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A concerned group of local residents has written to Nottinghamshire County Council’s Health and Wellbeing board to warn that if they allow fracking in the county, it could actually damage the health and wellbeing of its residents.

Frack Free Nottinghamshire (FFN) are part of a growing network of communities opposed to exploiting the UK’s landscape for fracking.  They have written to Dr Chris Kenny (Director of Public Health) and Cllr Joyce Bosnjak (Chair), drawing attention to the ambitions that this Board are trying to achieve and showing fracking contradicts these things. FFN highlight evidence from the USA and a recent report by the Health Action Group, Medact.  This research shows that infant health will suffer, rates of hospitalisation and ill health, and mistrust of public authorities will increase if fracking is allowed in the county.

Helen Mitchem of FFN says “Most shocking of all are the figures from the USA which show higher rates of infant deaths appear with greater proximity to gas wells. If this form of development goes ahead it could be a disaster for communities in the North of the County, (currently threatened) or closer to Nottingham.  Medact, a wide group of health professionals have declared the regulatory system for fracking as currently incomplete and inadequately robust; we trust them over the fracking companies”

The group are urging the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Director of Public Health to urgently consider this report by Medact. This has been written by public health academics and practitioners with help and advice from public health experts from the USA.  In these times, when more people are realising the importance of wellbeing for individuals and communities, Nottinghamshire’s residents want effective decisions to be made to ensure everyone’s safety and health.

NOTES TO EDITOR: 

According to the County Council website the “ambitions” of the Health and Wellbeing Board are as follows:

A good start – for everyone to have a good start in life

Living well – for people to live well, making healthier choices and living healthier lives

Coping well – that people cope well and that we help and support people to improve their health and wellbeing, to be independent and reduce their need for traditional health and social care services where we can 

Working together – to get everyone working together.

Dr David McCoy, Director of Medact said:
“Today, Medact, alongside a wider group of health professionals, has called for a moratorium on fracking because of the serious risks it poses to public health. Fracking has already been suspended in Wales and Scotland because of health and climate risks and New York State has banned fracking because of the ‘significant health risks’.”

The Medact report can be read / downloaded from:
http://www.medact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/medact_fracking-report_WEB3.pdf

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