RESIDENTS concerned about possible fracking for shale gas in their communities are being urged to attend a major information event this month.

The call comes from anti-fracking group Frack Free Northwich in relation to an event at Winnington Park Recreation Club being hosted by the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Oil and Gas Authority and Public Health England.

Chemicals company INEOS holds licences to explore for shale gas in areas of the UK, including Cheshire, the licence area including Northwich, Winsford and Knutsford.

In the next 18 months the company will carry out 3D imaging surveys of the geology. This data, coupled with sample drilling, will help it to decide where it is best to drill for gas.

“The meeting is your chance to meet with the fracking regulators,” said a spokesman for Frack Free Northwich.

“We are asking people to go along and ask plenty of questions if they can.

“Previous events have highlighted that no-one knows how the industry will be regulated on a commercial scale.

“How and where will waste water be disposed? Will anyone monitor the thousands of wells once abandoned?

“We will be holding a peaceful demonstration outside the venue alongside a Frack Free Northwich information stall. We plan to be there from 2pm to 7.30pm.

“We don't expect anyone to stay for the duration, but please spare whatever time you can to show your support and let it be known that we say no to fracking.”

Staff from the regulators and agencies will be attending an informal information session to explain how the oil and gas industry is regulated and to explain how the environment and people’s health are protected.

The Recreation Club is in Park Road, Winnington, and the information session takes place on Wednesday, September 21, from 2pm to 7.30pm, and everyone is welcome to come along and meet staff.

The Environment Agency issues environmental permits for onshore oil and gas exploration.

Licences for onshore gas exploration are granted by the Oil and Gas Authority.

Safety on the drilling site, including well integrity, is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive.