ANTI-fracking campaigners have warned against complacency as the fight stepped up a gear in the wake of "sweeteners" offered by petrochemical giant Ineos.


The Grangemouth company set the issue firmly in Scotland's sights again as it revealed plans for community consultation in East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire next month and offered landowners and homeowners a share of £2.5bn for hosting fracking sites.

The move comes despite a moratorium on the practice in Scotland, with the company saying it would be 'illogical' if it was not lifted.

Hours after Ineos made the announcement, Bishopbriggs group Don't Frack the Briggs called a meeting in the town's library.

They warned of the need to counter the "charm offensive" as soon as possible.

A spokesman said they needed to start organising now so they could "hit the ground running when the moratorium is lifted."

He said they needed to mobilise as many people as possible across Bishopbriggs to submit their views about 'how undesirable the prospect of fracking was to the local community in East Dunbartonshire.'

He added: "With the moratorium, many people will think that nothing is happening.

"Inoes don't think so and have started a charm offensive on community councils.

"We need to ensure fracking is considered to be counter to the Clydeplan for a low carbon future for Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire and the wider Clyde Valley."

Two retirees and lifelong residents of Bishopbriggs Margaret Scott and Alice Little were dead against it.

Margaret said: "They can go and get raffled as far as I'm concerned.

"It's still unpredictable and it shouldn't be considered until more research is done and the impact of it assessed.

"What they are doing isn't far off a bribe by the looks of it."

Alice said: "I'm not persuaded by the money at all, I'm thoroughly against it."

In Cumbernauld people were equally unhappy about the proposals.

Jim Davidson, 71, a retired taxi driver said: "I wouldn't be in favour of it, the money isn't an incentive to me.

"I think the fact they are even offering money shows they're trying to cloud over the issue."

Graeme Foote, 28, works as an administrator at New College Lanarkshire in Cumbernauld and wasn't convinced by the prospect of money.

He said: "I've seen some horror stories so I'm not sure about it all.

"It feels like we're rushing into it and people could be distracted by the money.

"Offering money like that isn't far off a bribe."

Najma Raza, 49, works in the voluntary sector was worried about the impact on the local area.

She said: "I would be worried if they were going under peoples houses.

"I hope we can find an alternative energy source and not be persuaded by the money on offer."

Emma Pacitti, 25, from Cumbernauld was shocked at the financial incentive on offer.

She said: "It's disgusting that they are offering us this money.

"What about the people who live here? This is an absolute joke, it's like they're trying to bribe people.

"Cumbernauld needs a lot more than a wee bit of the profits. It would only make the town worse."

Meanwhile, the first meeting between Ineos bosses and community figures is taking place today at the Grangemouth plant.

A spokeswoman for Mediazoo, a London-based company hired to handle Ineos' public relations, declined to say who had been invited.

She said it was "a diverse range of community leaders and parish councillors."

The first public meeting is on April 16.

Fears have been raised that the £2.5bn offer will split communities and pit neighbour against neighbour, with some getting thousands of pounds and others left with nothing.

The company revealed it could pinpoint homes 'property by property' when identifying who could benefit from the money.

The fracking sites would be up to 4.5km underground.

Ineos director Tom Crotty said the extraction of shale gas by the hydraulic fracturing of underground rock is emotive and "a politically difficult issue" but added that the company would be rigorous in its consultation.

It currently has two licences for sites covering parts of East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire.