MP celebrates success in battle against UCG in the Dee, but urges caution for the future

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26 Feb 2018

Margaret Greenwood is celebrating the “fantastic success” of the campaign against Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) in the Dee estuary after the UCG licence expired.

However, the Wirral West MP is urging caution for the future after the Government refused to confirm an outright ban on the unproven technology.

A five year licence for UCG was granted by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in January 2013 to a company called Cluff Natural Resources for exploration in the Dee Estuary.

Ms Greenwood has led the campaign against UCG in the Dee.

Speaking on West Kirby beach, Margaret Greenwood said:

“It’s February 2018 and a cause for celebration because the licence for UCG granted by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government back in 2013 would have expired last month, in January.

“That really is a success in terms of our campaign and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who was involved: everyone who put up a poster saying no to UCG, everyone who shared information in the press and on social media and everyone who signed our petition.

“I also want to say a big thank you to the other Labour MPs in the north-west who helped make a difference to our campaign, especially David Hanson in Delyn across the water in Wales, Chris Matheson down in Chester and Justin Madders in Ellesmere Port.

“Together we all met with representatives from Cluff Natural Resources, the company that was awarded the licence, and we made it clear to them that local people do not want to see drilling for coal gas in this beautiful estuary.

“We are not safe yet, though. The Government is still saying it is not minded to support the technology, which is not at all the same as the outright ban that I’m calling for, so I will continue to press the Government on this matter.

“If anyone sees or hears anything that gives cause for concern, I am asking them to get in touch with me.

“In the meantime, it’s fantastic that people can enjoy the beach and celebrate what is a real success in terms of our campaign.”