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Chairman's statement about public evidence

13 November 2014

The Working Group has been established to investigate the issues associated with unconventional on-shore gas and oil techniques and to advise the Executive on its key findings. The role of the working Group is purely fact-finding. It is not a decision making body of the Council.

The Council does not have a policy in support of or against unconventional gas extraction and is keen to ensure representatives and experts from both sides are given an opportunity to contribute evidence.

The Working Group has agreed to receive representations from members of the public, to identify the main issues associated with gas and oil development across the Borough. This information will be made available to members of the Working Group through an internal SharePoint portal and may be included in the final report of the Working Group once it has had the opportunity to consider all of the issues.

On legal advice, representations will not be published on the Council’s website. It is anticipated that representations will come from a variety of sources, some of which will contain subjective evidence which cannot be substantiated and given the emotive nature of this issue, possibly defamatory statements. It would not be appropriate for officers to vet information received and decide what should or should not be published on the website and to do so could raise questions as to impartiality.

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