy has its application in to frack at Kirby Misperton.

"Ryedale is at the forefront of the opposition to fracking and the devastation it will bring to the countryside, local business and agriculture. It is inexcusable that local people have been excluded from this meeting."

The meeting was organised by the Onshore Energy Services Group (OESG) and supported by the Scarborough Ambassadors.

Protest at the Spa

Protest at the Spa

OESG chief executive Lee Petts said: "There is potential for the industry to create a wide range of commercial opportunities, from technical work through to ancillary services such as accommodation, transport, site preparation, administration and catering.

"We also want to make sure we have a sustainable industry through the provision of training and skills development for local youngsters to take up roles within the industry."

OESG tweeted that one of its delegates claimed he was "hit on the head by a protester" as he entered the conference.

Protest at the Spa

Protest at the Spa

Protest at the Spa

Protest at the Spa