Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is concerned that professional protestors, who relish altercations with the authorities, are obscuring the legitimate concerns of local residents.
Lifestyle protestors, the likes of whom regularly attend an array of protests throughout the county, have blindly galvanised support against fracking, which has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional policing, whilst dismissing any facts surrounding shale gas extraction.
As an opponent to new nuclear power stations, Mike is keen to ensure that legitimate debate takes place on how we keep the lights on going into the future. Mike appreciates that local residents do have concerns and wants a open debate that is based on tangible evidence – a debate that is not tarnished by reports of fighting with police.
Commenting, Mike said: “Professional protestors from all walks of life have latched onto the anti-fracking cause without really assessing the evidence and have been exploiting local residents’ fears by perpetuating myths about the drilling. I fully support Sussex Police as they protect the exploratory site in Balcombe. Democracy, not criminal antics, must be allowed to take precedence.”
Mike added, “I personally would choose fracking over nuclear power but am keen to hear all of the arguments for and against the practice. I have actually been contacted by several constituents about fracking who have been strongly in support of it, simply because professional protesters are against it. The serial protesters are poisoning the debate. We need to hear all views if we are to take a mature decision.”