ANTI-FRACKING protesters last night demonstrated against INEOS's proposals to begin fracking in East Dumbartonshire.


Around 60 people took part in the demonstration outside Bishopbriggs Academy before INEOS- the multinational chemical company involved in fracking- gave a public presentation on their plans to use fracking to extract shale gas in Bishopbriggs.

The company hold a licence to frack an area of 127 square miles, which includes the town.

The demonstration was organised by Don't Frack the 'Briggs and drew locals who could be seen holding anti-fracking signs as they listened to protest songs and speeches.

Donald McDonald, head of Don't Frack the 'Briggs, took part in the demonstration. He said: "This isn't just about Bishopbriggs, it's about what could happen throughout Scotland.

"INEOS say that they will give a percentage of their profits to the local communities but at the end of the day, it's one thing getting a new sports hall or community centre but what about 10 or 15 years down the line when people can't get insurance for their homes and their children have health problems.

"We want a ban on fracking right across Scotland.

"This campaign is trying to influence the government, it's about the Scottish elections next year because it's the Scottish government who will decide on the future of fracking.

"We want them to take the moratorium on fracking and make it a permanent ban."

Many of the local residents were concerned that INEOS's promise to give a percentage of their profits to the local community could persuade East Dumbartonshire Council.

Davida McEwan, 70, from Bishopbriggs took part in the protest and voiced her concerns. She said: "I'm worried that if the council see money they'll take it.

"I want my grandchildren to grow up in a safe environment and that won't happen if INEOS have their way."

Clair Williams, 44, works as an administrator and lives in Chryston. She said: "Above all they cannot argue that burning fossil fuels will not contribute to global warming and that's what will happen if they are allowed to frack."

The demonstration ran from 6pm to 7pm and afterwards many of the protestors went into Bishopbriggs academy for the INEOS presentation by Tom Pickering, operations director of the company.

The presentation lasted for two hours during which time locals had the opportunity to ask questions.

When asked by one resident about the dangers of drilling in the central belt where there are hundreds of disused mines, Pickering replied: "There is data available which shows us where the mines are we will make every effort to avoid drilling through mines.

"In the event that we do need to I don't see this as an insurmountable problem."

Other residents raised their concerns over possible damage to their homes and how it would affect the insurance and value.

Mr Pickering said: "There is no relationship between fracking and house value, none that we have seen.

"My house in Perth is in an area where fracking is proposed to take place and I would be happy for it to."

Tensions rose briefly during the presentation when some members of the audience shouted out and demanded to know the effects that each chemical could have.

They were informed that INEOS is currently mapping out each chemical in detail and would publish it on their website.

Tom Pickering concluded the presentation by saying that INEOS would keep locals informed on their proposals and would have further community meetings where they would answer any questions.

Further community meetings with INEIS are planned for Thursday, April 30 in Cumbernauld which is also included in the fracking licence area.